Pallet Projects: Part 3 Nursery Bookshelf

For the longest time, I awed over all the elaborate, ridiculous, Nordic-looking, Belle’s library-level reading nooks on Pinterest. “Let’s drop a grand so I can crawl into a strange little space and read all my books!” Ok, I still kind of feel that way, but in reality, some of these projects are not feasible for our home or budget. When it came to the nursery, though, I really wanted a creative place for Little Girl to spend time with her books. This pallet project, little did I know at the time, was the key.

You’re going to laugh at me when I give you the instructions because it’s so simple. I don’t even have pictures of any of the steps because Mr. P finished it so quickly I missed it. If you managed to read Part 1 of this series (our coffee shelf), the instructions are very similar. As a matter of fact, I’m going to borrow some of the photos from that project to help provide a visual.

In the photo above (again, this is from the coffee shelf, so we are going to diverge just a touch from this photo), the back of the shelf is the side laying on the ground. That will be against the wall when you’re mounting your shelf. Using a saw, cut your pallet just beneath the second horizontal beam on the front (the horizontal beam being the beam on top that is farthest from Mr. P in this photo). You want to have a beam on the front and back directly across from each other.

Unlike in the photo above, the front of your pallet bookshelf only needs one horizontal beam in the front (the one at the bottom to hold the books in). Your second cut will be just above the second horizontal beam in the back. Like so:

DIY Pallet Bookshelf

Mm. Photoshop skillz.

But really, cut along the dotted line. Using a spare beam (say, a lovely horizontal one that you’re not using), fill in the bottom of the bookshelf. Screw the beam to the left, right, and middle vertical beams of the bookshelf. You’re simply adding a bottom for the books to rest on.

Next step: Sand! An electric sander with a fairly rough grit (I do love 50-grit sandpaper) makes for a quick job. Whatever you’re using, aim to remove all splinter-inducing spots.

When you’re done sanding, paint or stain this guy. We used the same dark stain on this that we used on the coffee shelf. Unlike that project, though, I did not use a foam brush to apply the stain. Instead, I put on gloves and used a wad of cheesecloth. The effect was a lighter, more aged look. I prefer the cheesecloth method, though it is messier and slower.

Once your stain or paint is dry, you’re good to mount the shelf to the wall. Using a stud-finder, drill the shelf directly into studs in the wall. This is how our lovely turned out:

DIY Nursery Pallet Bookshelf

Once the shelf was mounted (nice and low for little baby hands to reach), I just threw down a small World Market rug we originally had in front of the crib and a little cushion ottoman (that my world traveling sister brought me from some awesome country).

DIY Nursery Pallet Bookshelf

When I added Mr. P’s Ethiopian stool, the spot felt complete. A real live reading nook! Here’s the best part: When we showed Little Girl, she absolutely loved it! Everyday since, she has taken some time to grab a book and sit on her cushion to flip the pages and point out all the doggies. I’ve been so amazed at how dedicating a space to reading has fostered a love of books in our tiny human. So exciting!

I know this DIY has almost been a joke. I should add some technical talk to make it seem more difficult… Nah. Enjoy! Any questions or confusion? Just comment and I’d be happy to clarify!

Oh, and if you missed Part 1 or Part 2 of this pallet series, pay them a visit:

Part 1: Coffee & Wine Shelf

Part 2: Bench Seating



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