DIY Custom Bookshelf Storage with Shelf Help App

Good storage that fits properly is the foundation of a neat, organized, and easy -to -maintain home.

After a decade of furniture design, I realized that all Storage furniture is simply a plywood box, cut or has doors / drawers to hold everything from a simple bookshelf to an entire kitchen. The technical term is case furniture.

So if it’s a box with trim .. why isn’t there an app that allows you to design that box, then you have the structure to add trim as well?

That’s why I created Shelf Help a few years ago! This is a FREE app that you can use to design your own furniture without having to learn a complicated software. In this video, I use the Shelf Help app to make this bookshelf – check it out!


Here are the exact measurements I used for this project.

Tools and Materials Needed

You will need some tools and materials to make this project:

  • Measuring tape, pencil, speed square, hearing protection, eye protection (standards)
  • Drill
  • Kreg Pocket Hole Jig (I use K5) with 1-1/4 ”pocket hole screws
  • Brad Nailer (I use the Ryobi AirStrike cordless brad nailer) with 5/8 “long brad nails
  • Plywood carcass kit from Shelf Help or cut yourself using 3/4 “cabinet grade plywood, with front sides finished with edge banding
  • 1/4 “hardwood plywood for back
  • 1×3 board for bay supports (board feet required = measure the total width of the project twice)
  • Finishing materials will include medium and fine sandpaper, wood filler, primer and paint or wood stain and clear coat

Open Base Bench Plans

The open base I built a few weeks ago. Very nice and I love the size of the space and for my baskets and bins. Plans are free and available here.

Open Shelf Hutch – Designing Plans

The open shelves at the top I just finished. It can be longer or shorter – there are endless options here for customization. You can also use them with other cabinets – kitchen cabinets, console cabinets, or as towers on either side of a tv. I keep a classic toy storage height – perfect for kids to be able to place their own toys, and there’s room at the top for decoration.

I first penciled what I was looking for on scratch paper.

Then I entered the outer dimensions into Shelf Help Configurator.

design your own shelving system

Pieces of Plywood

From there, you can use the Shelf Help app to create plans for you that include a cut list. You can cut your own plywood – use 3/4 “cabinet grade hardwood plywood. Cut using a table saw or track saw. Finish the front sides using edge banding.

You can send precut pieces to your front door using the Shelf Help app.

Carcass Assembly

Once you have your pieces of plywood on hand, it’s time for assembling.

Mark on the plans the location of all the pocket holes. Then drill pocket holes into pieces. For the 11-1 / 4 “wide, I used two pocket holes, but three can also be used.

corpse assembly to make book shelf

Then gather the corpse. I started by attaching the verticals to the bottom of the top. Then the shelves to the vertical.

Bay Supports

The plywood carcass itself is not enough to keep the project solid. Bay supported its help. At least one upper back is recommended, holes in the top pocket and side seams.

A bay support on the front will also help, and will make the project look more finished. I just pocketed the ends. Then just use 1-1 / 4 ”pocket hole screws like regular screws, and screw in the middle of the bay support to the underside of the top.

bay supports


I highly recommend a back for this piece, as it is at eye level and helps to cover the contents of the shelves.

Use 1/4 ”plywood – for painting, it can be anything.

Cut about 1/4 “in total smaller, so that the outer edge is not visible.

Attach to the back with glue and 5/8 “brad nails on all sides of the back.

back corpse


To finish, I filled any exposed holes in the filler wood and dried.

Then I did light sanding using medium grit sandpaper, followed by fine sandpaper using hand sanding block.

I then removed all the sanding residue with a vacuum with a soft bristled brush attachment.

I applied a coat of primer with a brush and a small roller.

I then applied two coats of cabinet grade paint on a semigloss sheet with a brush and a small roller.

I put a little sandpaper in the middle of the coats.

Pin For Later!

DIY Custom Bookshelf Storage

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *