How to get more bookshelf space

Every avid book lover knows the frustration of running out of bookshelf space.  Here’s how I gave myself more space.

banner how to get more bookshelf space

20160129_170614As an avid reader, I have a large (ever growing) book collection.  They all sit in a 5 x 5 IKEA Kallax cube unit.

This piece of furniture is pretty big so can hold quite a lot.

However many of my books are the more typical size (see photo opposite) which means that there is a lot of dead space as you can see.

This had been bugging me after we managed to completely fill the unit.  After all I know there will be more books to add to this collection.

I couldn’t find anything that would fit my needs without spending stupid amounts of money so I decided to make my own “half shelves” to double my space.

This project has been knocking around my head for a while.  I didn’t care for anything fancy, I just wanted functional.

I decided to use cardboard and toilet tubes so have been waiting until I had saved up enough.  (I am aware of the irony that I spent ages nagging my partner to remember to recycle toilet tubes when they were empty…only to now tell him, “don’t throw that in the recycling bin, I need it”)



Today I finally had the time and all the items to make start the project.  A large sturdy box, mass of empty toilet tubes, the (world’s worst) Stanley knife, packing tape, tape measure and glue.

First I measured the space to figure out what size shelf I needed.  The shelves ended up being 17cm wide by 33cm deep.

20160129_091103I measured out the “shelf” and then found that my Stanley knife had a broken tip and no spare blades… *sigh*

So I had to kind of hack at the cardboard (because it was too thick for my scissors!)

And bam! here is my (naff) cardboard shelf.

Now since I’m one of those people who constantly get card-cuts from cardboard, I decided to reduce my risk but edging it in packing tape.  (Yeah, I should say normally I am a little more precise when it comes to craft projects but I was having a bleh day and I just wanted them made.)

20160129_095611Next I turned to my squashed UHU glue tube.  It was squashed during shipping when I ordered it.

Now every time the lid is removed there is a goopy explosion and you have to be REAL quick otherwise it gets everywhere.

So I (slip-shoddly) glued a load of toilet tubes to the shelf and to each other for a stronger shelf.  This was the first one I made, by the second I realised I only needed 8 toilet tubes (maybe even less but I wanted some extra strength) and they didn’t have to be glued to each other, just the shelf.

20160129_170709After they were glued I put a heavy book on top of the tubes to hold them down and left them to dry for about 45 mins…. mainly because I kept forgetting about them.

(Also, forgot to photograph the first) so here is a picture of the 2nd one, all snug in the unit. Yay.

Now to test it.





Tada!!!  Okay, since the front books cover the half shelf I have no interest in making it more “decorative”, as said this was for function and I am totally happy with it.


Look how much better that is. I can see all the titles and it doesn’t take much to move one book out of the way to reach on at the back.  6 cube spaces reduced to 3… so now I can get more books!

)O( ~ )O( ~ )O( ~ )O( ~ )O( ~ )O( ~ )O( ~ )O( ~ )O( ~ )O( ~ )O( ~ )O( ~ )O( ~ )O( ~ )O( ~ )O( ~ )O(

If you enjoyed this Reuse article and if you have done your own reusing projects do let me know!   Please consider following this blog or dropping me a comment to say hi.




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