I recently created a unique bookshelf using two ladders and some old hardback books. The ladders were left overs from when two of my sons had loft style bunkbeds, and the books had accumulated over the years.
For many years, I used the old ladders as quilt and afghan display racks in my living room. I simply leaned the ladders against the wall, then draped hand made blankets over some of the steps, or rungs.
When looking through my books one day though, I realized I had many old hard backs which were beautiful. And I somehow got the idea to combine those extra books with the old ladders, and create my very own book shelf.
The first step was to make sure I had enough extra books for the project. So I gathered all the old ones I didn’t want anymore, and removed any paper covers that were still in place.
Then I created two stacks of books based on colors and thicknesses. I was trying to color coordinate them as best I could, and I needed both stacks to be as close to the same height as possible too, so that the final bookshelf design would be level.
Once I had the two stacks matching in height, I glued all the books for each stack together.
Now I also wanted to make sure I had some sort of “feet” on my bookshelf so that it would be stable on my living room carpet. So I chose four additional books of equal thicknesses.
The first step was to create “feet” for my bookshelf, and I did this by simply glueing each of the four extra books to one long side of one ladder. Instead of squaring each book up with the side of the ladder, or placing it crosswise, I wanted a bit more of an interesting look. So I turned each book partially, so that it was more on a diagonal cross with the side of the ladder. I then glued these in place.
Once the feet had dried, I then placed the two stacks of books onto the other long side of my ladder which had the feet in place, and I glued those stacks down too. So at this point I had one ladder laying on it’s side, with four “feet” on the bottom and two stacks of books on top.
Once that arrangement was completely dried, I then turned the second ladder on its side, and placed it on top of the two stacks of books. That was also glued down securely onto the top of the stacked books.
At that point I was done. I put the new shelf unit against the wall, and added some heavy books onto the “shelves” near where my glued stacks of books where, to help hold everything in place while it dried fully. After a time I added family photos, more books, and some of our favorite DVD sets.
To fully finish a project like this completely though, I will seal all of the shelves books with a clear coat finish. This will keep the books from opening when the shelf unit is moved, and will help keep the books looking beautiful for many years to come.