Make An Affordable Bookshelf With Bed Slats And IKEA Brackets

Too many books and not enough storage? Shareable's Malcolm Harris ran into that problem after moving into a small apartment. With budget concerns in mind, Malcolm solved the storage issue with a few bed slats and cheap brackets from IKEA. Here's how he did it.

When I moved to Brooklyn, I brought around 750 books with me. I've always had a book-buying problem, and I don't have a parental storage room to access. The consequence is I have to run around with hundreds of kilos of books whenever I'm moving. Once I tricked some friends into carrying them to the fourth floor, I had to figure out a way to store them in a small room in a small apartment.

Having spent all of my shelf money on books, my original plan was to find bookshelves on the street or free online. I probably could have (this strategy worked with chairs), but having boxes and boxes of books piled unopened in your room makes it hard to feel at home in a new space. What I did find on the street was a set of bed slats in reasonably good condition.

My roommate Max faced a similar predicament, so we came up with a solution. We went to Ikea and he got another set of bed slats ($30) and we stocked up on the cheapest brackets they have (two for $2.50). With our third roommate Will's battery-powered drill, level and stud finder, we screwed the brackets into the wall, laid two slats on each one and screwed those into the brackets.

With this design, you can adjust the brackets onto studs, making life a lot easier. No sawing wood required. And you can put up a whole wall of them in an afternoon, at just over two bucks a pop.

Ikea's Cheapest Bookshelves [Shareable]

Shareable is the online magazine that tells the story of sharing. They cover the people and projects bringing a shareable world to life, and share how-tos so you can make a sharing real in your life.

Image: TrotzOlga (Shutterstock).


    Works out to be $6.25 a shelf over here, not as good as two bucks due to the Australia tax but still a cheap set of shelves. I might do this in my room but I'll paint the slats first.

    I love the idea of using surplus timber and shelving brackets to make shelves.

    For their next effort, i'd really like to see how they take a surplus 1mx1.5m bit of timber and some table legs to make a desk. That would be really cool.

      You forgot the part where you quote foreign prices!

    You must have a lot of books because while your bookshelves are functional, that does not look like sturdy self storage at all! What about a mobile bookcase stand instead? Something on the ground? I really don't like the way the planks are bending like that!

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