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A decorated bookshelf painted pink and white in a child's bedroom

Overview

This kids wooden bookshelf and storage unit lets you put your child's favourite books or toys on display.

Steps

1Cut your timber to size

Cut the MDF board to:

  • 200mm x 16mm x 950mm x 2 (sides)
  • 750mm x 16mm x 950mm x 1 (back)
  • 110mm x 16mm x 715mm x 1 (top shelf)
  • 190mm x 16mm x 715mm x 1 (lower shelf)
  • 200mm x 16mm x 715mm x 1 (base)

Cut the edging fascia trim to the following lengths:

  • 750mm x 2

2Cut an angle into the side panels

The side panels of this unit will rake back. Take one of the 200mm x 16mm x 950mm lengths and make a mark 50mm from the back edge and then 340mm up from the front edge. Join those two marks with a pencil line.  Then cut along it with the circular saw. When cutting MDF always work in a well ventilated area and use appropriate safety gear, including a respirator mask. Repeat this to make the second side.

3Attach the sides

Lay out the 200mm x 16mm x 715mm base and one of the sides you cut. Glue the edges, then clamp them together and secure into place with the nail gun. Repeat this for the other side as well.

4Attach the shelves

Measure 310mm up the side from the base and mark for a shelf. The underside of the shelf will sit on this mark. Apply glue to the ends of the shelf and put it in place. Then you can secure it with the nail gun. A handy tip is to use the set square to mark the face side for where the nails should go. Measure 305mm up from the first shelf and mark for the second shelf. Glue this and fix this second shelf into place.

5Attach the back

Apply a bead of glue on the backs of the shelves and around the frame of the storage unit. Then with someone to help you, lift the MDF backing board into place, making sure the edges are flush. Use the nail gun to secure the back. A timber offcut underneath the unit is handy to hold the frame secure while you do this. 

6Cut and attach the trim

Measure and mark the scalloped edged trim to fit the top and lower shelves. Make sure the pattern is even on both sides. Use a circular saw to cut the trim where you marked. Before fixing off, make sure that the top of the edging is not flush with the top of the shelf, but has a 30mm lip – this is to stop books from slipping off. Attach the scalloped edging to both shelves with glue and a nail gun. 

7Putty and sand the book storage unit

For a great finish, punch down the nails with a hammer and nail punch. Then putty up any holes. A handy tip is to put the putty in warm water to make it more malleable. Let the putty dry before sanding the unit with the orbital sander and 240 grit sandpaper. Wipe away any dust.

8Prime and paint the book storage unit

It's important to give the unit an undercoat to seal it. After it has dried, you can paint it any colour you like to suit your décor. We painted ours white and the trim on the shelves two different shades of pink. Apply as many coats of paint as needed. Leave the unit to dry between coats and give it a light sand with 240 grit sandpaper. To finish off, seal the unit with a clear varnish to protect the paint and make it easier to clean.

9Time to add the books

Once the varnish is dry, move the book storage unit into place. This unit can be hung on the wall or can stand on the floor. If putting on the floor, it's a good idea to attach it to the wall for safety reasons. Now all that's left to do is get your kids to put their favourite books and things on the shelves to display. 

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.