DIY Bookshelf Made from a Spice Rack

LE and I tagged along with John to Chicago a few weeks back just so I could go to Ikea to buy their $4 wooden spice racks that have popped up around cute kids’ rooms across the blogosphere.

Even before LE was born, I knew I wanted forward-facing bookshelves. Supposedly, they foster more of a desire for reading than traditional bookshelves since kids can actually see the book covers. I can’t vouch for the truth in that. What I can say is that I imagine everyone has a space in their home that could make room for a narrow bookshelf (spots behind doors come to mind).
About 1 1/2 years ago, I started keeping my eye out for forward-facing shelves. Garage sale hunts came up empty, and to my dismay, the shelves that I found in stores were way too expensive for me to rationalize.
After considering different options, the Ikea spice racks for $4/ea were just the right fit for us. I love that they come in unfinished wood so that we could paint them in the darker gray accent color for LE’s room.
Here’s how ours turned out:
Everyone knows that there’s going to be a difference in quality between Ikea and Pottery Barn. I was willing to live with the little imperfections for the cost (I  mean $4 vs $40-60. No brainer.), especially since they’re sturdy.
The pieces of wood just don’t line up perfectly, but the one who matters– LE– will never care.
I have to tell you, these shelves are the easiest shelves to put together and hang. We’ve done a lot of floating shelves, including ones from Pottery Barn that are supposedly super simple, but none were this simple.
What I did:
For these shelves, it took a quick coat of regular primer and two coats of paint that I got for free from Benjamin Moore. Since the paint was matte, I sprayed a light coat of polyurethane to give it a slight sheen but not make it shiny. It took about 5 minutes per shelf to assemble using the dinky allen wrench that comes with them. Then, it took about a half an hour to install in the wall using drywall anchors when I wasn’t hitting a stud.
I love how the shelves turned out and fill that wall space! LE seems to love pulling books off of them, too.
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