I'm so excited about today's post because it's another project I could check off my Pinterest To-Do's!
I am talking about making DIY Rain gutter bookshelves. These bookshelves made out of rain gutters (yes, you read that correctly) are nothing new.
In fact, I've seen them being shared online for quite some time now, especially on Pinterest. And that’s for good reason: they're Awesome & Easy to Make! I pinned them as soon as I found them and just finally got around to getting her done.
I mean, check them out for yourself and tell me you don't instantly get the desire to try this simple little project:
Yeah, that's what I thought. Pretty cool, right?
These fabulous diy rain gutter bookshelves are cheap, easy to make, and a pretty addition to your kid’s room or your office.
Why Make DIY Rain Gutter Bookshelves
Here are a few reasons why you should consider making these rain gutter bookshelves:
Where to Install Them?
Most of the people prefer to install their rain gutter bookshelves in their kids’ room, since they mostly use them to encourage their children to read more books.
They are great for kids’ reading nooks, since you can put picture and story books with eye-catching covers, to capture the kids’ attention and make them read more.
Also, you can use these rain gutter bookshelves for any collection of narrow books you want to display, like art exhibition, cookbooks etc. In general, books with catchy covers would look great in these homemade bookshelves.
You can install them in tight or dead spaces, like behind a door or in your hallway.
Now that you have an idea where to install them, let’s jump into the making and what materials you need.
Required Materials & Tools
Here are some of the required materials and tools needed to make rain gutter bookshelves at home:
I recommend you to get vinyl gutters, since they are the cheapest, lightweight and easy to work with. You can always go for aluminum, steel or copper rain gutters, if you want, but my personal favorite are vinyl gutters.
They usually come in 10-feet lengths and widths from 4-6 inches, with some models adjustable.
As for the price, you should expect to pay around $4 for every 10-foot gutter, if you are using vinyl types. If you go for another material, expect to pay more than that.
The number of screws you will need depends totally on the length of the gutter. You can always get some suggestion from the hardware store employee.
Power Drill, Ruler & Level
You will need a power drill to screw gutters in your wall and a ruler or tape measurer to measure the correct length and height of shelves.
And, you will probably need a level to make sure your shelves are straight and to be level.
Here are a couple of optional materials you can choose to pick up for this project:
If you want the gutter bookshelves to look nicer, you can grab some end caps to put onto the ends of the gutters. They will help with stability too but they mostly will make the gutters look more finished. And, if you decide that you are not going to use end caps, you should grab some sandpaper to sand down the edges of the gutters, so they don’t come out scratchy or cut somebody.
A lot of people prefer to go for the straight plain white finish the vinyl gutters come with. There is nothing wrong with that. If you want to make them look a little bit more pretty, pick up some paint of your choice at your local hardware store.
The quickest approach is to screw the gutters directly into the wall, without using any wall brackets. You then place the books, which will cover the screws, making them look sleeker.
But, if you are looking for more stability, especially if you are planning to put a lot of weight into gutters, then you should grab some wall brackets.
Using wall brackets, the screw heads will not be visible, making the shelves look better and will increase the stability. The only downside is that brackets will cost extra money and will probably add one extra step to this project.
Corner Pieces & Joining Pieces
If you are planning to install rain gutter bookshelves into a corner, then buying corner pieces will probably be the best possible option. They are priced around $10 each but they are worth it if you want to have a clean and nice book shelves.
Also, if you plan to install pieces longer than 10-feet long, then you should use joining pieces which will help fit gutters together more easily and make them more secure. They usually go for around $5 each.
If you plan to put a lot of weight into the gutter bookshelves, then you should use a stud finder to make sure the rain gutters are screwed into wall studs correctly and have improved stability.
How to Make Rain Gutter Bookshelves at Home
Now it is time to jump right into the installation process. For those who want a quick and straight forward step-by-step directions, here are the quick key notes:
- Make a visualization of what your rain gutters shelves are going to look like.
- Collect & Buy all the required materials.
- Take the gutters and cut them to the desired lengths.
- If you are using end caps, install them at each piece. If you are not using them, then use a sandpaper to sand down the edges, so they are smooth and not sharp.
- If you plan to paint, take the paint and do a primer and then a layer of paint only after you have cut and cleaned them.
- Start assembling the gutter shelves by making small signs with a pencil where they will be mounted.
- Carefully use a power drill to drill down the needed holes for screws.
- Put up the gutters and complete the installation.
- Double check the gutter bookshelves if they are enough stabile, safe and in level.
- After you are sure everything is in place, start placing your books.
For all those that like to have detailed step-by-step directions, here’s how I made this project at home:
Plan where you will install the Shelves
To make sure that there won’t be any unexpected during the installation, you should plan and visualize where you are going to install your rain gutter bookshelves.
Pick the place at your home and do any needed measuring. If you do a simple sketch, then it will be easier for you to install later.
To determine the correct amount of gutters you will need, you can measure out exactly the spot you plan to install or doing a quick estimate on how many books you want to put on them. This step doesn’t need to be 100% correct but just make a few estimations, so you have an idea how many lengths of rain gutter you will need.
Buy and Collect the Required Materials
After you have an estimation of how many gutters you need, you need to buy and collect all the required materials for this project.
I recommend you to make a short list with all the required materials, so you won’t forget anything when at the hardware store.
If you don’t mind your budget, I recommend you to pick a couple of extra gutters, just to be sure if anything goes wrong.
As I said, one 10-foot vinyl rain gutter will cost you just under $6, and a set of caps (what you attach to the end of each shelf) are also just under $6! So for around $10-12 (assuming you make one 10 feet shelf instead of cutting it in two like I did) you can transform your walls into a book gallery for your little ones!
Since I cut my rain gutter in two, I had to buy 2 sets of caps so my project came in at around $18-20, which is still very cheap!
Cut the Gutters to Desired Length
After you have collected the materials, you need to start the installation process.
This pretty much consists of sawing your gutters to your desired lengths. I just cut mine in half to make two shelves.
Install End Caps or Sandpaper the Edges
If you are going to use end caps, like me, then install them to each side of the gutter. If you are not using end caps, use a fine sandpaper to smooth the edges, so they are not sharp.
Also, if you plan to paint the gutters, this is the right moment. Take them outside on a clean surface, and do a layer of primer. Let it dry for a while and then spray a layer of your favorite paint to give them a nicer look.
Assemble the Gutters
Put everything together, including the gutters, end caps and any other additional step you are doing and get ready to install them in the wall.
Use a pencil to mark the place where you plan to install them and then using a power drill, make the needed holes for the screws.
If you are using wall brackets, put them in into each screw and get ready to install them.
Now, find studs on the section of the wall you want to mount them to, use a leveler to make sure they come out straight and screw them in!
Check for Stability and Safety
Give them a quick stability and safety check, to make sure they are sturdy and won’t fall down during the night.
Fill them with Books
That's it! Start filling them in with your favorite books. You can add some additional lights to make them look better if you want.
Making diy rain gutter bookshelves is pretty easy, cheap and will encourage your kids to read more.
I could have done this myself, but enlisted my hubby since all my little darling wanted was to be in mama's arms that night.
You can try and make this project at your home, especially if you have little kids. It's said that children tend to read more when they can see the fronts of their books and not just the spine. I can attest to that! My girl has always been an avid reader but now I find her flipping through her books even more! And she just loves putting them away now.
It used to be such a chore for her to try to insert each book back into its slot in the traditional bookshelf she had. Now, all she has to do is flop it back into the shelf.
I hope you liked this project. Don’t forget to leave all your comments down below and share this project with all your social media friends.