How to Make a Wall Mounted Wooden Children’s Bookcase DIY Step by Step

Today we will take you through step by step how to make your own wall mounted wooden book shelves.

These wooden shelves were made to store books for a playroom, but there is nothing to prevent the dimensions being adjusted to suit other items.

Wall mounted Children's Book shelves DIY tutorial. How to make wooden shelves for the playroom wall, as a front facing book case

These shelves are made from a set of three wooden boxes. You can increase the quantity of boxes that you put together to create a full wall of the book shelves, depending on the space you have to use.

What type of wood to choose for DIY Bookshelves?

These DIY Bookshelves are made from poplar and plywood. Poplar was chosen as it is pretty cheap for a hardwood and can be found with little or no defects (e.g. Knots).

To save a lot of work, the boards were purchased Planed All Round (PAR). This means parts only need to be cut to length. Width and thickness is already dealt with. 

Planed pine from a DIY store would work as well, but finding knot free boards will be harder. But some like the rustic look, so if that’s you then planed pine will be a great choice.

How to measure and cut the wood for each shelf

The boards were sawn to length with 2 long sides (1mm) and 2 short sizes (90mm). 

Each of these parts needed a groove cut in the inside face to accept the bottom. I used 3.6mm plywood as the bottom. So a ~4mm groove was needed.

This can be done with a router, a router table or a Plough plane. This is all kit which most DIYers may already have.

Another method is to screw the bottom on once the four sides are glued. This method is easier and faster, but will not be quite as strong or neat looking.

Making the Corners


The corners were mitre joints, so each piece has a 45 degree angle cut on. Getting this accurate is important for the look and strength of the box. I refined mine with a hand plane and shooting board (a jig for planing Square and mitre joints). But joints can replace the mitres if that would be easier. 


The boxes are glued up using masking tape on each joint to act as a clamp. Put the tape on the outside of the parts, as they fold up the tape holds the parts together. Add glue to the mitres and the groove. Put the bottom in and close the whole assembly. Add extra tape to hold it tight. Leave it over night.

Carving Stars to Decorate the Book Shelf

Once the glue is dry, you’re ready to sand and paint.

To carve the stars I used a dremel and chisel. First I covered the front of the shelf with masking tape, then drew on my design. The star used a geometric marking out technique I took from YouTube.

Using a chisel I took out some of the wood in the centre of the star. This just reduces the work the dremel needs to do and makes the cut a little cleaner. 

Painting the Book Shelves

Once the stars were cut out, I left the masking tape in place to use while painting the inside the star. Sample pots from DIY stores work well for this, as you very little. 

painting stars for book shelves

The finished shelves will hold children’s books in a front facing format, which is great for younger kids to see and choose their books with ease.

playroom bookshelves

The depth of the shelves allows you to store a few layers of books. You can rotate the ones at the front according to season or theme, or just to mix things up.

They are so easy for little hands to grab, and also makes for easy tidying up time.

playroom bookshelves forward facing

Recommended Children’s Books

Looking for ideas of the best children’s books to stock up your book case? Check out some of our favourite books for toddlers or maybe you need books for your child starting school.

Still in the mood for some more DIY projects to kit out your playroom?

Let us show you how to make this easy DIY Sensory table

sensory table diy

This DIY woodwork tutorial was contributed by Chris T.

If you enjoyed this DIY tutorial or would like to come back and make this bookcase for your playroom, please Pin this blog post to your Pinterest boards!

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