Wednesday, August 14, 2013

'Rain Gutter' Bookshelf

Becca here with something a bit different today!  I'd seen these bookshelves made out of a rain gutter all over online, as I'm sure you have too, and decided they'd be the perfect match for this hallway space in our house that isn't good for much else, due to the placing of the thermostat in the middle of the wall.  I love how the covers of the kids' books are showing, and that even my two year old can find the book he's looking for, AND easily put it back where it belongs.  After buying the supplies and convincing my husband I wasn't crazy, it was a quick & easy project that we're all super happy with!  I saw several photos from the front, like the one above, but not many details online, so I thought I would share the details of how the project worked out for us today!

Guttering comes in white, although it can be painted with paint made for plastics.  I liked it matching our trim & baseboard, so I left it white.  It comes in 10 foot long sections, and is really easy to cut with an inexpensive hacksaw, a little saw with a handle and fine teeth on it that costs as little as $5 if you don't have one.  You also need to purchase brackets for the gutters, making sure they're the same size as your gutters (thanks to my husband for returning my brackets & getting the correct ones when I didn't make sure of this!).  I would purchase one bracket for every 16" of shelving you're going to install.  16" is standard width of the studs in the wall, and you want to hit every one so you can really load up the bookshelf & not worry about it!

You'll also need an end cap for the end of each section you plan on installing.  Both the end caps and brackets are in boxes under the guttering at your favorite home hardware type store.  I went to Lowes, with my kids, and they even carried it up to the register & loaded it in my car for me, without me asking!

You can see the shelves are really deep, one of the main questions I had before installing the shelves myself was how deep they were, and if they could really hold lots of books.  The answer is that they are quite deep, many books deep, and really can handle the weight, as long as you install the brackets on studs every 16", as I mentioned above! 

The view of the end.  To install the shelves, simply cut the guttering to your desired length.  Attach a bracket to the wall at the height you want the shelf hung, being sure to hit a stud (absolutely necessary!!) and using good wood screws.  Using a level, hang another bracket on the next stud in the same way (remember, the studs should be about 16 inches apart), and repeat until you've reached the length of your shelf.  Slide the gutter into the brackets, snap end caps on, and load with your favorite books! 


  1. This is becoming more popular. i like this idea and also want to do this in my home. Thanks for sharing this idea.

  2. As what was said, rain gutter bookshelves are gaining popularity nowadays because they are easy to do, cheap, saves space, and pleasant to the eyes. What more is you can use your old gutters for this project. It will save you some cash and is a good way to make use of your old rain gutters as well.
    Micha @ Ohio Exteriors