Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Invisible Bookshelves

You've all seen these invisible bookshelves, right? The books stack horizontally and and appear to just float on the wall.

Floating Bookshelves

They look really cool, but they can cost a bundle.

Fortunately, they're easy and cheap to make from simple L-brackets.

A bit of careful measuring and making sure they're level, and you're ready to start stacking.

Easy to Make

Just make sure they're well anchored to the wall!

An Invisible Set of Shelves

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49 comments:

Elyse said...

Cool! This is so much better than other ideas where you have to destroy a book to be able to have "invisible" book shelves. =)

Barb said...

Yeah, I'm really not fond of destroying books - books are my friends!

Thanks for stopping by!

kimmomofeight said...

LOVE it!!!!

Lisa said...

I want to know more about the newspaper on the wall. It looks very cool!

David Seo said...

Awesome idea!

What if you added a clear plastic band (or large rubber band) around the bottom book so you can actually hide the L brackets inside the book?

I think that would be even cooler cause it would really look floating, even from beneath.

Barb said...

David - That's BRILLIANT!!!

I'll give it a try and report back next week.

Lisa - the explanation for the newspaper on the wall can be found here: http://maydecemberhome.blogspot.com/2008/11/alternatives-to-wallpaper.html

And Kim, thanks so much for your support. You're the best!

Jo said...

That is just awesome! And it looks so good! I've been running out of space for my books, this might be a good way to solve it! Thanks!

Jonathan Lin said...

This is great!

Barb said...

Thanks Jo and Jonathan! I'm glad you like it!

Moose said...

These look really clean. But actually owning books is so like, what 1997? After reading them, I take them back to the library...

Owning books = Bad for environment.

Sharing books = Good for environment.

Mick Morrison said...

I don't believe you wrote a post about screwing angle brackets to a wall. ?

MBC said...

Nice idea. Thanks for sharing.

Barb said...

MBC - thanks

Mick - put that way...

Moose - you make a good point.

And I do actually make heavy use of our local library. The books I buy are the ones I know I'll look to again and again and often they're second-hand when I buy them.

ellear said...

I couldn't have found this at a better time. I just purchased floating shelves and attempted to store some books on them knowing full well that it couldn't hold the weight (what can I say, I like to learn things the hard way!) Frustrated, I was looking for another option today and stumbled across this. Just having your basic bookshelf wasn't really what I wanted and this is the perfect alternative. I will be at my local hardware store tonight purchasing those L-shaped brackets. Yay for new shelving ideas!

Barb said...

Yay for great timing!

I'd love to see pics when they're done.

John S said...

If you put a book with a paper cover (I forget what it's called) on the bottom, you could slit the cover in two spots, slide it onto the brackets, and you could have the appearance of floating books without ruining an entire book -- just the cover.

Barb said...

Another brilliant suggestion!

(It's called a dust jacket)

Thanks!

Karena said...

very cool idea and I saw you on Beach Bungalow!

Barb said...

Thanks for the head's up!

And, um, I'm glad you like the shelves.

J.R. Flowers said...

They look great, but it's all about those brackets, isn't it? I've been searching for them online, but can't find them anywhere -- where did you get them?

Barb said...

Down at my local Home Hardware. I think they're a pretty basic hardware store item...

Bonnie- amour amour said...

Wow! This is seriously genius!! thanks for the great tip!

Barb said...

You're welcome! Thanks for the great compliment!

Patrix said...

Do you have to anchor the brackets to studs only? If yes, then won't the dist.bw studs be a limitation? If no, then what else can we use to anchor the brackets firmly considering that books can be heavy. I'm planning to stack Nat.Geos which can get heavy.

Barb said...

If the wall behind is plaster or drywall and sturdy, you can use those plastic anchors to secure the screws.

If you're worried about the weight of the magazines, you could try having less space between the brackets (vertically) so that you can't overload them.

Good luck!

Little Gray Pixel said...

Love this idea!

For Moose, you wouldn't be able to enjoy those books from the library if no one ever bought them. Without buyers, there would be no publishing. There's give and take to everything. Just something to think about...

Barb said...

And the conversation continues. I love it!

Marcus Pereira said...

I must say that is wonderfull!

I was looking for something I could do in my badroon and... that's it!

Thanks,

Now you can say:"hay, my idea is in a badroon in Brazil! Isent that cool?" LOL

Barb said...

These bookshelves have traveled more than I have! :)

But, yes, it's very cool.

Dana said...

I've got another idea about how to hide the bottom brackets.

What if you slid a paperclip around the bottom leg and then bent out a portion to form an arm to support the book cover. you'd see a tiny portion of the paperclip arm, but not the whole L bracket.

What did you end up doing?

Barb McMahon and Alan Mailloux said...

Thanks for the great idea, Dana!

I ended up taking the lazy route and just ignoring the visible bits.

Vania said...

Grat and cheap idea. What if, instead of starting stacking with a book, I used a "fake" book to hold the others? A piece of wood wrapped in nice paper, pretending to be a cover?

Barb McMahon and Alan Mailloux said...

Great idea, Vania! This would add stability to the bottom of the pile. Thanks!

Andrea said...

Just wondering how anyone else has handled the mounting issue regarding studs and drywall. Like most builds, my walls only have a stud every 16 inches. So I can get one bracket on a stud, but they other will just have to go in with anchors. Has anyone had a problem with this, considering the weight of books? Or better yet, a solution?

Elisa1 said...

How about Orange featured this cool idea. I love how the books looked against the wall. Now I know what to do with all my husbands books that are in every nook and cranny. Thanks for sharing.

Barb McMahon and Alan Mailloux said...

You're welcome Elisa!

Thanks for letting me know!

Made by Indulekha said...

Fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing.

Gina said...

As usual, I'm late to the party, but in response to the query regarding studs, why not screw one bracket into the stud, the place some sort of platform on the portion of the L that sticks out. Then you'd only have to use 1 bracket per shelf. Am I totally off base, here?

Barb McMahon and Alan Mailloux said...

You'd have to be really careful to keep everything balanced.

rida said...

wow this is a wonderful idea. I've been looking around for an efficient book storage idea and this is just wat m going to do now. Thanx a lot :)

Loonie said...

That is so cool.. thanks!

Karen said...

Great idea !!!!
I will bring your idea to my blog in Brazil, ok?
Thanks.

Barb McMahon and Alan Mailloux said...

That would be great! A link back to this post would be appreciated!

So Yeah So said...

I found the angle brackets at Home Depot in the building supplies area. There was a whole display of different joints and brackets. This is going to be my weekend project.

Hilde Larsen aka. Tindaloo said...

awesome! seen theese inviseble bookshelves in a magazine, but I was worried about ruining any books :)

RMC said...

I just blogged about this awesome idea! Wanted to let you know that I mentioned you and your lovely blog, and this great tutorial!

prcloud said...

If you use two angle brackets (or a thin piece of metal bent at right angles)cut off all but a couple of mm's on one, then mount them one over the top of the other (with the shorter one behind and just slightly lower. This allows for the bottom book to have the long piece between the back cover and bulk of the book, and then have the back cover just hooked in between the long piece and the couple of mm's left on the slightly lower bracket stopping the cover from falling down. This means you don't ruin the book and also hides any evidence of the bracketry.

Good Value Shopping said...

Very very clever! Thanks for sharing.

Dayse Fashion said...

Cute tip, I loved!
xoxo
Dayse.