You guys. I’ve had ants in my pants doing the pee pee dance waiting for the day I could finally share the building plans and tutorial for this DIY rustic pallet bookshelf with you! Don’t look now, but I’m totally raising the roof (not literally).
I teamed up with Crates & Pallet to bring you the tutorial and free building plans for this DIY rustic pallet bookshelf. I designed the bookshelf to accommodate Crates & Pallet’s pre-made Large and Extra Large crates. And did you know you can order reclaimed pallets from them too? They’re heat-treated and sterilized and are available either fully constructed or broken down. For this project, I ordered about 4 bundles of reclaimed pallet parts.
I used 2x10s and 2x4s for the construction of this bookshelf, then used the pallet wood to ‘wrap’ the bookshelf to get that reclaimed, rustic look. Dude. This thing is solid and sturdy. I’d recommend anchoring it to the wall because you do not want this beast toppling over on you.
Alright. So let’s get building!
- Tape Measure
- Speed Square
- Drill with Countersink Drill Bit
- Circular Saw
- Pocket Hole Jig
- Hammer or Brad Nailer
- Safety Glasses
- Hearing Protection
- (6) 2 x 4 x 8 Ft. Boards
- (6) 2 x 10 x 8 Ft. Boards
- (4) Bundles of Reclaimed Pallet Parts
- (2) Large Crates
- (2) Extra Large Crates
- 2 1/2-inch Pocket Hole Screws
- 2 1/2-inch Wood Screws
- 1 1/4-inch Brad Nails
- Wood Glue
After cutting all of my boards, I joined the 2x10s and 2x4s with pocket hole joinery. Here are the sides and shelves:
Next, you just build the box. Watson loves to be in the middle of everything. #shopdog
To make building easier and more efficient, I cut scrap pieces of wood to serve as spacers so that the shelves were evenly spaced and level.
Then I periodically dry-fitted the crates to make sure they fit nicely.
I used a square and a level to make sure the shelf dividers were… well, square and level. Duh.
Now that the ‘skeleton’ is built, we can dress it up with some reclaimed pallet wood.
By the way, is this kid not the most adorable photo-bomber ever? What a stinker.
And I would like to call your attention to my son’s Batman cape and necktie. Because superheroes must also be gentlemen.
I used wood glue and my cordless brad nailer to attach the pallet wood to the bookshelf. I cut and ripped the pallet wood at random lengths and staggered the boards.
Here’s the completed bookshelf:
And now it’s time to decorate! My second favorite thing next to building.
For the face frame, I simply cut and ripped pallet boards to size, then glued and nailed them on.
I love how much texture and interest this bookshelf adds to a space. Look at that pretty pallet wood. And I don’t have to worry about questionably toxic chemicals or critters in the reclaimed wood because the pallets are heat-treated and sterilized.
PSA: You guys. Stop digging pallets out of the dumpster – you don’t know where that stuff has been! I cringe at all the pallet wood projects on Pinterest where the builder doesn’t take necessary precautions. People are all, “hey, I’m going to build my dining table out of all this free pallet wood I found on the curb!” Then they take that stuff into their homes and eat off of it. Or worse, they build their baby’s crib out of it. Ew.
For the love of all that’s holy…
Sorry, that sounded a bit self-righteous, right? Look, I’m all for “liberty and justice for all” and I’m certainly not trying to tell you how to live your life – I just thought it was worth mentioning. I mean, more power to you if you want your kid to grow an extra eyeball from chewing on your radioactive baby death trap. To each his own.
*steps off soapbox (which I built out of reclaimed pallet parts).
Oh, and here’s a small tip: when building the ‘skeleton’, make sure the pocket holes are facing toward the outside because the pallet wood will cover them up. Also, countersink your screw heads so that the pallet boards will sit flush to the surface.
I love how versatile this bookshelf is – even though the shelves and dividers are fixed, you can choose to use the crates or not and get a whole different look by doing so.
What do you think? Want to build one for your own home?
Be sure to download the PDF plans.
Thanks for reading, friends! Good luck and happy building!
Don’t forget to PIN IT for later!
*This post contains affiliate links. To read my full disclosure policy, please click here. A huge THANK YOU! goes to Crates & Pallet for sponsoring this post. All efforts, opinions, and adorable photo-bombers are my own.
Your “pallet soapbox”. Haha. Preach! Love it.
Oh I love your bookshelf! So unique!
As long as you look at the code and make sure it says HT, meaning it has been heat treated already, then you can use them. If you see one with MB-do not use. Reclaimed pallets are expensive.
Just thought I would pass along the info!
Thanks for the tip, Kimber!
You are welcome!
Mama Rose says
Thanks. The whole reason for DIY. is to save money. I love to trash pick.
Elizabeth Phillips says
Great information about pre-made pallats that are heat-treated and sterilized. I also cringe when I think about pallat furniture from the dumpster.
Matt @ Sprinkles and Sawdust says
I love this plan – the construction style of the shelf itself lends itself to a bunch of different looks. You could just as easily use this plan with a nice hardwood (or even pine if you’re on a budget!) and stain and finish it – would make a great classic style piece! Definitely going to put this one in my plan book – thank you.
so where do I find these reclaimed pallets that are heat-treated and sterilized.
I wish you made these and sold them I want one but I don’t have the time to make one. so cute!
Like the plan.
Is there a reason you chose 2*10 and 2*4 versus just using 2×12’s?
What are the dimensions of the shelf you built?
Hi Haley! All of the dimensions and measurements are in the plans.
Gian Carlo says
Very nice DIY recycled pallet bookshelf. For me I will use the pallet to fix my floor and build also an indoor koi pond
Andrew Scully says
Is there a reason why the height of the bookshelf is 73.5 inches when you have a 72 inch side with a 2 inch board on top? Wouldn’t that make the height 74 inches and not 73.5?
Jeffrey Weiss says
2×4 and 2×10 are 1.5 inches wide, not 2” despite their name.
6 shelves spaced 10.5” = 63.0”
7 shelves 1.5” thick = 10.5”
Total = 73.5”
This is beautiful bookcase. Do you know the height of the bookcase?