Vintage Door Bookshelves

Vintage Door Bookshelves

See how Amy Devers constructs stylish, one-of-a-kind bookshelves out of reclaimed doors.

5 col

Cordless drill with 1-3/8 spade bit and screwdriver bit
Old, reclaimed interior paneled door
1⁄4-inch plywood (9-by-30 inches)
1⁄4-inch plywood (7 1/2-by-7 1/2 inches; cut into two equal triangles)
Drywall screws (1 5/8 and 2 1⁄2 inch)
(2) 1-by-1-inch store-bought corner brackets
Pan head woodscrews (1 and 3 inch)
Tape measure
1-by-10-inch Pine wood (for shelves)
220-grit sandpaper
Indoor enamel paint with primer included (in desired color)
Paint roller and pan
L-shaped shelf brackets, 2 per desired shelf
Heavy-duty wall anchor
1⁄4-inch washers
1-foot zinc plated double loop chain



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  1. On a sturdy worktable, use the drill and spade bit to drill pilot holes in each corner of the door’s panels
  2. Use the jigsaw to cut out each door panel, connecting the pilot holes in each corner as you go. The shelves will eventually rest inside of these openings, but first we must finish constructing the frame of the bookshelf. Removing the panels will give you free-range to determine where you will later place the shelves.
  3. To create the base: Have all the wood pre-cut at your local hardware store. With the door still lying on the worktable, position the 9-by-30-inch plywood board at the bottom of the door, flush with the door’s bottom and edges, creating a right angle
  4. Using the cordless drill, drive the 2 1⁄2-inch drywall screws through the bottom of the door and into the edge of the board, spacing the screws about 5 inches apart
  5. Place the plywood triangle pieces on top of the baseboard you just attached, joining it and the door on both sides. Be sure to place the right angle of the triangles flush in the corner where the 9-by-30-inch board meets the door. Secure the plywood triangles by driving the 1 5/8-inch drywall screws through the bottom of the 9-by-30-inch board and into the plywood triangles
  6. Place one corner bracket in the middle of each side where the door meets the plywood triangles. Secure these brackets using the 1-inch pan head screws
  7. To create the shelves: In order to fit the shelf through the openings, you will need to create square notches in two corners of each shelf. Measure the width of the door panel opening and subtract the difference from the length of the shelf piece. Divide this new number in half, and measure in from either end on the shelf and make a mark. Now, measure in 2 inches from the long side of the shelf along the same plane as the mark you just made. Do the same for the other end of the shelf, making sure that your working off the same long side. You should now have two boxes drawn on two corners of the pine board. Repeat with the remaining 1-by-10-inch pine boards
  8. Using the jigsaw, carefully cut out each square that you drew, creating two equal 2-inch deep notches on one length side of all the pine boards
  9. Using the 220-grit sandpaper, sand each shelf. Paint the shelves with the enamel paint, using the paint roller and paintbrush. Allow time for the paint to dry and apply a second coat of paint if needed
  10. To assemble and attach the shelves: Stand the door up and select positions within the door to place your shelves. Insert the shelves, one by one, into the now opened panels, with the cut-corners facing outward, flush with the door frame, allowing the shelf to jut out 2 inches from the door. Attach the shelf brackets to the back of the door and bottom of the shelves by using the 1-inch pan head woodscrews. Place the brackets about 1 1⁄2 inches in from the edge of each shelf
  11. To install the bookshelf: Move the bookshelf into position where you would like it and anchor them down by placing a cinderblock onto the bottom base
  12. Measure the height of the door bookshelf. Mark this measurement on the wall where you’d like the bookcase to be. From the top of this measurement, move a 1/2-inch down and insert the wall anchor into the wall at this position using the hammer. Install the D-ring onto the back of the door at this same position, using the hardware included with purchase
  13. Insert one washer onto the threads of one 1-inch pan head screw. Allow the washer to rest on the inside of the screw head. Slip the last ring of the 1-foot chain onto the screw and allow it to rest on top of the washer
  14. Using the drill, drive the pan head screw into the wall anchor. Insert the S-hook on the free end of the chain and hook it to the D-ring

Tip: You want the chain to be relatively tight, so if it seems too loose, trim the chain using wire or bolt cutters.

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I need an idea for simple display of merchandise for our local humane society. This could be it! Fun to put a "doggie door" in the bottom of one for back stock. Thank you.

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