You don’t need a lot of space to make your own bookshelf for any nook in your hallway! It adds cozy and character to an otherwise utilitarian space in your home!
What to Buy
I’m still a huge fan of ordering online for in-store or curbside pickup! It’s free, you can check something off your to-do list from your couch, and (for me at least) it curbs impulse purchases! If you appreciate online ordering, I’d appreciate you using my links above. I earn a small commission without increasing the price for you!
Cut Shelves to Length
After you determine the height and width of your bookshelf, you’re ready to start cutting your material to size. I started with my vertical sides which are approximately 77″ long. I then added a 40 degree angle to one end of each board for a little visual interest on the bottom!
Subtract 1.5 inches from your overall bookshelf width and that’s what you’ll cut for your shelf boards. I cut 6 shelf boards which is plenty of space spread out over the 77 inches of my bookshelf height.
The 1x2s are used to attach the bookshelf to the wall but also act as support for the shelves too. So they are cut to the same length as your shelf boards. Mine are about 43 inches long which is 6 inches smaller than the space I had available in our hallway. Sometimes it’s nice to leave a little breathing room and not fill up an entire space.
I made all of my cuts on a miter saw*. But these cuts are simple enough to make with a circular saw if that’s what you’ve got!
Assemble Bookshelf for Hallway Nook
I’ve made a lot of similar bookshelf storage solutions lately and one thing I’ve learned is that it’s so much easier to attach the 1×2 cleat to the shelf before you attach the shelf to the sides. So simply glue and nail the cleat to the back edge of each shelf. You’ll nail down through the shelf into the top edge of the cleat to secure them together. Then you’re ready to lay everything out on the ground and assemble.
**Similar steps are needed to create custom shelves in a closet for storing toys, sweaters, jeans, etc. To see my video specific to building a closet shelf unit, click here!**
Start assembly by laying your side pieces next to each other. Flip them so the short ends of the angled edges are touching. Measure and mark where each shelf board will be and use a speed square to extend the marks across each board.
Taking one shelf board at a time, apply wood glue to the edge, line up on your mark, and nail from the outside of the vertical side into the edge of the shelf board. Use the lines drawn with the speed square to ensure your shelf will be straight and level in the end.
Repeat until all shelves are glued and nailed to both vertical sides. Friendly reminder to watch the video at the top of this page. It’ll show this process so much better than I can write it.
Prep and Paint Bookshelf
The most annoying part of any project similar to this that also makes the biggest difference is caulking and puttying before paint! Ugh!
You’ll want to apply a bead of painter’s caulk where each cleat meets each shelf board and along the sides on both the top and bottom of each shelf. If the sides of the bookshelf for your hallway nook will be visible (aka not in a corner), then you’ll want to use painter’s putty or wood putty to fill in the nail holes.
THEN and ONLY THEN are you ready to paint. If you aren’t using pre-primed lumber, then take the time to prime the wood first. A nice primer coat leads to a nice coat of finish paint.
Let your paint dry before you hang it up. (You can also hang it first and then paint but it makes painting more tedious where the shelves meet the wall.
Hang Bookshelf in Hallway Nook
Locate the studs in the wall section you’ll be hanging your bookshelf. Then measure their location and transfer to several cleats in your bookshelf. This way you can drive your screws through the cleat and make it easier on yourself while holding the bookshelf in place later.
Have a level handy to check that the bookshelf is both level (horizontal) and plumb (vertical) before your screws are driven all the way in. If your screws go into studs, you should be able to sink the head of the screw just beneath the surface of your cleat. Then you’ll be able to putty those holes and touch up the paint to conceal the screw heads from the untrained eye.
When all touch up paint is dry, you’re ready to stock the shelves with books of all kinds! And don’t forget to leave a little room for tchotchkes and family photos too!☺️
Thanks for Checking In! ~Chelsea
*This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a small commission from your purchase without increasing the price for you!*