I’ve had so many DMs about the book bin I made back in November, from people asking for DIY instructions. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to write a follow up post, but here it is.

I just fumbled my way through this project, fueled by Pinterest pics and memories of woodworking with my dad. It’s taken me a bit to remember exactly how I put it together but finally, here it is. Enjoy!


I used 3/4 “ wood boards that I bought at Lowe’s. If you are following all of my measurements, the width of the board matters.


First lay the base piece on a flat surface and use the wood glue to fix one long side piece onto the base.

Then glue the 4 short side and insert pieces on, and finally the last long side piece.

When the glue is dry, turn the box over so that the base is on top and drill screws through the base and into the side pieces and inserts to reinforce them. This is the trickiest part because you need to be careful to get the screws in the right place, and you need to be gentle so the whole box doesn’t collapse before you’ve reinforced it.

Then it’s time to paint the whole thing. You don’t technically need to paint the inside of the inserts where the wallpaper will be but I did anyway, for a nicer finish. I did two coats, and given drying time and turning time, it took me a good four days. I also painted the table legs in white, to match the outside of the box.

Now for the fun part, the wallpaper! I had Livettes cut the pieces to size, but you can use a utility knife and do it yourself. Just be careful to measure first! I covered the inside side panels, which ended up being 12 pieces in total, but if you know which way the book bin will face, you needn’t cover the panels you won’t see.

Lastly, attach the painted table legs, starting with the mounting plates, which come with instructions.

We love the book bin. It keeps piles of books off the floor of the boys’ closets and adds color to the bedroom. We love flipping through it at night to pick a book. It’s like our own little library. I hope you make one – let me know if you have any questions!


By | 2018-08-08T12:50:04-04:00 May 3rd, 2018|BLOG, HOUSE|56 Comments


  1. Farah July 13, 2020 at 8:23 am - Reply

    Hi. Love your post.
    How thick are the boards?

  2. Ross June 10, 2020 at 2:15 am - Reply

    Where did you get the floating book shelves from please?

    • Helen June 15, 2020 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      I assume you are looking for the shelves from my first book bin post. We bought the shelves from IKEA. They are actually frame ledges designed for picture frames, but I used them as book shelves. IKEA no longer sells them but they have a similar style called “MOSSLANDA Picture ledge”, or you can get them at Amazon: Frame Ledge

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Brittany May 14, 2020 at 11:40 am - Reply

    How many 3/4” boards did you buy?

  4. Sharon May 13, 2020 at 12:53 am - Reply

    Hello. I got a three shelf cube storage from Kmart and if you turn over and the back of it can become the base. However the base is very flimsy.. what do you suggest? Should I get a piece of timber for inside and glue it on and then screw on legs?

  5. Joy April 26, 2020 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Hi. I am looking to build this for a friend. Thank you for the easy to follow DIY. I have all the pieces and am ready to put them together. However I don’t have wood clamps hold the pieces together while waiting for the glue to dry. Do you have any tips on how to attach the pieces to base without any clamps? I am afraid the glue won’t hold them in place or balance long enough before I screw them in. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • Joy May 1, 2020 at 2:16 am - Reply

      Nevermind. I got it to work.

  6. Terri April 9, 2019 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    If you’re looking for a simpler and quicker way to make this style of book bin, you could use cubbies and just add legs. The cubbies can be found at Target, Walmart or Ikea and they’re in different colors

    • Simone April 10, 2019 at 10:29 am - Reply

      But what’s the point? The whole point to making a DIY furniture for your child is to make it yourself as an heirloom. If you’re going to buy a cheap Walmart cubby and add legs just buy a cheap bookbin already made??

      • Helen April 11, 2019 at 1:24 pm - Reply

        Hi Simone, of course, I’m partial to the DIY version because it brings me joy to look at things I’ve made with my own hands (and it really was quite quick to make) but I had a little more time on my hands when I created this for my boys. If you didn’t have the time, the “legs on cubbies” idea might be the way to go! 🙂

    • Helen April 11, 2019 at 1:22 pm - Reply

      Hi Terri! Thanks for your input – yes you could certainly add legs to a pre-made book bin! I’m sure there are some lovely book bins available on Etsy and places like that too. Even a painted planter box or wood storage box would do the trick! It’s really great to have a way to flip through your kiddos books! 🙂

  7. Brea Watkins-Jones March 27, 2019 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    This is great. I have some particle board laying around. Do you think I could use that?

    • Helen April 4, 2019 at 2:31 pm - Reply

      If it’s straight and will hold the screws you choose I can’t see why not. Some particle board might be a little too fragile to hold the screws but often the hard packed kind of board works as well as wood. Best of luck!

  8. Alexa February 13, 2019 at 3:56 am - Reply

    Hi there! I just found your post and would love to have it a go for my new kids playroom. As I am from Barcelona (Spain) I would really appreciate if you could give me measures in centimeters? Just to not get wrong when asking the home depot to cut the pieces. Thanks a lot for the project and your advice 🙂

  9. Amanda January 3, 2019 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Have you noticed the edges of the wallpaper curling back since it’s removable? I am looking at trying to seal the wallpaper at the edge. I’m just imagining it totally getting torn and rubbed back once a toddler starts sliding books in and out! Hah
    Any suggestions?

    • Helen January 3, 2019 at 4:11 pm - Reply

      Hi Amanda, I think regular ‘paste’ wallpaper would probably start peeling at the edges but the adhesive on this stuff is showing no signs of doing that. 🙂 Thanks for reading! Helen

  10. Soraia September 30, 2018 at 5:31 am - Reply

    Great idea! Looks beautifully simple. My kind of thing…

    I’m using an old kitchen cabinet. It has the divide boards as well!
    I’ll be doing it today for sure.

    • Helen October 1, 2018 at 1:22 pm - Reply

      Hi Soraia!

      Great to hear that you’re planning to make the book bin and so awesome that you’re repurposing an old kitchen cabinet!

      Enjoy the project.

      H xo

  11. Kortney September 25, 2018 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing! How tall did it turn out to be? I’m trying to figure out how tall I should make mine 🤔

    • Helen October 1, 2018 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      Hi Kortney!

      The bookbin stands 16″ off the ground. It’s the perfect height for the kids to get their own books and to put them back.

      Best of luck with your project!


  12. Nicole Weese September 3, 2018 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Weird question but where did you get the selves on the wall for books?

    • Helen September 3, 2018 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      Not weird at all – so many have asked! I assume you are looking for the shelves from my first book bin post. We bought the shelves from IKEA. They are actually frame ledges designed for picture frames, but I used them as book shelves. IKEA no longer sells them but they have a similar style called “MOSSLANDA Picture ledge”, or you can get them at Amazon: Frame Ledge

      Thanks for reading!

  13. marina August 13, 2018 at 7:33 am - Reply

    Hi ! thank you for sharing this wounderfool project , i have a small question. what kind of glue do you use for wallpaper? thank you again marina

    • Helen August 20, 2018 at 6:13 pm - Reply

      Hi Marina!

      Sorry for the late response! The wallpaper is a self-adhesive wallpaper. I don’t think I’d attempt it will regular paste and stick wallpaper (although I’m sure you could). The self adhesive paper sticks to practically any surface and can be peeled off and readjusted if you make a mistake (my kind of wallpaper).


  14. marina August 13, 2018 at 7:20 am - Reply

    so cool! thank you for taking time and share it.
    small question , what kund of glue do you use for wallpaper? thank again.

  15. Klau August 8, 2018 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing! ❤️

    • Helen August 8, 2018 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      Thank you for reading! XO

  16. Olla August 6, 2018 at 12:16 am - Reply

    Di you possibly have a video of this DIY?

    • Helen August 8, 2018 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      I don’t I’m sorry, but Better Homes and Gardens will be featuring my book bin in a Winter edition of their magazine and I think they will be recreating the process in pictures. I’ll keep this page posted! Helen

  17. Miriam July 3, 2018 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Hi Helen! This is wonderful – I am a first year teacher and would like to recreate this for my classroom. I am also wondering – do you mind sharing a link to where you purchased those floating bookshelves in the background? Thank you!

    • Miriam July 3, 2018 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Oh never mind, I found the link that you had posted on a different blog post! Thanks!

      • Helen July 4, 2018 at 9:22 pm - Reply

        Glad you found it Miriam! Thanks for reading!


  18. john zika June 29, 2018 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    i’m building this for my grand daughter, just so you know your measurements on your dividers are 1/4 inch to short. 16″ wide base minus 3/4″ front and back equals 1 and 1/2 dividers need to be 14 and 1/2 aka 14.50 not 14.25

    • Helen July 1, 2018 at 10:53 pm - Reply

      Thanks John! I made the measurements after it had been put together when people started asking for the directions. Thanks for the heads up – I’ve changed the measurements in the post to take account of those side pieces. Thank you for taking the time to let me know! Helen

  19. Jenny Isaacs June 27, 2018 at 7:57 am - Reply

    So many great books here. You must be a lover. I noticed you have wall shelfs and a magazine rack as well. Can you share those links? Any web resources for finding good books for kids?

  20. Ken June 26, 2018 at 11:54 am - Reply

    I love this. which measurement of wallpaper did you buy and did you have to buy more than one?

    • Helen June 27, 2018 at 10:14 am - Reply

      Hi Ken,

      In the end, my wallpaper was pre-cut by Livettes into panels.

      I got 9 panels in total:

      6 panels for the short pieces (14.25″ wide x 9″ high)
      3 panels for the back wall – I asked for two smaller pieces and one wider piece so that the middle section of the bin could hold wider books – see images (2 were cut to 10″ wide x 9″ high and 1 was cut to 13″ wide x 9″ high)

      Thank you for reading!

  21. Christina lloreda June 24, 2018 at 3:03 am - Reply

    Save buying the wood and just turn an already-made 3 shelf bookcase on its side horizontally and attach legs to the 4 bottom corners and presto you have a book bin.

    • Helen June 27, 2018 at 10:02 am - Reply

      That’s so clever! If you can find a bookshelf the size you want, you’d just need the legs then paint and wallpaper and you’re set! 🙂

  22. Joanna June 22, 2018 at 11:57 am - Reply

    All in all, how much did you spend on this project?

    • Helen June 27, 2018 at 10:00 am - Reply

      Hi Joanna!

      I would say that it probably cost about $50 – $60 to make.

      $25 for the board (I got Eastern White Pine Board from Lowes)
      $16 for the legs (I added a link to these above)
      $10 for the leg plates

      Then add wallpaper or mural paper, a small pot of paint and some screws and wood glue (I was given the wallpaper and had everything else in the basement)

      Hope this helps. XO

      • Helen June 27, 2018 at 10:05 am - Reply

        PS – Joanna, I just had a look at the cost of the amount of wallpaper I used. Had I bought it, it would have cost $37. I bought mine from Livettes (links in post)

        • Jackie March 16, 2019 at 1:24 pm - Reply

          Hi there! I am hoping to recreate this and I am not sure how to buy the wallpaper from Livette’s for $37. Looks like you would have to buy panels and they start at $40 and not sure if one panel would even be enough – can you specify how to buy it?? Thanks!!

          • Helen March 16, 2019 at 6:36 pm - Reply

            Hi Jackie!

            I made the book bin in 2017 so the cost was probably less for me. At the time I gave the measurements to Livette’s and they cut it for me for this post. I would say if you figure out the panels you want, you could calculate how many larger pieces you would need and cut them yourself with a stencil cutter or rotary cutter. So for instance, if you needed 6 panels that were 16″ x 16″ you would need one piece that was 19″ x 96″ and you’d have a 3″ strip left over.

            You could also use your kids artwork and glue it on, or buy regular wallpaper from the hardware store.

            Hope this helps!

  23. ann June 19, 2018 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    I love this! I’m not very handy and I don’t own the proper tools to cut the wood. Can I really go to Lowes and cut them or have them cut? I have never heard of this.

    • Laureen June 21, 2018 at 8:28 am - Reply

      Yes absolutely just make sure u have all ur measurements and the wood picked out. I was there one day when a man was having an entire small shed cut.

      • Helen June 27, 2018 at 10:00 am - Reply

        Thanks Laureen! Yes Ann, most lumber stores will cut for you or have a cutting station for you to DIY. You do need to ask though!

        Happy making!

  24. Lorraine Lethco Bazzi June 11, 2018 at 9:07 am - Reply

    This is so cute! Thank you for sharing : ).

    • Helen June 27, 2018 at 9:58 am - Reply

      Thank you for reading Lorraine! XO

  25. Samantha May 23, 2018 at 9:32 am - Reply

    Hi! What type of wood planks did you purchase?

    • Helen May 24, 2018 at 1:04 pm - Reply

      Hi Samantha,

      I bought the wood in the lumber section of Lowes. I believe I used Eastern White Pine and shopping online the lumber is listed under “Appearance Boards”. I think any Lowes, Home Depot or other hardware store that sells lumber Should be able to cut pieces to size, or you should be able to DIY there in the store.

      Hope that helps!


  26. Alicia May 20, 2018 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    How many children’s books do you think this can hold?:)

    • Helen May 22, 2018 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      Hello Alicia! It will hold as many as you could fit – I’d say about 100? I’ve put just a few in for the photos here to show off the wallpaper but the book bin is very sturdy and we pack the books in till it’s full. And when it’s not, it holds my two 30 pound toddlers playing “boat” quite nicely. 🙂

  27. Simone Clarke May 10, 2018 at 11:01 am - Reply

    What size legs are these? There are lots of options on the link. And none are white.

    • Helen May 10, 2018 at 12:42 pm - Reply

      Hey Simone,

      Thanks for reading! Actually I bought the plain wood grain legs and painted them white (same as the box). The size I got was 6″ and the box sits at the perfect height for all of my boys to reach and grab their own books.

      Thank you – I’d love to hear how you go with the book bin!

      Helen xo

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