How to Build a Simple Corner Bookshelf

A corner bookshelf is a great way to utilize a small space. Often, doors or windows preclude the placement of a larger piece of furniture in the corner of a room. Building your own corner bookshelf will give you a place for knickknacks, books and pictures in an otherwise unused area. A corner bookshelf is a fairly easy woodworking project that doesn't require much time.

  • Lumber
  • Tape measure
  • Table saw
  • Sand paper
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Square
  • Stain or paint
Choose the lumber to construct your corner bookshelf. You can build the bookshelf out of plywood, but you may want a more finished look, such as that achieved with oak or pine. Base the thickness of the material on your intended use of the shelf; 3/4-inch thick material will make for a sturdier piece of furniture and will give you a little more room for error when nailing pieces together.

Use a tape measure to measure the distance out from the corner of the wall where you will be placing the bookshelf to determine the width of the uprights. These lengths do not have to be the same, just make sure you are utilizing as much space as you desire. Measure for the overall height of the shelf.

Cut two pieces of lumber to serve as the uprights. The measurements are the overall height and the widths that you measured in step two. Be sure to compensate on one of the uprights for the thickness of the other upright. One upright will butt against the wall and the other will butt against the first upright, at the corner.

Sand any rough edges on your uprights, and stain or paint the pieces as desired.

Apply wood glue along the edge of the upright that will butt against the other upright. Place them together and nail them together along the edge.

Use the tape measure to measure the interior width of the upright assembly, in each direction from the corner. These will be the perpendicular sides of your top, bottom and shelving pieces.

Use a square to lay out the perpendicular lengths on your material. Run a pencil line along a straight edge to connect to outer points. You will now have the triangular shape of your top, bottom and shelving pieces.

Cut the triangular pieces with a table saw. Sand the rough edges and stain or paint these pieces.

Use a tape measure to mark the spots along the uprights where you want the shelving. Apply wood glue to the edges of the shelving, and the top and bottom pieces, on the sides that will meet the uprights.

Nail the triangular pieces into place from the outside. Alternatively, you can use L brackets to mount the shelving.

Tips and Warnings

  • When staining or painting material, always be sure to let it dry completely before moving on to the next step.

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