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Sarah Withell explains how to make your own rustic wooden pallet-style bookshelves.

How to build palette style bookshelves

Repurposed pallets have been making waves in interior decorating for a while now, and they look particularly effective as rustic coffee tables, bed headboards and bookshelves. If like me, you love the look but either can't get your hands on any pallets or want a cleaner finish, then try making these pallet-style bookshelves yourself.

I have deliberately chosen a fun colour scheme that works for a children's bedroom, but of course you could customise them to suit any room or purpose. They could house cookbooks, potted herbs, laundry supplies, glass jars - the list is endless. Make them, and then make them your own.

For this project you will need:

Step 1 Step one
Cut and sand your timber into the lengths you need to construct your shelves. Each shelf will need four long lengths for the back, base and front pieces, as well as three short lengths for the sides and centre piece. The size is up to you and will depend on where you want to hang them. I cut my long lengths to 800mm and my short lengths to 190mm.
Step 2 Step two
Undercoat all your shelving pieces. If you are impatient like me and keen to get on with a project, Resene Quick Dry formula helps you get on to the fun stuff faster.
Step 3Step three
Paint all the pieces in your chosen shelf colours. I wanted a cool monochrome them with a pop of bright orange. I applied two coats of colour to each shelf, and sanded out any runs in between coats. Using gloss paint gives you a nice shiny finish.
Step 4 Step four
To brake up the colour and add a different texture, I wrapped one long length of each shelf in a patterned paper. Wallpaper works best because it is so durable and strong. I chose mine in store at Resene at the same time as I chose my paint colours so I was happy with the colour combination. Spray adhesive works well for gluing the paper onto the timber.
Step 5 Step five
Construct your shelves. I used a Brad gun with 40mm finishing nails, but not everyone has access to this builder’s tool, so your other options could include hammering loose panel pins in by hand, or pre-drilling holes and using a screw gun/inserting screws by hand to fix your pieces together.
Step 6Step six
Hang using the right solution for your home. Because all walls are different, it would pay to get some advice from your local hardware store if you are unsure about this. Finally, fill your shelves with cool things and enjoy!

Words and pictures by Sarah Withell. 2015

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Projects from Your Weekend magazine
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