If you take a quick look at Pinterest you will find hundreds of tutorials for these Rain-Gutter Book Shelves! Originally I wasn’t planning on writing this blog post HOWEVER once we got started I quickly realized those tutorials didn’t work for us.
You know how it is, you find a “quick & simple” tutorial on Pinterest, you go out and buy all the supplies needed and then Friday night when your hubby is finally off work you ambush him to help you DIY because it will “only take 1 hour”. HA! What those Pinterest tutorials don’t tell you is that EVERY DIY situation is different and your “1 hour” project has now turned into the scene from Friends where Ross is yelling PIVOT!!
Anyways, my 1 hour shelf project turned into a 3 weekend project when we couldn’t get the shelves to hold up the books. Now maybe I have too many books on our shelves and these aren’t meant to be as functional as I thought BUT the entire point of these shelves was to give my girls the freedom to grab books on their own. In the end we figured out how to make these shelves work and I can proudly say my girls have loved and used them for the past 4 months without any issues! Follow along as I give you step by step directions to make your own!
SUPPLIES: You will need Rain-gutters (we chose plastic). These are 10ft long, we bought 2! The amount you need will depend on the lengths of your shelves. We went with 5ft shelves meaning we cut our gutters in half & were able to get 4 shelves from only 2 rain-gutters!
You will also need a hand saw, screws (with anchors), rain-gutter end caps & brackets!
The FIRST thing you will need to do is measure and cut your rain gutters. We cut ours in half so this part was pretty simple. Don’t stress too much about getting the perfect cut because the end caps will hid any imperfections!
NEXT is hanging the rain gutters (keep reading for a tip we learned that will need to be done during this next step). You will need a drill, screws (and anchors), a drill bit & a level. Again this is pretty straight forward. We used 5 screws to hold each shelf and spaced them about 12inches apart. We only had one stud which made this a little more difficult so we made sure to use anchors as well. You will first need to find your studs and mark where on your rain gutter these are so that you can take your drill bit and pre-drill the holes into your gutters before hanging them. THEN have one person hold the gutters to the wall, while the 2nd person drills the screws into them. Make sure to use your level so that they are straight! Follow these steps for each shelf you hang.
FINALLY we were ready to put our books up! However our shelves didn’t hold all of our books. We realized we needed something to help make the front of the shelves sturdier and that’s where the rain gutter brackets came into play. LEARN FROM US and install these brackets BEFORE hanging your shelves!! We had to shimmy our brackets into our already hung shelves which involved some hammering and taking some of our screws out to make them fit. We ended up using 2 brackets per shelf! Thankfully once we installed the brackets our book shelves held up all of our books and we haven’t had any issues with them since!
I hope this tutorial is helpful! If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to reach out! Also if you make your own rain gutter shelves make sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see the finished project! @ohlook_themusgroves
•Rain Gutters $5 each = $10 total
•End Caps $8 each = $24 total
•Pack of Screws with Anchors $5 total
•Brackets $2 each = $12 total
TOTAL (not including tools) $51