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Build a Bookcase Using an Old Door

– Posted in: Bookcases, How to, Plans, Projects

How to Build a Bookcase Using an Old Door

The folks at PureBond Plywood posted a picture of a bookcase made with an old door on the PureBond Facebook page and I thought it was a fabulous idea! That particular bookcase was created by Gail at My Repurposed Life ~ how fantastic! I searched for an old door and finally found one at one of our local flea markets for $45 ~ not too bad since it was in fabulous condition and was bare wood which meant less work for me (no paint to strip)!

how to build a bookcase using an old door SANY2119 copy

I read Gail’s “how to” on the project and created instructions on how to build a bookcase using an old door with a few modifications. I added frames under the shelves, and a few more shelves but that was only because I can’t read my own instructions ~ lesson learned (I created them, too, which makes it really sad!!).

how to build a bookcase using an old door

Materials:

  • Solid wood door (mine was 30″ wide)
  • 1-1/4″ brad nails
  • 5 – 1×2 at 8′ (for 24″ wide frames)
  • 1 sheet of 3/4″ plywood (I used Purebond in Birch)
  • 1 sheet of 1/4″  lauan, plywood, or hardboard (for a continuous piece on the back – the back can be pieced if the seam is hidden behind a shelf!)
  • Trim for the top and bottom (I made mine with a routed edge on 1x material)

The drawings show dimensions – they are based on a 30″ door. Adjust the dimensions for a wider or narrower door!

Start by cutting the door in half lengthwise using a table saw or a circular saw and a helper!

how to build a bookcase using an old door 2052 

Cut the pieces for the shelf frames. Start with the side pieces ~ the top and bottom side pieces will be longer than the middle side pieces. Measure the width of the door. The top and bottom side pieces will be 1-3/4″” shorter than the width of the door. Position the pieces so that they are flush with the top edge and bottom edge of the door, and are 3/4″ back from the front edge (I used a spacer flush with the front edge). This will allow the front and back frame pieces to fit flush with the edges of the side pieces, as well as allow for the 1/4″ thick back to fit inside. (My side pieces are different in the photo because I didn’t read my own directions ~ doh!!)

how to build a bookcase using an old door 2053

how to build a bookcase using an old door 2054    

The middle side pieces will be 2-1/2″ shorter than the width of the door. This allows the front frame pieces to be set farther back so the shelf overlaps them which I think looks a lot nicer! Cut two spacers equal to the distance between the side frame pieces for the shelf position. This will allow the side pieces to be positioned at exactly the same distance without having to mark and measure everything. This is where I realized I screwed up ~ I wanted more space between the shelves and well, Gorilla Wood Glue is really strong so I couldn’t remove the side pieces I’d already installed… I also used a 1-1/2″ spacer at the front edge so that the distance was where I wanted it to be!

 how to build a bookcase using an old door 2055

Cut the pieces for the front and back stretchers (I forgot to take a picture of this step, so drawings will have to do!). Fasten them to the front and back of the side spacers to join the sides together using glue and 1-1/4″ brad nails.

how to build a bookcase using an old door_Stretchers

Cut the pieces for the shelves. They will all be the same size but the middle shelves will overlap the frames by 3/4″. The front edge of the bottom shelf will be flush with the edge of the frame. It looks nicer this way! Secure them to the frames using glue and 1-1/4″ brad nails.

how to build a bookcase using an old door_ShelvesCut the piece for the top. It will overlap by 1″ at the sides and front. Secure using glue and 1-1/4″ brad nails.

how to build a bookcase using an old door_Top

I created my own trim by routing both edges of a 1×6 board, then ripping the board on the table saw. The upper trim is approximately 7/8″ wide, and the lower trim is approximately 2-1/4″ wide. I cut mitered corners on the pieces, then attached them to the bookcase using 1-1/4″ brad nails. I cut the top to overlap the trim by 1/4″ on each side, as well as the front. The top was attached using 1-1/4″ brad nails.

 how to build a bookcase using an old door 2105

how to build a bookcase using an old door 2106

The color I chose is Strawberry Daquiri in Behr Premium Plus Ultra (which is now my new fave!!). I applied three coats. I cut a piece of 1/4″ lauan to fit inside the back then painted it also. Once everything was dry, I secured the back to the bookcase using brad nails.

how to build a bookcase using an old door 2107

how to build a bookcase using an old door 2108

I have a small plate to put over the hole for the door knob but I haven’t put it on yet. I may put half of the hinges back in the mortises. They are rusty and will look cool!!

She has already been sold! Woo hoo!! I’m so excited to have her go to a great new home!

The tutorial on how to build a bookcase using an old door is very easy to follow and I hope it inspires you to build your own. If you have any questions, contact me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com!

Sharing with My Repurposed LifeSavvy Southern Style, French Country CottageMy Romantic Home Show & Tell Friday, DIY Show OffFunky Junk Interiors, Cupcakes and Corndogs, Sawdust Girl’s Sawdust Throwdown, Beneath My Heart DIY Projects of April

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  • Deborah Smith

    Your bookcase turned out great! I would leave the hole, or put an old fashioned door knob in it. I think it gives it character :)

    • CherTexter

      Thanks so much! I have a small rusty-looking plate that I might add to it… Thank you for stopping by!

  • Single Mom in the South

    Looks great! Sometime, in my next life, I’ll do something creative like this!

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

    • CherTexter

      Thank you so much! It is so addicting! Thank you for stopping by!

  • http://twitter.com/TheChattyMomma Tonia Sanders™

    Wow! That’s super crafty. I love it. I wish I still had my garage and work bench. Now I’m in a condo with tools and no space. It’s my dream to make some shelves one day. Thanks for this excellent idea. I love the red.

    • CherTexter

      Thank you so much! “She” was so fun to build and now has a new home! Thank you for stopping by!!

  • Anita Stafford

    Wow, this is an awesome project! Your directions are great, wish I weren’t so afraid of a saw! The finished piece is beautiful!

    • CherTexter

      I know what you mean… I was scared to death of my dad’s table saw and I’m still petrified of my circular saw! Thank you so much for the kind words and for stopping by!

  • Sarah Williamson

    Wow, what an awesome project! I have yet to attempt too many wood-based projects, probably because most of them need a lot of space and I don’t have a backyard! One day though, one day :)

    • CherTexter

      Thank you, Sarah! Woodworking is highly addicting… Thank you for stopping by!!

  • Susan @ Simply Stone Creek

    Love this idea!! This is a definitely something I (The Hubby) will be doing! :)

    • CherTexter

      Thanks so much! I just bought another door today to build another one! Thank you for stopping by!

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  • Korrie@RedHenHome

    This is beautiful! Great work.

    • CherTexter

      Thank you very much! It was a lot of fun to build and I’m hoping to build another soon! Thanks for stopping by!

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