How to Build a Bookcase Using Pine Panels

An Easy to Build Bookcase with Drawers

As sad as I am to not be able to get any more of these awesome panels (the rustic “mistake” panels I bought at the home improvement store), I really wanted to build something else with them. I did get lucky and find one more at Lowe’s so I could build this bookcase with drawers! Each large shelf space has smaller shelves that take up part of the depth of the bookcase.

build a bookcase using pine panels

Although I’m pretty sure this bookcase will never hold anything as heavy as a bunch of books (the panels seem to be a little “delicate”) but it will hold my CDs and a few decorative items!

The cool thing about this easy to build bookcase using pine panels is that unlike plywood, the panels have no raw or rough edges, and there is very little finishing involved.


  • Four – 3/4″ x 16″ x 72″ – Paint Grade Pine Panels (or two sheets of 3/4″ plywood)
  • Two – 1x3x8′ – Pine Boards
  • One sheet of 1/4″ Plywood

Additional Materials:

  • Two sets of 14″ drawer slides (<– affiliate link!)
  • Two drawer pulls or knobs
  • Optional wallpaper for back


  • Pocket hole jig with 1-1/4″ pocket holes
  • Brad nailer with 1-1/4″ brad nails
  • Wood glue
  • Drill
  • Finishing Supplies

Cut List:

  • Two – 16″ x 72″ for the Sides
  • Five – 5-1/4″ x 16-3/4″ for the Smaller Shelves
  • Five – 16″ x 16-3/4″ for the Larger Shelves
  • One – 5-1/4″ x 16-3/4″ for the Kick Plate
  • Two – 5-1/4″ x 16-1/4″ – Drawer Fronts
  • Four – 1×3 at 12-1/2″ – Drawer Boxes
  • Four – 1×3 at 15-3/4″ – Drawer Boxes
  • One – 1/4″ x 18″ x 72″ – Back

easy to build bookcase dimensions

Notes About the Project:

  • The plans are suitable for regular 21/32″ x 16″ x 72″ paint grade pine panels available at most home improvement stores
  • Sand the pieces individually before assembly

Step One

If using pre-cut pine panels, draw placement lines on two of the panels for the shelves. Cut the pieces for the shelves, drawer fronts, kick plate, and drawer boxes. If using plywood, cut the pieces for the sides and shelves.

Drill pocket holes in each side edge of the shelves and secure to the sides using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

I started by cutting all of my pieces. I drew lines on one of the side panels for positioning the shelves then clamped  a right angle squaring jig on the shelf as well as the side to keep it square. I inserted a few 1-1/4″ brad nails.

build bookcase with drawers shelf placement

build bookcase with pine panels attach shelves

Step Two

Cut the piece for the kick plate and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure the kick plate to the front under the lower shelf using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Once all of the shelves were in place, I attached the kick plate under the lowest shelf. Then, I drew lines on the other side panel for the shelves and attached it to the other side of the bookcase.

easy to build bookcase kick plate

build bookcase with pine panels shelf placement


Step Three

Cut the back piece and cover with wallpaper, if desired, or paint then attach to the back of the bookcase with 1-1/4″ brad nails.

I didn’t have a 1/4″ piece of plywood long enough so I used two pieces. It is perfectly fine to use two pieces as long as the seam falls behind a shelf so it is hidden. I used spray adhesive to attach a piece of wallpaper to the inside of the back. I trimmed away the excess, then attached the piece to the back.

I measured for the second piece, covered it with wallpaper, and attached it as well.

build bookcase with drawers back

build bookcase with pine panels wallpaper back

  easy to build bookcase back panel

build a bookcase using pine panels back seam

Step Four

Cut the pieces for the drawer boxes and drill pocket holes in each end of the shorter pieces. Assemble the drawer box frame using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. Attach the 1/4″ material to the bottom using 1-1/4″ brad nails. Install the drawer slide hardware on the drawers and cabinet – locating them 3/4″ back from the front edge of the sides (see the post on installing drawer slides).  Install the drawers and make any necessary adjustments.

I built the drawer boxes and installed the drawer slide hardware, then attached the drawer fronts. I spray painted a couple of old drawer handles I had and attached them to the front.

build bookcase with drawers

build bookcase with pine panels drawers

Step Five

Cut the pieces for the drawer fronts. Mark the position for the drawer pulls and drill the holes. Shim the drawer front in the opening – there will be a 1/8” gap around all sides – then drive screws through the holes for the drawer pulls into the drawer box. Open the drawer, and secure the drawer front using countersunk 1-1/4” screws from the inside. Remove the screws from the holes for the drawer pull then finish drilling the holes. This easy tutorial on installing drawer fronts will be a huge help! Install the drawer pulls.

build book case with drawers fronts

  build a bookcase using pine panels drawer fronts

I absolutely LOVE the look of the panels and its just my luck that I cannot get any more but now I have this gorgeous, easy to build bookcase to enjoy!

easy to build bookcase front view

Have questions about this easy to build bookcase using pine panels? Leave a comment below!

Originally posted 2012-08-27 08:00:09.