How to Build a Simple, Collapsible Desktop Bookshelf

Written by heather montgomery
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Build a Simple, Collapsible Desktop Bookshelf
(Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

A collapsible desktop bookshelf is ideal for holding school books, writing supplies, work materials or other essentials when you are busy at your desk. With its ability to collapse, the shelf can fold down when not in use. With a few basic tools, you can make a simple, collapsible desktop bookshelf in just a few hours.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Stud finder
  • Contractor pencil
  • Table saw
  • birch plywood, 1/4 inch
  • Paint
  • Roller
  • Folding brackets
  • Drill
  • 2-inch wood screws or toggle bolts
  • Level
  • 1/4-inch wood screws

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Locate and mark the wall studs.

  2. 2

    Cut the plywood to your chosen dimensions.

  3. 3

    Paint the shelf. Allow it to dry. Apply a second coat if needed.

  4. 4

    Mount the brackets to the studs with 2-inch wood screws. Use a level to ensure the brackets are straight. If you are using toggle bolts, follow the package directions.

  5. 5

    Attach the shelf to the brackets with 1/4-inch wood screws.

Tips and warnings

  • Plan ahead. The folding brackets may not be available from your local home improvement store, but you can purchase them online or through a speciality woodworking shop.
  • When deciding on the bookshelf width and depth, do not exceed the bracket width by more than 2 inches. Allow clearance for the shelf to fold down without hitting the desktop.
  • If you are unable to find the wall studs, which are typically 16 inches part, or if your shelf will be shorter than 16 inches, use toggle bolts to mount your shelf though the dry wall.
  • Most home improvement stores will cut your wood for a fee.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.