How to build room divider book shelves

Written by mitzi saltsman
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to build room divider book shelves
A bookcase room divider does double duty. (teddy-bear image by Vitezslav Halamka from

A room divider that doubles as a bookcase adds valuable storage as well as privacy. Large rooms can become more usable when the space is defined into separate sections. Even if a room is not too large, many situations call for dividing the space for two children or for a guest room. Defining a living room and dining room or a kitchen space from a dining area may call for a room divider. Whatever the situation, using that wall space for a bookcase gives you added insulation from the books and doubles as a wall divider.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • 2 2x12 inch boards the height of your room.
  • 6 2x12 the length of your room
  • extra boards and brackets for support
  • 3 inch nails
  • small brackets or pegs (optional)

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Measure the length and the height of the space in the room to be divided. A room divider that doubles as a bookcase will be deeper than a normal wall divider. Measure the entire length of the room and subtract 12 and ½ inches. Divide this length into the two areas you plan to create.

  2. 2

    Purchase 2 inch by 12 inch boards to cover the length of the divider times the number of shelves needed. If your room has 8 foot ceilings, plan to have 12 inches of space between each shelf.

  3. 3

    Purchase 2 boards for the ends of the divider, the height of your room or as high as you are planning to build. A divider can also be designed as a half wall.

  4. 4

    Subtract 1 and ½ inches of actual size, for the 2 inch depth of the 2x12, for each shelf plus the top and bottom plate. Boards are rough sawn to a 2 inch depth by a variety of widths and then are finished to the smaller 1 and ½ inch thickness. For 8 foot or 86 inch ceilings and 12 inch spacing of shelves, subtract 13 and ½ inches for the thickness of the shelf and plate boards. This will leave 72 and ½ inches of height, enough for 6 shelves.

  5. 5

    Lay out your boards on a flat, level surface in the room being divided, with the 2 inch surface against the floor.

  6. 6

    Place the side boards perpendicular to the bottom and top plates, making a large square or rectangle that will look like the finished bookcase.

  7. 7

    Nail at least 2, 3 inch nails in the bottom and top plate into each of the side boards.

  8. 8

    Measure 12 inches for the first shelf from the top of the bottom plate. Mark 12 inch intervals on the side boards, leaving 1 and 1/2 inch for each shelves thickness. For a permanent shelving arrangement, nail 2, 3 inch nails into the outside of the side board and into each shelf. For adjustable shelves, nail small brackets or pegs into the side boards for the shelves to rest on.

  9. 9

    Cut 12 inch lengths of 2X12 boards to use as supports.

  10. 10

    Glue one support for every 3 feet of shelf length. Six shelves of 9 foot length will need 18 supports.

  11. 11

    Lift the wall divider frame into place.

  12. 12

    Nail the divider to extisitng studs in the wall. Add nails through the bottom and top plates to the floor and ceiling of the room for safety.

  13. 13

    Screw drywall or panelling to one side of the wall divider frame.

  14. 14

    Paint or stain the bookcase to match the rest of the room.

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.