Wednesday, November 27, 2013

DIY $100 Restoration Hardware Bookshelf

Restoration Hardware.  It is seriously so hard to deny oneself of the awesomeness of RH.

What's the snag?

They are just too darn expensive.

So what happens when you really like a bookshelf from RH, but see it as utter madness to dish out $1,000+ for it?

You find an alternative way of making your own, that's what.  And it'll look even better than their's.  Or so you hope.

How about making similar shelving for under $100?

Well, a recent trip to Ikea gave me the tools to do just that!

The Vittsjo is a metal  frame bookcase with glass shelves at Ikea that comes in different sizes - some bigger, some smaller.  Ours is middle-sized and came for $70.

Getting the Wood Shelves: When I got home and we assembled the frame, I noticed that the Ikea shelves left a few millimeters of spare space on each side that looked kind of sloppy.  So I measured them and found how much more I wanted them to be extended (3 millimeters).  The next day, with one of the Vittsjo's shelves tucked under my arm, I went into Home Depot and found a helpful guy in the lumber section and explained that I needed shelving of the same size and thickness (1/2" thick), but 3 mm longer (yeah, we shared a laugh at the extra 3mm).  After looking at several options and weighing costs, he helped me pick out a very nice, smooth plywood (which surprised me, as I'd always pictured all plywood as rough and blotched construction wood).

Home Depot cuts wood for free, so he sawed the pieces for me and I left only $15 poorer and with all 10 fingers.  Just to come clean, I did cheat a bit by using a $25 giftcard I've had.  The original cost was approx. $40 for the plywood, but you can cut 5% off the price if you buy it online through ebates.  Or you can buy at Lowes online through ebates (4%), use their store credit card for another 5% off.  OR if you have a Discover card, redeem your cashback for a $50 gift card by spending only $45.  Just a few ideas.  ;)

Other alternatives would be to look-out for scrap wood on craigslist, or use pallet boards.

Oh, I also decided to not give the shelves an overhang out the sides like the RH for the simple reason of preference, but it also gave the added benefit of helping hide the sides of the plywood a bit better.

Then it was a simple matter of watching the wood shelves sink satisfyingly into their slots, fitting better than even the Ikea shelves had.

One got jinxed though as you can see below.  It needs a few millimeters off.  Bugger.  I'll get around to fixing it someday.

All in the Details: Other than the tip-top shelf needing a shaving, it's in need of some light sanding.  Winter has kicked in, so I'll wait for spring at this rate as it's not very noticeable.

I experimented for some time on different home-made stains (I want to keep it very light, enough to just bring the wood-grain out a bit), but didn't make a concoction that I was satisfied with.  The "wet" you see below is more the color I was shooting for.  Too bad it dried.  I'll worry about it in the spring as well (I'm not gonna kid myself into thinking I'll do it any sooner, hehe).

This is what it looks like to-date.  Still in the process of decorating it, but I like where it's going:

I'm still considering whether to add crown molding to the top of it like the one from RH.  It could add an extra-nice touch.  Perhaps I will keep an eye for scraps on craigslist, but for the time being I'm happy with leaving it the way it is.

So there ya have it.  The Vittsjo gives a nice base to build from for your own style bookcase.  You could Krylon-spraypaint the metal any color, add crown molding to the edges of all the shelves, build a wood base if you don't like the exposed get the gist.  Do share your own build if you decide to try this!

Thanks to all the link-up hosts: allthingswithpurpose, igottacreate, diyshowoff, frugaliciousfriday, notjustahousewife, elizabethandco, savvysouthernstyle, lizmarieblog, uncommondesignsonline, and modvintagelife, thecreativecorner


  1. Wow, thanks for linking up to Frugalicious Friday, love your Diy bookshelf!!!

  2. Looks great! It's beautiful as is, but adding the molding would be great too!

    1. Hi! I think it'd look great too if done right, so we'll see! :)

  3. Do you know what the final dimensions of the wood shelves is? I'm trying to plan ahead before I buy the pieces.


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