DIY Rain Gutter Bookshelves (For Under $10!)

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I’ve seen these rain gutter bookshelves all over Pinterest for ages now, (and really, who hasn’t?) and it seemed like a good idea… though I didn’t realize just HOW good of an idea until I started shopping around!
When it comes to children’s books, forward facing shelves are pretty much the way to go. When I worked at the library we had these shelves to feature the newest releases and all time classics in the peewees reading corners. And for good reason too – children are visual creatures. If you want your kids to be interested in reading, you need to make the books enticing, prominent and easily accessible. This isn’t just conjecture, there have been whole studies conducted proving this valuable point.
If you want your children to grow up with a love of books, or at least increase the likelihood that they will discover reading as a worthwhile hobby, make sure they have plenty of books available at all times, is an easy to reach and easy to view format.
While planning out and working on Tessa’s playroom remodel (click here to check out the finished playroom!) I knew forward facing shelves were in order. And after shopping around, I ended up falling back on my go-to furniture and home goods store for the purchase.. Ikea! Buuuuuuut, the price tag for their 1.5 foot little wooden shelves were $10 a pop.. for the amount of wall space I wanted covered, that put us at a hefty $80.
Around the time we were ready to make our purchase, I noticed that my friend Bree had put some rain gutter bookshelves in her children’s homeschool room, and I thought they were brilliant. After picking her brain on cost, she convinced me that these were the way to go. For once, Ikea did NOT win out cost wise! Haha..
But Bree cautioned me to buy the rain gutters at Home Depot, not Lowe’s, since the ones she got at Lowe’s were a bit flimsy. I’m normally a Lowe’s gal, but I followed her advice (and after checking out the rain gutters there, it looks like it was advice well heeded… they were far thinner and flimsier than the Home Depot gutters).
So anyway, grand total on my purchase? I picked up two 10 feet lengths of white rain gutter for $3.98 each. (Check it out on their website here!)
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I had originally intended to buy the end caps for the rain gutters, and the mounting brackets (which is how the usual DIY tutorials suggest you do it) but money was tight and I was crazy impatient to get these bad boys up on the wall. So we took our $8 worth of rain gutters, cut them to size, and simply screwed them into the wall with some sturdy wood screws.
And you know what? They are perfect!

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After cutting the gutters to size (something you can ask the staff at Home Depot to do for you at the store, if you don’t have a saw at home), you can easily dremel or file down the raw edges to make them smoother. I don’t see any kind of problem with keeping these shelves open ended, since we are not storing anything other than large board books in them.
When applying the screws into the back of the gutters to attach them to the wall, the books easily hide the screws, so there’s no need to color match or paint the screws. No further support is needed other than the screws, since the gutters are so strong. So the brackets are really only an aesthetic choice, not really a functional one, in my opinion.
And lastly, the gutters are a beautiful white, so I didn’t need to paint them as I’d originally planned. Just cut, screw and load up with books! Of course if you *wanted to* paint them, you totally could. But it’s totally optional!
EASY FREAKING PEASY!!

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The best thing is, Tessa absolutely loves them. Even being the wee fifteen month old she is, she can easily reach the bottom shelf above her toy boxes, and when it’s story time, she points to which book she wants as I’m holding her up to see the shelves she can’t reach on her own just yet. Just as I’d hoped, her books are just as enticing to her as her toys, which stay stowed away in her boxes until she really really wants them.
I’m going to keep these rain gutter book shelves in mind for any future remodels, children’s corners, or even easy storage options in the garage or laundry room. It’s too thrifty to NOT keep in your back pocket!

What do you think of the rain gutter bookshelf revolution that’s taking Pinterest by storm? Do you like the look / concept? Yea or nay? Share below!

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Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

8 thoughts on “DIY Rain Gutter Bookshelves (For Under $10!)

  • 24 December, 2014 at 7:15 am
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    I love the idea! Maybe I should do the same for my poor books too! Haha! I love how you did it and it can certainly work for other things too not just books.

    • 24 December, 2014 at 2:57 pm
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      Yeah, I’m thinking it would work in a sewing corner.. Holding ribbons and knickknacks and things? I just don’t want to go TOO rain gutter crazy in my home, ya know? Lol

  • 24 December, 2014 at 11:54 am
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    Love this! Your greatness pours out once again!!!!!

    • 24 December, 2014 at 2:57 pm
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      Lol, thank you… I’d love to take credit but it was all Pinterest haha

  • 25 December, 2014 at 9:33 am
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    I ended up putting a rain gutter shelf in the laundry area (we had a lot of miscellaneous pieces left after we put ours up in the school room). It works perfectly to hold smaller stuff that normally get lost on the regular shelves in our laundry area!

    I think rain gutter shelves can work in àny room… And it’d be easy to “fancy them up” if needed (for a living room or somewhere else more formal) 🙂

    • 26 December, 2014 at 1:35 am
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      Why are you so cool Bree?? We really need to work on craftsy homesy things together sometime. I’m glad I put these in Tessa’s room, they are seriously one of the most used elements of her playroom. I’m thinking of putting some up along the walls outside on the fence as rain gutter planters (like maybe strawberries?) and then in our laundry room. And maybe when I finally get around to doing my sewing room / office, haha…

  • 9 January, 2015 at 4:03 am
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    I love these gutter shelves – and I ESPECIALLY love the adorable pictures of your daughter She is super precious!!!! I love it.

    • 9 January, 2015 at 4:27 am
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      Awww, thank you. Yeah, I love her to pieces!! <3

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