16 Free DIY Bookshelf Plans

Illustration of a bookshelf and cats

The Spruce / Emilie Dunphy

Print one of these free DIY bookshelf plans and you'll have everything you need to get started building a bookcase for any room in your house. The plans include diagrams, photos, step-by-step instructions, and sometimes even videos to help you along the way.

Once you have the lumber, building a bookshelf is a fairly simple woodworking project that you can get done in just a day or two. It's a low-cost project as well and since the plan is free, you don't have to worry about busting through your budget.

The free bookcase plans include a wide variety of bookcase styles and sizes so be sure to look through them all to find the best one for the space you have.

  • 01 of 16

    Rustic Wood Bookshelf Plan

    A four shelf rustic bookcase.

    Ana White

    Ana White has a free bookshelf plan that will get you this beautiful rustic wood bookshelf made of solid pine boards. This bookshelf plan includes step-by-step instructions, photos, diagrams, a materials and tool list, a cut list, and user-submitted photos of the bookcases they made using this plan. Complete the look by building your own headboard or even bed.

    Rustic Wood Bookshelf Plan from Ana White

  • 02 of 16

    Industrial Bookcase Plan

    An industrial wooden bookcase in a living room.

    Rogue Engineer

    The inspiration for this Industrial bookcase plan was taken straight from the pages of Pottery Barn. Building it yourself will let you have this beautiful bookcase for a fraction of the price. It's mainly built out of wood but has some fun metal accents that really give it that industrial look. There's a required tools list, materials list, cut list, building instructions, diagrams, and color photos to help you while you build it.

    Industrial Bookcase Plan from Rogue Engineer

  • 03 of 16

    $60 7-Foot Tall Bookshelves

    Two tall, narrow bookshelves.

    Infarrantly Creative

    If you're looking for some tall, skinny bookcases you'll need to check out this free bookshelf plan from Infarrantly Creative. They're budget-friendly too, costing less than $60 each to make. These would really look great flanking a doorway but you could fit them in anywhere. You can build these Restoration Hardware-inspired bookshelves with the provided cut list, building instructions, color photos, and finishing suggestions.

    $60 7-Foot Tall Bookshelves from Infarrantly Creative

  • 04 of 16

    Cubby Bookshelf Plan

    A cubby bookshelf.

    Ana White

    This free bookshelf plan will build you a large cubby bookshelf with adjustable shelves. Although you could put this anywhere in your home, it would look great in a kids' room along with a custom toy box, bunk bed, and desk. This project is a big step up from the store-bought cube organizers that tend to fall apart easily. To help you build this bookshelf, there is a free video tutorial and photos of user-submitted finished bookshelves. You'll also find diagrams and written instructions.

    Cubby Bookshelf Plan from Ana White

    Continue to 5 of 16 below.
  • 05 of 16

    DIY Henry Bookshelf

    A wooden bookcase in a living room

    Ana White/Shanty2Chic 

    The Henry bookshelf was designed by Shanty2Chic for Ana White. It's the same design as the popular Hendrix Bookcase that Pottery Barn sold and you can build for a fraction of the cost.  There's a shopping list, tool list, general instructions, diagrams, and color photos all included in the free plan. This bookshelf would look great in a living room surrounded by a custom coffee table and media center.

    DIY Henry Bookshelf from Ana White/Shanty2Chic

  • 06 of 16

    Contemporary Bookcase

    An open bookshelf.

    Popular Woodworking

    Popular Woodworking has a free download of this contemporary bookcase plan that features clean lines to show off your books or other items. Laminated plywood is what gives the wood a nice thick look. Use the instructions and photos to help you build this bookcase in a weekend.

    Contemporary Bookcase from Popular Woodworking

  • 07 of 16

    DIY Sawhorse Bookshelf

    A sawhorse ladder bookcase with decorative items on it


    Here's another free DIY bookcase plan from Shanty2Chic, this one for a unique looking sawhorse bookcase that uses just 3 tools and can be built for less than $50 in materials. There's a full video on how to build the bookcase as well as written instructions and color photos. 

    DIY Sawhorse Bookshelf from Shanty2Chic

  • 08 of 16

    Arts and Crafts Bookcase Plan

    Shelf in room
    shironosov / Getty Images

    Here's a free bookcase plan for an arts and crafts bookcase. The attached PDF file includes a lumber/hardware list and detailed diagrams. It's a great classic bookcase that will really last for years to come.

    Oak Bookcase Plan from Fine Woodworking

    Continue to 9 of 16 below.
  • 09 of 16

    Built-In Bookshelf Plan

    A built-in bookcase by a fireplace.

    This Old House

    Here's another free bookcase plan from This Old House, this one for a 6-shelf built-in bookcase that you can adjust to fit your own space. Besides detailed building instructions, this free bookcase plan also includes diagrams, photos, and a materials and tool list. This is an intermediate-level project so you'll need to have some experience with woodworking before tackling it.

    Built-In Bookshelf Plan from This Old House

  • 10 of 16

    Craftsman-Style Bookcase Plan

    Two men building a bookcase.

    Family Handyman

    Family Handyman has a free bookcase plan that builds a classic Craftsman-style bookcase. The three shelves will hold plenty of books and knick-knacks. All included in this free bookcase plan are step-by-step instructions, a list of tools and materials you'll need, as well as figures and pictures.

    Craftsman-Style Bookcase Plan from Family Handyman

  • 11 of 16

    Simple Barrister Bookshelf Plan

    A photo of a wooden bookcase in a living room

    Popular Woodworking

    If you're up for the challenge this free bookcase plan will get you a beautifully finished barrister bookcase that is both elegant and functional. Use the PDF link at the bottom of the page to get the complete bookcase plan that includes instructions, photos, and diagrams.

    Simple Barrister Bookshelf Plan from Popular Woodworking

  • 12 of 16

    Custom Bookcase Plan

    A diagram of a bookcase

    Popular Mechanics

    Popular Mechanics has a free bookcase plan that tells you how to build a bookcase that will fit any wall in your home. There are diagrams, pictures, and instructions to help you along all within this free bookcase plan.

    Custom Bookcase Plan from Popular Mechanics

    Continue to 13 of 16 below.
  • 13 of 16

    Small Bookshelf Plan from This Old House

    A diagram of a DIY bookcase

    This Old House

    Here's a free bookcase plan that will get you a small bookcase with two shelves that are adjustable. With this plan, you'll get over 10 square feet of shelf space but it takes up less than 3 square feet of space on your floor. This free bookcase plan includes a tools list, shopping list, diagram, and step-by-step instructions.

    Small Bookshelf Plan from This Old House

  • 14 of 16

    How to Build a Wood Bookcase

    A diagram of the front, side, and top of a bookcase

     Lee's Wood Projects

    This free bookcase plan from Lee's Wood Projects will get you a simple but elegant bookcase that will last for years to come. There are photos, diagrams, a material list, cutting instructions, and building instructions in this bookcase plan.

    How to Build a Wood Bookcase from Lee's Wood Projects

  • 15 of 16

    Arts and Crafts Bookcase Plan

    A finished bookcase with three shelves.

    Fine Woodworking

    This free bookcase plan will build you a beautiful bookcase in the Arts and Craft style but with a modern twist. The free PDF download of this bookcase plan includes diagrams, photos, and instructions.

    Arts and Crafts Bookcase Plan from Fine Woodworking

  • 16 of 16

    Portable Book Rack Plan

    A three-tiered bookcase.

    Start Woodworking

    Start Woodworking has another free bookcase plan and this one is inspired by the Arts and Crafts style of furniture. Plenty of diagrams and pictures as well as written instructions will help you build this unique bookcase.

    Portable Book Rack Plan from Start Woodworking