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How to Make a Book Wall

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A book wall is such a great feature for any room. Not only does it make beautiful decor it also makes it so much easier to interact with your books.

pin image: 'how to make a book wall', 3 pictures, top: kids reading books in front of a book wall. bottom left: 2 shelves off center holding books. bottom right: 2 long shelves holding books

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Do you want your kids to read more? Of course you do. I think all parents want their kids to have a love of books.

2 kids sitting at a table reading books in front of a wall with three long shelves holding books.

But having all the books sitting on shelves isn’t ideal. Bookshelves are much harder to interact with and it’s harder for little kids to put books away.

I love having solutions in my home that make it easy for the kids to be responsible for their own things. That’s why I install lower rods for clothes hanging, and be sure their plates and cups are easy for them to access in the kitchen.

Books should be no different. They should be easy for the kids to see what they want and easy to put away. The easier it is, the more likely they’ll actually clean up!

This is why I really wanted a book wall in our house. The books are really easy to put away and it’s easy for the kids to see exactly what books are available to them.

Since putting up these shelves the kids have spent countless hours looking at their books and have even put them back when they are done!

How to Make a Book Wall

There are many different ways to make a book wall. The easiest way to buy some premade shelves and just install them. I bought these picture ledges from IKEA. But there are multiple places that you can find them if you don’t have an IKEA near you.

I wanted the kids to have access to a majority of the books. So I did two shelves side by side and went three high. Three high is a little too tall for my kids currently.

little girl reaching to put a book on the highest shelf with an adult standing near by

When we moved to a new house, I decided to put the shelves in their rooms. I only put them two high and it’s great to have books in their rooms.

2 short shelves holding books

But you can make the shelves go all the way to the ceiling if you want! It makes a wonderful focal point for a room no matter how many shelves you have.

Measuring for the Book Shelf

Decide how low you want the bottom shelf to be. Install the bottom shelf first. Ensure that you drill into a stud or use the appropriate anchor. You’ll also need to make sure the shelf is level.

Once the bottom shelf is up, take your tallest book and set it on the bottom shelf. This will help you to see at what height the next shelf should be. You want the bottom of the next shelf to be at least 2-3 inches above the tallest book.

2 long shelves holding books in a bedroom

This will ensure that all your books will fit on the shelf no problem and that the kids won’t have trouble taking them on and off the shelf. Level the shelf and make the appropriate marks and then drill the shelf into the wall.

You’ll continue using the tallest book you own to space out your shelves for as tall up as you want them to go.

Another way to ensure it’s the same distance between shelves: you can measure your tallest book, add 2-3 inches and measure from the bottom of one shelf to the bottom of the next. I didn’t feel I needed to be this precise.

2 long shelves holding book wall

The shelves came out great! They are definitely my favorite way to display books. You can also use these shelves for family photo albums or picture frames. They have so many possibilities!

The shelves also make it very simple to change out the books and rotate your stock. I find the kids forget about the books we have and get extra excited when I switch the books out.

Would you make a book wall? I’d love to see it if you do!

Other Options for a Book Wall

Here are some other options for premade book walls:

This picture ledge from Home Depot is very similar to the IKEA one. There are lots of other companies that sell similar items. Look for picture ledges, rather than book shelves.

If you have floor space and don’t want to attach shelves to the wall, this book rack with pockets would be perfect.