Rain Gutter Bookshelves

I have been on the hunt for some bookshelves for our girls’ room that are wall-mounted and display the fronts of their books. Thanks to this blog (that graciously awarded me some prizes recently), I discovered that you can use rain gutters to make front-facing bookshelves! The tutorial is here.

I looked into it a little further and it looks like the cost is about $3 per 10 linear feet! Can’t beat that. I think this project is perfect for a play room or nursery. Check out a few of the google images results:



  1. I really like this, cheap and perfect!

  2. that's incredible, I would never have thought of anything like it. Thanks for sharing

  3. How clever! I've been looking into some of those plate-display racks to use as a wall-mounted bookshelf for my daughter's room, but this would be equally charming, and probably much cheaper! Will have to check out my Brazilian gutter options!!

  4. Oh my.. the possibilities!!! They would be wonderful for rubber stamps… Thanks for sharing this with us!!!

  5. Darby

    Love this idea… I've been looking for ones from Pottery Barn/Land of Nod but haven't been able to justify the price… this is perfect! So glad you shared!!

  6. Heidi

    looks great – they must be heavy duty!

  7. You read my mind! I've been looking for something like this too, but all I came up with were some very small ones from Land of Nod. I was considering making my own using round rods…sort of like the photo here:

    Thanks for this idea, and hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving!

  8. Dina

    Very clever idea!
    Martha Stewart has a tutorial on her Crafts website as well-the Pottery Barn style bookshelf, very neat!

  9. Can't wait to see how it turns out! Such a creative way to use books as artwork as well. Much better than hiding them away in bookshelves!

  10. That's very cool– my only thought is if the metal edges might cut their hands? Let us know how it goes!

  11. This is awesome… I'll have to put my thinking cap on as to where I can sneak these in in my home!

  12. I love the front facing bookshelves and there's research to back them up. I did this for many years in my classroom because it actually encourages students to pick up more books to read. I wrote about it here:
    The gutters tend to be a little expensive when you factor in the brackets and end caps. They are almost as expensive as the gutters themselves. As a result, we ended up using IKEA wall shelves that basically do the same thing, but end up being cheaper:
    Hope this helps someone!

  13. Katie

    what a good idea!

  14. Toria

    I love that you posted this. I have the orange wall picture saved on my desktop, because I've been dying to make these book shelves for my kids- our problem, rain gutters are NOWHERE to be found in this desert cuz it never rains (less than 7 days/ year).
    I am jealous, but John came up with a plan b for book storage and we're plugging away trying to get that done and the rooms in order before Christmas.

    you ready for #3?

  15. sania

    Ooo, very cute. I hope they are stable though. Something looks a little wabbly, but then again, how heavy are children's books?

    Great solution!

  16. I have given my husband pics of the pottery barn one's to see what he could come up with – great idea!

  17. Anonymous

    Oh Oh Oh OH !!!! You have just solved the HUGE dead space of wall between my DD room and the main bath !!!! Now to convince DH!!! THANK YOU !!!!

  18. I had seen these and thought them clever and cute, but I guess I'm in the minority in that I'd rather store books more efficiently. I guess having five kids housed in two smallish bedrooms will do that to you. In fact I've even been known to stack paperbacks on their sides all the way to the top of a shelf, or to double-stack narrow books. Anything to fit 'em all in there.

    Fortunately my kids DO get books off the shelf even without being able to see the fronts.

    I do think it's a fun idea if you have the space. Bethany's Ikea ones look very nice, too.

  19. I'm going Crazy trying to find bookshelves for my daughter's desk! cool idea…

  20. hqm

    once you get started with gutters the possiblities are endless…i have used copper gutters for everything from ribbon storage to a planters…charming!

  21. Della

    Brilliant, briliant, brilliant. Thanks.

  22. what an AWESOME idea!!!! will you show us how to make that skirted console you and your mom have? pretty please?!?!

  23. Jaimie

    Wow, love it! I might need to do this. I have been THINKING and THINKING about how to store books in my kiddo's room. Right now, they are in bins on the floor. Yuck!

  24. Bri

    Funny that you posted this. We're putting rain gutter shelves in our nursery. We randomly had a new rain gutter in the basement and I saw the same pictures floating around the internet recently and thought it was a perfect, and FREE idea for us!

  25. These look really great! I almost think something like that might work for our upstairs landing.

  26. Angela

    I ask that people ask permission before using my photos first. ;) I will give you permission, just ask.

  27. It took me forever long, but I FINALLY did this. Thank you for the adorable and fun idea!

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