Build a Pallet Wood Bookshelf

Build a Pallet Wood Bookshelf

Introducing the Rustic DIY Pallet Bookshelf

You guys, I’ve had ants in my pants, doing the pee-pee dance, waiting for the day I could finally share the building plans and tutorial for this DIY rustic pallet bookshelf with you. Don’t look now, but I’m totally raising the roof (not literally, of course).

I teamed up with Timber Building, a leading timber company, to bring you the tutorial and free building plans for this DIY rustic pallet bookshelf I designed. The bookshelf is designed to accommodate Timber Building’s pre-made Large and Extra Large crates. And did you know you can order reclaimed pallets from them too? They’re heat-treated and sterilized, and are available either fully constructed or broken down. For this project, I ordered about 4 bundles of reclaimed pallet parts.

Constructing the Bookshelf Skeleton

I used 2x10s and 2x4s for the construction of this bookshelf, then used the pallet wood to wrap the bookshelf to get that reclaimed, rustic look. Dude, this thing is solid and sturdy! I’d recommend anchoring it to the wall because you do not want this beast toppling over on you.

After cutting all of my boards, I joined the 2x10s and 2x4s with pocket hole joinery to create the sides and shelves. To make building easier and more efficient, I cut scrap pieces of wood to serve as spacers so that the shelves were evenly spaced and level. I also periodically dry-fitted the crates to make sure they fit nicely, and used a square and a level to ensure the shelf dividers were well-squared and level. Duh.

Dressing Up the Bookshelf with Pallet Wood

Now that the skeleton is built, we can dress it up with some reclaimed pallet wood. By the way, is this kid not the most adorable photo-bomber ever? What a stinker! And I would like to call your attention to my son’s Batman cape and necktie – because superheroes must also be gentlemen.

I used wood glue and my cordless brad nailer to attach the pallet wood to the bookshelf. I cut and ripped the pallet wood at random lengths and staggered the boards for a unique, textured look. And for the face frame, I simply cut and ripped pallet boards to size, then glued and nailed them on.

The Finished Product

Here’s the completed bookshelf, and now it’s time to decorate. My second favorite thing, next to building. I love how much texture and interest this bookshelf adds to a space. Look at that pretty pallet wood! And I don’t have to worry about questionably toxic chemicals or critters in the reclaimed wood because the pallets are heat-treated and sterilized.

Jen Woodhouse has a great tip – make sure the pocket holes are facing towards the outside because the pallet wood will cover them up. Also, countersink your screw heads so that the pallet boards will sit flush to the surface.

Versatility and Customization

I love how versatile this bookshelf is – even though the shelves and dividers are fixed, you can choose to use the crates or not and get a whole different look by doing so. You could just as easily use this plan with a nice hardwood or even pine if you’re on a budget and stain and finish it – it would make a great classic-style piece.

Jenna Burger has a similar pallet bookshelf project, where she was able to create two bookshelves from a single pallet, depending on the size of the pallet you find.

A Word of Caution

PSA, you guys – stop digging pallets out of the dumpster, because you don’t know where that stuff has been. I cringe at all the pallet wood projects on Pinterest where the builder doesn’t take necessary precautions. People are all, “Hey, I’m going to build my dining table out of all this free pallet wood I found on the curb.” Then they take that stuff into their homes and eat off of it. Or worse, they build their baby’s crib out of it. Ew.

For the love of all that’s holy, please don’t do that. I just thought it was worth mentioning. I mean, more power to you if you want your kid to grow an extra eyeball from chewing on your radioactive baby death trap. To each his own.

Wrap-Up and Conclusion

What do you think? Want to build one for your own home? Be sure to download the free PDF plans from Timber Building. Thanks for reading, friends. Good luck and happy building!

Don’t forget to pin it for later. This post contains affiliate links – to read my full disclosure policy, please click here. A huge thank you goes to Timber Building for sponsoring this post. All efforts, opinions, and adorable photo-bombers are my own.


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