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10 Creative Ways To Decorate Your Shelves and Celebrate Your Beloved Book Collection

DIY How to Shelve Your Books on Bookshelves or Bookcases

Photo: Stock Photos from MILOS BATINIC/Shutterstock

For readers, books are treasures. We buy too many, swap with friends, and devour our favorite novels until the covers disintegrate. Whether you like mystery or non-fiction, romance or sci-fi, your books are a part of who you are. Therefore, displaying them creatively and aesthetically is one way to express yourself through home decor.

Read on for inspiration and some simple DIY bookcases and shelving that will have you reorganizing your library right away.


Bookshelf Inspiration for Avid Readers

How will you organize your growing library? There are myriad ways to change up your bookshelf. Your guiding principles could be aesthetic or literary. Most lending libraries use the Dewey Decimal System which groups book by subject matter. In this vein, you could try putting all your mysteries on one shelf, romances on another, and non-fiction on a third. This system makes finding a book for your mood easier. Can't remember what that love story set in Spain was called? Head over to your romance shelf and scan quickly to find the title.

You can also organize your bookshelf to appear pleasing to the eye. One way is to group similarly colored books together. Yellow spines can group with orange, blue with green. If you have a lot of variety, you can create a full rainbow effect. For inspiration, check out Bluestocking Bookshelf on Instagram. Jen is a prolific collector of books and her colorful bookshelf arrangements will make you swoon. If you prefer to mix and match your colorful tomes, you can also try an organizational scheme that pairs like-sized books together or build “waves” and “peaks.”


Check out some awe-inspiring bookshelf designs.


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A post shared by ♡ | Book Blogger (@ashandtheink)

Simple DIY Bookcases and Shelves

Are you looking to freshen up your bookcase? There are many simple, DIY upgrades you can do yourself. A trip to IKEA for a new bookshelf isn't required. You can upgrade whatever you have with simple craft supplies.


Two-Tone Shelving


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Whether you are working with shelving built into your walls or a stand-alone bookcase, a two-tone color scheme is vibrant and modern. Choose two shades of one color—such as hot pink and ballerina slipper—or pick complimentary colors. Using house paint or acrylics depending on your surface material, paint the interior of each shelf one color and the outside the other. If you are feeling especially creative, you can also wallpaper each shelf to give your books the perfect backdrop.


Hang Your Books Like Clothes


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You've probably never considered hanging your favorite books like clothing or a baby's mobile. But this clever design featuring a clothes rack mounted on the wall is an easy way to have these novels at your fingertips. Simply use twine or ribbon to craft loops. Thread these loops through your books in two places so that they hang evenly.


Fill a Fireplace


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Many gorgeous fireplaces are no longer in use. Take your brick and wood mantelpieces and transform them into a useful, space-saving solution for your books. Some people simply pile the volumes inside, but for a more organized appearance, build a simple wooden shelf to tuck inside.


Bring a Forest Inside

The fantasy of reading away the day in a forest is possible if you build a tree shelf. Some people may be lucky enough to have rooms built around living trees, but for the rest of us, follow these instructions from Decor Home Ideas. While this project requires some woodworking tools and experience, it's worth the time and effort if you can craft this shelf.


Step-Ladder Bookcase

This simple step-ladder shelf is built with only three tools but seems like decor straight out of Country Living. Follow these instructions from Shanty-2-Chic to build your own statement piece. All your friends will soon be asking you to make them one too!

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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