Sunday, August 7, 2011

And what got painted were... (drumroll)

Bookshelves!

LE and I tagged along with John to Chicago a few weeks back just so I could go to Ikea to buy their $4 wooden spice racks that have popped up around cute kids' rooms across the blogosphere. Like this photo that was posted on Ohdeedoh:



Even before LE was born, I knew I wanted forward-facing bookshelves. Supposedly, they foster more of a desire for reading than traditional bookshelves since kids can actually see the book covers. I can't vouch for the truth in that. What I can say is that I imagine everyone has a space in their home that could make room for a narrow bookshelf (spots behind doors come to mind). 

About 1 1/2 years ago, I started keeping my eye out for forward-facing shelves. Garage sale hunts came up empty, and to my dismay, the shelves that I found in stores were way too expensive for me to rationalize.  

I bookmarked a few different great ideas for DIY: a fabric sling {tutorial}, rain gutter bookshelves {tutorial}, and build my own {tutorial}. These are all ideas that I'd love to do, but they'd end up just sitting in my bookmark list forever and never get done... just like they did for a full year.

After considering different options, the Ikea spice racks for $4/ea were just the right fit for us. I love that they come in unfinished wood so that we could paint them in the darker gray accent color for LE's room.

Here's how ours turned out:

Everyone knows that there's going to be a difference in quality between Ikea and Pottery Barn. I was willing to live with the little imperfections for the cost (I  mean $4 vs $40-60. No brainer.), especially since they're sturdy. 


The pieces of wood just don't line up perfectly, but the one who matters-- LE-- will never care.

I have to tell you, these shelves are the easiest shelves to put together and hang. We've done a lot of floating shelves, including ones from Pottery Barn that are supposedly super simple, but none were this simple.


What I did:
For these shelves, it took a quick coat of regular primer and two coats of paint that I got for free from Benjamin Moore. Since the paint was matte, I sprayed a light coat of polyurethane to give it a slight sheen but not make it shiny. It took about 5 minutes per shelf to assemble using the dinky allen wrench that comes with them. Then, it took about a half an hour to install in the wall using drywall anchors when I wasn't hitting a stud.

I love how the shelves turned out and fill that wall space! LE seems to love pulling books off of them, too.

49 comments:

  1. I love these, we don't have an ikea, so I am gonna have to search to find something similar! LOVE IT

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    1. Michael"s carries wooden crates that are similar, I am planning on trying them. I don't remember the price(maybe $4.99) and you can get them with a 40% coupon.

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    2. do you know what they were called or where in the store /what section they were located in?

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    3. Hi Anonymous- They are Bekvam shelves. As of today, this is the direct link to them: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40070185/. They are in the kitchen section near the other wooden items. The store personelle should be able to direct you right to them if you ask for the wooden spice racks. Good luck!

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  2. Love how your shelves turned out! What a great way to display kids books!

    www.BlissmadeDesigns.blogspot.com

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  3. Love these! I want to get some too! Btw do we FINALLY get to see pics of LE's room??? We just got a sneak peak!

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  4. LOL-- I've been thinking of that request, Ash. I have one quick thing to do this week and then I'll post pics. ;) Always a work in progress!

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  5. What a great idea! I had been looking at the ones at the Pottery Barn but just could't stomach the cost. I love the idea that I can get these cheaply and customize them to my suit my daughter's room. Thanks!

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  6. I love these shelves. I found you via Craft Gawker!

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  7. great idea! so cute. new follower over from craftgawker : )

    http://lulobird.blogspot.com

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  8. They look great! We've got them in our bubs room too and in the laundry! They make great holders for detergent bottles.

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  9. That's so cute. I love this kind of shelf and need to get/make some for my sons' room. I like the gray.

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  10. Thanks for all of your comments! These are so simple, sturdy, and do a great job. I highly recommend the $4/pop!

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  11. I like that you put yours side by side. Stop by see the ones I did in my daughter's room http://decoratingcents.blogspot.com/2011/08/sweet-girls-room-reveal.html. Have a great weekend.

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  12. Very cute idea! Man I wish I had an Ikea near me!

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  13. Love this. You've inspired me, I've bought some today for my baby girls room as I too love forward facing books (I currently have them in a wicker basket) will post you a piccie of the results in Coco's room. Thanks, Karen x

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  14. Yeah, Captain Murdock, I feel your pain! The closest one to me is 2 hours, so I always couple it with trips to Chicago when my husband goes there for work. It's a blessing and a curse.

    Karen- can't wait to see how yours turned out!

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  15. I just have to ask... how sturdy are they? I have a little boy and I bought some and was going to use them for decorative shelving, but I've been going back and forth with the bookshelf idea due to "the boy nature". Catch my drift?

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  16. Hi B&K- They are actually really sturdy-- just as sturdy as any shelf that you could hang on your wall. If I were you, I would a.) try to hang at least one end into a stud, and b.) use drywall anchors intended for heavy weights (I think I used ones for 20lbs). I used those methods for these shelves, and I don't worry about my daughter pulling on them. She hasn't all out hung on them or used them to climb up... but she's by no means gentle with grabbing books, and she does sometimes lean backwards while holding onto them. Hope that helps!

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  17. This is such a great idea, many moms will be attempting that for sure! I have featured one of the photos+your link on my *brand new* Blog, Hope you like it!

    http://pepperbuttons.blogspot.com/2011/10/perfect-little-corner-clever-unique.html

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  18. what is the name of the brand you used I know Ikea but I can't seem to find them.

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  19. Hi- They are Bekvam shelves. As of today, this is the direct link to them: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40070185/. They are in the kitchen section near the other wooden items. The store personelle should be able to direct you right to them if you ask for the wooden spice racks. Good luck!

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  20. J'adore !!! Excellente idée et pas chère !!!

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  21. Awesome! This would work well for our little public library that needs something like this in our Children's Area, but at a low cost option! Thank you for sharing!

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  22. Aw I want to do this but Ikea doesn't sell these onilne and are not in Kansas. Not fair. They look great though.

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  23. Aww I wish I could do this. Ikea doesn't sell them online though and there are no stores in Kansas. No fair. It turned out great though!

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  24. Hi, For those people who don't have an IKEA store near them then try this:
    if you go to the link for the spice racks from IKEA www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40070185

    Scroll down to the Product information section and there is a link to a PDF of assembly instructions and also under the product description there are the dimensions of the pieces of wood used.
    You can take both these pieces of information to a handyman and get him to make you some up, they will be just the same as the store ones.

    Liz : New Zealand

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  25. It doesn't appear to be in stock any longer. I checked a bunch of locations and it is out of stock.

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    1. Let's just hope that they had an issue with shipments and that they'll be back in stock soon!

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    2. I just went and checked again, and it looks like they are back in stock in most stores. :)

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  26. brill idea! of to ikea pronto

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  27. What a great idea! I've been wondering how to store my baby's books.

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  28. I found your blog by googling how to paint ikea spice racks - I have a couple that I've had sitting in a closet for the past year and finally ready to tackle painting them... was trying to decide if I needed to prime them, so thank you! I love how yours turned out. :)

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    1. You don't have to. I just did two coats on mine.

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  29. what a genius idea! And I love the wall color. do you happen to know the color/brand of them? thanks!

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  30. I just recently came across these on Pinterest! I love them and hope to get some for my daughter's room soon. Love your website!

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  31. I was wondering about priming, too. I got the last 6 at my Ikea yesterday!!

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  32. I was wondering about priming too. I got the last 6 at Ikea yesterday!!

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  33. i have had those shelves for over 4 years in my laundry room- my husband wanted to throw them out because i never used them. I kept on to them because i knew they would be good for something! YEAH- i finally know what to do with them. THANKS SO MUCH

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  34. Perfect! I've done these as well. I hung 3 going up the wall. Bottom is easy access for the board books. Middle is a bit higher so my 5 year old can reach as she plays well with books and top is for adult to read books, from the library/school.

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  35. Perfect! I've done these as well. I hung 3 going up the wall. Bottom is easy access for the board books. Middle is a bit higher so my 5 year old can reach as she plays well with books and top is for adult to read books, from the library/school.

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  36. Great also in the pantry for cook books, for foil, baggies, wrap, cookie sheets, lids, kids snacks, cereal & bags of chips (oh my!) the office for supplies, the mud room/entry for hats, scarves & gloves (hang a hook beside it for coat), garage for all sorts of goodies, guest room for towels & welcome odds & ends, bathroom for ... oh my gosh, it's endless possibilities and just a fantastic idea!!!

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  37. Love this!! I wish our books were more readily available for our boys but I don't know where we would find room to even put these!

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  38. Great idea, my husband just made 3 for our daughter, which is due the end of February, with her first baby.

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  39. I love this idea! I was also curious about your wall color the shade under the gray. Its beautiful.

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    1. I have looked for that paint can and have no idea where it is! :( Sorry! I do remember that it's Behr paint from a swatch and not custom mixed. The upper color is on the same swatch card but a couple of shades lighter. Hope that helps somehow...

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  40. I sooo need these shelves! Wish IKEA was a little bit closer to us - 4.5 hour drive to a store is too much, although I am seriously considering it :)

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