Friday, April 29, 2011

How To: Rain Gutter Bookshelves

Over the past 3 years our children's book collection has grown exponentially. And boy am I glad. Julia loves to read and be read to! Josiah is more interested in playing with trucks at the moment, but he'll get there.

Although we have always felt very blessed with to have so many books, for a long time it was a big challenge trying to figure out how to store them. I don't even remember where they were at our first apartment. At our last one, we had them stacked on the fireplace hearth. I tried to find "sling" bookshelves like you see at doctor's offices, classrooms, libraries, etc. but never came across anything affordable.

Then one day not long before closing on our house, I don't even remember where, I came across rain gutter bookshelves. Huh? You mean those things that run along the roof of my house? Yessiree.

I'd never heard of anything like it. I looked around at more pictures online and just KNEW it was exactly what we needed! I immediately put it on our list of things to do for our new home.

The books take up absolutely no floor space, don't fall off and everyone can easily see which books are which. It looks great on the wall too! I suppose you could paint them if you wanted, or decorate them some other way as well.

So, how do you get this? You go down to Home Depot/Lowe's and get a 10 ft rain gutter. White vinyl. Decide how many shelves you want to split it into, and get end caps (right under the gutters on the same aisle) for each shelf. Haul the gutter over to the cutting section (unless you can fit the gutter in your vehicle and do it at home) and saw away. Or try to talk an associate into doing it for you! We used some special scissors they had there, I forget what they're called, but the people there will know what to suggest. We divided ours into three 40-inch pieces.

You'll need some heavy duty screws to support the weight of the books. It's also a good idea to secure them into as many studs as possible. Just for reference, there are 60 books on ours right now, so you can see how many you will need.

I situated mine onto the wall so that the kids would have access to the bottom shelf, and put enough room between each so that tall books would fit anywhere. You can stack them, put one on each wall, one in each child's room, stagger them... lots of options!

Alright, how good of a deal is this?

10 ft rain gutter: $4.99
3 pairs of end caps: $17.97
(Of course, if you decide to do fewer or more shelves the price will be affected because of the number of end caps needed) 
12 Screws: already had some ($0)

Total cost including tax-----------$24.85 =)

Now I dare you to show me some bookshelves for $25 that are as great as these!


  1. Hmmm, my friend has a lot of old gutters in his garage, since he replaced the old ones with new and stronger ones. I think I'll ask him for them so I can turn them into bookshelves for my room, just as you did.

  2. I'm doing this one too! I had gutters outside on my deck holding plants, took those in for winter and same day saw this on pintrest! very excited!!!! :D

  3. There are other ways to recycle the rain gutter. For example, what I did was I used them in the garden as plant beds. I have them hanging on the fence with some flowers and small plants. This is good, especially if you don’t have such a large space for your garden.

  4. This is a great idea to recycle gutters! When the gutter started to rust, most people will sell it to junkshops or throw it away. But with this idea, more people will surely save more on decorations. This made me realized that gutters are not only use to protect our home from rain water, but can be used for decorations as well. Thanks for sharing this. I hope you inspire more people to do the same.

    Richard Boles

  5. Rain gutter bookshelves is the better option of the used gutter. In this way you can save the money on interior designing and can get better results just using the used gutter. Thanks