Creating Makeshift Bookshelves out of Cardboard Boxes

Books are one of those things no one feels bad about purchasing. You intend to read something new in order to expand your knowledge, hone your expertise, or just open your mind to something new. While many items cause the onset of buyer’s remorse, books are almost never one of them.


However, how often do you finish that book you just bought all the way through? It seems that half the time, it just sits there unread, taking up space . . . somewhere.

There comes a time when storing your extra books makes sense. Maybe you’ll never get to a certain book but don’t want to toss it. Or maybe you’re just in need of some more shelving space but don’t want to fork out the cash for new bookshelves. Whatever the cause, using cheap moving boxes can work wonderfully for this project.

Prepare the boxes for packing.
If you buy new boxes, you’ll first need to put them together. Make sure you seal the bottom (this will end up being the “back” of your makeshift book cabinet) well by doubling the amount of packing tape.

How to pack your books.
You’ll want the books to either stand up with their spines facing outward like you see in libraries, or you can lay them on one another with their spines also facing outward. This is up to your preference on organizing them and how you’ll want the overall presentation to look.

Using bookends is a great idea in order to give your “shelves” more character while also holding books together so that they don’t tip one way or the other.

To get the look of a bookcase, you may want to stack boxes on top of one another sideways to create a shelved look. Taping the boxes together on the back and even fortifying the middle “shelf” may be smart so that the cardboard doesn’t cave in.

Picking the right environment to set up your bookshelves.

Keep the boxes in cool areas with low humidity. You don’t want your books warping because of an unusually high damp area that you could’ve avoided. You should also keep them away from sources of heat. Books stored too close to appliances or heat ducts may also warp. Just remember to keep them stored in cool temperatures—a room temperature of 60-70 degrees will do. Your living room or bedroom will most likely be just fine for storing your books.

With all that said, get to constructing these makeshift bookcases and do some painting or decorating on them to make them look less like ordinary cheap moving boxes and more personalized to your tastes. You want to show off your collection with your new bookcases.

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