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House Bookshelf

Recreate your own house bookshelf for a fraction of the cost of one you could find in stores. Use this step by step tutorial to achieve this beauty.

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I have another SUPER exciting project to share with you today! I’ve seen a few house-shaped bookshelves in stores before, like this one at Restoration Hardware, and thought, “Pffftt…. I could make that for way less!”. And so I did! lol. We needed a new bookshelf for my daughter’s Big Girl Bedroom, and so her House Bookshelf was born. 

Drawing of dimensions for the house bookshelf

The house bookshelf started, as all good woodworking projects do, with a sketch on an old notepad :)

Here’s what you need to do this project at home: 


3/4″ thick MDF – we bought a 4′ x 8’sheet but only used approximately 25% of it for this project

Wood screws


Paint – we used Behr Vienna Lace

4’x4′ sheet of 1/4″ thick plywood

Drywall filler


Table saw

Router table (to cut grooves) can use table saw as well [optional – for the advanced woodworker!]

Drill press or drill


Measuring tape

Square (ruler)

Putter knife


3/8″ Forstner bit

3/8″ Claw Wood Plug Hole Cutter Drill bit

Please ensure proper safety equipment and protection are used at all times when handling power tools and completing this woodworking project.

The woodworking plans are available for free to anyone subscribed to our newsletter.

Step-by-Step Tutorial for Building the House Bookshelf

1. Download house building plans [above]
2. Cut pieces as per the attached plans
3. Lay pieces out and dry fit together (to double-check shape and measurements), you can use clamps to hold in place.

Pieced together house bookshelf

4. Pre-drill holes with a 1/8″ diameter  bit for all your screw hole locations [Note: MDF is prone to splitting if screw holes are not pre-drilled, so you want to ensure holes are drilled deep enough]. We drilled two holes per side of each board.
5. Counter-sink the holes with a 3/8″ Forstner bit; 1/4″ deep
6. Cut grooves in the back of the perimeter pieces 1, 2, and 7 [circled in the attached plans] to hold the 1/4″ thick plywood in place. Alternatively, you can cut a piece of 1/4″ thick plywood to fit the back with no groove, however you will need to prep the edges with filler to finish nicely.

Framed and glued house bookshelf

7. Assemble pieces 1, 2, and 7. Glue and screw them together.
8. Assemble piece  6 and 4 together. Glue and screw them together.
9. Assemble piece  5, 6, and 3 and 4 together. Glue and screw them together.
10. Assemble steps “7.” and “8.” together.
11. Assemble steps “6.” and “9.” together.

Framed house bookshelf being held together with clamps

12. Install 1/4 plywood backing.
13. Cut 3/8″ diameter plugs to fill the counter sunk holes drilled with a 3/8″ Claw Wood Plug Hole Cutter Drill bit.

Drilling counter sunk holes with a claw wood plug hole cutter drill bit

14. Fill holes with plugs from step 13” and glue in place.

Filling counter sunk holes and gluing them in place

15. Once glue is dry sand plugs level, use drywall filler to prep all edges and any blemishes.
16. Complete a final sand, prime, and paint the house bookshelf to desired finish.

Completed house bookshelf painted pink

We painted our house bookshelf with a very soft pink – Behr’s Vienna Lace – which was perfect for our daughter’s Big Girl Bedroom!

I’m SO happy with how it turned out! Our daughter actually puts her books away now too, although she definitely prefers to take them off of the shelf, lol.

Girl picking out a book on the house bookshelf
Staged house bookshelf painted pink
Corner reading nook
Roof piece of the house bookshelf
Basket of children's books in front of the house bookshelf
Side profile view of the house bookshelf
Close up image of books and toys on the house bookshelf
House bookshelf staged with children's books and toys

Let me know what you think!

If you ever make this shelf yourself, I’d LOVE for you to tag me on Instagram so that I can see your projects too :)

House Bookshelf DIY

See more great DIYs in our daughter’s Big Girl Bedroom here.

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