Monday, February 24, 2014

Suspended Book Rack

I don't know what it is about books, but I can never have enough of them. I've always been somewhat of a bookworm, and even as I get older, I try to make as much time for reading as I can. I go a little crazy when I go into used bookstores (especially cheap ones) and I stock up on anything that may be remotely interesting. If it only costs a nickle, why not give it a try? I've found some really good books this way (and some not so good ones), but you never know until you try.

Not only do I love reading my books, I love to display them. I have quite the collection going now and I have more books than I have shelves. Recently, I saw this book rack and I knew immediately I had to have one...until I saw the price tag. For weeks I tried to figure out how to make one, and I finally came up with something close. It isn't identical, but I absolutely love the way it turned out.

Here is how I made it:


  • Wooden Dowel 
  • Crafting String
  • Small wooden disks
  • Stain (optional)
  • Drill
  • Hangers (I used some that went to a curtain rod I was no longer using)
I found the first three things at hobby lobby for less than $10 and the others I already had on hand. The size of the dowel doesn't matter too much, but you will want one thick enough to hold books. I knew I was going to cut mine to fit in this cubby hole, so I knew it wouldn't be completely full. If you want to use the whole dowel, you will probably want one that is a little thicker than the one I used. I found the disks in a variety pack in the woodworking section of hobby lobby. They are pretty brittle, but the were cheap and I had a lot of spares.

I started out by staining the wooden disks and dowel because I wanted it to be darker than the natural color. The weather was absolutely beautiful this weekend, so I took everything outside. After my stain had dried, I drilled 2 holes in each of the disks. 

I think the disks I picked up were made out of balsa wood, so they were very brittle. I was glad I stained extras because the majority of them cracked during the drilling process. If you can find it easily, it wouldn't hurt to use a thicker disk than what I used. These work fine, but only the few strong ones will survive.

I cut my string into about 3' long pieces. I only had 14 surviving disks, so I cut 14 pieces of string. I ended up not using all of them, but I have extras in case I ever want to add more books. I wrapped the strings around the dowel and secured (I think the knot I used is called a girth hitch). Hopefully the pictures make more sense than me trying to explain it.

I didn't worry too much about spacing because I knew it would change when I put the books on the rack. Once I had all my strings in place, I started attaching the round disks to the bottom.

(Sorry that the last picture is a little blurry! The ropes wouldn't quit swinging while I was trying to take a picture.) 

Anyways, after you get all the disks attached, you are pretty much done at this point! The last thing left to do is hang it and put books on it. Like I mentioned earlier, I just used some hooks from a curtain rod that I was no longer using. This worked really well because it has screws to keep the dowel in place and the dowel is just a little smaller than the curtain rod that came with it. 

To hang the books, I just slipped the string around all the pages leaving out the front and back cover. I had to play with the strings a little bit to get them to sit straight, but once I had them in place they were pretty easy to keep there.

I'm so happy with this new project and I love the way it turned out. If anyone else decides to try this, let me know how it turns out for you. I'd love to see the results!

P.S. If you like the flower pots, I posted about them here ;)

xo - Nancy

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