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How to make a bookshelf out of…a bookshelf and other playroom fun

So this is probably my weirdest DIY yet, yes – I made a bookshelf from…a bookshelf! Aren’t I clever?


A room with a couch and a chair

Ok, let’s back the bus up a second.

Remember these really cool ladder bookshelves?


A close up of a shelf

I loved them and was all: “Aren’t these amazing? They are such a great way to store stuff and would look way cute in our first apartment!” That was 9 years ago, when the Mr. and I were very first married and moving to Chicago…


Now I’m all: “Look at that death trap, the kids are going to climb it and break their necks!” Funny how your perspective changes once you have little ones running around.


So I decided to disassemble the whole thing (this is the part where I start to sweat half way thru and chant to myself “I’m not ruining a perfectly good, expensive book shelf, I’m not, I’m not!!”


Then I just flipped the little shelves up. lined them up, and screwed them into a 1 x 4 that I had already secured into the studs in the wall.

A close up of a box

So yes, I made a bookshelf out of a bookshelf, but this one is a lot less nightmare inducing more practical for our family.


A chair in a room

Remember my blueprint art? After living with them on the wall for a while I decided they were a little too serious for the playroom,  so adding the shelves with some of our favorite books (we love some old school Dr. Seuss around here but Skippy Jon Jones is pretty popular too) really added some fun to this wall.

boat art

I also added this Seussian inspired banner “Oh the places you’ll go” I made out of an old map.


oh the places you'll go

You’ll notice that the map is of Michigan, so clearly I don’t want them to “Go” too far away from me


boat art
boat art

Also I’m really excited to announce that I will be participating in 6 Days of Spring with these amazing bloggers:


We will all be posting really fun Spring inspired projects and ideas every day next week. Then Monday the 4th will be your chance to show us your amazing spring projects by linking up at our linky party. The best part is Pottery Barn has offered a $250 gift certificate to giveaway to a linky party participant (I know right?!?)!You can visit Jen for even more info on the linky party.


So get going on those spring projects :)

Linking up at Savvy Southern Style
Clean & Scentsible

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  1. This looks awesome! So funny how it’s bookshelves from a bookshelf but it truly is! And something I would have never thought of. Yes, I agree it would’ve been a death trap!
    Jamie ~ Better With Age

  2. I really like this idea and the other decor as well, especially the old-school (really) navy chairs! They’re awesome. Almost makes me wish mine – 26 and 21 – were little again…nah, not really!

  3. Looks fabulous Kelly! Great idea to re-purpose the bookshelves and I just love your playroom! Thanks so much for coming out to the party at Clean and Scentsible. I will be featuring this tomorrow. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!
    Jenn xo

  4. So cute! I love not only the bookshelves, but the entire wall! And I see you have some of our favorite books… Llama Llama, Skippy Jon Jones, Horton… :-)

  5. Such a perfect space Kelly – I love it! I am not familiar with Skippy Jon Jones but I am intrigued. As always, a beautiful project! Glad you are back and relaxed. Looking forward to what you have in store for your Spring week – we could all use a little taste of that! Take care, Laura

  6. Okay so I just found your blog through a Linky Party and I must say that I looove your blog. Your house is gooooorgeous!!! I love, love, love your style!!! The bookshelves out of bookshelves are such a great idea, not to mention the banner. I was just telling my husband that I want to do this in our son’s big boy bedroom but wouldn’t have thought of maps!! So creative! Totally following your blog!! Best Wishes!!!! :)

  7. Glad the death trap was disassembled to create this – looks amazing!! And love the blue print art and the Dr. Seuss banner -one of my favorites!
    Looking forward to all of your spring fabulousness!

  8. I don’t think that was crazy, that was smart! I’ve done the same thing. When you don’t have a use for something anymore, or your needs change, there’s nothing wrong with repurposing. I love what you did with the shelves. And the bunting is adorable!!

  9. Kelly-Darling idea! We moved from our first home because it was on the water and the deck was a 16′ drop down onto rocks. I had one “climber” and one “booster”. Whew- We moved to a house with ground level patios! Your vision turned out perfectly!!!! xo Diana

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