Living in a small home has its challenges. Number one: it’s small. Number two: storage space is limited.
When we moved into our new flat, a friend helped lug boxes from the van and up our rather long flight of stairs before slumping on the sofa and commenting that every single box had ‘M’s Books’ written on the side.
Books have always been a weakness of mine, with books and clothes making up the majority of my possessions. As a child I had books lining my bedroom. I once counted them to find I had a total of 380 books, something I was incredibly proud of. But in a home as small as ours there are limited places to put such impressive collections, particularly when it comes to sourcing furniture to house such collections.
Last year we had considered having a bookshelf and cupboard unit built onto our living room wall. We had some initial designs drawn up and considered the idea for a while before realising that it would take over the entire living room, something we weren’t prepared to do. Instead, we invested in a cheap bench from ebay, painted it electric yellow and lined up books along the length of the seat. This worked, but only for a small portion of the collection.
Choosing the right furniture for a small home (on a budget) is a difficult task. Modern pieces are bulky, vintage pieces smaller but expensive. The middle ground is hard to come by. But then I came across invisible bookshelves on Pinterest – and my furniture fiasco had a solution. The trouble is, invisible bookshelves aren’t the cheapest pieces of metal in the world. A single shelf that fits inside the back cover of a book and has two small metal hooks to hold the cover up, comes in at around £10. To achieve a nice tall bookshelf that holds more than just the recommended 5 books of a store bought invisible bookshelf, you could end up spending a fortune.
My DIY brain switched into gear.
If all it takes to hold a book on a wall is an L shaped sheet of metal with a little clip on one end to hold the cover up, there must be a way to replicate this idea much cheaper. Enter: the L bracket and a little piece of Velcro.
For this project you will need a number of L brackets, these can be found in any DIY shop. Mine cost just £1.75 per bracket. The brackets I found were thinner than required, so for my selves I have used two brackets per book stack for added sturdiness.
Mark the wall where you will drill. I have only marked two holes per bracket as this will provide enough strength for the amount of weight each shelf will need to hold.
Once your L brackets are all firmly screwed in, your invisible shelf is complete and you can begin stacking books!
If you do need to secure the bottom book cover without destroying a book, I would suggest using a small piece of sticky Velcro on the inside back cover of the book. This will keep the cover from dropping down.