Building a simple mdf bookcase

by | Aug 30, 2015 | DIY Project, Kitchen | 0 comments

This post will talk you through building a basic fitted bookshelf, one of my first builds in this house. We wanted a simple custom storage solution for recipe books and the abundance of bibs we now possess. The result is a quick, simple and solid storage space that fits perfectly into a not so perfect corner of our kitchen.

This DIY was simplified by the whole thing being created from one big sheet of MDF. The shelves, sides and back were all cut to size from this sheet using B&Q’s free cutting service.


Tenon Saw
Spirit Level
18v Combi Drill
Masking/ Gorilla Tape


Sheet of MDF: (L)2440 x (W)1220 x (Th) 18mm – cut to size
Dowel Pins
Wood Screws
Wood Glue
Wood Primer
White Eggshell

Step by Step

1. Measure up the space you want your bookcase to fit – height, width, depth. 2. Sketch your design on a sheet of paper, including number of shelves. Then draw out each piece of wood and mark the required sizes. You want to know whether you can make it from one sheet of MDF. 3. With your measurements in hand, get down to your hardware store and pick up your wood. If you live in the UK, larger B&Q stores offer free cutting – a great service that saves you a load of sawing – just be sure to have your measurements ready. 4. Once you have your MDF shelves, sides and back cut to size, give them all a quick coat of wood primer. 5. Measure and mark on your side pieces the levels at which you would like your shelves. 6. Attach one side piece to the back piece. Prep the edges with wood glue, then attach with woodscrews going in from the back. 7. Use the same wood-glue/ woodscrew method to attach your shelves to the back and one side.

8. Because the right hand side of our bookcase is exposed, we didn’t want to drill a load of ugly screw holes in it. So instead we drilled holes to approx. x deep, and used wooden dowel pegs to attach it to the rest of the bookcase. So this completes phase 1!

We could have left it there but we wanted it to look fitted (and properly cover up some exposed plasterwork), so a few finishing touches:

9. We filled the gap to the left by stuffing in rolled up newspaper and then topping with powder filler. 10. We cut holes to allow access to a couple of plug sockets. 11. We fitted the bottom shelf to match the height of a piece of skirting and fixed this skirting around the bottom. 12. A final coat of white eggshell.

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