After three years of having a blah faux-wood bookcase in our son’s room, I
decided it was the worst possible way to store children’s books.
Unless I carefully tidied and arranged the books, the bookcase looked terrible. It was a dumping grounds for sloppy, falling-down stacks — shoved there by both kids during clean-up time — that made it impossible to see what we had.
I saw a photo on Pinterest — those are probably the six words I use most often — of a rain gutter shelving system, and decided it was the perfect way to store and display our kiddie books.
● We went to our neighbourhood home supply store and bought two white
vinyl rain gutters (K-style, four inch deep, 10 feet long) and a package of
plastic anchors (yellow devils) and screws.
● We decided to cut each gutter into three equal-ish pieces (I’m not much of a measurer) so we would have six bookshelves in total. We used a hacksaw
to make the cuts, and smoothed the edges with a bit of sandpaper.
● We trekked everything up to our son’s room, and I held each gutter against the wall to see if we liked the placement. We used a level to make sure it was straight-ish, and then my husband drilled through into the wall — to make sure the vinyl wouldn’t crack. He tapped the plastic anchors into the holes, and then screwed the gutter to the wall.
● We didn’t measure the distance between each shelf (not my style) because I wanted some shelves to have room for our large, hardcover books, and
other shelves to be sized for smaller paperbacks. We made sure our three-
year-old could reach the bottom few shelves, and that a few shelves would
be out-of-reach (for special books).
● Once the shelves were in place, I giddily loaded them up with our son’s
book collection. Because the gutters are vinyl, there’s a bit of give to them —
but they’re strong enough to hold a LOT of books. Having six shelves allows
us to separate our collections (Little Critter, Berenstain Bears, Robert
Munsch) and make his walls feel like a little library.
Because these gutters are a nice, shiny white vinyl, they don’t need to be painted at all. They even have a little ridged detailing on the front, that looks — from a distance — like crown moulding.
We liked these gutter bookshelves so much in our son’s room that we built
another set in our daughter’s room — and happily sold the old bookcase on Kijiji for $10.
They make it MUCH easier for the kids to clean up their own books — and, most importantly, no matter how they toss them on the shelves, they always look good!
|Big development: moving his dresser into the closet to make room for a new (hand-me-down) desk!|
|He is thrilled to have his very own desk (“Just wike Mama”) but we still need to buy a chair for the poor kid. We were also able to bring back his blue lamp (Walmart) since he seems more responsible now (i.e. please don’t light the house on fire with it)|
|I bought him this cute Debbie Travis basket for $7 (!) at Canadian Tire. It holds his “quiet time” activities to do when C is napping (and Mommy’s working), like his Melissa & Doug sticker books, Magnadoodle, and a giant farm puzzle Auntie Lesley gave him for Christmas).|
|There’s his dresser! It’s perfect in there. We removed the second closet rod, because he barely has any “hang-up” clothes at this point, and it just wasn’t being used. I also bought these two red canvas baskets (insanely good price of $3.99 at Canadian Tire) to store his socks and undies. The grey plastic bins on the top shelf hold his summer clothes (or what I suppose *may* fit him this summer) and his “keepsake” clothes (because I’m a mushpot).|
|His two beds are the same, and his bedding is the same, but everything looks nicer against the fresh board-and-batten and navy walls. Artwork to come!|
|Bare, bare walls. For now!|
|My mom bought D this airplane shelf secondhand, and we love it. It looks way better against the darker wall colour.|
|D’s new room! (Minus any art)|
|Pin this for later!|