DIY PVC Pipe Book Storage

I love it when I totally fall in love with something online, but can’t afford it. NOT. However, I wouldn’t be able to call myself a DIYer if I just didn’t try to make that said item, right? Well, I did. With some tweaks, of course.

GREAT idea! Use PVC pipe to make a cute little book storage shelf to hold books for kiddos. Perfect idea for the classroom, too! Made by: Dwelling in HappinessWe’ve been wanting something for Jade’s room that is low to the ground to store her books so that she can easily access them. She’s been obsessed with looking at her books lately, and every time I go in her room they are EVERYWHERE. Which, I have to admit, is pretty cute. The teacher in me loves it. We do have a little cubby hole shelf with books on it now, but some of her books are too high for her to reach. So, I was browsing around one day on Pinterest when I came across this lovely little industrial pipe book storage from RH Baby and Child:

rhbc_prod448025Um, isn’t that just too cute? I mean, I know it’s not necessarily “cute” for a nursery, but still. It’s the perfect idea for low-to-the-ground book storage. However, I wasn’t about to pay $109. Or even $89 for their “special” price. No thank you. Instead, I started scheming on how we could just make this ourselves.

We went to Home Depot to see if we could find all the parts, but unfortunately they didn’t have the cross connectors in the copper piping. They said they are rare to find. Womp womp. David and I walked around for a bit trying to think of another way we could build this, when we walked down the PVC pipe aisle. Bingo! While it wasn’t the cool industrial pipe look I wanted, it was going to actually be waaaay cheaper. Even better! I really love the look of industrial pipes, but I was going to have to paint them white to match Jade’s decor in her room anyway. And besides, the PVC pipe was going to be a little lighter weight, just in case Jade decided to play with it; which she will. Luckily, Home Depot had everything we needed. We decided upon getting the 1 inch sized pipe, so it’d be sturdy enough to hold a lot of books.

If you’d like to make your own, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 10-foot long one inch diameter PVC pipe (We had someone at Home Depot cut it in half so we could get it into the car!)
  • 2 one inch PVC Crosses
  • 4 one inch PVC 90 degree elbows
  • 4 one inch PVC end caps
  • PVC pipe cutter
  • Spray paint in desired color
  • Optional: PVC pipe cement

(Please excuse the ugly carpet photos. I got so excited to make this and I put it all together in Jade’s room in half hour! I almost even forgot to take pictures.)


To start, we decided on the size we wanted. Using our pipe cutter, we cut our long pipes that the books will rest on to 30 inches long. We wanted them close together to hold Jade’s smaller books, so we cut the remaining pipe into four 4 inch pieces, and four 5 inch pieces. These will be the “legs.” Don’t forget; whatever size you choose to make yours, you will lose about 1/2 inch of actual book storage after hammering all the pipe pieces in together all the way. So even though we cut our long pipes 30 inches, we’ll actually have about 28 or 29 inches or so of book room.

SONY DSCPush two of the 5 inch pipes into the cross (use a hammer to make sure the pipes are in all the way at each step).

SONY DSCPush two of the 4 inch pipes into the top of the cross.

SONY DSCAttach two elbows to the top of the 4 inch pipe.

SONY DSCDo the same for the other set of small pipes, elbows, and cross.

SONY DSCAttach the two long pipes into the elbows of both sides. Push on the end caps on the bottoms of the 5 inch pipes to finish it off. Now, we found that once we got it together, we could NOT pull it apart. So, though we bought some pipe cement, we didn’t even end up using it. Hammering each pipe in all the way helped big time. If you’re concerned it won’t stay, you can use some pipe cement that Home Depot sells for a couple of bucks.

I then spray painted the whole thing with white satin paint. But, I gotta tell you, what a pain. You’d think it’d be easy, given that it’s already white. But, unfortunately they use black ink to put on a bunch of numbers and bar codes all up and down the pipes. It literally took me 7 coats of a white paint+primer spray paint to even cover them a little bit. RIDICULOUS. I ended up just using white acryclic paint and brushing it on over those bar codes. If you’re going with a light color, I’d try to use a thicker paint to cover the ink first.

SONY DSCI then used a pretty Glitter Blast spray paint in Diamond to “girl it up” just a tad. 😉

SONY DSCAfter the glitter spray dried, I applied a spray “glaze” sealer I had to keep the glitter on. And, voila! While it may not be the industrial pipe one I loved, it sure is pretty close and just as functional. And, probably a little safer for her than the other, too!

SONY DSCWe’re still working on a way to add some sort of sliding “book-ends” to keep her bigger and thinner books upright. Thick books stay up best on the shelf, but if you open the end book up a tad, they all stay on just fine. If you have any ideas, let me know!

SONY DSCYou can’t really see the glitter in these pictures too well. It’s not crazy glittery in person either, but it gives just the right bit of shimmer.

SONY DSCThis little book storage is just perfect for Jade. She can easily grab whatever books she’d like, and practice “putting them back.” And, apparently it’s also a new toy for her; I already found her sitting in-between the bars. It’s a good thing she’s cute! 🙂

SONY DSCThough I’m not teaching right now, these would be SO perfect for a classroom, too! A few of these along the wall or near the class library would make books really accessible to little hands. 🙂

GREAT idea! Use PVC pipe to make a cute little book storage shelf to hold books for kiddos! Perfect idea for the classroom, too! Made by: Dwelling in HappinessI’ve seen so many neat organizational shelves and storage things built with PVC pipes on Pinterest. Have you made anything with PVC pipes before?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, friends!

(I link up at these fun parties!)

43 thoughts on “DIY PVC Pipe Book Storage

  1. LOVE this Amanda!!! It’s so funny, I am actually planning to make one of these too (with different piping though)! I think my little guy would love to have his books on it too!!! I guess great minds think alike! Turned out great girl! Happy weekend!!!
    Kristi recently posted…Chalk Paint Upcycled ChairMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Kristi!! Ha, that’s so awesome! Great minds do totally think alike. 😉 It’s perfect for little kiddos and their books! Hope your weekend is fab too! 🙂

    1. Thanks Rebekah! It’s totally perfect for Jade. Even though she would rather climb through it right now, it IS practical for her books. 😉 Happy weekend!

    1. Thank you, Selene! I totally almost did rain gutter shelves in her room before, too!! I might do it for the next one. 😉 Hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you friend!! It works perfectly for her. 🙂 She definitely cutes up those pictures, doesn’t she?! Though I AM a little biased. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Carrie!! Ha, I ALMOST spray painted it gold… I wanted to SO bad! But, Jade’s room doesn’t have any gold so I refrained. 😉 I bet it’d look super cute painted gold! It’s been working great! Have a great week, friend!

    1. Thanks Kendra! If I was still teaching I totally would make a few more my classroom. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by friend! Have a great Monday!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! It’s really easy to make, and just perfect for all those kiddos’ books! Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a great week! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Meaghan! I totally agree, that’d look SO cute in a construction room all left as is! And, less work, too. 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

  2. This is brilliant! I have to make one now for our home. its simple and fun and I love the look of it! I am seriously excited to make this right now! Your little girl is so stinking cute! I wish mine was that small still. I miss that age so much! Now mine is to big to let mommy do anything for her, even make her food! At 6 lol. She is so independent its insane. I wish I had a shrink ray lol. A girl can dream!
    Have a great week girl!
    jessica recently posted…Totally Terrific Tuesday Link Party #19My Profile

    1. Thank you!! It was really easy to put together, and it’s pretty cute! I do still wish we had used actual copper piping so it’s be a little thinner, but for a kiddo, she doesn’t care! 😉 I bet your daughter would love it, too! She could even help you make it and feel more “independent.” 😉 They grow up so fast!

  3. A job well done, the final result looks very cute. I’m afraid I’m not as handy as you with the PVC – I have two left hands, but I’m willing to give it a go. Wish me luck!

    1. Hi Linda! You can absolutely do it, too! I had never worked with PVC before either, but it came out better than I expected. 🙂 Good luck!

  4. Hi! Definitely going to make this for my daughter’s room. I love the tip in comments for using nail polish remover on the black writing. Will try that! Did you ever find a “bookends” solution? Thanks!

    1. Hi Amy! I love that tip too, it’s definitely worth trying! We never really did find a better solution, and since we’ve moved houses, this cute little thing now holds some of my shoes just perfectly! 🙂 Hope it works well for your daughter’s room!

  5. What a great idea! And if anyone is close to a Habitat for Humanity ReUse store, they can usually get PVC materials there for next to nothing…..

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