Wall-Hanging Literature: How to Use Rain Gutters to Make Bookshelves
With school now underway, you may have already found yourself under a heap of new books (nevermind that summer reading list that's still strewn about the house). And, if you have little kids with board books or just tons of night-night stories, your home can quickly begin to feel like a library a tornado has gone through — and you're the lucky librarian. But the key difference is that librarians have a system of organization and shelves galore where they can store books. What do you have? If the Klöûrïjk from Ikea isn't cutting mustard anymore, it's time to start thinking outside of the box.
Traditional bookshelves are no friend to the wallet, and to do their job well, they often take up a ton of floor space. When you make bookshelves out of rain gutters, you're using zero floor space — it's total genius, and yes, we totally found it on Facebook.
This is a pretty simple task, but as with all our DIY home decor projects, safety always comes first. You can pick out your rain gutters online or at your local hardware store, but to affix the gutters to the wall, you're going to need gutter hangers (also known as gutter brackets) — one every two feet is the best idea based on standards for outdoor rain gutters that collect tons of leaves, debris, and water. For this DIY bookshelf, however, unless you plan to really weigh down these gutters, you can get away with one gutter hanger every three feet. That means if you decide to make a three-foot-long rain gutter bookshelf, you'll need to purchase two rain gutter hangers. The gutter hangers we recommend (click the link above) are highly durable heavy load brackets, so they can handle "Goodnight Moon" and "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!" but not the Encyclopedia Britannica unless you use more of them.
To hang rain gutters on your wall, you're going to measure the length of the rain gutter piece(s) you will use, keeping in mind the gutter hangers we recommend are two inches wide. That means if your rain gutter shelf is 24 inches long, you'll need to hang gutter brackets that will hang inches 1 and 2 of the gutter, and inches 23 and 24 of the gutter. So how in the beejesus are you gonna do that?! Simple. Because gutter hangers affix around the rain gutter entirely, simply do this part FIRST. Once you have your rain gutter snuggly fitted with a bracket on each end, grab two YOUHANGITs. Place each YOUHANGIT directly over the hole where the screw will go into each gutter hanger and remove the red safety plugs. Next, walk toward the wall with the YOULEVEL at the top center of the rain gutter. When the blue liquid in the YOULEVEL is in the center of viewing window, smash that rain gutter against the wall (with your hands on the gutter brackets to hold them in place, not the gutter itself). When you pull away from the wall, you'll have perfect marks to insert screws.
Now you're going to install screw anchors right where the YOUHANGITs made their perfect marks. For the next part, you're going to need a second person — and since gutter brackets don't come with hanging hardware, you'll need heavy duty screws and a drill to get this job done safely. So your second person, we'll call her Cassandra, will need to hold up one end of the rain gutter while you screw the other end of the rain gutter into the wall where you installed the screw anchor. Then you and Cass will swap sides and she'll basically just spot the side you've already screwed in while you screw in the other side.
If you want your rain gutter bookshelves to be enclosed, you'll need to buy rain gutter end caps — you can see that in the top photo of this blog. However, some of you may enjoy the idea of open-ended shelves, which will have ends that look like the second photo. Either way, you've got a sweet new place to put books away. Be sure to tell Junior and his or her friends to never hang off these DIY wall-mounted shelves — respect the rain gutter and respect the books, too, little ones!