Rain Gutter Book Shelves: Tutorial

rain gutter shelves in hall nick

I have seen these rain gutter bookshelves several places online and have always thought they would be wonderful to have in our book loving home.  Then I saw them at my friend Heather’s house, asked if she liked them, how easy they were to clean, etc. and I finally decided to take the plunge.

Colby's raingutter book shelvesThe theory behind these rain gutter book shelves is that they encourage children to read more because they can see the fronts of the books and are intrigued, rather than just seeing the edge of the book and not being able to tell what it is about.  Our children have always read a lot, but the little ones are reading even more since we installed these shelves.

The first day that the shelves were in, my two year old, upon waking from his nap, grabbed a book and came running out asking me to read it to him.  All the children are reading more of our books and several of the older ones were heard saying, “Oh, I forgot we had that book, it’s one of my favorites” about a book that had rain gutter book shelves girls roombeen on the book shelves in their bedroom for the past year or so!  These rain gutter book shelves also make it easy for little ones to put the books back away properly and that makes mommy happy!

Rain gutter shelves won’t hold a ton of books, not nearly as many as the same space used for traditional shelving.  However, they certainly are prettier and much easier for young children to help themselves without making a mess.  Plus, our children are reading the books that are on the rain gutter shelving more than they ever read them when they were  shelved more traditionally in their bedrooms.

I installed rain gutter shelves by each child’s bed to give our room-sharing children some space to keep their favorite books and stuffed animals.

Since Mark has been so amazingly busy with his job and since I was too impatient to wait until he had some free time, I installed the shelves myself.  They were quick and easy to install.   I did both of the children’s bedrooms in an afternoon and did the shelves in the hall (top picture) in a couple hours.

Here are my perfectionist, not-very familiar-with-power-tools instructions for installing your own rain gutter book shelves.

Items needed:

  • Vinyl rain gutters – Our rain gutter shelves are all 5 feet or 2 1/2 feet long and the gutters come in 10 foot lengths.
  • Brackets for the rain gutters – I used either 2 or 3 brackets per 5 feet of shelving depending on how much use I thought the shelf would get.
  • End caps for the rain gutters. Be sure to get the appropriate number of right and left end caps.
  • Wood screws that will fit through the hole in the brackets.
  • Hack saw
  • Sand paper
  • Sharpie marker
  • Tape measure
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Marking pencil
  • Stud finder – unless you are good at the whole hammer tap/listening thing
  • Spackle and paint – You only need this when you mess up. 🙂

marking to cut rain gutter shelves

1. Decide the length that you want your shelf to be.  Measure and mark this length on the shelf with the Sharpie. Since I’m one of those perfectionist types and not so handy with a hack saw, I measured and marked six different places around the gutter and then connected the dots so that I had a solid line to cut on.cut rain gutter shelves2. Cut the rain gutter with the hack saw. I did this part on our stairs. The carpet held the gutter still and I had space to saw between the steps.  It worked for me!sand rain gutter shelves3. Sand the cut edges smooth. Yes, you could probably skip this step since you will be covering the ends with an end cap, but it’s that perfectionist thing again.   Good thing Mark does most of the projects around our house.stud finding4. Decide where you want to put the shelves and find and mark the studs. Find a stud that is close to where you want one end of the shelf  to be and that will be within the shelf area.  Mark with your marking pencil.  Now find the studs within the next 5 foot  area (if that is the length of shelf that you are installing) or just find the stud on the other end of that 5 foot stretch. (HINT: Typically studs should be every 16″.)

5. Determine the height that you want the top of the shelf to be and mark that point on one of the studs that will be close to the end of the shelf.

screwing bracket for raingutter shelves 6.  Using the wood screw and the drill, screw a bracket into the point that you just marked. HINT:  If the screw will not drill all the way into the wall and you think that perhaps you hit a nail head (it is possible), well, before you drill another hole a little higher than the first and it still won’t go in and certainly before you drill a third hole and still can’t get the screw to go into the stud,  have your 12-year old daughter check to make certain that the drill is set to screw things IN rather than to screw things OUT.

Not I would know anything about that, I’m just thinking that it is excellent that I know how to Spackle and paint! 🙂level rain gutter shelves

7. Level the shelf. Place the gutter onto the bracket that is already screwed into the wall and place another bracket onto the opposite end of the gutter.  Now balance or hold a level on the gutter and adjust until everything is level.  Then mark where you will screw your next hole on the stud that is closest to the other end of your gutter.

8. Screw the bracket into the stud at the marked height.  Tuh duh!  You should have a shelf on your wall.  Now depending on where you’ve installed the shelf or how long it is, you may want to put on additional brackets.  If so…

9.  Install additional brackets for stability. This is simply a matter of sliding them onto the gutter and making sure that you hit a stud when you screw them in.

10. Glue on the end caps.

11.  Repeat steps 1-10 for additional shelves.  I found that 12″-16″ from the top rim of one gutter to the top rim of the other was sufficient for even our tallest books, but measure for yourself and see what looks good to you.rain gutter book shelves boys room
I added close up pictures of the brackets and end caps here.

You may also like these tutorials: 

Did you hear what Colby (4 yrs) said to the stranger in the supermarket or about the time he wanted someone  for dinner? I thought I had learned how to parent by the time Colby came along, now I know better.

 

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186 Responses to Rain Gutter Book Shelves: Tutorial
  1. Nicki
    July 28, 2009 | 11:08 pm

    Oh, I love this idea better than anything so far! I especially like the hallway idea. What a great way to have a “children’s” library. Just wondering, have you had any little ones try to climb it yet? : )

    [Reply]

  2. Nicki
    July 28, 2009 | 11:09 pm

    And that lime green wall looks familiar! The last THREE houses we’ve lived in, our girls have had a lime green wall. I think I’m done with that for awhile!

    [Reply]

  3. tara
    July 28, 2009 | 11:13 pm

    these are so cute!!! i am definitely going to do these! you have such great ideas!!!

    [Reply]

  4. Home School Dad
    July 29, 2009 | 12:34 am

    Sounds good. I can’t imagine letting my kids read books they got from the gutter though.

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Nicki,
    No one has tried to climb on them. I think they would be very difficult to climb as they sit so close to the wall.

    Home School Dad,
    I’m going to have to rethink our standard for books. 🙂

    Julie,
    No issues with sturdiness. They do sell heavy duty gutters if your concerned.

    Smockity,
    I would do house calls, providing you pay travel expenses and put me up in a post hotel and… 🙂

    TrenchMommy,
    My kids make the bunk beds. 🙂 When I do it, I just climb on top of the bed, but I don’t do it very often. I plan to post more in a question/answer post.

    Thanks everyone!!

    [Reply]

  5. Jessica S.
    July 29, 2009 | 1:33 am

    LOVE THIS IDEA!! I would love to do this project, but we’ll see how much it costs here at an OBI…or if I can find something similiar for a cheaper price! Great POST! 🙂 I know the children love that their books are available to them an arms reach away!! 🙂

    [Reply]

  6. Jen
    July 29, 2009 | 3:44 am

    OH! I think this is a fantastic idea! Our kids could really use more room in their bedroom for books. This is JUST the trick! 🙂 THANKS FOR SHARING!

    [Reply]

  7. Fairion
    July 29, 2009 | 8:17 am

    I love this idea. I think this will be a great addition to Froggy’s room when we redo it with her big girl bed.

    [Reply]

  8. JenT
    July 29, 2009 | 8:20 am

    I would never have thought of that! What a good idea!

    [Reply]

  9. Kristen
    July 29, 2009 | 8:29 am

    I’ve seen this many times before but I don’t think I’ve ever thought of putting it right next to the bed like that. Maybe that would keep my oldest from kicking off his pile of books in the middle of the night? 🙂

    BTW, you made me laugh when you said my lists made you feel guilty. How do I get it all done? Oh please!

    [Reply]

  10. Heidi
    July 29, 2009 | 9:12 am

    What a great idea! I even happen to have almost everything we need already. I can’t wait to show my husband this idea when he gets home tonight.

    [Reply]

  11. Casey
    July 29, 2009 | 9:16 am

    I love this!! Putting this on the to-do list! Thanks for sharing.

    [Reply]

  12. TrenchMommy
    July 29, 2009 | 1:20 pm

    Love this idea! However, we don’t have many of the things needed and I can’t forsee myself having the guts to attempt to do it alone! But I do have a question…how do you keep your kids beds made so neat…especially the bunk beds against the wall? I have ours in the Middle of the room because I can’t make it unless I can get to 3 of the 4 sides (2 being the long sides!). Silly, I know…but please tell me your tips!

    [Reply]

  13. Smockity Frocks
    July 29, 2009 | 1:30 pm

    You are SO handy and dandy! I’ll repeat what everyone else is thinking. I LOVE THIS IDEA! Who needs Martha Stewart? I’ll take Kimberly, please. Do you make house calls?

    [Reply]

  14. Julie
    July 29, 2009 | 2:39 pm

    So very cute. My concern is they might not be sturdy enough. Have you had any issues? These would look great with out bunkbeds!

    [Reply]

  15. Mrs. Q
    July 29, 2009 | 3:58 pm

    This idea totally rocks! I might have to convince hubby to put some up in our new school room! Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  16. Courtney
    July 29, 2009 | 4:39 pm

    Those shelves look great! I love this idea. Thanks for taking the time to walk us through the “how to”. Hopefully we are going to be in a situation to do a little redecorating soon and I would love to put some of these up.

    [Reply]

  17. becky@oursweetpeas
    July 29, 2009 | 5:00 pm

    Genius! I absolutely love it and would never have thought of trying it. Thanks for the inspiration. I also love your blog and will be back, thanks!

    [Reply]

  18. niki
    July 29, 2009 | 5:52 pm

    Those look great! What a unique idea.

    🙂

    [Reply]

  19. Barbara
    July 29, 2009 | 5:52 pm

    LOVE this idea! My son and I LOVE books (hubby reads but doesn’t quite understand our love!). I am putting these up….um, everywhere! ha ha! Absolutely in the kids’ rooms and the playroom. Thanks again for the super ideas!
    Barbara – http://babyconnorc.blogspot.com/

    [Reply]

  20. Amy
    July 29, 2009 | 10:48 pm

    This is wonderful! Now to find the time to do it… 😉
    ~amy- http://raising-arrows.blogspot.com

    [Reply]

  21. Jana
    July 29, 2009 | 11:05 pm

    Those are awesome! We will have to try that!

    [Reply]

  22. Rachel
    July 30, 2009 | 12:09 am

    These look great! You did an awesome job! I really want to do this in my son’s room because he loves books. Thanks for the great “how to”.

    [Reply]

  23. Bookworm
    July 30, 2009 | 6:22 am

    EXCELLENT POST!

    FYI-For those asking….We’ve had ours up for almost 2 years now and they are just as sturdy as they were on day 1!

    I’ve had others ask me how we installed them, so I will be sending people here from now on. VERY thorough post! THANK YOU!

    [Reply]

  24. Heather@It's Twinsanity
    July 30, 2009 | 3:18 pm

    Wow! What a great idea! I am definitely going to do this in our new house!

    [Reply]

  25. momtofivekids
    July 31, 2009 | 12:46 pm

    How did I miss this post?! I love this! I’d like to try it myself, but we rent from my parents and I don’t know if they’d like me doing that to their walls. 🙂 we’ll See. Thanks for posting this!

    [Reply]

  26. Aimie
    July 31, 2009 | 1:22 pm

    This is such an amazingly good idea! Thank you for the post!

    [Reply]

  27. Tristan from the Crew
    July 31, 2009 | 1:59 pm

    I have wanted to do this for a while, especially by the kids’ beds. Time to show hubby the how-to’s and budget for some gutters! Maybe this will be my christmas present to me? 😉

    [Reply]

  28. Elsie
    August 1, 2009 | 10:51 am

    great idea!- I can think of another reading place that a small section would work well for – then when I when I, umm, use the facilities I wouldn’t have to step on all the books/magazines/papers that the others left on the floor.

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Elsie,
    What a great idea! I’m going to measure our “facility area” and see if we can fit some shelves in there. I still have left over gutters. Thanks for the idea!

    [Reply]

  29. Aimee
    August 5, 2009 | 10:18 am

    Someone just sent me to this link for and idea for my kids room. I did a post, asking for advice about what to put under their bunk beds. I used to do these in my classroom before I had children and stayed at home. So, I can’t believe I didn’t think of these. How awesome that something simple is going to look so good and I can paint them to match the room too. Also a great way to display large art work! Thanks a bunch!

    [Reply]

  30. Chris
    August 5, 2009 | 11:41 am

    This is one of the best ideas I’ve seen in a long time! Off to Lowes, I go!

    [Reply]

  31. becky
    August 5, 2009 | 2:16 pm

    I have never seen this. It is brilliant. I wish I had seen this when my boys were little. I might steal it anyway, for our guest room when I have grandchildren 🙂

    [Reply]

  32. April E.
    August 5, 2009 | 5:25 pm

    I love these and would love to do this … not sure how hubby would feel, though. First, we should probably repaint, though. (blush)

    [Reply]

  33. Gaye
    August 5, 2009 | 8:25 pm

    Many of our schools in Mesa, Arizona have these throughout the classrooms! Every teacher I know loves them and we use them daily. As a parent I wished I had used them at home when my babes were mine at home. As a teacher I am THRILLED to see that you are using them in your home to grow your own readers!! As a reader I think I will rethink my bathroom ideas! Thanks for sharing.

    [Reply]

  34. Someday Crafts
    August 6, 2009 | 11:38 am

    THis is brillant! I love this idea! I might open a pre-school out of my home and this would be perfect. I featured this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

    [Reply]

  35. Brittany
    August 7, 2009 | 11:10 am

    Thank you so much for this! I have been looking for a front facing bookshelf for quite some time. I thought I could probably make one, but it seemed a little too involved. Now I know, all I need are rain gutters! Yay! I’m putting a link to this on my blog so I can remember it. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  36. Tracy
    August 7, 2009 | 10:34 pm

    I absolutely love this idea! thanks for the clear instructions!

    [Reply]

  37. Leah
    August 10, 2009 | 10:30 am

    Thank you so much for this idea! We put ours up this weekend, and they’re amazing! Is it wrong that I want them in every room of my house?

    [Reply]

  38. Beth
    August 11, 2009 | 5:57 pm

    I LOVE this idea and am thinking about using it in my craft room! Thanks for taking the time to post your tutorial.

    [Reply]

  39. Laurel
    August 12, 2009 | 10:29 pm

    LOVE these shelves! I am impressed!

    We’ll be moving soon, and I would love a chalkboard wall, a magnetic wall, and some rain gutter shelves. Cool!

    Laurel

    [Reply]

  40. Chablis
    August 15, 2009 | 6:01 pm

    I came this way via Dazzle Design’s blog. I LOVE this idea! I just told my husband to expect a trip to Home Depot this afternoon! Thank you SO much! What an inspiration you are. I’m just starting to homeschool my 6 year old and the hardest part for me has been doing it with 2 other kids! Bless your heart!

    [Reply]

  41. vanessa
    August 18, 2009 | 3:34 pm

    Wow! These look great! I may have to try this…if I can brave the hacksaw…Came here via Ellebows and more…

    [Reply]

  42. Desiree
    August 20, 2009 | 2:15 pm

    I think that I got bad rain gutters. The brackets go in at an angle and my screw just snapped in half! They look nothing like yours but it’s the only similar thing they have around here. 🙁

    [Reply]

  43. Shannon
    August 21, 2009 | 2:17 pm

    This is a fabulous idea. I have been admiring them for some time now. Do you think they could be hung using some heavy duty adhesive like Locktite or Liquid Nails?

    [Reply]

  44. Kari @ Ucreate
    August 27, 2009 | 4:37 pm

    You are so kind to share this fabulous tutorial! I can’t wait to make these! I’ll be featuring today!

    [Reply]

  45. Cindy Downes
    August 27, 2009 | 9:17 pm

    I enjoyed your site!

    [Reply]

  46. A Magical Childhood
    August 27, 2009 | 11:58 pm

    I’ve been wanting to put some of these up ever since I read about them in Jim Trelease’s “The Read Aloud Handbook.” He talked about a classroom that had them up and recommended them for home. It always seemed like a someday project but your tutorial makes it seem very doable. Thanks!

    I see some of our favorite read-alouds on your shelves too. 🙂 Beautiful rooms!
    ~Alicia

    [Reply]

  47. Angela
    August 30, 2009 | 9:02 pm

    I wish I had read your article, I put my shelves up a week before this article! Nicely written article. We didn’t use all studs, we also used a few anchors, as we had a few 10 foot long shelves. We love them. 🙂

    http://satorismiles.com/tag/rain-gutter-shelf/

    [Reply]

  48. Desiree
    August 31, 2009 | 9:25 am

    I finally got mine put up! It took a lot of work with the brackets from Home Depot. I would not recommend them as they are at an angle.

    http://gazeintotheheavens.blogspot.com/2009/08/home-tour.html

    [Reply]

  49. Morgan
    September 1, 2009 | 9:44 am

    My husbands asking if they’re sharp at all?

    What a creative idea! I like bookshelves where you can see all the book covers displayed!

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Morgan,

    The ones that we installed are not sharp at all. They are vinyl and once you put the end caps on all the sharp edges are covered. The brackets are completely inside of the shelves, so no sharp edges there. If you decide to put these up, I’d love to see them.

    Blessings,
    Kimberly

    [Reply]

  50. Alex
    September 2, 2009 | 11:06 am

    Could you paint them?

    [Reply]

  51. Erika
    September 6, 2009 | 10:12 am

    thanks so much for sharing the idea, and the detailed instructions, too. not only is this project cost-effective and creative, having the book covers displayed makes for gorgeously colorful, cheerful decor. cutecutecute! i’ve linked on my blog (puppylovepreschool.blogspot.com.)

    [Reply]

  52. Toni
    September 9, 2009 | 3:09 am

    I love this idea. thanks

    [Reply]

  53. Melissa
    September 9, 2009 | 1:42 pm

    We had this idea also, but gave up on it after purchasing the gutters (they are in the garage still!) Yours turned out AMAZING!
    We couldn’t figure out the ends. What exactly did you use for end caps & where did you get them or make them from? Can you add a picture of the ends? I would love to give this another chance, as my girls have bunk beds & there are ALWAYS books in their beds! LOL *God Bless* -Melissa

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Melissa,

    We purchased the end caps that were made to fit the gutters. I will plan on adding a picture of the end caps to this post later today. I just used a little bit of hot glue to keep them on.

    [Reply]

  54. homeschool101
    September 9, 2009 | 3:42 pm

    I love this site. You have a great blog.

    [Reply]

  55. Melissa
    September 10, 2009 | 4:34 pm

    Okay I went to Lowes today & Purchased a few end caps. Next Question is what Brackets did you use? I cant tell in the pics. THANKS!

    [Reply]

  56. Joy
    September 17, 2009 | 12:41 pm

    Alex- you can spray paint just about anything. 😉

    [Reply]

  57. Melissa
    September 19, 2009 | 10:53 am

    Thanks for the reply! We did figure out the end caps, Its the Brackets I cant figure out? Are they also in the same area & specifically for the gutters? Or just special screw? I’d love to make these today! 🙂 THANKS A BUNCH!

    [Reply]

  58. Raising Olives
    September 19, 2009 | 10:59 am

    Melissa,

    Yes, the brackets are in the same area and are made specifically for the gutters. Hope it goes well! It’s such a fun satisfying project!

    Kimberly

    [Reply]

  59. Megan Parker
    September 23, 2009 | 7:23 am

    This is an awesome idea!!!

    [Reply]

  60. Alisa
    October 5, 2009 | 9:39 pm

    Thanks! You are a blessing!!!

    [Reply]

  61. Andrea
    October 5, 2009 | 9:49 pm

    I love this soooo much!! Fantastic, so clever! Can’t wait to get my hubby back from Iraq and put some in our next house.

    [Reply]

  62. Andrea
    October 5, 2009 | 9:52 pm

    Just an idea… look for a Habitat for Humanity Re-Store near you. They sell all sorts of donated home building materials and may have the gutter supplies at a great price.

    [Reply]

  63. Diana
    October 11, 2009 | 11:35 pm

    LOVE the idea! Thanks for sharing. After reading this I went out and bought some supplies myself and installed them in my boys room. Here’s the link if you’d like to see: http://dianagardner.blogspot.com/2009/10/rain-gutter-bookshelves.html

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Your shelves look great Diana. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    [Reply]

  64. Rachel
    October 13, 2009 | 7:55 pm

    Wonderful idea! Thanks for the inspiration!

    [Reply]

  65. MarthaE
    October 17, 2009 | 5:54 pm

    This is wonderful! I am going to e-mail it to my daughter! And I’d love to post a link to it on my blog if that is okay with you!
    Martha

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    I’d love to have you link to this on your blog. Thank you.

    [Reply]

  66. Heather C.
    October 19, 2009 | 2:58 am

    Absolutely AWESOME idea! I showed this to my husband because our daughter is such a bookworm and her books are all over the floor that it was driving me nuts!! Well, my husband finally got around to putting this up in her room and it looks AMAZING! She loves it, too! So thanks for posting this idea and how tp get it up!!

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    I’m glad that you liked the idea, now I hope that it actually helps your daughter keep her books off of the floor. I’m still constantly telling the children to pick up their books.

    [Reply]

  67. Holly
    October 20, 2009 | 4:32 pm

    We used your tutorial to install two rain gutter shelves for our 2.5 year old this weekend. Now a previously unused wall is home to dozens of books and our daughter loves it! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    I’m glad that you’re happy with them. Thanks for letting me know.

    [Reply]

  68. MarthaE
    October 21, 2009 | 11:10 am

    Kimberly – here is my post link!! Rain Gutter Bookshelves from RaisingOlives.com

    [Reply]

  69. Juli
    October 26, 2009 | 5:34 pm

    Thanks so much for the idea and instructions! I just put mine up and absolutely love them. I also couldn’t believe how EASY this project was. It only took me about 20 min for 2 5ft. shelves. Thanks again!!!

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Yay! I’m glad that you like them. They are easy. It probably took me more time to write the post than to install the shelves. 🙂

    [Reply]

  70. GB
    November 17, 2009 | 11:14 am

    Wow, this is a great tutorial. We move soon, and I’m definitely going to be putting these up in my son’s new room. I found your site through design dazzle– I’m going to be a regular reader from now onwards.

    [Reply]

  71. Judy@cutestlittlethings
    November 17, 2009 | 11:30 am

    Genius! Positively genius! I wish I could give you a hug! These will be PERFECT for my son’s playhouse! Thank you for sharing the tutorial!!!

    http://cutest-little-things.blogspot.com/2009/09/little-boys-playhouse-revealed.html

    [Reply]

  72. Kristen
    November 17, 2009 | 12:27 pm

    I’m over the moon about these! Affordable, easy to install, look darling, and encourage reading… if only they washed diapers! I can’t wait to try!

    [Reply]

  73. Emily Shipp
    November 17, 2009 | 8:21 pm

    This is an amazingly creative idea! Well done. 🙂 I like that it lets kids see the cover of the books they want.

    [Reply]

  74. Becky Jones
    November 18, 2009 | 10:32 am

    This is a fantastic idea!! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    [Reply]

  75. Beth Murr
    November 18, 2009 | 12:17 pm

    Love it!!!

    [Reply]

  76. Mama Squirrel
    November 19, 2009 | 8:49 pm

    I’m confoozed about where we’re supposed to be leaving our comments–here or on Design Dazzle–so I’ve left one on each. And you already noticed that I linked–happy to mention it, I think it’s a great idea.

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks Mama Squirrel. Please leave comments at Design Dazzle. It is a bit confusing to me also. Thank you for your help!

    [Reply]

  77. Patty
    November 20, 2009 | 12:13 pm

    Great idea and wonderful pics!

    [Reply]

  78. Stephanie
    November 20, 2009 | 2:46 pm

    I loved your rain gutter shelves. I have 5 children I would have loved to have them when they were little. I think I will still install them in our study/homework room to encourage additional reading of some old favorites.

    [Reply]

  79. Jill
    November 21, 2009 | 12:10 am

    So cute! We have so many books crammed into bookshelves that are not getting read! Instead, the same books get read over and over while some of the best ones are hidden in that bookshelf. This would really help and it looks great! Thanks for the instructions (and the honesty… too funny! sounds just like something I would do!)

    [Reply]

  80. Dawn
    November 24, 2009 | 12:31 pm

    Oh wow! I love this idea! I’m going to bookmark this tutorial and do this. It would solve so many of our clutter problems! This is great! Thanks for the wonderful idea!

    [Reply]

  81. Kari@Ucreate
    December 31, 2009 | 12:07 pm

    I just wanted to stop by and let you know that you were in the top ten tutorials on Ucreate!! If you could email me your address info I would love to send you a prize!! Thanks for sharing your creativity and inspiration!!

    [Reply]

  82. Rachel
    January 6, 2010 | 12:19 pm

    I would love to feature you in a post. Write an excerpt and direct people to your site to read the full article. Can I use the photo? I’d put them up in our house but we are planning on moving soon… great idea! Definitely going to implement it in the future!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Certainly! Thank you.

    [Reply]

  83. Rachel
    January 8, 2010 | 10:53 am

    Gave you a blog award for this post! love the narrow book storage solution!

    http://quirkymomma.com/2010/fantastic-friday-1/

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you Rachel.

    [Reply]

  84. Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven
    January 8, 2010 | 11:02 am

    Kimberly, this is such an awesome idea! You are FULL of great ideas. I’m going to have to do this. 🙂 I hope everything is going well with you!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks.

    Starting to feel better, thank you for asking. Your getting close to the end of your pregnancy. Are you still feeling well or are you ready to be finished?

    [Reply]

  85. Charlotte
    January 8, 2010 | 11:15 pm

    What a great idea! I love your instructions, too, as they seem very clear and easy to follow.

    [Reply]

  86. […] atRaising Olives, made a set of gutters into cheap narrow bookshelves, brilliant for those narrow hallways!  I love […]

  87. Heather
    January 12, 2010 | 6:17 pm

    Thank you so much for this idea! My kids are reading even more now, if that was possible. Plus, it doesn’t look as bad if the books are put away quickly lol. I have another set ready to put in one of the bedrooms already. You can check out the ones in the playroom here if anyone is interested. http://thefitzkidz.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/our-rain-gutter-bookshelves/

    [Reply]

  88. Leah Killian
    February 11, 2010 | 1:07 am

    Hi! I showed off my own on my blog, and linked to your tutorial- hope that is ok with you! It is such a great idea! Saved us so much money and space! Thanks!

    [Reply]

  89. Nikki
    February 11, 2010 | 7:22 pm

    Maybe it’s my area, but I had my hubby tally the cost of these to make me some, and they were horrendous! Any suggestions? Are some places cheaper than others? Should I maybe order online? Or did you find them pricey as well?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I THINK that we paid about $160 for 3 – 5ft. shelves in the girls room and 3 – 5ft. shelves in the boys room and 3- 10 ft shelves in the hall. We also had enough left over to put almost 4 – 10 ft. shelves in our family room.

    There was a higher grade of gutter that would have more than doubled our price, I’m not sure if that is what you were finding.

    Hope that helps some.

    [Reply]

  90. Beckee
    February 12, 2010 | 2:33 pm

    A friend emailed me a link to this post & I LOVE this idea! I cannot wait to do this in my house! Thank you for the idea! I posted a link to this from my blog so I can share your fantastic idea with my friends as well! You can see what I wrote if you’d like here.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

  91. Shanon R
    February 19, 2010 | 3:22 pm

    Um… one comment.

    YOU are a GENIUS. Seriously. Rain gutter bookshelves are going up all over my house! WOW! What a brilliant idea, especially for the Littles!

    Wow. (I’m awed… truly… wow.)

    Blessings,
    ShannonR

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I hope that you love them as much as we do. 🙂 *blush*

    [Reply]

  92. Jennifer C.
    February 24, 2010 | 12:49 pm

    We purchased the supplies and installed these this past weekend. My twins have been reading non-stop! It is so amazing how much more interested they are in their books now that they can actually see them all. Thanks so much for sharing this!!

    [Reply]

  93. Katie @ Cheep Ideas
    March 9, 2010 | 3:19 pm

    I just LOVE these, and this is a great tutorial for them. A soon as we move to our new place, I’ll be putting some up!

    I’m featuring this on my site today, and you can grab a “I’ve been featured” button if you’d like!

    Thanks for sharing!!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you Katie!

    [Reply]

  94. paul stickland
    March 10, 2010 | 12:22 pm

    This is a wonderful idea!
    I’d love to see my books in them!
    http://www.paulstickland.co.uk

    [Reply]

  95. Andrea
    March 13, 2010 | 1:12 am

    Thank you!! I made these today and they are going in my hallway for my two year old daughter’s “reading area”. We live in a very small apartment so they are perfect to put in the hall and don’t take any needed wall/floor space in the rest of the home. They were super easy too. I even had the home depot guy cut them for me. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We also have a set of these in our hall. It is a great use of space! Only problem is there is often a child or two sitting in the hall reading. 🙂

    [Reply]

  96. matt
    March 26, 2010 | 7:31 pm

    They look great and are really inventive. Also, what an innovative way to teach kids about creativity, utility, and thinking.

    [Reply]

  97. Julia
    April 3, 2010 | 12:53 am

    I LOVE the rain gutter book shelf idea, BUT my practical husband needs to know how well they stay in the wall. You see, we have trouble with our little boys climbing anything that looks like it could be climbed. So, anyone having trouble? We probably just need a weight allowance of books + a 2-4 year old. Please advise. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We also have climbers (1 and 3 year old boys) and so far have not had any problem with them trying to climb the book shelves. The shelves are so close to the wall, it’s hard to get a grip. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but so far it’s not been as tempting as I feared it would be.

    [Reply]

  98. Julia
    April 8, 2010 | 10:25 am

    I am very glad to hear your gutters are staying in the wall. They look marvelous! We are re-building a formerly bank-owned house and will move in this month. I really want to install these gutter shelves in several rooms. Thanks for the great idea!

    [Reply]

  99. tere Lauritsen
    April 8, 2010 | 3:46 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this awesome tutorial! Now I just have to get my husband to agree to this in our girls’ rooms. I love it!

    [Reply]

  100. […] This idea came from my real-life friend Kimberly @ Raising Olives, and she has a great tutorial here.  Just a note about my own mistake – I wanted to make a small shelf by each bed and get 4 […]

  101. Lynnet Hardwick
    May 4, 2010 | 3:04 pm

    When I worked in the public schools, we used this system of displaying books for the students to choose from. I wish we had room in our home to put some of these up as it would have helped out kids read more of the books we have! Great tutorial!

    [Reply]

  102. In the Gutter RTT
    May 11, 2010 | 1:57 pm

    […] saw this idea on Raising Olives Blog for Rain Gutter Bookshelves and I couldn’t wait to do it.  I think they came out soooo […]

  103. BigMamaCass
    May 11, 2010 | 1:59 pm

    I did these! Finally! I posted about it today… http://www.bigmamacass.com/2010/05/in-the-gutter-rtt/

    [Reply]

  104. Vallimasoos
    July 16, 2010 | 1:37 am

    I just put these up in my kids’ room! we used them as a divider for the “boy side” and the “girl side”! Thanks for the inspiration and tutorial!

    http://familyofthevine.blogspot.com/2010/07/rain-gutter-book-shelves.html

    [Reply]

  105. Rachel
    July 17, 2010 | 11:35 pm

    These are soooo cute!!! How much would you say 1 complete bookshelf/gutter costs? Thanks for the step by step instructions!

    [Reply]

  106. […] of dollars on a beautiful bookshelf. I came across the DIY rain gutter book shelf tutorial, by Raising Olives, and think it is marvelous! They look nice, are practical, and very […]

  107. Updated Chore List | Raising Olives
    July 28, 2010 | 8:00 am

    […] – sweep and clear cobwebs off front porch and back deck, Wednesday – clear and dust rain gutter bookshelves, Thursday – clean out fridge, Friday – wash sliding glass doors. Matthew (11) – […]

  108. Zoe @ Playing by the book
    August 5, 2010 | 2:23 am

    A brilliant idea! And one I’ve linked to today 🙂
    http://www.playingbythebook.net/2010/08/05/waterfall-water-wall/

    [Reply]

  109. Heather Baker
    August 5, 2010 | 3:51 pm

    Thanks so much for this wonderful idea…I’ve used it and passed it on to several others who have used it…in the last week! As we prepare the new home school year, this idea was a life saver! Blessings!

    [Reply]

  110. […] 5.   Can’t find an old hutch?  Built a forward-facing bookshelf out of vinyl rain gutters. […]

  111. Rain Gutter Bookshelves | More Than Mundane
    August 16, 2010 | 10:54 pm

    […] I first heard about rain gutter bookshelves on Jim Trelease’s website. I loved the idea so did a Google search and found this tutorial. […]

  112. […] Awesome bookshelves… I love books. No, I LOVE books and I love to read. I am teaching my oldest to read. I’ve read to my lil ones since they were born hoping to instill that love for reading in them. I was reading blogs this morning found this awesome idea for bookshelves. Rain Gutter Book Shelves […]

  113. Angela
    August 17, 2010 | 8:49 pm

    Genius! Shared your link on my blog.

    [Reply]

  114. Amy Mantooth
    August 19, 2010 | 1:34 am

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea!!!! I have always wanted this kind of shelves, but the wood ones are so expensive! Gutters are the perfect solution!!!

    [Reply]

  115. […] Our rain gutter book shelves store books that we are currently reading and using for school in addition to a collection of picture books for the younger kids. I also have a small basket of board books (it’s behind my school chair). […]

  116. Crystal & Co
    August 20, 2010 | 12:06 am

    Amazing!! Adding this to my list of upcoming projects.

    (And sharing this link with my Facebook readers!)

    [Reply]

  117. […] kids enjoy being able to keep some of their books beside their bed in the rain gutter book shelves, perfect for bedtime […]

  118. […] For a complete tutorial on how to make the rain gutter bookshelves, visit Raising Olive’s tutorial by clicking here. […]

  119. Liam’s New Rain Gutter Bookshelves
    September 11, 2010 | 9:31 pm

    […] you’re interested in putting up your own rain gutter bookshelves, read the tutorial at Raising Olive’s blog post. books, bookshelf, rain gutter, […]

  120. 4 Moms: Storage Solutions | Raising Olives
    September 16, 2010 | 7:30 am

    […] shelves in every room in our house except the bathroom.  (I’ve floated the idea of putting rain gutter bookshelves in our bathrooms, but Mark is highly resistant because we have  boys.)  So far we haven’t […]

  121. Tammy
    September 21, 2010 | 1:14 pm

    Hi there! I found your site by searching for bookshelves. I love the gutter style you chose. They look great! Also, where did you get those bunk beds? I’ve been looking for some. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    The bunk beds were given to us. Sorry that I can’t be more helpful. 🙂

    [Reply]

  122. […] I love books. No, I LOVE books and I love to read. I am teaching my oldest to read. I’ve read to my lil ones since they were born, hoping to instill that love for reading in them. I was reading blogs this morning found this awesome idea for bookshelves. Rain Gutter Book Shelves […]

  123. gina
    October 28, 2010 | 12:55 pm

    Installed these last night. I had the screw driver in reverse problem enev after reading that note it your post. I was trying and trying to get it into that stud and it wasn’t going anywhere! Haha. Love the shelves! Thanks for the tutorial.

    [Reply]

  124. […] the rain gutter bookshelves hung in Jackson’s room. Here is a good tutorial on how to make them: http://raisingolives.com/2009/07/raingutter-book-shelves-tutorial/ According to Justin, they are super […]

  125. stephanie
    November 21, 2010 | 5:14 pm

    As a first year homeschool mom, I need all the creative ideas I can get. This is by far one of my favorites. My husband put 3 of these up for me in no time today. They look great and I am anticipating that my kids will more readily go to books displayed on topics we are studying. CHEAP, FAST, so smart.

    [Reply]

  126. Katie
    December 24, 2010 | 7:05 pm

    I just stumbled across your blog today and I must say, I LOVE your idea for rain gutter book shelves! I will definitely attempt to put some up! Question- how do your kids do with pulling on them? I noticed the plastic brackets and was wondering if you have had any problem with stability or breaking, etc. Please let me know how they have worked out for you. I will be linking to your page when we put them up.
    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We’ve had a problem with one of the shelves beside the lower bunk bed. I’m thinking that the child who sleeps in that bed must have practically climbed into the gutter shelf. Other than that we’ve not had any problems.

    [Reply]

  127. Kelli Z.
    January 1, 2011 | 12:02 pm

    We finally made our own rain gutter bookshelves! Here’s my link to my blog post about it: http://thezabelzoo.blogspot.com/2011/01/new-year-new-living-room.html

    [Reply]

  128. Mahreen from VeniVidiBlogi
    January 19, 2011 | 4:29 pm

    I linked to your tutorial in my latest blog post – thank you for the great instructions!

    http://www.venividiblogi.com/2011/01/how-to-get-your-husband-to-write-post.html

    [Reply]

  129. […] when she pointed me to this blogger’s idea, it made sense: build a book shelf that doesn’t just hold books, but actually advertises the […]

  130. amy
    February 1, 2011 | 7:53 am

    This is SOOOOOO my kind of project. I have NEVER heard of this, but LOVE it! like love love love lurrrrve it!

    [Reply]

  131. Inspire Me Heather
    February 1, 2011 | 8:01 am

    Wow, very clever! I linked this up to my “bookshelves” project post too, it’s just fantastic!

    [Reply]

  132. Courtney
    February 16, 2011 | 10:45 pm

    I LOVE this idea! I’m always looking for creative organization, and this is so budget friendly and cute! Can’t wait to try it out!

    [Reply]

  133. Wendy
    February 27, 2011 | 4:49 pm

    I love this. Thanks so much for sharing I am inspired to do this for our book loving family

    [Reply]

  134. Mommy
    March 19, 2011 | 1:13 am

    New reader here! LOVE your blog and I am sooooo copying this idea!!!

    [Reply]

  135. Loretta Rizzo
    March 28, 2011 | 1:08 am

    Great idea!!! We are building an addition to a small cabin & when done, we’ll be using gutters for bookshelves inside and “container” gardening on the outside 🙂

    [Reply]

  136. Melissa Mallory
    June 30, 2011 | 5:02 pm

    I love this idea! Thank you for this tutorial. I now know what to do with all that wall space. Yes, I’m going to do this!

    [Reply]

  137. mindy
    August 20, 2011 | 11:38 pm

    Did this today!! Thanks for the tutorial:)

    [Reply]

  138. Kim
    September 7, 2011 | 12:18 am

    Hi,
    I found your blog through several different subject searches and wow I love your blog.
    I was thinking about doing the book wall shelves using wooden shelves. Do you know which one cost less between wooden or rain gutter shelves also which one will hold up more heavier books (multiples of kids chapter books)?
    Thank you so much!

    [Reply]

  139. Jenny
    October 6, 2011 | 1:32 am

    LOVE this idea and thank you for the detailed tutorial! Do you think it would work to spray paint on the vinyl gutters? Would the paint adhere to that surface?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We did not attempt to paint ours, so I’m not sure. I’d love to hear how it works if you try it.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Just checking.

    [Reply]

  140. Trio
    October 14, 2011 | 11:12 pm

    Just wondering what brackets are that you are referring to in the tutorial. Are they brackets that come with the gutters or something that will need to be found separately, and in what section of hardware store?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    They are brackets that are made to mount the gutters.

    If you follow the link in the post, you can see some close-up pictures of both the brackets and the end caps.

    [Reply]

  141. Jeannette
    November 27, 2011 | 6:23 pm

    I am so glad you posted about these. I linked your blog a couple months ago, when the idea of doing this for my nearly 10 year old son and his loft bed. Last night his lamp fell, bulb broke and the decisions was made that he and I were doing this today. Took more time to buy the supplies than to prepare and hang the shelf.

    I was particularly inspired by your comment about waiting for your husband… which is why I felt confident that I too could tackle this project.

    [Reply]

  142. angee
    March 5, 2012 | 7:56 pm

    Love! Your tutorial was easy to follow. Thanx!! My kids are enjoying having their own bookshelves by their beds!

    (I will be linking)

    [Reply]

  143. Melanie
    March 25, 2012 | 6:07 pm

    GREAT Idea!!!

    [Reply]

  144. Hails
    April 7, 2012 | 6:46 am

    I wonder if you could glue fabric to them before hanging.. Hmmm.

    [Reply]

  145. RG
    June 7, 2012 | 9:25 am

    Want these shelves, but don’t have the time or patients for DIY? Check out my Etsy store:

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/101312688/forward-facing-book-shelf-made-out-of

    [Reply]

  146. BJ
    June 9, 2012 | 9:44 pm

    Do you think it will work to not use the brackets and just screw through the gutter and into the stud?

    [Reply]

  147. Ashlyn
    July 31, 2012 | 4:55 am

    Love this!! I am decorating my first childs nursery amd i’ve never been in to reading but want to try to get my son as into it as i can! I think this will be perfect for my reading corner. 🙂 Thanks for the wonderful idea!

    [Reply]

  148. Rookie Mom
    August 27, 2012 | 3:29 pm

    Love your tutorial! I followed it and made my own and love the way they turned out:

    http://blogs.brighthorizons.com/momtomom/2012/07/27/pinterest-challenge-rain-gutter-bookshelves/

    [Reply]

  149. Sarah
    September 16, 2012 | 1:38 am

    Hi there! Thank you so much for the great tutorial – I put a link up on my blog to link back to you.. Feel free to check it out at http://www.thismamashouse.blogspot.com

    Cheers!

    [Reply]

  150. Andrea
    September 16, 2012 | 11:07 am

    We installed our gutter book shelves last night and LOVE them. But we found that sometimes the books fall forward. Do you have any ideas to help prevent this?

    [Reply]

  151. Cam D.
    October 5, 2012 | 1:44 am

    I am not a bookworm myself but my kids are. I should probably try this rain gutter book shelves. I can already picture out my son’s smile if I install this in his room. I think one good thing about it is that it doesn’t seem to take too much space.

    [Reply]

  152. Val
    December 8, 2012 | 11:43 am

    What a great tutorial! I’m thinking of installing these in my son’s room and have a quick question… Looking at Home Depot’s website, the gutter brackets all look to me like you use a nail, not screw to install. Did you run into this problem or am I not looking at the right things? (Entirely possible!!!)

    [Reply]

  153. Homeschoolin' Dad of 4
    January 11, 2013 | 8:54 pm

    Love your website and appreciate the tutorial on the bookshelves! Blessings to you and yours in Jesus’ name. btw…found this page via LifeHacker.

    [Reply]

  154. Travis
    January 13, 2013 | 2:02 pm

    Please be cautious about which materials you use for the gutters. Most plastic gutters are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), aka vinyl, which may not a form of plastic you want to introduce in to your child’s bedroom.

    [Reply]

  155. Kathy
    January 24, 2013 | 7:13 pm

    Hmm…love this idea. I bet I can get these cheap at the ReStore. With just a little more “hacking” this could easily be used as a cheaper version of picture ledges. If the gutters aren’t sturdy enough for actual picture frames, matted prints could be displayed sans frames.

    Thanks for posting (ps…referred by lifehacker)

    [Reply]

  156. D
    August 14, 2013 | 10:28 am

    So I was wondering if you think you can do this with command strips?

    [Reply]

  157. Annie
    February 2, 2014 | 10:37 am

    We did it! I bought the supplies at Home Depot (confusing all the sales folks in the rain gutter dept) and gave my hubby your DIY tutorial as a guide. It came out great, took 1 night to finish and is the talk of the town, so to speak. My favorite part is that we used a previously dead space behind a door and made it useful. We only needed to modify the door stopper to ensure it didn’t hit the shelves – easy! Thank you!!

    [Reply]

  158. Raia
    April 23, 2014 | 12:12 pm

    Genius! We have been trying little bookshelves for years with our kids (all 7 and under) and they just don’t work. :p Definitely showing this to the hubby! 🙂

    [Reply]

  159. Missy Smith
    November 29, 2015 | 12:34 pm

    I’m getting ready to do these for my son’s books in his bedroom. I’m curious, over time, how these will hold the weight of his books. Any feedback after all of this time? Have you placed all paperbacks on the shelves?

    [Reply]

  160. Joe
    December 13, 2015 | 9:56 pm

    Do you know what the weight capacity is of these?

    [Reply]

  161. Andrea
    May 28, 2016 | 3:50 pm

    What is the interior space from the front to back? How much weight can these hold, say for a 20 inch piece? I’m considering putting these on the backs of one or more of my three inside door surfaces in my tiny city efficiency. I would use them for shoes, purse, items to return, etc. for the outside door; for bathroom items of the inside of the bathroom door, and for spices/oils/nonperishable foods and possibly utensils for the outside of the bathroom door which adjoins the adhoc kitchen area that has no cabinet but just a tiney shelving unit. I don’t like clutter, so I’ll have to consider how this would look. So far, I have most things put away, but I really need more accessible storage so I don’t have to dig for things or take a lot of time to put things away. Thanks.

    [Reply]

  162. AJ
    July 17, 2016 | 4:05 pm

    What type of brackets were used? The ones for the gutters or a different type?

    [Reply]

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