DIY wooden crate bookshelf, making the perfect kids reading nook

DIY wooden crate bookshelf, making the perfect kids reading nook

Today I am sharing how I made a DIY wooden crate bookshelf, making the perfect kids reading nook for my boys’ bedroom.

DIY wood crate bookshelf, low cost and easy to make kids reading nook. Playroom and boy bedroom decorating ideas.

Bur first, let me say hi, how is everyone? It has been over a week since I dropped in here, sorry for the unplanned blogging break. We are in summer break mode here and last week was our first full week of it. My kids being home all day and me working from home has been difficult to figure out. I have had this blog for over three years, but started working on it full time once my youngest started kindergarten last year. So my “professional blogging” career never had to juggle kids at home before. Last week kicked this Mama’s booty. I am still trying to find a happy median of being with my kids, blissfully enjoying the warmer months and lazy days of summer…. all while not loosing sight of this blog and all that I have gained with it. Bare with my while I find that balance, it may take me a little bit longer.


Anyways, lets get back to the project I am sharing today, the DIY wooden crate bookshelf. This is not officially a new concept for our house, two years ago when I redid Caleb and Gavin’s bedroom I had a small reading area in their bedroom using two wooden crates to store their books. It worked great for my boys that were 5 and 3 at the time I was changing their bedroom. I had changed their room from one with a toddler bed into a big boy room. Now, I have a 7 and 6 year old living in this room. So a few smaller changes have had to happen, again. These kids insist on growing up at a crazy pace!

kids drum set

The biggest hurdle was I now have one full blown reader (with chapter books) and one budding reader who is well onto his way of being a bookworm like his older siblings. The two wooden crates were not cutting it with my boy’s book collection. I planned to add to their bookshelves, and also relocate it. The former and smaller reading nook was right by their front door and allowed no place for them to sit. We have this spot under a window at the end of the bunk beds that used to have their drum set. We have since moved that into the basement where the kids have a playroom.

DIY plywood chairs with storage. Perfect for a child's bedroom or play room. Easy to make with full tutorial.

I made these plywood chairs for the boys a few weeks ago. They work wonderfully for my two little men, and I wanted them to really be a part of the reading nook. I figured making a reading nook with more book storage space under their window would be perfect!

DIY wooden crate bookshelf

Also, more wooden crates were needed! I painted the other two green when I originally made this bookshelf two years ago. I did not paint these any color, but am considering adding a few features to them. I will share those when I get to them, for now I am leaving them as is. Remember I said to bare with me? This is one of those moments. I needed to organize the boy’s books that were everywhere in their room and overflowing. So a quick solution for these crates was needed, and fast. Dressing them up was not part of my timeline, I hope to get to that in the coming weeks and share some new pictures of these crates with some fun color and maybe even pattern to them as well.

adding bookshelves to kids bedroom

But, they work as is. I purchased these from a home improvement store, they can be found at craft stores as well. I was not sure how to organize the crates, so just played around with the placement of them, trying different combination of them set-up until it all worked. Dale’s Grandpa made the cute covered wagon display years and years ago. It fits with my boys’ transportation theme, and has a special family attachment. The other additions for this is little car boxes, I found these at a thrift store when I was pregnant with Caleb and they have been in his room since then.

Easy to make, DIY kids bedroom reading nook. Low cost crate bookshelf, simple DIY

Here is what I ended up with! This kids reading nook came together in minutes! Well, not counting the plywood chairs, which I shared the tutorialI did take some time to plan out the books and organize them. Adding the chapter books to one crate, easy reader books in another crate. I did this to help my boys be able to navigate the bookshelf as easy as possible.

crate bookshelves

creative ways to display books

I also sprinkled in some fun and little decor items, helping the crates not to feel cluttered. Books give a room instant coziness, but can turn into a cluttered mess very quickly. Even well organized bookshelves that are stuffed with books can feel like “too much” of a good thing.

wood crate furniture project

Breaking up the direction of the books, with some stacked vertical against each other and others stacked horizontal. I used little personal items of theirs to be book ends.

organizing kids books

These Star wars themed piggy banks do not go with the theme of their bedroom at all. But, this is their bedroom, their domain and Caleb & Gavin love them some Star Wars! So, here they sit, proud on their bookshelf. Even though I love to decorate and share my ideas here, I always keep in mind that my kid’s bedrooms are theirs and I respect their individuality. When I revamped my daughter Nora’s room she was excited to do it with me, becoming a fun mother/daughter endeavor. I do pull the Mom card when it comes to adding function, or keeping in mind safety. But otherwise it is led by them, and becoming more so the case with each year they get older.

how to personalize bookshelves

Little trinkets that they have made or painted are the best small decor items for a kid’s bedroom.

how to display books

low cost bookshelf ideas

Even taking the time to organize the books will help keep this clean in the long run. I found that when they had the smaller version of this crate bookshelf before the books were never organized, the shelves were overstuffed with books. Taking one book down caused 10 more to also fall out, which of course they never picked up. This bookshelf has been as is for two weeks now, and aside from a few more rocks, leaves, tiny notes stuffed in books and other small kidisms (since all kids are legit hoarders) with their “collections”. But, the books have stayed clean and organized! Mom win!

how to style bookshelves

bookshelf DIY ideas

adding small decor to open shelving

The transportation theme is one I will be sad to see go as my boys get older. It is too cute, and sooooo easy to find perfect decorations for it.

Easy to make, DIY kids bedroom reading nook. Low cost crate bookshelf, simple DIY

book storage ideas

Gotta use those storage chairs and hide books wherever we can!

Simple ways to make a reading nook for a child's bedroom or play room. Low cost crate bookshelf, simple DIY

Boy bedroom decorating ideas. Easy to make, DIY kids bedroom reading nook. Low cost crate bookshelf, simple DIY

This DIY wooden crate bookshelf, making the perfect kids reading nook is perfect because of it’s simplicity. I can easily change around the crates, or add to it as my kid’s get more books.

how to decorate open bookshelf

Proof that real life happens in my home too, this Harry Potter wand in the picture below was not part of the planned decor. But, it got slipped into the top of the crates while I was not looking. Gotta say, I adore these little pieces of imperfect. Raising kids is awesome, amazing, sweet, fun, and full of imperfect moments… pretty much a beautiful mess. Perfection does not exist with kids, even when trying to take “perfect” Pinterest ready pictures. Life happens, kids hide wizard wands in the decor. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

kids bedroom decor

kids playroom book storage ideas

Simple ways to make a reading nook for a child's bedroom or play room. Boy bedroom decor ideas

My little men love their little reading nook! 

creative kids reading nook

My oldest son Caleb loves everything organized and neat. He even sleeps neatly, he wakes up with his stuffed animals still nicely placed on either side of him, pillow still plump and gently pulls his covers up, voila his bed is made. He is loving how I organized all of his books, and is reading even more now that it is easy to see all of the books.

kids reading nook ideas

My youngest Gavin craves mess. He is the life of the party and disorganization just adds to his fun time and even he has been able to keep this wooden crate bookshelf organized. Although he is the main culprit for all of the added tiny decor items since then to the bookshelves. He collects rocks, leaves, shells, and pieces of paper. Gavin is also the main suspect in the wizard wand being put into this picture. Although, in this house they are innocent until proven guilty. But, that is his wand that made it into the picture, so if all signs point to him….

Easy to make, DIY kids bedroom reading nook. Low cost crate bookshelf, simple DIY

I adore the difference in all three of my kids, and with my boys sharing a room their differences have had to coexist. Most days they love sharing a room, the bad days they do not even want to share a home with each other. Like I said, raising kids is a beautiful mess!


Easy to make kids reading nook

Even with the hectic life that is all three kids home all day, I managed to squeak out this project in one afternoon. While the kids watched, critiqued, and fought with each other. Aren’t summers fun?! Don’t get me wrong, my kids home all day for summer break is amazing and I love to soak in their awesomeness. Just juggling real life while playing in the sprinkler with them, kids art projects, lake swimming fun, bike rides and extra cuddles. Finding the time to do laundry, clean house, or even blogging has been tough. I cannot tear myself away from my crew!

Simple ways to make a reading nook for a child's bedroom or play room.

But, life goes on and we do need clean clothes (although a nudist colony is looking pretty nice right now, while I stare at the three loads of laundry to hang up). We also need food, a somewhat clean house, and this blog has become part of our life too. A wonderful financial aspect as well as keeping Mommy’s sanity, this is my “me time”. So, now that week one of summer break is down, I hope to be back at it with our new normal for the next three months. This DIY wooden crate bookshelf, making the perfect kids reading nook is the perfect project for me to do in the beginning of summer; simple, easy, low cost and kid friendly. Pretty much what summer is all about!




  1. That is so cute! I have a couple of crates but I never thought about doing something like this. I’m definitely going to try it out it would be perfect in my sons playroom.

  2. The shelf is super cute and such a great idea to use the crates. Love it!

  3. My daughter just moved into a new home and has been looking for ideas to decorate her boys room. Thinking she would like this idea and her husband is a very handy guy when it comes to building anything.

  4. That is such a great idea! It looks great, and I love that rustic feel.

  5. I need to build something like this in my daughter’s room. She is big bookworm like her mother!

  6. What a fun way to add some storage. I like that since it isn’t a permanent bookshelf you could repurpose the crates later if needed.

  7. Maria Brittis says:

    This is a fabulous ideas for the kids! The kids look so cozy in there space. Yo are such a great mom! Maria

  8. Jacqui Odell says:

    What a great idea! I want to do this for each of my kids room.

  9. This is such a cute idea!! I have been wanting to do a book nook for forever and this idea just may fit the space I need it for!!

  10. I JUST saw these exact same crates shopping this past weekend! Now I want to go grab some! I love how you can paint them to suit any decor as well. I really love what you did with them!

  11. Jennifer Van Huss says:

    My kids are huge readers too!! Books takeover their bedroom!! I love the idea of this reading nook! Those chairs are amazing!

  12. These ended up looking so nice! Great work on the nook! I like how you arranged the books in them shelves too.

  13. This was so easy to put together and came out looking great! I love how your arrange everything and made it fun.

  14. That bookshelf and entire reading area is amazing. Is it a bad thing that I want a reading area like this for myself? My own personal retreat to disappear into and relax.

  15. What a great idea! I love how you can change it up later on. It looks great, and I am always looking for easy storage ideas. My kids have a lot of books and this would be really useful.

  16. I love everything about this! It would be so cute in my little guy’s room!

  17. I used to use milk crates that I got from actual milk deliveries to make bookcases when I was a college student. Yours are much nicer. 🙂

  18. I want a reading nook of my own! I love this, and think there’s nothing more important than surrounding kids with books.

  19. I’m not surprised at how much I love the look of your wooden crate bookshelving considering how much I love all pallet type projects too! P.S. I did notice your Shel Silverstein books…another favorite! 🙂

  20. You did a great job upcycling these wooden crates. Their reading nook looks so nice! Now, I would love a reading nook of my own.

  21. I love how I can paint wood any color I want. So easy to work with when I created my shoe shelf.

  22. I love these bookcases. I need some extra places for books and love the ease and look of the wooden cases.

  23. This is really neat. My husband is good at building things, so i may see about him building something similar sometime.

  24. Now this is something I think I could do! Looks great, neat and clean!

  25. What a neat DIY for kids! We have tons of books and this would be perfect in the playroom to keep it organized!

  26. I love how easy and affordable this project is. It also offers a lot of storage space, which is a plus.

  27. Misty Nelson Dawn says:

    What a nice set up I really like this and it looks neat and organize I love the DIY bookshelf like this I would tell to my husband about this

  28. My Teen Guide says:

    The reading nook turned out really nice. I love that it is near a source of natural light. I love the idea of a special place where the kids can have some quiet time, reading the books they love..

  29. That is a super cute idea! I bet our kids would love something like this!

  30. What a great project! I absolutely adore those chairs. I wish I could find pallets around here. They seem to be gone as soon as the garden center gets them

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *