Vintage shutters repurposed into an awesome bookshelf or bookcase. Who doesn't love a remarkable shutter upcycle?
This awesome repurposed shutters project was custom-made for a friend. Jan picked up these vintage shutters at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $5.00 a PAIR. That is not typical of our ReStore.
These are very nice, large, sturdy shutters.
Designing the repurposed shutter shelf
To get them to fit together, I had to rip a "ridge" off each shutter on the table saw.
Connecting shutters using pocket hole joinery
I removed the black hinges and latches from the shutters. I used my Kreg Jig® R3 to make pocket holes to butt these two together in the back. Those pocket holes really give a great (tight) joint. In case you don't know what the Kreg Jig Jr. looks like:
I also used the pocket holes to attach the sides to the back using pocket hole screws.
When I build, I rarely have a plan. I just sort of jump in. After I got the four shutters together, I realized I needed pocket holes to attach the top. That's where the portability of this jig comes in handy.
Even a warped top is no match for pocket hole screws
The rough-sawn lumber was a little uneven. Do you see the pocket holes? And the gap in the wood?
This is how it looked in the back.
Voila! Screws are in, and they pulled the top right down.
A quick clamp comes in handy when you work alone.
The shutter shelf comprises three 1x6s butted together with pocket holes to make three boards into one shelf. I found a new way to use my quick clamps. It can be pretty challenging building alone. I could use an extra pair of hands sometimes.
I made sure the shelf was level. The clamps were really handy to help hold the shelf in place. While the clamps held the shelf in place, I screwed the shelves to the shutters using pocket holes I drilled into the ends of each shelf. (If you don't have a Kreg Jig, you can use cleats to hold your shelves.)
How to attach shelves to repurposed shutters bookcase
In this picture, you can see the pocket hole that put the boards together, and in the back left corner, you can see that I used a double hole to attach the shelf to the back of the shutter.
In this picture, I am getting ready to install the bottom shelf. I used this Combination Square to make sure the shelf was the exact measurement all the way around. This is one of the handiest tools I have.
Fill visible pocket holes before painting.
I filled all the (pocket) holes with spackling. The shelves are attached on the left front/back, middle, right back/front. The middle shelf is attached all the way around because the shutter is solid in the middle.
Add trim molding to the top of the bookcase.
Here, you can see what I mean. Without the pocket holes, I would have had to make "cleats" to run around the bottom of all the shelves to "rest" on. I installed crown molding on the top.
Then, I sanded all the patching and prepared the bookshelf for painting. I used a paint sprayer. You will love using a Finish Max paint sprayer.
Blue Bookcase made from Repurposed Shutters
After many coats of paint.
Jan chose a blue from Behr; I believe it's called Velvet Evening. Maybe you would like to see Jan's other project, the door nightstand/bookshelf.
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.