How to Build a Tower Bookshelf

This step by step woodworking project is about how to build a tower bookcase plans. I have initially designed this project for my office, but then I realized it is too small for my needs, I will be using this in my basement for storage. This bookshelf tower is easy to build and features a modern design taht can match any style. It is far from being a masterpiece, but hopefully it will be serving me for many years in a row. See my other DIY projects HERE.

We recommend you to invest in the best materials you could afford. Therefore, you should buy weather-resistant lumber, such as pine or cedar. Always take accurate measurements before adjusting the size of the components at the proper size. Drill pilot holes trough the components before inserting the wood screws, to prevent the wood from splitting.


Made from this plan




Building a bookshelf tower



  • A – 2 pieces of 1×12 lumber – 72″ long SIDES
  • B – 5 pieces of 1×12 lumber – 12″ long, 1 piece of 1×2 lumber 12″ long SHELVES
  • C – 2 pieces of 1×2 lumber – 70 1/2″ long, 1 piece – 13 1/2″ long, 4 pieces – 10 1/2″ long TRIMS
  • D – 1 piece of 1/4″ plywood – 13 1/2″x70 1/2″ long ROOF





  • One Day



Tower Bookshelf Plans

Building the sides

First of all you need to build the sides for the project. You can use 6′ long 1×12 lumber or you can buy edge glued panels. The size of the panels might differ so you would have to make a few adjustments to the cut list. However, if you go for 1×12 lumber you should just stick to the plans.

Building the base

Next, you need to assemble the base for the tower shelves. Cut the shelf from 1×12 lumber and attach the 1×2 support to the bottom. Drill pocket holes along the support and insert 1 1/4″ screws to lock everything together tightly. Add glue to the joint to enhance the bond of the components.

Assembling the tower shelves

Next, you need to assemble the tower. Drill pocket holes along both sides of the shelves and secure them to the vertical slats with 1 1/4″ pocket screws. Add glue to the joints and make sure the corners are square. Leave no gaps between the components for a professional result.

Fitting the shelves

Next, you could add more shelves to the tower. You can use pins to support the shelves, if you don’t plan on adding super heavy items. You can even use a shelves jig, so you can easily adjust the height at which you place the shelves.

Building the front trims

One of the last steps of the project is to build the trims for the front of the tower shelves. Cut the 1×2 trims at the right dimension and lock them together with 1 1/4″ screws. Make sure the edges are aligned and right angled before inserting the screws.

Fitting the front trims

Attach the trims to the front of the tower and align the edges with attention. You should add glue to the joints and then lock the trims to the frame of the tower with 1 1/2″ brad nails.

Attaching the back

You could also add a 1/4″ plywood panel to the back of the tower. Align the edges with attention and use 3/4″ brad nails to secure the panel into place, making sure you leave no gaps between the frame of the tower and the panel.

How to build a simple bookshelf

Fill the holes with wood putty and smooth the tower with 120-220 grit sandpaper. Apply the finish as desired, in a properly ventilated room.



How to build a tower bookshelf


First of all, I assembled the base for the tower shelves. I drilled pocket holes along the top edge of the 1×2 support and attached it to the shelf using 1 1/4″ screws. I used a scrap piece of 1×2 lumber as spacer, so the supports is 3/4″ recessed from the front.


Next, I marked the location for the pins that will support the shelves. I used the appropriate drill bit size and made sure I don’t go all the way through the slats. You can use a drill stop so you drill less than 1/2″ into the sides.


After that, I attached the bottom pieces to one side of the tower. As you can see in the image, I placed a spaced to the back of the tower so the base shelf will be perfectly horizontal. I added glue to the joints to enhance the bond of the components.


Next, I attached the rest of the shelves to the frame, besides the ones that will be supported by the pins. Now it comes the tricky part of the project. Since you have to drill pocket holes at both ends of the shelves, the access is too tight for using a drill machinery. That is why, you have to use a right angle attachment to the screwdriver, so you can insert the screws to the other side of the tower. Always align the edges before inserting the screws, so you get a professional result.


I decided not to add the decorative trims to the front of the tower, as this project will go in basement. I will build a larger bookcase for my office, as I realized this will not be large enough for my needs. All in all, this project cost me 20 dollars to make, considering I already had the stain, the glue and the nails. I designed this tower so it can be built by anyone with no woodworking experience. If you like my project, don’t forget to SHARE it on Facebook and Pinterest.

Smart Tip: Don’t forget to share your projects with me, as I love seeing what you guys are working on. Send me the pics HERE. In addition, take a look over the rest of my DIY projects HERE.



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