Rain Gutter Bookshelves, DIY

Does your home have an environment that fosters reading? Our oldest sons room recently had a “book face lift” and he has been reading more books in the past few days than ever before! All it took was a few dollars and simply changing the direction our books faced!

In graduate school, my Masters thesis was on the subject of Increasing Reading Motivation in Children. In my research, almost all of the studies on reading motivation centered around the importance of creating an environment that fosters reading. With that in mind, ever since our big move to Texas, I’ve been dying to better organize my boys books to create a better reading environment in our oldest son’s room, with the goal of encouraging their desire to read. During my browsing on Pinterest months ago, I had come across the idea of rain gutter bookshelves and immediately knew that was exactly what we needed. Covers of books (much more than bindings) are so enticing and are created to be so for a reason; to draw a reader into their story. It’s a shame that books are not displayed with their covers showing in more schools, libraries, and homes. Walking into Big Brother’s room the next morning, I realized that the change had worked. My husband was on the top bunk reading to both boys (my husband later told me that it was our son’s idea to go to his room and read). Both boys have spent considerably more amounts of time in the room ‘reading.’ Big Brother has been so excited to show Little Brother his ‘long lost’ favorite books that seem to have reappeared because now he can actually SEE them. This is exactly what I had intended the rain gutter bookshelves to do!


  • Vinyl Rain-Gutters (usually come in 10ft sections)
  • End cap sets (one set for each shelf)
  • Couplers/corner pieces (optional- needed if you decide to have your shelf turn a corner)
  • Wood screws


  • Hacksaw
  • Drill/screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Stud-finder
  • Level (2ft level works well or if you have a laser level- that would be ideal)


1. Decide how many shelves and where you will put them. Measure out the length of your shelf before buying materials.

2. Find studs along wall at shelf height. (Optional- If you want, using the level, draw a line down along the center of where the stud is in the wall. This will allow you to have your studs lined out for any shelves that may be below another shelf.)

3. Cut the rain gutters to length and attach end caps. (It is important to attach all end caps and couplers prior to mounting on the wall- it is much easier.)

4. Using your level (and probably someone to help hold the gutter up) place gutter on the wall and screw (using wood screws) the gutter into place. Make sure that your screws are in the stud. (If the screws spin after going all the way to the wall, then you’ve missed the stud. Don’t try to unscrew that screw, simple finish attaching the gutter to the wall and go back and insert another screw into the stud near the one that missed.)

5. Repeat for each additional shelf.

6. Enjoy your books and read! :)

(My Little Man knew EXACTLY where every book needed to be placed! šŸ˜‰ )

(Big Brother reading to an anxious listener.)


  1. Nice way to use rain gutter.. Thanks for linking up at friday fun party.. I am pinning this!

  2. That is BRILLIANT!! I love it! I wonder if I can take The Hubby into that…. LOL

  3. Waaay too cool! Way!

    Thanks for hosting the link up. I love this idea too! We’re riding the wave of life at localsugarhawaii.com and I’d love it if you’d join us for the ride– ’cause that would be really awesome… but even more awesome we’re hosting The ALOHA Friday HOP and I know there are so many bloggers who would love to discover your work and your linky party– come join us if ya like– We’d all LOVE it!


  4. Love this idea. It would be fun to spray paint them different colors too. It seems like it would be a lot easier and cheaper than traditional shelving. Looks great!

  5. Wow!!! What a fantastic idea. I love the shelves they look great. Rain gutters look so much prettier as shelves then as rain gutters. LOL These are so cool. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea.

  6. So cool ! I love how simple and clean the shelves look, and I can definitely see how being able to view all of the books would encourage children to read more. No more long-forgotten or misplaced books…LOVE it !!

    Thanks for sharing !

  7. This is genius! What a fantastic idea! Love it! Would love for you to share at the Pomp Party!


    Jill @ Create.Craft.Love.

  8. Rochelle says:

    I found this link on notimeforflashcards. I’ve seen this around a lot and really want to put them in our preschool room. How much did it cost and about how many screws did you need to put in for your shorter shelves. We’re in a rental so I want to keep holes to a minimum.

  9. GREAT idea! Love it! perfect for a playroom, too!! Thanks for linking up with us on “Strut Your Stuff Saturday!” We hope to see you next week! -The Sisters

  10. You are so talented, and in Today’s Saturday Spotlight Talent Show over on Craft-O-Maniac. winks, jen

  11. I absolutely love this idea – I’ve pinned it, I hope that’s ok?!

  12. Love this idea! I just pinned it- thanks for linking up to my party!

  13. Mackenzie, these are some of the best rain gutter shelves I’ve seen {and I have some, too!!}. I love how you spaced them so neatly and how the top one wraps the corner….so cool!! I’m featuring this tomorrow at my party! Thanks so much for stopping by and linking up!

  14. What a great idea! So attractive too!

    Been a reader all my life and am reading to my little grandson now; what a joy :)

  15. did you screw directly through the back of the gutter and into the wall? or did you use some sort of a bracket?

  16. What a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing.

  17. This is the best idea I’ve ever seen for kids books! I can’t wait to do this in my kids rooms!

  18. Oh wow – did he really hold AND install the shelves at the same time? SUPERMAN! Our rain gutter bookshelves kept sliding around on us when we would try to screw them in. It turned out we were using older screws that were a little dull and once we exchanged them for sharper ones it was much better. Your shelves look wonderful!!

  19. Its Nice way to use rain gutter. please suggest me how to make your very own Rain Gutter Bookshelves ?

  20. What a cute idea! I think I’m pretty creative, but I don’t think I would have ever thought of this one, :) And your little guys are just precious. Thanks for sharing.

  21. I just made rain gutter bookshelves as well! My kids LOVE them! I find that they are a great focal point for creating a cozy reading nook. I’ve linked back to your post for detailed instructions on how to make these. Hope you don’t mind! :)

  22. These look great! Quick question: when you attached the end caps did you use glue or just stick them on?
    Thank you!


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