How to Build a Modern Open Bookshelf {with Drawer!}

I needed a project to share and decided a bookshelf would be simple enough to throw together quickly and be ready to post a new video.

But when my Instagram poll showed a 50/50 split between my two design ideas, I decided to make a series and build both bookcase designs.

In this video, I'm showing how to build an open bookshelf with drawer and I'll show how to build a cabinet style shelf in the next video. So be sure to subscribe and follow along if you aren't already.

You can check out the build plans for this modern bookcase design on my website here:

And you may find these posts helpful in the build process as well:

How to cut your own 2x2s from 2x4s:
How to cut plywood sheets:
How to use a pocket hole jig:
How to edgeband plywood:
How to build and install drawers:

Tools and Materials Used:

Circular saw (cutting guides optional, but helpful):
Miter saw:
Jig saw:
Table saw (optional)
Pocket hole jig:

(1) sheet 3/4" plywood:
(3) 2x4x8 boards:
1/4 sheet 1/4" plywood:
1x scraps to cut legs from
1 1/4", 2", 2 1/2" & 3" wood screws
Timber screws:
1 1/4" pocket hole screws:
2 1/2" pocket hole screws:
Edge banding:
(1) pair 16" ball bearing drawer slides:
Paint & stain as desired

Tree Carcass Mangler - May 22, 2021

That looks great! Looking forward to the alternative version.
Thumbs up and thanks for sharing.

Iris Romeu - May 22, 2021

amazing work, as always, God bless the work of your hands.

    Shara Woodshop Diaries - May 22, 2021

    Thank you! I appreciate it!

pamela mayfield - May 22, 2021

Love the pieces you build.

    Shara Woodshop Diaries - May 22, 2021

    That’s so kind. I appreciate that!

OZYM1 - May 22, 2021

As always, this was a great build. You mentioned how you would have gone with different screws, but I like the screws you used. I initially thought you had built a metal frame and attached wooden shelves for the build. I also really like the color offset between black frame and stained wood. The entire shelf project looks industrial and it looks amazing.

Dave Magariner - May 22, 2021

Shara, I enjoy the builds very much, love that they are simply and basic yet have a real element of design. In the final veiw of the bookcase I think the screw fastners add a nice subtle detail that speaks to it’s construction. I wouldn’t change that. Also the two tone effect for the case is spot on. You do a great job of turning construction grade lumber into furniture for your liviing room!

    rawr 2u - September 5, 2021

    @Shara Woodshop Diaries Agreed, the screws enhance the slightly metallic/industrial look. I can see how cheaper regular screws might nice too, with the painting.

Amauri Alves - May 22, 2021

Parabéns Shara!
Sou brasileiro e adoro seu canal.

    Shara Woodshop Diaries - May 22, 2021

    Thanks so much for watching!!

Jonathan Goad - May 22, 2021

Great job! I actually like the screws, was the first thing I noticed. Thanks for sharing

Mike Colo - May 22, 2021

The two tone may have added a layer of extra work, but I think it was worth it. Almost looks like a metal and wood project. Even though you’re going to rework this into the enclosed version, it definitely stands on it’s own. Nice work!

    Shara Woodshop Diaries - May 22, 2021

    Thank you so much! I agree…the two tone is a pain but really does look nice together! I appreciate your kind words!

    Clickster - May 29, 2021

    I had the same thought re: the black parts looking like metal, which is a super cool aesthetic, I feel. This is a really great piece!

How I Do Things DIY - May 22, 2021

Great book shelf! Simple but elegant and easy for someone to build on their own.

    Shara Woodshop Diaries - May 22, 2021

    Thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed it!

Tim Dyer - May 22, 2021

The book shelf turned out great! I really like the look of it and the colors you picked. Keep up the good work!

    Shara Woodshop Diaries - May 22, 2021

    Thanks so much!! The black and wood was a little time consuming, but worth it as the contrast looks really good I think. Thanks so much for watching!

Jason Thomas - May 22, 2021

Awesome work! Can’t wait to see the next one. Not a fan of what’s trendy myself but enjoyed watching the build process

    Jason Thomas - May 22, 2021

    @Shara Woodshop Diaries I’m sure it will be phenomenal!

Willy's Performance Cycle Center - May 22, 2021

I like the natural shelves and drawer front! They look really well with the open frame. This is a very nice project! I enjoy the simplicity of your designs. Hope you’re having a great weekend Shara!

    Shara Woodshop Diaries - May 22, 2021

    Thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed the video and design! Hope you’re having a great weekend as well!

L rHU - May 22, 2021

6:00 mark…
Is “drug” the past participle/past tense of drag?
*5 minutes of googling later*
Well, the more you know!

Despite voting for the closed look, this looks much nicer than I pictured from the drawings. I’m not saying that I’ve changed my mind, but I’ll let you know next week. Haha.

Thank you for sharing your builds and processes with us!

Tlr Paul - May 23, 2021

Very much like all the projects you share with us !! But I am still hoping you would do some sort of under bed storage shelving or drawers . That would be a great help … never have enough storage ! Lol

Sandra Vukovic - May 23, 2021

I love this one, it’s totally my style. Thanks for sharing!

    Shara Woodshop Diaries - May 23, 2021

    So glad you love it!! Thanks for watching!

Chris Franklyn - May 25, 2021

I like the two tone look a lot and despite me voting for the closed in one I really do like this. I think it would work well in a gallery or a shop/store/showroom where you want to minimise light being blocked out.

    Shara Woodshop Diaries - May 25, 2021

    I agree…my vote was for the other one, but this one is growing on me–I think it turned out better than I imagined in my head. This would be perfect for displays and store fronts!

James Payne - June 3, 2021

I immediately noticed the screws during the intro. I thought they looked fine. They reminded me of the first stereo rack I built where I used 2 in black drywall screws with a nickel finished washer to secure the shelves. Kinda a nice mechanical accent. You do good work.

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