Girls’ Room: Acrylic Bookshelves & a Library Wall

We are all about books in this house. I grew up being read lots and lots of books, Liv LOVES to hear stories and to pull books down from her shelves to flip through and I hope that Taylor will be as keen on them one day as well. This weekend we installed an awesome library wall for the girls to display, organize and encourage book play and I’m super happy with how it turned out.

Acrylic Bookshelves Library Wall |

And how about that acrylic? Oh it makes the design part of my brain happy.

It’s really fun to see Liv take so much pride in arranging her books and choosing which to read before naps, bedtime and in between. Previously books were stacked on a bookshelf or in a basket next to our rocker, now titles (and front covers) are easily found and stored. Acrylic is a trend I’m willing to keep around for a long, long while.

Acrylic Bookshelves Library Wall |

Those acrylic bookshelves are actually card ledges built for card stores (like Hallmark). I believe I first learned of this awesome to-the-card-store-trade resource from Emily Henderson, but I can’t seem to find the original post where she recommended them. Regardless, if you love the look of acrylic you will love this online store, which is much cheaper than the acrylic bookshelves made for this very purpose… (I think I’m going to get some neat clear boxes to hold blocks, art supplies, etc off of Amazon next). I purchased the 36″ versions though they range from 16-48″.

Acrylic Bookshelves Library Wall |

Liv sporting her nana’s spectacles during an impromptu dress-up moment while reading her books. After about 2 seconds she told us that she was going to put them down on her nose so that she could ‘see’ the pictures.

I’d love to eventually cover this floor area with soft cushions and maybe a pouf to create a little reading lounge.

Acrylic Bookshelves Library Wall |

These guys were not hard to install and I was planning on tackling the project this week while the girls were napping, but my family came to visit for the weekend and my awesome dad stepped in to help.

At first it was a family affair…

Acrylic Bookshelves Library Wall |

Once we decided how far off of the ground, how far apart each shelf should be, where on the wall to hang… dad knocked the project out.

Acrylic Bookshelves Library Wall |

A little tip I’ve learned over the years: if you have plaster walls like ours (and even better, lath and plaster walls built in the 1930s) and you’re installing your own clear bookshelves (or picture frames, etc), you’re going to want to make sure you anchor each and every screw that you drill in.

Anchors come in many forms but often they look a bit like this:

Acrylic Bookshelves Library Wall |

After marking your drill points on the wall with a pencil, drill a hole that is just a hair smaller than the anchor. Insert anchor as if you were plugging up the hole (tap gently with a hammer if necessary) and screw the metal screw directly into the anchor. Measure out next shelf and repeat!

Acrylic Bookshelves Library Wall |

Bah, I love it. It’s so fun and I’m so happy it encourages more reading.

Acrylic Bookshelves Library Wall |

Even reading on a rocking horse if that’s your thing.

PS More nursery transformation posts here.

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  1. Layla says

    I love this idea, thank you for sharing. Need your opinion on these clear book shelves.
    Is there a reason why you did not use the regular acrylic book shelves and used the J shelves instead?
    I ordered the regular book shelves, I did not realize they are 3.5 inches deep instead of the J shelves that are 2″ deep.
    Company return policy is not that great, so I’m pretty much stuck with what I got. However, I don’t mind ordering the J shelves and use these somewhere else in the house, but I thought I better ask your opinion.
    Thank you so much!

    • says

      Hi Layla, You know, I don’t think they offered the 3.5″ ones when I was shopping for the girls’ room back when. You might be able to fit quite a few more books on your wall! The weight of the books could be of some concern, or the books might be more inclined to ‘flip’ out of the shelves by leaning forward if they’re not properly tucked away (my girls tend to just stuff books into our shelves) but I would love to hear how your experience goes! We have amassed quite the library and I’m wishing these days that I could fit more books on our book wall :).

      • says

        I just checked on the dimensions – the 3.5″ shelf has a 2″ lip and the 2″ shelf has a 2 3/4″ lip. That bigger lip might be helpful in the long run.

  2. Jenny says

    I’ve been thinking of buying these shelves for our nursery because the price is so good! They look beautiful. I noticed on the site that they don’t come with hardware – did you find that the necessary hardware was tough to find? (As you can tell, I am the least handy person ever!!)

    • says

      Jenny, I’m so sorry for the late reply! Just seeing this comment :). I am trying to remember if the shelves came with screws and drywall anchors – and I can’t remember! Very simple to find at the hardware store though if they don’t.

      • Sandra says

        Did you find there was a weight limit? The books aren’t too heavy for the shelf? These look awesome and I would love to order some!

        • says

          Hi Sandra, the shelves are still holding up well! The girls don’t pull or hang from them so that helps. Work great with our books.

  3. says

    Thanks for the tip of where to find these shelves affordably!! I will be using other items from the store for storage above changing table, etc…. Endless possibilities.

  4. Lauren says

    Thanks so much for this post, I’ve been looking for affordable acrylic bookshelves! These look great and I can see she can easily reach the books. How far off the ground is the lowest shelf and how far apart are they? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Lauren! The shelves are about 12″ off of the ground and roughly 12-14″ apart. We just measured using one of Liv’s taller books to judge appropriate size so that most of her collection would fid.

  5. Amy Allen says

    I am so glad I found your blog! We’d like to do this in our daughter’s nursery, how far apart vertically did you put the shelves?

  6. Faye says

    Hi, I love the clear look for holding books. That way, children can see the whole illustration of the book. Do you think these shelves are durable enough for a home daycare???

    • says

      Hi! Ours have held up really well despite much pulling and cramming on my three-year-olds part :), they’d probably do okay with lots of kids!

      • Faye says

        Sounds like the shelves will be okay to use. With a licensed home daycare in my state, we can only provide care for up to 6 children at one time, so the use won’t be too much. Thanks a bunch for the response!

  7. Genny says

    Love this idea so much! I came across your blog from googling Acrylic Shelves. I love they come in different lengths!
    Great blog
    Thank you!

  8. says

    I love these shelves!! I found your post a few weeks ago when I did a search for acrylic book shelves…I’m so glad I did because thanks to your post I bought the same shelves that you did and I love them! I posted about them today on my blog and linked back to you since you’re the reason I found where to buy them in the first place. :) So thanks!! And here’s the post:

    • says

      Hi Jaime, so far so good! Liv isn’t prone to hanging on the shelves but I imagine that some kids might and then I bet the size of screws we have wouldn’t hold it.

  9. Trish says

    Liv with pigtails!!!! i LOVE it! Not to mention the shelves look cute too! :-)

  10. Anna (My Design Ethos) says

    Such a lovely project Morgan and I love the acrylic as an alternative to the rain gutter options I’ve seen around!

  11. says

    I love this idea so much. Our boys have quite the collection of books and they often lay in piles or in bins. I like that you can see the covers so you don’t have to pull out a million books to get to the ones you love.

  12. says

    Gorgeous! I desperately wanted to put acrylic shelving in T’s “big girl” room, but they were far too expensive. Actually, this post is giving me an idea for a possible book solution in the nursery. (P.S. – LOVE the pic of Liv with the glasses. Simply adorable)

  13. Lauren Miller says

    These are amazing! We also have plaster walls from a house built in the 30’s, so the anchor is a great tip. :)

  14. says

    I love it! I might have to do that in my daughter’s room or in another room for magazines (think bathroom or office).

    • says

      Good question! I’ll add that to the post. I ended up purchasing 30″ but I think I could have gotten away with 36″ :).


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