How to Build Bookshelves Around a Fireplace

Gather storage space around your hearth with these step-by-step instructions.
Sophisticated '80s Inspired Design

Sophisticated '80s Inspired Design

This living room draws from the '80s for its design inspiration, with bright blue walls, bright pink armchairs, a black and white striped sofa, and a black tiled fireplace.

This living room draws from the '80s for its design inspiration, with bright blue walls, bright pink armchairs, a black and white striped sofa, and a black tiled fireplace.

A beautiful focal point deserves a beautiful frame. Put one around your fireplace with this project.

Materials and Tools:

¾-inch birch plywood
¼-inch birch plywood
tape measure
wood glue
wood filler
220-grit sandpaper
orbital sander
primer
paint
TV mount (optional)
table saw
nail gun
staple gun
miter box
jigsaw

Steps:

1. Measure the space and cut the sides, top, bottom and shelves out of ¾-inch plywood. Cut the back piece of the unit out of ¼-inch plywood. In the pictured project, the lower cabinets were made 20 inches deep to accommodate audio-visual components. The upper shelves are 11 inches deep to hold books and decor objects. If arches are desired, trace the shape of the arch on the plywood. Use a jigsaw to cut out the arch.

2. Build the frame for each cabinet by creating a box with the plywood pieces and nailing together. Glue and nail the shelves into the desired places. Attach the back of the unit by nailing into the sides and shelves. Note: Because the cabinets are assembled in sections, they are easier to handle and fit through all doorways.

3. Install the cabinets by screwing through the back into the wall studs. Make sure the base cabinets are level before attaching the top cabinets. If your unit spans the fireplace, make sure the base cabinets are level with each other so that the mantel and the header will be straight.

4. Build the mantel the length of the fireplace and 11 inches deep, and face it with a piece of molding to give the mantel weight.

5. Attach the mantel to the fireplace.

6. Attach the header by nailing it into the bookcases.

7. Apply wood filler to nail holes.

8. Sand the entire piece and paint as desired.

9. If desired, cut a panel out of ¾-inch plywood for mounting a TV between the two bookcases. Install the TV mount by bolting through the mounting holes into the plywood. Leave a hole big enough to run wires to the TV. Install the panel between cabinets, partially covering brick. Make sure it's well-secured to the side cabinets and the mantel. Keep in mind the weight of the TV when installing the panel.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Build an Outdoor Stacked Stone Fireplace

Add fireside ambiance to your backyard with an outdoor fireplace made with stacked stone.

How to Build a French Drain

If you're having problems with standing water in your yard or a leaky basement, improper drainage is the culprit. Fix your water drainage issues once and for all by adding a French drain in just a few short steps.

How to Build a Wood Pergola

Pergolas provide some much needed shade from the summer sun. Learn how to build a pergola with these step-by-step instructions.

How to Improve Your Fireplace

A dated fireplace is dressed up with molding and slate tiles.

How to Build a Retractable Canopy

Control the shade by making your own retractable canopy. Open it up to create a shady retreat or close it to let the sun in.

How to Build a Fire Pit

Embrace one of the hottest outdoor living trends by building a fire pit. Learn what steps to take before getting all fired up.

How to Build an Outdoor Pizza Oven

Add a wood-fire pizza oven to your outdoor kitchen. Learn how to create the base and install it with our step-by-step DIY guide.

How to Build a Home Theater

Want a movie-theater experience in your home? Learn how to build a home theater with step by step instructions from the pros at HGTV.com

On TV

New Orleans Reno

7:30am | 6:30c

Fixer Upper

8am | 7c

Fixer Upper

9am | 8c

Fixer Upper

10am | 9c

Fixer Upper

11am | 10c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

1:30pm | 12:30c

Flip or Flop

2:30pm | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

Desert Flippers

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

Flip or Flop Atlanta

11:30pm | 10:30c

Desert Flippers

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Flip or Flop Atlanta

2:30am | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.