Achieve Bedside Organization With These DIY Book Pockets
Keep books and accessories within reach with this easy bedside organizer.
I made it a personal goal to conquer the messy stack of books strewn beside my daughter’s bed with a simple organizational solution, and… it worked. With a little ingenuity and some simple materials, this storage system hooks onto the headboard to keep books, journals, (and her favorite bedtime lovies) in order – while still being in reach.
- 12” x 36” piece of plywood
- 6’ length of pre-painted trim
- (12) 1/2” screws
- 2-3 over-the-door hooks or curtain rod hooks
- 42” x 12” piece of fabric
- no-sew tape
- chop saw
- circular saw
- cordless drill with 1/16" drill bit for pilot holes, 1/4" for hook holes, and a Phillips-head bit
- assorted clamps and binder clips
I built this storage system to fit into my daughter’s twin size bed frame, and the measurements above reflect that. If you’re looking to build a larger-scale unit, adjust the width to reflect the size of your space.
Begin by cutting your boards to size. Trim the plywood to 36” x 12”. The store where you buy the plywood may be able to cut the wood for you, but keep in mind that they don’t always take the fragility of stain-grade plywood into account, and it is bound to splinter with a rough-saw blade. Use a fine-tooth blade and as an extra precaution if you’re cutting at home, use masking tape to mark both sides of the board on the line you’re going to cut. If you cut through the tape, it’ll help to prevent splintering with any saw blade.
Cut the trim into five pieces:
- 35” length for the bottom (mitered corners optional)
- (4) 10” pieces to be installed vertically (mitered corners on the left and right pieces optional)
Use sandpaper to smooth all edges.
Cut your fabric. This is a no-sew project, so I used an iron-on no-sew seam tape to clean up all four edges.
Align the fabric on top of the cut plywood. You’ll be securing the left and right pieces of trim first, sandwiching the material between the trim and the plywood.
Clamp the trim on the left side and flip the board over. Predrill two holes with the 1/16” drill bit to prevent splitting the trim, and be sure not to drill all the way through the trim. Add screws to the predrilled holes. The screws should go through the plywood, and then through the fabric and into the trim. No extra adhesive will be necessary to hold the fabric in place – a few screws work well. This is a good project if you have extra pieces of trim laying around your workshop. Knowing that your trim might be different than mine, be certain that you select screws long enough to securely hold the two wood layers and the fabric together, but short enough to go through the plywood and into the trim without poking through to the other side.
Do the same to the trim on the right side of the board. It will look like this, with loose fabric in the middle.
This excess fabric is important because it gives your pockets a little bit of flexibility to hold multiple books and accessories.
Measure the distance between the two pieces of trim. Mine was 34-1/2”, and divided into three parts meant that each pocket would be 11-1/2” wide. I made a pencil mark at each 11-1/2” point, so I knew where I would gather fabric and ultimately affix the rest of my trim.
Before you attach the bottom piece of trim, gather the excess fabric and pleat it at the two pencil marks. Use clips to hold this bunched fabric in place.
With the fabric pinched in place, it’s a lot easier to attach the bottom piece of trim. Use screws to attach it at the ends of the board, once again taking the time to predrill through the back of the plywood. Also, predrill and place screws at each point where you’ve pleated the fabric in order to reinforce those overlaps.
Add the two additional pieces of trim aligning over the pleated fabric. Once attached, the three pockets will be clearly distinguished.
If your headboard is narrow enough, you may be able to accommodate over-the-door hooks on which you can hang your organizer. If you need to get creative to accommodate a wider headboard, try using pliers to adjust metal shower curtain hooks. Drill a hole with a wider 1/4" bit to accommodate the hook system you select.
Hook the organizer on the bed, and begin to fill it up!