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DIY Cloth Bookshelf

Posted on May 8, 2014 by in $10 DIY, DIY Montessori | 5 comments

This DIY cloth bookshelf was made out of an old shoe rack and a body pillowcase! Can you believe it? It is a Montessori inspired bookshelf.

DIY Cloth Bookshelf

I needed a more kid friendly and accessible bookshelf for Luke and Julia. With that in mind, I created a Montessori inspired bookshelf. The total cost for this project was just $10.00, what a bargain! The beat part was it only took me 10 minutes to make!

Wooden Shoe Rack ($6.00, Goodwill, they seem to always have these type of racks)
Body Pillow Pillowcase (Free if you use your own body pillow pillowcase)
HeatnBond Ultrahold ($4.00, Michael’s)
Ironing Board

An old shoe rack can be repurposed to make a cloth bookshelf.

Old Shoe Rack

Start with removing the shoe divider. I am saving my divider for a future project.

Nautical body pillow repurposed to make a cloth bookshelf.

Nautical Body Pillow

Next, find your old body pillow pillowcase or stop by a local thrift store to score a pillowcase for cheap! I absolutely loved the dark blue and white striped pillowcase and thought it would go great with Luke’s nautical nursery. Before you start the project, iron the pillowcase.

Iron and Heatbonding material replace sewing

Iron and HeatnBond Material

HeatnBond applied to the back of the pillowcase.

HeatnBond applied to the back of the pillowcase.

Can you believe a pillowcase can be used to make a bookself?

Weave the pillowcase through the spokes.

You might be wondering, how do I attach the pillowcase to the wooden shoe rack? Because the weight of the books will pull on the fabric, weaving it in between the wooden rods will not be enough. The solution, HeatnBond Ultrahold iron-on adhesive!

Flip your pillowcase over so the plain side is facing up. Cut a 12 inch wide strip of the HeatnBond Ultrahold. You want the length of the iron-on adhesive to span the length of your pillowcase. Place the paper lined side of the HeatnBond on the pillowcase facing up towards you. When placing my strip, I kept in mind the stripe pattern on the reverse side and how I wanted it to fall on the rods.

With your iron set on a medium heat, place and hold the iron on the paper lining for 2 seconds. Repeat across the entire length of the strip of lining. Carefully peel back the paper lining. Weave the pillowcase with the pattern facing out through the rods to create two cloth shelves. Depending on your child’s age, reach, and their books, vary the depths of the shelves.

If there are exposed rods that you did not utilize, remove them by applying pressure to one of the wooden ends to pop the rods out. After you removed the rods, just push the ends to secure the remaining rods.

Iron and HeatnBond

Ironing the HeatnBond replaces difficult sewing.

Once you have adjusted the shelves and removed the rods, fold the fabric with the iron-on adhesive over the rod. Holding a towel behind the back of the fabric so you do not burn yourself, iron the two sides of fabric together. The iron-on strip will adhere to both sides of fabric. Let the adhesive cool before adding books.

A Montessori inspired bookshelf makes it easy for children to get to their books.

The finished product, a cloth bookshelf!

Add your child’s books and place the cloth bookshelf in an accessible area where they are free to explore and learn!


  1. I love this idea! and it’s versatile enough for any room, too!

  2. This is awesome! Pinning! Found you on Inspired Bloggers Network today!

  3. pls i would love a reply. how long do you think a mom should stay at home upon the birth of a set of twins or how long would you recommend and what other things can she be doing at home.

    • Hi there, I would love to give you a definitive answer, but I cannot. It really is up to the individual to decide how long the mom is able or willing to stay at home. My husband and I decided that for our family, having me stay at home was the best choice. Also, financially it would have been too expensive to have childcare for the twins. My paycheck would go right towards childcare. As far as other means to help provide while staying home, I blog, refinish furniture and sell the items, and I sell Mary Kay. I would love to answer any other questions or just to chat with you. You can get ahold of me by email at

  4. Genius! I love this idea, and will be copying soon. Thanks for posting.


  1. 35 Top Posts from the Inspired Bloggers Network | Le Chaim (on the right) - […] DIY Cloth Bookshelf by DIY Mom of Twins […]

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