Over the weekend, Hannah, my daughter, was upstairs in her room cleaning when suddenly I heard a loud crash and her scream. Sprinting up the stairs and nearly colliding with our huge cat, Carter, I arrived to find magazines, books and pictures scattered everywhere, along with her stereo receiver and cable box upside down in the all the rubble.

What happened??? She explained that as she was trying to shoo Carter away from the fish bowl he freaked out, darted away from her, and jumped onto the flimsy bookcase, pulling it down.

Lifting the crumpled bookcase and steadying the receiver, I decided the frail piece of furniture had to go! So, off to Target we went to pick out a new one. I agreed to get whichever one she wanted as long as she agreed to put it together.

With the help of some friends, we got the bookcase upstairs and Hannah began taking all the parts out of the box. Spreading them out on the floor and grabbing the instructions, she went to work. If you’re considering building a bookcase from scratch, don’t hesitate to watch our detailed DIY bookcase tutorial which is designed to empower beginners and offers step-by-step instructions and valuable insights for a successful project.

                    Hannah ready to tackle assembling her new bookcase!

The nice thing about the bookcase was that it required very simple tools so Hannah wasn’t intimidated. The hardware was pretty simple as well. Inserting the cams into the holes on the side, Hannah made sure that the arrow on each cam was pointed towards the outside edge of the pieces.

Once the cams were all in place, the dowels were inserted in each cam and locked in place with a Phillips head screwdriver to create a nice, tight fit.

                Inserting the cams                             Locking the dowels in place

Now that the sides were ready, it was time to align and tighten down the two bottom shelves that would serve as the drawer compartment. This was a bit tricky for Hannah to do on her own, so I helped steady the side while she tightened the cam to draw the two pieces together. Moving to the top of the bookcase, Hannah aligned the top shelf and locked it into place.

            Attaching the bottom and top shelves to the sides of the bookcase

Turning the bookcase over, Hannah attached the back panel with the tiny brad nails. Since the back panel had a cutout for TV and stereo cables, she had to make sure the panel lined up perfectly with the frame before nailing it down.

            Nailing on the back panel                         Assembling the drawers

Next came assembling the drawers. She was almost there and still had a smile on her face! I was impressed!

After sliding the drawer into place and installing the two remaining shelves, Hannah jumped up and down, twisting in a sort of jig at her accomplishment!

Here is the finished bookcase with all her things back in place! I am so proud of Hannah. This is really the first project she has taken on by herself. There just might be a future in home improvement for her yet!

This is only an overview of the main steps involved in assembling a bookcase from a kit. The actually procedure will vary depending on the brand of bookcase you purchase, so be sure to read the instructions that come with it thoroughly.

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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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