Several years ago I made a bookshelf out of old louver doors and a few wooden boards. The poor thing has been dismantled and repainted three times and you'll probably notice in the photos that it needs yet another coat of paint. We're currently remodeling this room and the bookshelf was put up in a hurry to get the books out of storage. Taking it apart, painting it, and putting it back together is probably going to be on my honey-do list this summer!
This bookshelf is really easy to make and can be free if you have some old doors lying around. The louvers in these doors were about 12 inches wide, just right for the scrap 6-foot shelving boards I had in my woodpile. You can use any size doors to fit your purpose. You’ll just need to match up the boards you use as shelves to the width of the louvers.
Using metal brackets, I joined a pair of matching doors to a board cut to the same height. This created the back of the bookshelf. If you only have one set of louvers, you can use an old solid door or leftover lumber for the back. I left the hinges on the doors and just created the sides of the bookshelf by bringing the left and right panels around toward me. Make sure to position the doors so that they swing in the same direction to make the back and sides before joining them. Then secure one of your shelving boards to the top of the doors. Using wood screws to fasten the top board will make it easier to dismantle if you need to later. Also, I think screws make the shelf sturdier than nails would.
Once the back, sides and top are stable, you’ll need to knock out opposing louvers on the left and right sides so that you can slide your boards through to create the shelves. I used a hammer and a large screwdriver, but you can use a small saw if you have one. After the louvers are out, sand the area smooth and just slide in the boards to create your shelves. If you are going to paint the bookshelf, it’s easier to paint the boards before placing them.
That’s all there is to it! An easy, one day project to re-purpose old louver doors into a useful and attractive shelving unit.