rustic wood bookcase thumb

I absolutely LOOOOVE this rustic backed bookshelf from Karianne at Thistlewood Farms. Why is it that Karianne makes the simplest projects that have huge wow factor. Where I, on the other hand, make something, and by the time my supply list is done I have lost you? She is brilliant – that is why!  And I like to overcomplicate the crap out of everything.  The wood against the stark white is simply stunning and I think one look at this and I am going to do the exact same thing with on of my shelves.  Thanks for the inspiration Karianne.  

rustic wood bookcase

Hi Infarrantly Creative Readers!

I’m KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms and I’m here today with a diy for a rustic wood bookcase.

Can you guess what the back is made of?

Tiny hand-crafted pieces of wood recycled from crates brought over on the Mayflower?

Reclaimed wood from a century-old antique?

Pieces of wood from a historic barn?


Not even close.

They are wood shims.


$3.99 a package at Lowe’s.

You’re welcome. 🙂

rustic wood bookcase diy

Rustic Wood Bookcase Made from Wood Shims


bookcase (at the risk of stating the obvious)

two packages of paint shims

hand saw

wood glue


wood shims

Step 1:

Unpackage the shims and remove the pieces that are too thin or full of giant knot holes.

Next, saw the pieces of shim in half with a hand saw.

This is not an exact science.

I just approximated half-way.

The more different sizes you have….the more Mayflower character you have.

wood shim bookshelf

Step 2:

Start layering the pieces in a brick pattern.

I tried to match up the thin end of the shim next to the thick part of another shim

to give it more architectural interest.

Using wood glue attach the pieces to the back of the bookcase.

Hold in place with painter’s tape until it dries.

wood shim bookcase

Step 3:

Continue until the back of the bookcase is completely filled in with wood shims.

When you reach the edges, cut smaller pieces to fit.

I used the thinner end of the shim and just cut with scissors.

rustic wood bookcase how to

Step 4:

When you are done it should look like this.

Lightly sand any rough edges and wipe off excess glue.

You can also seal it with polyurethane for a more durable finish.

rustic wood bookcase

It took me an afternoon and a little patience to make sure all the pieces fit.

It was so worth it.

I’m sure the Pilgrims wish they would have thought of it. 🙂


And here’s a few more projects from the pages of Thistlewood:


How to Make a Word Find Pumpkin


How To Make a Pallet Wood Letter


Fall Home Tour

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