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DIY Vintage Book Facade to Hide Electronics on Our Bookshelf

We’ve been working on improving the bookshelves next to our TV for months now, but there is one final thing that will pull the whole thing together. We finally figured out how to cover our cords and electronics on the shelf so it looks like we have none!

This project turned out really well. You would have no idea that our  WiFi and smart home stuff are sitting on the shelf next to our TV because all you see is cool old books!

Here’s the supplies and tools we needed to do it:

  • Wooden box OR wood plank (5” high X however long it needs to be to cover the space)
  • Saw
  • Wood glue & clamps OR screws and screw gun
  • 10-15 hardback books (amount varies with project size)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Razor blade

We got a wooden storage box at Target and Justin began cutting it apart with his Japanese hand saw. He cut the bottom out and left a few inches on the sides so it could stand up on its own. You could also get a wood plank as long as the area you need to cover and glue or screw short sides on it so it stands alone. The wooden surround should only be about 5” tall so the books are taller than it.

Justin had to attach the sides of the box together since it wasn’t long enough for our area. He used wood glue and clamps.

Now that we have our wooden surround ready its time to add the book spines to it. I had a stack of hardback vintage books that I was willing to part with. Your books don’t have to be vintage, but they should be book spines that you’d like to look at on your shelf. I recommend looking at yard sales or thrift stores for the best deals on books. I also recommend that the colors you choose are neutral or complimentary to each other.

Before you start cutting the covers off your books here’s one tip. Arrange you books in an order that looks best for the space and is the correct length to cover it. This is also the time to move books around, make sure you like how the different heights coordinate and that you like the overall look.

I then stacked the book up next to me and started cutting the spines off with a razor blade. I made sure to get the back, but also a little of the flexible part that curves around the corner of the book. This will look best since the books will have more of a 3D look. I started by hot gluing an uncut book to the side of the surround so you see a full book from the side.

Then I hot glued the individual spines to the wooden surround as I cut them off. I found what worked well was to take a page of one the books and fold it so it fits into the inside spine piece. I first hot glued the paper to the spine then I hot glued the spine to the wood.


From the back you can see the inside of the book spines and the paper rolled in them so they don’t have to be pushed flat against the wood.

Repeat till all the spines are glued to the surround. Add another solid book to the other end. Now check out how it looks in it’s spot!





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