Make Your Own DIY Transforming Fancy Bookshelf

Stop! Don't spend your money on a new bookshelf, make your own transforming one instead.
Christopher McFadden

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Do you need a new fancy bookshelf that will make your friend and family supremely jealous? Instead of scouring the internet for a likely candidate, why not consider making your own, amazing, transforming one?

Check out this simple guide to find out how. 

diy transforming bookshelf complete
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Tools and materials needed

Like any project of this nature, you will need some tools and materials to get you started. 

For reference, the central-most box will be fixed to the wall, and the other eight "cells" of the bookshelf will do move to transform the entire bookshelf. More on that later.

Step 1: Cut your wood

The first step is to take your wooden sheet and cut it into lengths using a table saw, as shown in the video. No dimensions are given, so you will have to guestimate. 

diy transforming bookshelf cut sheets
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Next, cut the planks into 36 equally sized squares, a shown in the video. 

diy transforming bookshelf squares
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Now, drill equally spaced holes along the one edge of each panel. Make three holes, one in each corner, and one in the middle, along a line half the thickness of the wood from one of the edges of 18 of the pieces.

These will form the top and bottom of each of the bookshelf square units. Watch the video for more details.

diy transforming bookshelf holes
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 2: Build the bookshelf boxes

Next, start to make the bookshelf boxes by gluing them together, as shown in the tutorial. Using masking tape to prevent excess glue from spilling over onto the exposed wooden faces. 

Clamp securely together, and screw the pieces together through the pilot holes you made earlier. With wooden pieces securely screwed together, you can now remove the clamps and move on to the next box unit. 

diy transforming bookshelf cells
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Fill the screw holes with wood glue, and gently knock in suitably sized dowels. 

diy transforming bookshelf fill holes
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

These will be used to join the boxes together later. Rinse and repeat for all 9 box units. 

diy transforming bookshelf boxes
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Next, cut off the excess pieces of the dowels to leave a flush surface. Sand down and buff, as needed. 

diy transforming bookshelf sanding
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 3: Paint the boxes

Next, paint all faces of the boxes in your desired color. In this case, the creator has chosen matt black. Use a mixture of hand painting and spray paints, as needed.

diy transforming bookshelf paint
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Once dry, sand down the exposed edges of each box, if you want to add some contrast to each box element.

diy transforming bookshelf sand boxes
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 4: Add the hinges

Now it is time to begin adding the hinges that will allow the bookshelf to transform. Starting with the central-most box unit, screw two hinges to each, as shown.

With these in place, begin to attach the other box units, as shown. 

diy transforming bookshelf hinges
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Secure the next four boxes to the corners of the centermost box first. Then, move to the outermost final four boxes, as shown. For the last four boxes, do not add hinges to the opposing sides of the box to the central-most box.

See the image below, or watch the video for more details. 

diy transforming bookshelf secure together
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 5: Test the bookshelf

With that complete, test the mechanism to make sure it works smoothly. You may need to do a little adjusting to ensure the boxes tessellate properly once in their "square" configuration. 

Step 6: Hang the bookshelf

With that, your transforming bookshelf is effectively complete. Now, just affix the central box to wherever you want the bookshelf to be. 

Ensure you have enough space above, below, and around the bookshelf to allow it to open up. 

diy bookshelf fix to wall
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

With that complete, you can now begin to add books, and other items, to your amazing transforming bookshelf. Obviously, don't add any pot plants, fragile items, or items with liquids in them to the outer cubes as they will be rotated as you open the bookshelf. 

The build should be stable enough to open up incompletely. This will require a balance between the cubes on either side, however. 

Experiment to find out the perfect look for your own bookshelf. 

Finally, simply stand back and enjoy your handy work! Well done you. 

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