A-frame bookcase: how to make your own stylish A-frame bookcase from pallets and scaffolding planks

Sharpen up your reading nook or hallway with this A-frame bookcase upcycled from a pallet and scaffolding boards

An A-frame bookshelf

Take your shelfie styling to the next level with this chic yet simple A-frame bookcase, which you can fill with your favourite hardbacks, ornaments and potted plants. Crafted from a pallet and lengths of scaffolding board, this project can be completed in an afternoon and is perfect for a reading corner.

We’ve kept the wood grain on the scaffolding board for contrast to the white frame, but you could paint the whole bookcase in a matching shade to your room or in bright primary colours for a child’s mini library. 

What you need to make an A-frame bookcase

  • Pallet (at least 120cm long)
  • Scaffolding board
  • Hammer
  • Crowbar
  • 20-grit sandpaper
  • Measuring tape 
  • Pencil
  • Handsaw
  • Work bench and clamps
  • Drill and drill bits (larger and smaller than the screwhead) 
  • 28 x 6-8cm screws
  • Scraper 4 Multi-purpose filler
  • Paintbrush
  • Wood paint 
  • Ronseal Natural Oak satin varnish

How to make an A-frame bookcase


Total time:

Step 1

Carefully dismantle the pallet with a hammer and crowbar. Remove all the nails by hammering the pointed ends. Sand the pallet wood and scaffolding board until smooth. Cut the scaffolding board into the following lengths: 45cm, 73cm and 100cm.

Step 2

STEP 2-3
Cut the pallet wood into the following lengths: 4 x 120cm (for the A-frame); 6 x 23cm (for the shelf supports). Using a tape measure and pencil, measure 25mm from the end of a 120cm length up the left-hand side. Draw a line to the opposite corner to create a small triangle and cut off with a saw. Repeat on the other three 120cm lengths.

Step 3

STEP 3 inset

Arrange two of the 120cm lengths into an A-shape with their feet flat against a support. Ensure the two lengths overlap at the top then mark where the two lengths overlap. Cut away the small triangle on the top piece, then the larger shape from the bottom piece so the lengths form one point. Repeat this step with the other two lengths.

STEP 3-3

Step 4

To screw each A-shape together, place them together on a flat surface. Use a drill bit slightly larger than the screwhead to form two shallow countersinks in the side of one of the lengths where they join. Drill a screw into each countersink to secure the lengths together. Repeat with the other A-shape.

Step 5

On each A-shape, measure and mark 5cm, 45cm and 85cm from the base of the A-shape and use a set square to draw a line across the wood. From the inside edge of the A-shape, mark each line at 1cm. This will be the corner point for each shelf support. Repeat on each of the marked lines on the A-frame.

Step 6


Place a long offcut or a spirit level across an A-shape to connect one of the marked points to its counterpart. Place a shelf support against this edge and draw around it. Measure 1cm down from the top and up from the bottom of the guidelines to mark the screw fixings. Repeat on the other five shelf support locations on both A-shapes. Use a drill bit smaller than the screw diameter to drill pilot holes into each of the screw fixing points. Hold a shelf support in the required location and screw it in with a drill. Repeat with the other five supports, then attach the second A-frame on top, aligning the screw fixing holes with the shelf supports.


Step 7

Using a decorator’s scraper and filler, fill the holes and scrape the surface to make it flush with the wood. Leave to fully dry then sand. Paint the A-frame in your preferred shade, we’ve used white for a Scandi feel. Leave to dry, then recoat if needed. Varnish the scaffolding board lengths and leave to completely dry.

Step 8

Lay each scaffolding board onto the shelf supports in the A-frame. Shelf fixings shouldn’t be required but avoid overloading either end to prevent the shelf tipping.



Project and steps photos Luke Green Main photo Dave Caudery Styling Beth Charlton Lucas and Thea Jeffreys

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