How to Make a Sling Bookshelf

By Jessica Westover

A sling bookshelf is simply a folded piece of fabric held up by rods. Store books in the bookshelf by placing them into the fabric fold. If made and installed correctly, a sling bookshelf will be strong enough to hold multiple books and will last over time. Choose fabric for the sling bookshelf that will coordinate with the color scheme and decor of the room it is to be hung in. Make multiple sling bookshelves to decorate a wall and hold your book collection.

List of Items Needed

  • 1 1/4 yard fabric
  • Iron
  • Yardstick
  • Fabric pencil
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • 2 wooden dowels or curtain rods
  • Rotary tool with cutting accessories
  • Level
  • Drill
  • 2 double curtain rod brackets
  • Screws
  1. Wash 1 1/4 yards of fabric to preshrink it. Dry the fabric, then iron it to smooth out all wrinkles.

  2. Lay the fabric on a flat surface. Measure two rectangles, 35 inches by 15 inches with a yardstick. Mark your measurements with a fabric pencil. Cut out the two rectangles with a pair of scissors.

  3. Lay the two rectangles, right sides together, on a flat surface. Match up and pin the edges together with straight pins. Sew a 1/2-inch seam around all four edges with a sewing machine, removing the pins as you come to them. Leave a 5-inch portion of one of the shorter sides open.

  4. Turn the fabric right side out by pulling it through the 5-inch opening. Turn the open edges inward 1/2 inch and sew them closed. Top stitch along all four edges of the rectangle to strengthen the seams. Clip all loose threads.

  5. Lay the rectangle out flat and fold over the top lengthwise edge by 1 inch. Pin along the fold to hold it in place. Repeat this on the bottom lengthwise edge. Sew along the edges of the folded portions to create casings for the rods of the bookshelf. Remove the pins and clip any loose threads.

  6. Slip a wooden dowel or curtain rod that is 3 feet long into each casing. Center the rods so 1 inch is exposed on either end of the fabric sling. If you need to cut the dowel or curtain rod down to size, you can use a rotary tool fitted with a cutting accessory to trim the sections to length.

  7. Use a stud finder to find two studs, 35 inches apart. Mark these locations with a pencil and use a level to ensure that the markings are even. Position a double curtain rod bracket over one of the markings and screw it to the wall with a drill. Attach the second bracket at the second mark in the same manner.

  8. Bring the dowels or rods together causing the fabric to fold beneath them. Slip the ends of the dowels or rods into the notches in the brackets. Place books into the resulting fabric pocket.

© Demand Media 2011