Step #1: Next
- Comic books are tough to store: the traditional boxes are ugly, and shelving them is super-inconvenient. So, inspired by how they're displayed in stores, I tossed off these simple shelves in just over an hour.
- If you decide to build yourself a set of these shelves (they’d be great for displaying magazines, too!), you don’t necessarily need to have wall or molding abutting the ends—I think they’d work great free-floating or end-to-end on a longer section of wall.
Step #2: Next
- You’ll need (for each section of shelving):
- one 1/4 x 1-inch piece of basswood, 24 inches long (your front slats)
- one 1/2 x 1/2-inch piece of basswood, 24 inches long (your base piece)
- sturdy wire, to the length of your shelf plus about two inches (I used 28-gauge)
- two wood nails, 2- to 3-inches long two wood screws
- Tools required:
- Paint and brushes, if you like. Needle-nose pliers. A small hand saw (if you need to cut wood to length). Hammer. Screwdriver
Step #3: Next
- Cut and paint the wood (about 40 minutes, including drying time).
- I painted the flat slats on all sides, though only the top, front, and bottom will be visible to a casual observer.
- I only painted the top and bottom of the thicker pieces, though only the bottoms will be visible.
- I left the front and back sides unpainted as they will be nailed to the flat slats and the wall.
- If you have a place to do it safely, you could easily use spray paint.
Step #4: Next
- Assemble the shelves (five minutes).
- Position your long nails approximately a half-inch from the end of each slat, a quarter-inch from the bottom of the shelf (that means centered in the thicker base).
- Use my photos as a guide. Drive the nail through the flat piece and nearly all the way into your base piece.
Step #5: Next
- Hang the shelves (5-10 minutes).
- Make sure that the shelves are level, and that there is at least a foot of space between them. Use your tallest comic or magazine as a guide. There should be at least two inches of space between the top of the book and the bottom of the shelf above it.
- Measure twice, bang once: when you’re certain of the positioning, hammer the nails completely thrrough and into the wall.
- If you like, daub some paint over the nail heads to hide them. (Forgive the condition of the walls; my apartment building was built in 1888!)
Step #6: Next
- Hang the wire reinforcements (about 15 minutes).
- Use your needle-nose pliers to create a small loop in the wire, large enough for a wood screw. I experimented with wide-head nails, but trust me on the screws.
- Start a hole by hammering the tip of the screw into the wall six inches above the top of each shelf: high enough to bear weight, but low enough to accommodate “mini” comics.
- Make the wire as snug as you can, using the tension from screwing in the screws to assist.
- Fill the shelves with comics! (Time: as long as it takes to curate.)
- That’s it! You’ve built some seriously impressive-looking custom comic book or magazine shelves in less than two hours.