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Easy Comic Book or Magazine Shelves

Build some seriously impressive-looking wall-mounted custom comic book or magazine shelves in less than two hours and spend less than $10.

Steps

Step #1:

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Easy Comic Book or Magazine Shelves
  • 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:

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Easy Comic Book or Magazine Shelves
  • 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:

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Easy Comic Book or Magazine Shelves
  • 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:

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Easy Comic Book or Magazine ShelvesEasy Comic Book or Magazine ShelvesEasy Comic Book or Magazine Shelves
  • 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:

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Easy Comic Book or Magazine ShelvesEasy Comic Book or Magazine ShelvesEasy Comic Book or Magazine Shelves
  • 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:

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Easy Comic Book or Magazine ShelvesEasy Comic Book or Magazine ShelvesEasy Comic Book or Magazine ShelvesEasy Comic Book or Magazine Shelves
  • 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.

Step #7:

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Easy Comic Book or Magazine ShelvesEasy Comic Book or Magazine ShelvesEasy Comic Book or Magazine Shelves
  • 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.

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