Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gutter Shelves for our Homeschool Room

I decided to try a new system for organizing the books for the kids this year. Since I'm schooling three now, plus I have a toddler, I was kind of freaking out for a few weeks, er months about the upcoming school year. Adding another child to the mix means of course, more resources and definitely figuring out how to organize those books, Cds, magazines, etc.  I saw quite a few photos out there about gutter shelves. I wasn't sure how it would work out, but I am SO incredibly pleased with the look of them, with the small amount of space they take up for what they actually do and with how practical they really are.
We bought two vinyl rain gutters and 4 pairs of the end pieces. It was about $20 for the gutters, total and about $4 per pair of ends. My husband did go back to the store and get the brackets. If you don't use the brackets, the gutters will look misshapen and warped. The brackets actually support the gutter and cause it to be straight throughout the length of it.

My husband pre-drilled holes and fastened the gutters into the studs with screws and I'm glad he did. I ended up putting a lot of books on them and I don't think they would have been supported had he not.

Since we put the brackets on after securing the shelves to the wall, we had to cut the long flap on the back of the brackets so they would slide from the side and into the center of the gutter. If you decide to use the bracket prior to, you could fasten the shelves to the wall with the bracket. We used the bracket simply as reinforcement. Luckily, my husband figured out how to manipulate the bracket (cutting off the long flap) to make it work. Phew.

Have a look to see how we are using ours. I have designated one shelf per child. Our shared resources are on the regular bookshelf. Since we use, our family studies the same core subjects and therefore shares many resources. More to come about the rest of the room.

 You can see the brackets about halfway across. We split the 10 ft gutter in half by sawing it with a simple hacksaw. Then, sanded the edges. Some other blogs say to glue on the end caps, but we didn't do that since the ones we purchased were a snap-fit that had foam that created a good seal. 
 You can fit at least 3 books from front to back. 


Fifi Gee said...

Brilliant idea!! They make the books look organized and tidy.

Anonymous said...

Very cool idea! But if you want to be thriftier, you can make use of old gutters instead. A little nip/tuck would make it look like a brand new shelf. ^___^ Do you have other great projects like this?<3Roslyn Petermann

maliq said...