Creating Comfy Reading Spaces: DIY Rain Gutter Book Shelf for Kid’s Beds

We put up a vinyl rain gutter book shelf along the wall of Luke’s twin loft bed about a year ago and it has been a huge hit!  He loves to read in bed.


Now that Lilah is getting a little older, we just added a shelf in her room this week!  She LOVES it! 

The shelves are relatively easy to assemble and put up.  Of course I can say this because DH is the one who did all the work! 😉  Thanks, honey!!



Here’s a breakdown of what we paid for one shelf:
+ $7 for a 10′ gutter section (vinyl, not metal!)
+ $3 for end caps (x2)
+ $3 for brackets (x2)
+ <$1 for 2 screws
~$20 for one shelf

The bedside shelf is great for so many reasons:

  • At ~$20, it’s relatively inexpensive if you’ve priced shelving lately.
  • It runs the entire length of a twin bed, so it holds a TON of books, and it holds them well because of the gutter’s shape.  This puts a lot of books right at your child’s fingertips!
  • It allows the book covers to face forward, which is the best way to attract a reader’s attention.  
  • It makes it easy for the kids’ to access their books in their loft bed without having to climb up and down to exchange books.
  • It keeps the books off of the bed and stored neatly, so stacks of books aren’t constantly sliding off onto the floor. 
  • Another plus if your child is potty training is that books won’t be left all over the bed (ideally speaking) in case of an accident!  I try to get L&L to take off only one book at a time and then replace it.

Another plus of making this rain gutter book shelf is that we only used 80″ of the 10′ shelf, so we also have another ~40″ that the kids can use as an outdoor ramp for their balls or cars.

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • What type of gutter did you use? Vinyl or metal?

  • Definitely vinyl! I’ll add that into the post! 🙂

  • Lindsay says:

    Love the look of these but didn’t have the right space for them. But I love the idea to do it around the bed. I love their beds!! Where did you get them?

  • @Lindsay — Thanks! We got them both off of Craigslist! Luke’s is a twin over twin that we have modified to be a low loft; it’s made by Flexa. Lilah’s is supposedly an older Pottery Barn model. Hers has curtains that go around the bottom, too, but she actually uses the underneath space more without them on there.

  • Lora says:

    What an awesome idea! I’d have to do it myself DH doesn’t do household “chores” lol. Hmm… wonder if I could!

  • Anonymous says:

    I love this idea, my daughter takes a ton of books with her to bed and they usually end up falling between the wall and bed.

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  • […] Creating Comfy Reading Spaces: DIY Rain Gutter Book Shelf for Kid’s Beds […]

  • Your prices are what we found too! We just attempted these DIY shelves last weekend and it turned out SO well. You did an awesome job!!

  • Sarah says:

    how did you cut it to size?

  • Jamie says:

    I love how this is becoming a popular idea, I will definitely be recommending to friends and family.

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