Fun Tree-Shaped Bookshelf: 9-Step Educational Project

tree-shaped bookshelf
Build your own tree-shaped bookshelf!

Many children love to either read books or have stories read to them. This can be a great way for them to learn new things, expand their imagination, and just have fun. Reading is also a great way to bond with your child and can be a calming activity before bedtime. There are so many benefits to reading with your child, so make sure to carve out some time each day to enjoy a book together.

One way to encourage your children to read is by investing in fun and functional tree-shaped bookshelf. This will help them to see reading as a fun activity, and they will be more likely to engage in it. By having their very own place to store their books, they will feel ownership over their reading material and be more likely to take care of it. Plus, it will be easier for them to keep track of their books and find them when they want to read them again.

If you’re looking for a creative way to upgrade your child’s bookshelf, why not try building a tree-shaped bookshelf? This unique bookshelf design will add a touch of whimsy to your child’s room, and it’s a fun project that you can do together. This type of bookshelf is not only visually appealing, but it’s also a great way to encourage your child to read more. Plus, it’s a project you can easily do with some basic woodworking skills.

While these tree-shaped bookshelves can add a touch of elegance to any room, they come with a hefty price tag – often costing upwards of $1,000. For many people, this is simply too much to spend on a bookshelf. However, there are ways to get a similar look for a fraction of the price.

If you’re not interested in spending that much money, you can try a few DIY options. With a little bit of creativity and elbow grease, you can easily create your own tree-shaped bookshelf that will be sure to impress your guests.

Tree Shaped Bookshelf

Want to learn how to build a tree-shaped bookshelf? You can find the step-by-step tutorial, including plans below.

Building a Tree-Shaped Bookshelf


  • 4 sheets of 3/4″ PureBond Plywood
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint/Finish
  • Anti-Tip Kit


  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Sander
  • Wood Clamps
  • Safety Gear


Step 1: Design Your Tree

Begin by sketching the design of your tree on one of the plywood sheets. Consider the size of the shelf and ensure it fits the intended space in your home. Your tree can be as simple or detailed as you like, with branches that will serve as shelves.

Step 2: Cut Out the Tree Shape

Using a jigsaw, carefully cut out the tree shape from the plywood. This piece will serve as your template for the remaining sheets. Remember to wear your safety gear to protect against dust and potential splinters.

Step 3: Trace and Cut Additional Layers

Place your template on top of the next sheet of plywood, trace the shape, and then cut it out with the jigsaw. Repeat this process for all four sheets of plywood. These layers will add thickness and strength to your bookshelf.

Step 4: Sand the Edges

Smooth out all the edges of your cut pieces with a sander or sandpaper. This step is crucial for preparing the wood for assembly and ensuring a clean, professional finish.

Step 5: Assemble the Bookshelf

Apply wood glue along the edges of one tree-shaped plywood piece and align it with another piece on top. Use wood clamps to hold the pieces together firmly as the glue dries. Repeat this process until all four pieces are glued together.

Step 6: Fill Gaps

Once the glue has dried, check for any gaps or seams between the plywood layers. Use wood filler to fill these in, then sand down the filled areas once dry, ensuring a smooth, uniform surface.

Step 7: Apply Paint or Finish

Apply your chosen paint or finish to the tree-shaped bookshelf. You might need several coats to achieve the desired look, allowing sufficient drying time between each coat as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 8: Secure the Bookshelf

For safety, especially in a child’s room, use the drill to install the anti-tip kit. Secure the bookshelf to the wall to prevent it from tipping over.

Step 9: Add Books and Enjoy

Once the paint or finish is completely dry and the bookshelf is securely attached to the wall, it’s time to arrange your books on the branches of your new tree-shaped bookshelf.

Benefits of a Personalized Reading Space for Children

Creating a personalized reading space for children is more than just an aesthetic addition to their room; it’s a step toward cultivating a lifelong love for reading and learning. A tree-shaped bookshelf, in particular, offers a unique and imaginative focal point that can inspire children to explore the world of books. 

Here’s why incorporating a tree-shaped bookshelf into your child’s personalized reading space can be beneficial.

Fosters a Love for Reading

The enchanting design of a tree-shaped bookshelf transforms a child’s room into a magical forest of stories, waiting to be explored. This imaginative setup does more than just store books; it beckons children into the enchanting world of reading. The visual appeal of the bookshelf, with its branches stretching out like invitations to adventure, naturally attracts children’s curiosity.

It symbolizes a tree of knowledge, rich with fruits of wisdom ready to be picked. This engaging environment makes children view reading as not a mandatory task but a delightful journey into imagination and discovery. Encouraging children to choose their books from this whimsical bookshelf reinforces the idea that reading is a personal and enjoyable activity, significantly increasing their likelihood to engage with books regularly.

Enhances Accessibility to Books

The strategic design of a tree-shaped bookshelf, with its branches lowered to a child-friendly height, ensures that books are within easy reach. This accessibility is crucial in nurturing a child’s independence in their reading journey. It allows them the freedom to select whatever piques their interest at the moment, making reading a choice rather than an obligation.

Such autonomy is empowering, giving children a sense of control over their learning and entertainment. The ease with which they can grab a book and settle into a cozy reading nook directly influences their enthusiasm for reading. This accessibility makes reading more appealing and supports the development of a steady reading habit, laying the groundwork for a lifetime of literary exploration.

Promotes Organizational Skills

Beyond its aesthetic and motivational benefits, a tree-shaped bookshelf is a practical tool for teaching organizational skills. This isn’t just about keeping books neat; it’s about instilling a sense of responsibility and care for one’s belongings. Children learn the importance of categorization and order by assigning specific branches for different genres or reading levels.

This methodical approach to organizing their books can translate into other aspects of their lives, fostering a mindset that values tidiness and structure. Children develop critical thinking and decision-making skills as they decide where each book belongs on their tree-shaped bookshelf. This hands-on experience with organization teaches them to appreciate and maintain a clutter-free and inviting reading space, enhancing their reading experience and overall well-being.

Offers a Personal Sanctuary

A personalized reading space with a tree-shaped bookshelf can become a sanctuary for children. It offers them a sense of ownership and a private retreat to immerse themselves in stories. This personal space is crucial for children’s development, providing them with a quiet place to reflect, imagine, and grow.

Encourages Bonding and Learning

Finally, a tree-shaped bookshelf can be a center for bonding over books. Parents and children can select books together to fill the branches, and it can be a special spot for shared reading sessions. This interaction not only strengthens family bonds but also enhances language skills and comprehension in children.

Incorporating a tree-shaped bookshelf into a child’s room is more than a decorative decision; it’s an investment in their educational journey and personal growth. Such a bookshelf symbolizes the growth of knowledge and creativity, offering a nurturing environment for young readers to flourish.

Click on any image to start the lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox.8-)

Incorporating Educational Elements

Integrating a tree-shaped bookshelf into your child’s room goes beyond mere aesthetics; it opens up a world of educational opportunities. This unique piece of furniture can become a cornerstone of learning, creativity, and exploration. 

By thoughtfully incorporating educational elements into your tree-shaped bookshelf, you transform it into more than just a place to store books; it becomes a dynamic learning hub.

Cultivating Thematic Exploration

The design of a tree-shaped bookshelf naturally lends itself to thematic exploration, with its branches offering distinct areas for various topics. Organizing books according to themes that resonate with your child’s curiosities and interests allows you to turn each branch into a gateway to a new world. 

Imagine dedicating one branch exclusively to the mysteries of space, where children can reach for books that take them on journeys through the stars and planets. Another branch could become a menagerie of animal books, from wild African safaris to the ocean’s depths, sparking a love for nature and biology.

For a touch of magic and wonder, a branch filled with fairy tales and fantasy stories can transport children to lands filled with dragons, princesses, and mythical creatures. This thematic arrangement makes finding books more straightforward and visually segments knowledge into manageable, exciting categories. 

As children grow and their interests evolve, these themes can easily be updated or rotated, making the tree-shaped bookshelf a dynamic and adaptable educational tool.

Interactive Learning Zones

The versatility of a tree-shaped bookshelf extends beyond its capacity to hold books. By integrating interactive learning zones, you enhance its functionality and appeal. 

Attaching a small chalkboard or magnetic board to the side of the bookshelf transforms it into an active learning station. Here, children can engage in spelling bees using words from their latest reads or tackle math challenges inspired by their book adventures.

This setup reinforces what they’ve learned through reading and encourages them to apply their knowledge practically. Furthermore, it supports diverse learning styles, catering to visual learners and those who learn best through doing. The tree-shaped bookshelf becomes more than just a place for books; it becomes a hub of activity where reading intersects with hands-on learning.

Incorporating elements such as chalkboards or magnetic boards invites children to interact with their tree-shaped bookshelf daily. It’s a creative solution that marries storage with study, imagination with education. By frequently engaging with the bookshelf hands-on, children develop a deeper relationship with their learning materials, seeing them as tools for exploration and discovery, not just objects to be passively consumed.

Displaying Educational Materials

The tree-shaped bookshelf’s unique structure and aesthetic appeal make it an ideal platform for showcasing more than just books. By incorporating educational materials such as globes, historical artifacts, or science kits among the branches, you enrich the learning environment. Imagine a globe nestled in one of the branches. 

You can offer children a hands-on way to explore geography and understand the world’s vastness. Nearby, historical artifacts can connect them to the past, making history tangible and fascinating. Science kits placed thoughtfully on the shelves invite curiosity and experimentation, turning the bookshelf into a mini laboratory where young minds can explore basic principles of physics, chemistry, or biology. 

Integrating educational materials transforms the tree-shaped bookshelf into a comprehensive learning center. It not only supports reading but also encourages exploration and discovery across a wide range of subjects. By offering a variety of tactile and visual learning tools, children can engage more deeply with subjects, enhancing their understanding and retention of knowledge.

Encouraging Language Development

A tree-shaped bookshelf is not only a repository for books but also a powerful instrument for language development. Incorporating books in multiple languages on its branches invites children into the rich tapestry of global cultures and languages. 

It opens doors to new ways of thinking and understanding the world, fostering an appreciation for diversity from a young age. Similarly, including books focused on vocabulary building can enhance children’s linguistic abilities, enriching their communication skills and comprehension.

The tree-shaped bookshelf’s visual appeal can make learning new words and languages more engaging. Children might be drawn to a brightly colored book in a foreign language, spurred by curiosity, and thus embark on a linguistic adventure. 

Each branch of the bookshelf could represent a different language or focus on different aspects of language learning, such as vocabulary, grammar, or storytelling in various languages.

This strategic organization not only makes learning more accessible but also more inviting. As children reach for books on different branches, they’re not just selecting a story to read but choosing a path of linguistic and cultural exploration. The tree-shaped bookshelf becomes a central figure in their language development journey, providing them with the resources to grow their skills in a holistic and enjoyable manner.

Seasonal and Cultural Learning

A tree-shaped bookshelf’s distinct and appealing design makes it an ideal platform for celebrating the diversity of seasons, holidays, and cultures. By dedicating different branches to various cultural and seasonal themes throughout the year, children gain exposure to a world beyond their immediate surroundings. 

For example, one branch could feature books on autumnal festivals from around the globe during the fall, adorned with leaves and pumpkins to enhance the seasonal ambiance. Similarly, during winter, stories about holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa can adorn another branch, alongside appropriate decorations.

This approach does more than just decorate a room; it is a dynamic educational tool. By rotating the themes, children are introduced to how people celebrate life worldwide, fostering a deep appreciation and respect for cultural diversity. Additionally, this method encourages questions and discussions about the traditions, customs, and stories unique to each culture, promoting an inclusive worldview from an early age.

Visual and Artistic Expression

A tree-shaped bookshelf doesn’t have to be limited to storing books. By allocating space for displaying children’s artwork, illustrated stories, and other creative projects, the bookshelf becomes a canvas for expression. This integration of literature and art underscores the connection between reading and creativity, encouraging children to explore their artistic side.

Imagine a branch dedicated to showcasing the latest art project or a homemade book nestled among the leaves of the tree-shaped bookshelf. This adds a personal touch to the bookshelf and instills a sense of pride in children for their creative efforts. It can be a physical portfolio of their growing skills and interests, visible to anyone who enters the room.

Moreover, incorporating visual and artistic expression into the bookshelf encourages children to think critically about the stories they read and how they might visualize them or retell them in their creative ways. This process enriches their understanding of the stories, characters, and themes, fostering a deeper connection to the material and enhancing their comprehension and narrative skills.

Incorporating educational elements into your tree-shaped bookshelf transforms it from a simple storage solution into a vibrant center for learning and exploration. It encourages children to see their bookshelf as a place to store books and as a gateway to knowledge and creativity. With a little imagination, your tree-shaped bookshelf can become an indispensable tool in your child’s educational journey.


Constructing a tree-shaped bookshelf transforms an ordinary reading space into an enchanting and educational environment, inviting children to explore the joy of reading. Its unique design promotes accessibility, encourages organizational skills, and fosters a deep love for literature. Through this imaginative creation, children gain a personalized space for their books and a lasting appreciation for the adventures that await them in the pages of their favorite stories.

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