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Easy, Cheap Shelves

As kids get ready to head back to school or off to college, right now is a perfect time to get them organized. One way is to build simple shelving units to store books, accessories, toys and even collectibles.

Don't rely on ad hoc shelving made from cinder blocks and a couple of pieces of lumber like those you may have seen in dorms. There are far better and more attractive options, and they don't have to cost a lot.

Here's what you'll need to make these shelves. Watch Danny Lipford, host of "Today's Homeowner," show you how to put it all together in his segment on Wednesday's The Early Show.

This bookshelf is created from just four pieces of wood that have been cut and notched together. A wonderful feature of this shelving unit is that it does not require any tools to put together. You simply interlock the four pieces of wood.

(2) 2" x 12" x 8' Pine
Sand paper (100 and 200 grit)

Tape Measure
Palm Sander
Framing Square
Circular Saw
Jig Saw

Materials Cost: Approximately $ 30.00
Time Spent: About 1 hour plus painting or staining

Ideal for a dorm room, a headboard shelf is a great solution to storage problems found in college dorms everywhere. This simple shelving unit solves two problems - it serves as a nightstand to hold a lamp, but also doubles as a bookshelf to keep those textbooks close at hand. A must for any college student!

(2) 1" x 12" x 8' Pine
Wood Screws
Latex Primer
Paint (semi-gloss) or Stain

Tape Measure
Framing Square

Cost: Approximately $ 40.00
Time Spent: About 2 hours plus painting or staining

This simple wall shelf is perfect to add a decorative element to any room. You can create a personalized look by painting, staining or adding decorative elements. This shelf is a great place to display accessories, collectibles or even books!

1" x 8" x 32" Pine
1" x 4" x 32"
1" x 2" x 32"
1 quart Paint or Stain

Tape Measure
Framing Square
Circular Saw
Cordless Drill with ½" Bit
1/8" Drill Bit
2" Finish Nails

Cost: Approximately $ 15.00
Time Spent: Less than 1 hour plus painting or staining

Regardless of what type of shelving unit you use, you need to be sure that it is attached securely to the wall. It is always best to fasten a shelf directly to the wall stud. You can locate a stud by using an electronic stud finder. If you are not lucky enough to find a stud where you want your shelf to be, then you can use a variety of hollow wall anchors such as toggle bolts or molly bolts. After going through drywall or plaster, the bolts expand and increases the surface area the bolt is pulling against.

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