Special DIY Mandala Bookshelf: 8-Step Fun Build

There are DIY projects that you just have to do, make, or build. It’s something you simply can’t pass up. This DIY Mandala Bookshelf project is one of them. It’s beautiful and functional you just have to have one of your own.

A Mandala Bookshelf would make a great focal point in any room.
A Mandala Bookshelf would make a great focal point in any room.

Mandala is a geometrical figure in Buddhist and Hindu symbolism. In Sanskrit, it translates to a “circle” and is often used to represent the universe. Each object in the mandala’s universe is symbolic of an aspect of wisdom. Its ultimate purpose is to help transform ordinary minds into enlightened ones – which is quite an appropriate theme for books.

The boxes in this project are arranged in a circular manner, reflecting a mandala.

The finished product may look a bit complicated but it’s really not. The key is in the correct measurement of the wall and the dimension of your boxes.

You can buy ready-made box shelves or you can make your own. The latter option gives you more freedom when it comes to dimension – and you save money, too.

Building a Mandala Bookshelf


  • 12 pcs each – small, medium, and large square box shelves
  • Screws
  • plywood
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper – 120 and 220 grit
  • Finishing nails
  • Paper
  • Pencil


  • ScrewGun
  • Jigsaw
  • Palm sander
  • Nail gun/hammer
  • Measuring tape


Step 1: Design Your Mandala Pattern

  • Use paper and pencil to sketch the mandala design. Consider the arrangement of small, medium, and large box shelves to create a circular, mandala pattern.
  • Measure the total diameter of your mandala bookshelf to ensure it fits the intended wall space.

Step 2: Prepare the Plywood

  • Transfer your mandala design onto the plywood using a pencil. This will be the backing of your bookshelf.
  • With the jigsaw, carefully cut along the design on the plywood. Wear safety gear, such as goggles and gloves, during this step.

Step 3: Sand the Plywood

  • Use the palm sander with 120 grit sandpaper to smooth the edges and surface of the cut plywood.
  • Switch to 220 grit sandpaper for a finer finish. Ensure the surface is smooth and ready for painting or staining, if desired.

Step 4: Assemble the Box Shelves

  • If you’re making the box shelves from scratch, cut the plywood to size for each box using the jigsaw.
  • Assemble each box using wood glue and finishing nails. Use the nail gun or hammer for this step.
  • Sand each box shelf smoothly as done with the plywood backing.

Step 5: Arrange the Shelves

  • Place the cut and sanded plywood backing on a flat surface.
  • Arrange the box shelves on the plywood according to your mandala design. Use the measuring tape for precise placement.

Step 6: Secure the Shelves to the Backing

  • Once satisfied with the arrangement, mark the position of each box shelf on the plywood.
  • Remove the shelves and apply wood glue to the marked areas on the plywood.
  • Place the shelves back on their respective spots, pressing firmly to ensure a good bond.
  • Use the screw gun to drive screws from the back of the plywood into each box shelf for added stability.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

  • Check for any rough edges and sand as needed.
  • If desired, paint or stain your mandala bookshelf to match your decor. Allow it to dry completely.
  • Attach finishing nails around the perimeter of the plywood backing for extra support and aesthetic finish.

Step 8: Mounting Your Bookshelf

  • Determine the best method for mounting your bookshelf to the wall, considering its weight and size. You may need wall anchors or a French cleat system for heavy pieces.
  • Securely mount your mandala bookshelf to the wall, ensuring it is level and firmly attached.

Symbolism Behind Your Mandala Bookshelf

Mandalas have captivated human imagination for centuries, embodying spiritual significance and artistic beauty. A mandala bookshelf, merging this ancient concept with modern functionality, offers more than just storage. It transforms a space into a reflection of the universe’s intricate beauty, making every book and item part of a larger, symbolic narrative. 

Here, we explore the rich symbolism behind your mandala bookshelf and how it can inspire and elevate your personal space.

The Essence of Mandalas

At its core, a mandala represents the universe, drawing on geometric patterns to symbolize harmony, unity, and infinity. The circular designs of a mandala bookshelf echo this timeless concept, turning a simple piece of furniture into a symbol of cosmic and spiritual journeys. Each shelf, each book, becomes a part of this universe, suggesting that knowledge and wisdom are cyclical and interconnected.

Spiritual Harmony and Enlightenment

Incorporating a mandala bookshelf into your home is more than an aesthetic choice; it invites balance and enlightenment. The mandala’s circular motif is a reminder of life’s cyclical nature, encouraging a mindful approach to the ebb and flow of knowledge and experience. This bookshelf becomes a focal point for meditation and reflection, where the mind can engage with ideas span cultures and centuries.

A Universe of Knowledge

Every book placed on a mandala bookshelf contributes to the representation of the universe within your home. This arrangement encourages you to view your collection as a map of your intellectual and spiritual journey.

The design prompts a deeper engagement with your books, turning reading into exploring the universe’s vastness. It symbolizes the idea that one can achieve a greater understanding of the cosmos and oneself through learning and reflection.

A mandala bookshelf does more than organize your books; it transforms your living space into a mirror of the universe, filled with endless possibilities for learning and growth. It’s a powerful symbol of harmony, unity, and the cyclical nature of wisdom. In embracing the symbolism of the mandala, this bookshelf becomes not just a piece of furniture but a profound statement about the journey of life and the quest for knowledge.

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Customization Ideas for Your Mandala Bookshelf

A mandala bookshelf is not just a piece of furniture but a canvas for creativity. By customizing your mandala bookshelf, you can create a piece that stores your books and reflects your personality and style. 

Below are some ideas to inspire your customization project, making your mandala bookshelf truly one of a kind.

Choose Your Color Palette

The color palette you select for your mandala bookshelf plays a crucial role in setting the atmosphere of your room. Colors can influence mood and perception, so choosing hues that align with the ambiance you wish to create is essential. 

For a calming and serene effect, soft blues and greens mimic the tranquility of nature, making them perfect for a peaceful reading nook or a relaxation corner. These colors can transform your space into a sanctuary, where every glance at your bookshelf helps lower stress levels.

Opt for bold and bright colors if you’re aiming for a more dynamic or stimulating environment. Vivid reds, yellows, oranges can invigorate a space, making it lively and energetic. A mandala bookshelf painted in such vibrant hues becomes more than just storage; it’s a statement piece that draws the eye and stimulates the mind.

For those who appreciate subtle sophistication, incorporating metallics into your bookshelf can add a layer of elegance and luxury. Gold, silver, or bronze accents, whether in the form of paint or decorative elements, can elevate the look of your bookshelf. Combining metallics with a base color can enhance the intricate designs of your mandala, adding depth and interest.

Personalizing your mandala bookshelf with a unique color scheme allows you to express your style while enhancing the overall decor of your space. Whether you paint, stain, or use a combination of techniques, the colors you select will make your bookshelf reflect your personality and aesthetic preferences.

Add Lighting

Adding lighting to your mandala bookshelf can transform it from a simple storage solution to an enchanting piece of art. The right lighting highlights the beauty of your bookshelf and casts a warm, inviting glow over your space, making it feel cozy and welcoming. LED strip lights offer a versatile and energy-efficient option. They can be placed behind shelves or around the bookshelf’s perimeter, illuminating your books and decorative items beautifully.

Small, battery-operated lights provide flexibility and ease of installation. They can be nestled among books or placed strategically to create focal points, adding depth and dimension. For an ethereal or mystical ambiance, consider using colored lights. Options like soft pink, gentle blue, or warm yellow can dramatically alter the mood of your space, playing off the colors and designs of your mandala bookshelf.

Lighting can also be used to highlight the craftsmanship of your bookshelf, emphasizing the intricate patterns and shapes of the mandala design. With the right lighting setup, your mandala bookshelf becomes not just a functional piece but a captivating visual feature that enhances the aesthetic appeal of your room.

Experimenting with different lighting techniques and colors can help you achieve the desired effect, whether looking for a subtle glow or a dramatic impact. By thoughtfully adding lighting to your mandala bookshelf, you create an atmosphere that enriches your space and showcases your style.

Incorporate Mixed Materials

Introducing a variety of materials into the design of your mandala bookshelf can significantly enhance its visual appeal and tactile experience. Combining glass, metal, or fabric with the traditional wood structure creates a multifaceted piece that captures the eye and invites touch. 

Lining the back of each shelf with different fabric patterns or textures can introduce color and pattern into the space, making each segment of your bookshelf stand out. This technique not only adds visual interest but also personalizes the space, allowing you to tailor the backdrop to the themes of your books or the decor of your room.

Metal accents, whether in the form of thin frames, decorative screws, or shelf brackets, introduce a contemporary edge to the bookshelf. These elements can contrast beautifully with the warm, natural tones of wood, offering a modern twist on a traditional design. 

Similarly, incorporating glass elements, such as shelves or doors, can lighten the overall look of the bookshelf and give it a more open, airy feel. Glass can also reflect light, adding brightness to the space and highlighting the bookshelf’s contents.

Use Decorative Backing

A decorative backing can transform your mandala bookshelf from a simple storage solution into a striking piece of art. This approach not only enhances the beauty of the bookshelf but also turns it into a focal point of your room. 

A painted piece of plywood can serve as a canvas for your creativity, whether you mirror the mandala pattern or introduce an entirely new design. A fabric-covered board offers a softer, textured backdrop that can add warmth and depth to the shelf, complementing the books and items it displays.

A metal sheet with a laser-cut mandala pattern can be striking for a more industrial or modern look. This adds a layer of intricate detail and plays with light and shadow, creating dynamic visual effects depending on the lighting in your room. Such a decorative backing not only serves as a beautiful backdrop but also adds to the thematic cohesion of the bookshelf, reinforcing the mandala design’s symbolism and aesthetic appeal.

Personalize with Accessories

Accessorizing your mandala bookshelf with personal items is a wonderful way to infuse it with your personality and life story. Unique bookends can serve a functional and decorative purpose, keeping your books organized while adding a touch of whimsy or elegance. 

Plants can bring a touch of nature indoors, adding life and color to your bookshelf. Their greenery can contrast beautifully with the wood and other materials, creating a vibrant, living display.

Photos and souvenirs from your travels can turn your bookshelf into a personal gallery, showcasing your adventures and memories. These items personalize the space and invite conversation, allowing your bookshelf to tell a story beyond the books it holds. 

By carefully selecting accessories that reflect your interests, experiences, and aesthetic preferences, you create a mandala bookshelf that is not just a piece of furniture but a reflection of your identity and journey.

Mandala Bookshelf for Small Spaces

Living in a small space doesn’t mean sacrificing style or functionality for furniture. With its intricate design and circular arrangement, a mandala bookshelf can be a perfect addition, adding character and smart storage solutions to your home. Here’s how you can effectively incorporate a mandala bookshelf into smaller living areas.

Choose the Right Size

When space is limited, selecting a mandala bookshelf that fits comfortably without overwhelming the room is crucial. Measure your available space and consider a scaled-down version of the mandala bookshelf. Opt for fewer layers or smaller box shelves to maintain aesthetics without sacrificing precious floor space.

Maximize Vertical Space

Take advantage of vertical space by extending your mandala bookshelf upwards rather than outwards. A taller, narrower bookshelf can hold as many items as a wider version but takes up less floor space. This approach draws the eye upward, making the room feel larger.

Opt for Wall-Mounted Designs

A wall-mounted mandala bookshelf is an excellent solution for small spaces. It frees up floor space while still providing ample storage and decorative display options. Ensure the bookshelf is securely attached to the wall to prevent accidents or damage.

Utilize Multipurpose Furniture

In small living areas, furniture that serves multiple purposes is invaluable. Consider a mandala bookshelf with a fold-down desk or integrated seating. This not only saves space but also enhances the functionality of your furniture, allowing your bookshelf to serve as a work area or reading nook as needed.

Keep It Light

Choosing lighter colors for your mandala bookshelf can help make a small space feel bigger and brighter. Light woods or painted finishes in whites or pastels reflect light better than darker colors, creating a more open and airy feel.

Decorate with Purpose

When decorating your mandala bookshelf, be mindful of the items you choose to display. Keep it clutter-free by selecting meaningful items that complement the room’s decor and the bookshelf’s design. This approach ensures your bookshelf enhances the space without adding visual clutter.

FAQ on Building a  DIY Mandala Bookshelf

What is a mandala bookshelf?

A mandala bookshelf is a unique storage solution with shelves arranged in a circular or semi-circular pattern inspired by the mandala’s geometric designs. It serves decorative and practical purposes, adding a visually striking element to any room while providing space for books and other items.

Can I build a mandala bookshelf if I have limited woodworking experience?

Yes, you can build a mandala bookshelf with basic woodworking skills. The project involves straightforward tasks like cutting, sanding, and assembling wood. Detailed instructions and the right tools will help you create your bookshelf successfully.

What materials do I need to make a mandala bookshelf?

The primary materials include plywood for the backing and shelves, wood glue, sandpaper, finishing nails, screws, and paint or stain if desired. You’ll also need tools like a jigsaw, palm sander, nail gun or hammer, measuring tape, and screw gun.

How do I choose the right size for my mandala bookshelf?

Consider the space where you plan to place the bookshelf. Measure the area to determine the maximum size that will fit comfortably. Remember to account for the bookshelf’s depth and the space needed to access the shelves.

Can I customize my mandala bookshelf?

Absolutely! You can customize your mandala bookshelf in various ways, including the size, color, materials, and the addition of lighting or decorative elements. Personal touches will make your bookshelf unique and reflect your style.

How do I mount my mandala bookshelf to the wall?

Choose a mounting method based on the bookshelf’s size and weight. Heavy-duty wall anchors, brackets, or a French cleat system are good options. Ensure the bookshelf is level and securely attached to prevent accidents.

What can I store on a mandala bookshelf besides books?

A mandala bookshelf is versatile. Besides books, you can display decorative items, plants, photos, and collectibles. The arrangement and design of the shelves make it an ideal showcase for items that reflect your personality and interests.

How do I maintain and clean my mandala bookshelf?

Dust the bookshelf regularly with a soft cloth. Use a wood cleaner appropriate for the finish on your bookshelf for deeper cleaning. Avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive water, which can damage the wood.


Creating a DIY mandala bookshelf uniquely blends style, functionality, and personal expression. This project enhances your living space with a visually striking piece and invites you to engage in a meaningful crafting experience. Following the steps outlined and embracing customization options, you can construct a bookshelf that reflects your taste and meets your storage needs.

For your next project, check out our staircase bookshelf!



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