Fix Your Sagging Bookshelf With This Sneaky Hack

Picture this: you've perfectly decorated your bookshelf by filling it with books and knickknacks, only to have it disrupted by the unsightly dip of a broken or sagging shelf. Fortunately, whether you're dealing with an aging antique or a flimsy low-budget piece, there's a quick way to give your bookshelf an instant lift. A sagging shelf doesn't mean you need to throw out the entire bookcase. As long as the shelf in question is still in one piece, you can easily correct the dip and keep it from getting worse. 

Aside from the obvious preventative step of organizing your bookshelf and removing any excessive weight (equally distributing your heavy books across multiple shelves is always a good idea), the best way to fix a sagging shelf is to support it from below. TikTok account @familyhandyman suggests an extra clever method for propping up a sagging shelf without sacrificing appearances. All you'll need is a small piece of plywood, a utility knife, and an old hardcover book you no longer want to read. Additionally, a huge benefit of using this trick is that you don't need any DIY or carpentry experience. 

The easy way to fix a sagging bookshelf

The first step to fixing a sagging shelf is to cut a wood piece that's the same height as the shelf. This will be placed vertically between the shelves to push the sagging one back into place. Once you've cut a piece of plywood down to the right size, pick out an attractive hardcover book. Be sure that it's a book you don't plan on reading again, since you will be modifying it for this DIY project. Open up to around the middle of the book and lay the plywood piece vertically across it. Then, use your utility knife to carefully hollow out a section of pages, matching the depth of the wood. The result should be a neat rectangular shape that the wood can fit inside. Finally, close up the book with the wood in place and slide it into the center of the shelf, lifting up the dip while maintaining a classic book spine appearance. 

The full version of this hack calls for both a hardcover book and a piece of wood, but you could also complete this project with just a hardcover book as long as it's tall enough to place between the shelves. Also make sure it's not a book you want to read anytime soon, since it will be used as shelf support. Alternatively, you can try other variations using tall bookends, decorative statues, or other household items.