Children's Elephant Bookcase

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Project by Dagless posted 04-18-2012 12:27 PM 19858 views 18 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My first project is a shameless rip-off.

I was shopping for children’s bookcases and came across an elephant-shaped one. I felt this presented a good excuse to buy a jigsaw and try my own version. I made a sketch from a reference image of an African elephant and designed it in Adobe Illustrator.

It is made from 18mm plywood and stands about 750mm (h) × 1000mm (w) × 250mm (d). The idea behind the interlocking panels was to add strength, as I expect that it will eventually be climbed on by one of my offspring. Well, that and the fact that it seemed more interesting to design and make it that way. I made sure that the panels interlocked quite tightly and then glued and screwed, so it’s pretty sturdy.

I attached it to the wall by screwing a decking screw into a stud and cutting a kind of keyhole shape (what do you call that?) so that it can be lifted on and off, but cannot be pulled over to squash an infant. If any infants are going to be squashed in my house, I want to make sure that it is not due to my poor workmanship.

I gave it to my daughter for her first birthday. She pulled herself up on it, threw several books on the floor and then crawled off. Which means she thinks it’s fantastic, I assume.

10 comments so far

View will delaney's profile

will delaney

329 posts in 3312 days

#1 posted 04-18-2012 12:51 PM

Great project!!! You did a nice job with your new jigsaw money well spent. Welcome to LJ.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4775 days

#2 posted 04-18-2012 01:03 PM

Projects like this are fun because they are so creative. I love it!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View RandyM68's profile


693 posts in 2994 days

#3 posted 04-18-2012 05:59 PM

I would also rather squash infants on purpose, myself. But seriously, I like it. It’s a good idea and you designed it yourself. It actually looks good, too. I’m sure the rugrats will love it. Attaching it to the wall is a good idea, too, I know they’ll climb it.

-- I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you. I'm sorry,thanks.

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3103 days

#4 posted 04-19-2012 03:02 AM

Your creative juices and your protective instincts are very apparent in this build. She is going to cherish this for years to come.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Skiedra's profile


259 posts in 2968 days

#5 posted 04-19-2012 09:58 AM

Superb shelves !

View Muriel's profile


101 posts in 3369 days

#6 posted 04-21-2012 11:46 AM


-- Muriel, Belgium

View clieb91's profile


3787 posts in 4611 days

#7 posted 04-22-2012 02:00 AM

Pretty cool looking bookshelf. Based on her reaction it sound like she indeed does like it.

Welcome to LumberJocks.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3480 days

#8 posted 09-17-2012 12:51 AM

A way kool shelf for kids books and maybe a knick-knack or 2. Super nice, and bright.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View ohouse's profile


1 post in 38 days

#9 posted 02-23-2020 09:20 PM

Hi, I love the elephant wall unit. Would you happen to have basic plans or instructions? I’d love to make one. Thank you

View Dagless's profile


9 posts in 2906 days

#10 posted 02-24-2020 12:57 AM

Hi, I love the elephant wall unit. Would you happen to have basic plans or instructions? I d love to make one. Thank you

- ohouse

Hi ohouse,

I just sent you a message with a link to a PDF which includes a basic cutlist and progress photos. Please check your inbox.

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