Category Archives: DIY Furniture

DIY Jewelry Cabinet

DIY Jewelry CabinetWow!  It has been quite a long time since I’ve posted any of our projects around the House on Harrison.  That little pop up camper has taken up all our time.  But I wanted to share with you a project that I worked on for Bug’s Room.

Bug is a teenager now, so getting ready for school has become an elaborate production.  She loves jewelry, and those little jewelry boxes we made awhile ago just weren’t holding all her jewelry.  We needed something to store her necklaces and keep them from becoming a tangled mess.

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know I’m a big fan of Ana White.  When she posted the plans for this jewelry cabinet a couple of years ago, I knew I wanted to make it for Bug.  It was perfect for all her jewelry.

Bug’s room has a shabby chic sort of feel to it, so I made some tweaks to Ana’s plans.  I used a 2×4 for the top of the cabinet.  I also used a router and an ogee bit to give the 2×4 a custom look.  Then I used extra trim at the top and around the opening of the front frame.

DIY Jewelry CabinetInstead of using cup hooks or nails to hang Bug’s jewelry, I opted to use wooden pegs.  I set up the drill press and drilled holes for the pegs along the 1×2′s that run across the inside of the cabinet.

Drilling Holes for Jewelry Pegs

I made sure to alternate the placement of the pegs so the long necklaces would fall between the pegs of the rows beneath them.  It worked out very nicely.

Jewelry Wall CabinetRather than stain the cabinet, we chose to paint it the same color as Bug’s bed.  Then we used our trusty Ralph Lauren glaze to give it an aged look.  It matches her room perfectly.

DIY Jewelry Cabinet

Other than that, we followed Ana’s plans pretty closely.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  It can hold quite a bit of Bug’s jewelry.  She is even able to set sunglasses and rings on the very bottom of the cabinet.  It was a quick, easy build and makes such a difference in her room.   :-)

 

 

 

My Chuck Box Project

I have been M.I.A. around here for quite awhile, but there is a really good reason for it.  Around March, my kids (and husband) decided that they wanted to take an adventure road trip for summer vacation this year.  I was initially skeptical.  I am not really a risk taker, and I typically don’t do anything that would be considered outdoor-sy.  I thought I was adventurous when two years ago, we took a 10-day road trip to the Redwood Forest, but we stayed in hotels or with my brother the whole time.  This year, in order to do everything the kids wanted to do (white water rafting, alpine slides, kayaking, hiking), we were going to have to camp…

…like “in a TENT” camp.  Generally, this is the reason I am not an outdoor person.  I’m not fond of tent camping.  I don’t like using campground bathrooms, hate living out of totes and boxes, don’t like trying to find a clean place to prepare food and put in my contacts–I basically don’t like not having a kitchen and bathroom available.  Since my kids were adamant about this vacation, I starting figuring out how I could camp and still be comfortable.

That was when Mr. TypeTwoFun suggested we build a chuck box.  If you are anything like me, you have no idea what a chuck box is.  Well, it is basically a portable camp kitchen.  You can store your cookware, utensils, plastic and foil items, lanterns, etc. in it for easy access.  The idea was so appealing to me that I spent the next couple of months researching how to build one.  I couldn’t find anything that fit our needs, so we basically drew up our own plans.

This is what we ended up with.  It was the very first project we made that didn’t come with clear-cut construction plans.  We did everything on our own.  Are there things we would have done differently?  Absolutely!  Did it make camping a thousand times easier?  You bet!

We built the whole thing out of 1/2″ plywood.  We knew it was going to be heavy, so to cut down on weight, we used these stacking cubicle drawers from Wal-Mart to store our foil, Ziplocs, trash bags, cooking utensils, etc.  I used my label maker to label the plastic items so kids would know where to put things away.

One of my favorite features of the chuck box, is this nifty paper towel holder I got off Amazon. We set up our camp sink right next to the paper towel holder, and the counter surface of the chuck box was perfect for putting in contact lenses, washing faces, brushing teeth, and getting ready for bed at night.  There was really no reason to visit the public restrooms except to use the toilet.  This made getting ready in the morning easy, too!  It was a lifesaver with young kids.

I also had a cubby space for my dishwashing tubs and mixing bowls, as well as all our dishes and cookware.

No paper plates here!  The kids had to wash dishes after every meal.  It was funny how often they wanted to eat sandwiches and cook easy meals.   :-D

At the very top of my chuck box was my utensil organizer.  I had everything I needed at my fingertips.  I even had kitchen shears and vegetable peelers.

Best of all, I had a place to prepare meals, and since we put about 3 coats of Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor sealer on it, clean up was a snap.

When we left for our activities each day, or went to bed at night, we’d just close up the box.  If we wanted to, we could padlock the hasps, but we only did that rarely.  This trip took quite a toll on  our “little” chuck box.  It got pretty beat up (gives it character, right?), so we decided to start putting bumper stickers on the front to remember the places we’d been.

Although we did everything we could to cut down on weight, this thing was heavy.  It was a beast to set up each time, believe me, it got used!  It was the center of our camp at every site that we visited.  It was extremely handy, and I don’t think I would have gotten through our camping trip without it.

Because Mom got to camp in relative comfort, everyone was happy.  I can honestly say this was the best trip we’ve ever taken.

And with the chuck box project out of the way, maybe I’ll tackle a few of the other ones laying around here… or maybe we’ll just go camping again.   ;-)

{More} American Girl Doll Beds

The holiday season is always busy for us, and this year has been no exception.  I’ve been working away on Christmas gifts, but haven’t had much time to blog about it.  These two cuties were just too adorable to let slip on by, though.  Not long ago, I shared a fun (and cheap) American Girl doll bed we made for a friend using an Ana White plan.  When my sister-in-law asked me to make a couple of those beds for her girls, I happily took on the project.    Because these beds were going to sisters, I wanted them each to be a little different and unique.  I had some leftover plywood lying around from my trumeau mirror project, so I cut it to size and used it to replace the slatted 1×3 headboard and footboard panels in Ana’s plan.

The headboard panel was cut 6″ x 12.5″ and the footboard was 3″ x 12.5″.  I pretty much followed the plans for the rest of the build.  I did add a piece of 3/8″ thick board cut 1.5″ x 6″ to make two panels in the headboard.  I also added some cove molding to the inside of the headboard and footboard panels and routed the top and bottom header boards with my ogee bit.

This gave everything a more finished look.  Then I puttied all my nail holes and sanded everything down.

This was how the headboard looked when it was ready for paint.  I gave everything a coat of primer and two coats of spray paint.  The other bed I built exactly according to Ana’s plans.  We wanted a more country feel for that one.

Here you can see the difference between the two headboards.  I realize the black is hard to see, but it really does look quite sophisticated in person.   ;-)

I made all the bedding myself.  I didn’t really use a pattern, because I was sort of winging it.  I will say, though, that I found this tutorial for making a fitted doll sheet at From an Igloo, and it was immensely helpful.  She even has a tutorial for making pillows and pillowcases for your doll beds.  It’s awesome!

I love modifying Ana’s plans.  They are just so versatile, and you can always put your own twist on your builds to make them reflect your taste.  I just love the way these beds represent my nieces’ personalities–completely different, but totally cute.  They are sturdy enough that they will be around a long time, too.  I can’t wait to see how they like them.

Did you build any of your own Christmas gifts this year?  I’d love to see them!

Happy Holidays!

Cabinet Door Easel

I’m back with a fun project that makes a perfect birthday or Christmas gift.  Remember those cabinet doors I found on a curbside trash day?

There were three of them, and I used the largest to make my game room snack tray.

The other one became a floor desk for my cute little niece.

I had one more left, and a birthday for another niece coming up.  When I came across this super cute chalkboard easel at RH Baby & Child, inspiration struck.  I loved this easel, but at $119 + shipping, I knew it wasn’t coming home with me.  I figured I could make my own version for much cheaper.

I started with a couple of pine 1×2′s, and made my frame.  I made two of these frames, one for the front, and one for the back.  They’ll be hinged at the top to make the A frame.

I cut my frame to the dimensions necessary for my cabinet door.  These dimensions actually work pretty well for a child’s easel, even if you don’t have a cabinet door to work with.  You can just use a piece of fiberboard nailed to the back of the frame to make the chalkboard (this will make it look exactly like the RH version).  If you are using a cabinet door, your dimensions may differ from mine.

I cut each easel leg at 15 degree angle.  I wanted my legs to sit flat on the floor, and this seemed to work perfectly.  Once I had all my pieces cut, I used my Kreg Jig to join the top and bottom of the frame to the legs.

With my frames made, I attached the cabinet door to the front of one of the frames with Gorilla Glue, a brad gun, and LOTS of clamps.  Then I took a leftover piece of 1×3 board and made a chalk tray.

I cut my chalk tray the width of the finished frame.  Since my bottom piece was 18″ and my 1×2′s were 1.5″ wide each, my chalk tray was 21″ long.  Yours may vary depending on the width of your cabinet door and/or the width of your 1×2 boards.  Once I had everything cut, I made a mark to indicate where I wanted to route my chalk channel.  I used a 1/2″ straight bit to carve a channel in the tray to hold chalk.

Then I attached the tray to the bottom of the cabinet door with Gorilla Glue, clamps, and lots of nails.  I filled all my nail holes with putty and gave everything a good sanding.

When everything was sanded, each piece got a good coat of my favorite Zinsser Cover Stain primer.  I love that stuff!

After the primer was dry, I taped off the center of the cabinet door.  Then I gave the whole thing several light coats of Rustoleum spray paint in French Lilac.

I let my paint dry for several hours.  Then I used 2″ utility hinges to join the back and front together.  The frame then got a coat of my favorite Ralph Lauren Smoke glaze to distress it all a bit.  Once the glaze was dry, I applied several light coats of Minwax Finishing Paste and buffed it out.

I removed the tape from the inside of the door and covered my newly painted surface with plastic.  Then I taped everything off so I would have no chance of over-spray on my pretty purple finish.  After I was satisfied with my taping job, I applied 3 light coats of Rustoleum chalkboard spray paint and let the whole thing dry 24 hours.

Once your chalkboard paint has cured, you’ll want to season it by rubbing the side of a piece of white chalk all over the surface.  Then you can erase it.  I season it a couple of times before I draw on it.  This prevents the first images you draw from “ghosting” on your nice, new board.

Then, to prevent my easel from collapsing on itself, I attached about 15″ of fine chain to the inside of the legs.  I just picked up a cheap chain (sold by the foot) from Home Depot and attached it with wood screws.

The chain allows the easel to open only so far.  It works great, and doesn’t prevent the easel from being folded up for storage either.

That’s all there is to it!  This easel is the perfect size for a party sign, and can be easily used by little ones for school or play.

I just love the contrast of the chalkboard and the lavender–much more fun than the original from Restoration Hardware, and way cheaper, too!

Between lumber ($3), hardware ($5), and paint ($4), I spent $12 total!  Don’t you just love a good repurpose?  I’m fresh out of cabinet doors now, though, so I’m going to have to go dumpster diving again real soon.  ;-)

Thanks for stopping by!

Bathroom Cabinet {turned} Ribbon Storage

Wow!  What a crazy whirlwind the past two weeks have been.  We hosted Thanksgiving here for our extended family of 22, then two days later we took off for a mini family reunion at The Happiest Place on Earth–Disneyland!

I just have to say, the new Radiator Springs Racers ride is AWESOME!  We had a fantastic time until the last day, when Chacho and Bug came down with the stomach flu.  We had to cut the trip a bit short.  It was a long ride home, and quite “memorable.”  I’ll spare you all the gory details, but we did learn the upholstery cleaning machines you rent from Home Depot work really well.

I’ve been cleaning and unpacking from the trip, so I haven’t had a chance to work on any new projects, but I’ve got lots of Christmas presents to work on, so I’ll have some fun projects to share really soon.  In the meantime, I thought I’d show you the solution I came up with for organizing all my ribbon in the craft room.

I had been searching for a way to organize my ribbon stores for some time.  I knew that, although I loved the look of ribbon spools organized on long wooden dowels, I wouldn’t be able to keep that system looking neat and tidy.  Mr. Type2Fun and I were shopping at Home Depot one day, when I spied this bathroom cabinet marked down to $15.

It was missing a shelf, had sticker adhesive all over it, and was filthy, but I could still see the potential.  So we took it home, cleaned it up, and gave it a good coat of Zinsser primer.  While the primer was drying, we got to work on the shelves.

We cut some 1×6 boards to size and attached cove molding to the front of all the shelves.  This would keep the ribbon spools from rolling off the shelves.

Once we started placing spools of ribbon on the shelves, we realized they were too deep for most of my ribbon spools.  Our solution was to attach a 1×2 board to the back of the shelves as a sort of stop.  The stop would keep the ribbon spools from having too much “play” and would make sure they all stayed nice and neatly stacked.  Behind the stop, there is enough room to store additional spools of ribbon.

We gave the shelves a coat of primer, then gave everything a coat of my favorite Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint and Ralph Lauren glaze.

Once I had the cabinet hung, I realized that I really didn’t like the look of the cove molding, so I added a decorative molding trim to the front of the shelves to give it a more finished look.

I have a lot of tiny spools that hold narrow scrapbooking ribbon.  I put some of my favorite Coke memorabilia on top, and I store my tiny spools in the straw holders.

All my loose ribbon goes into jars in the bottom of the cabinet.  I try to organize it by color, and it has worked pretty well. I end up tossing scraps in the jars, and now that I know where they are, I actually use them!

The cabinet holds quite a few spools.  I was surprised to discover that I don’t have enough ribbon to fill it up yet.  I’m gonna have to work on that!  :-D

What I love most about it, is that I can close the doors when things get a little messier (and they always do around here) than I’d like.  Since I have to share the craft room/den with Mr. Type2Fun, he likes that, too.

What about you?  How do you store your ribbon?

DIY Trumeau Mirror

Whew!  I’m finally back.  That stomach flu did a number on us.  We are still not 100% well around here, but things are much better than last week.  I had a chance to get some work done on a few projects around here, and that was a relief.  We are hosting Thanksgiving this year, so I have about a million things to get done before everyone makes their way to The House on Harrison.  One thing I can check off my list is the trumeau mirror I was drooling over.

Last year a friend of Mr. Type2Fun’s gave us a couple of builder mirrors from their house.  They were renovating and didn’t need them anymore, so they were FREE!  We cut one of the mirrors down to the size we wanted, using a glass cutting wheel from Home Depot.  We didn’t really have a plan, but we knew what we wanted in our heads.  Susie Harris has a great tutorial, as does Amy from The Idea Room.  We picked up a sheet of birch plywood (also from Home Depot), and we had them cut the plywood to our exact dimensions.  The plywood was a bit on the pricey side, but we have lots left over for other projects.

Because I am not crazy about the look of cut plywood, I applied some edge banding to the raw edges.  If you aren’t familiar with edge banding, it is basically a roll of thin wood veneer that has adhesive on one side.  You apply it with a regular old iron, and looks like you have a sheet of solid wood.  I love it!

For the top of the mirror, we just used a 2×4.  Mr. Type2Fun routed the edge to give it a more finished look, and we attached cove molding just underneath it.  It was MUCH cheaper than buying expensive molding, and it looks great.

For the bottom, we used a piece of 2×6.  We put our dado blade on the table saw and cut a channel for the the plywood to sit in.  Then we attached cove molding to that piece as well.  We needed a big, solid, piece of wood on the floor, since it was basically functioning as a door stop, too.

For the decorative top, we used a wooden applique and some cheap trim left over from the shoe cabinet.  Since these pieces are going to be in the same room, I wanted some continuity between the two.

To attach the mirror to the plywood, we used Liquid Nails Mirror Adhesive.  Once the mirror was on, we framed it out with some picture frame molding.  We picked this up at Lowes, and it hides the cut edges of the mirror.  Make sure to paint the inside of the molding before attaching it.  It will show in the reflection of the mirror, and you don’t want an unpainted surface showing.

I finished this mirror exactly the way I did my shoe cabinet.  It got two coats of black paint, some distressing, a bit of Early American stain, and then a coat of Minwax Finishing Paste.

Once it was finished, we used some L-brackets to attach it to the wall (from the top), so that it wouldn’t get tipped over.  I love the way it ties in with the shoe cabinet, and it gives me a little ledge to decorate on.  :-)  I haven’t quite decided what to do with it yet.

I’m thinking of maybe an initial wall, like this one over at Jones Design Company.

What do you think?  Do you think I can make an “R” wall work around this mirror?  I’d love to hear your ideas!  Thanks for stopping by.

Linking up to the parties here and Beneath My Heart.

Feeling Inspired

If you follow me on Pinterest, you know I’ve been pinning a lot of trumeau mirrors lately. We need a mirror for the music room, and I’ve wanted to attempt one ever since I saw Susie Harris’s awesome tutorial years ago.  I just adore Susie’s blog.  I’ve followed it for years.  I love her sense of style, and her hand-painted signs are amazing.

Image via Susie Harris

Ever since then, trumeau mirrors have been popping up all over blogland–like this fabulous one from Blue Roof Cabin.  Don’t you love the color?

Image via Blue Roof Cabin

Or how about this clean trumeau style mirror Amy, from The Idea Room, made for her bathroom?  So gorgeous!

Image via The Idea Room

Check out the floor mirror at Crazy Wonderful.  I love the way the black contrasts with her light walls. I need something like that.

Image via Crazy Wonderful

So much creativity out there!  Which is good because mirrors tend to run on the expensive side… like this one from Ethan Allen.  A steal at only $649!  Yikes!  So NOT in my budget.

Image via Ethan Allen

And since I don’t have an unlimited budget, I’m off to scrounge through the garage and see what I can come up with.  I’ve been inspired…  and I’ve got to have some leftover plywood and trim in the scrap pile somewhere…

Have a wonderful day!  :-)

DIY Trophy Display {& Pinboard}

This has been a crazy week, packed full of projects that didn’t go quite as planned.  Which seems to be my lot in life, anyway, but one project that did go off without a hitch was a trophy display shelf I made for Bug’s room.  Wanna know why???  Because I pulled the plan from this little book!

I’ve had Ana’s book in my hands for months now, and had been trying to decide what to build first.  I was in Bug’s room trying to organize her many soccer trophies and medals when it hit me!  The entryway mirror on page 37 would be perfect… with a few modifications, of course.  Instead of a mirror, I decided to use a cork board so Bug could pin up pictures and mementos.

I followed Ana’s plans pretty closely, and I used my Kreg Jig to put it all together.  Man!  I love that thing.  It makes all my projects so much easier.

I cut out the top and bottom shelf supports with my jigsaw–and some help from Mr. Type2Fun.  We found it easier to cut the decorative edge from a long board FIRST, then cut the straight end to the final dimensions.  If you have a scroll saw, you won’t need to do this, because you’ll be able to make precise cuts on small pieces of wood.  Our set up isn’t ideal, so this is what worked for us.  Then we attached the supports with screws through the back of the frame.

My nail gun is another tool I couldn’t live without.  I used it to attach my top and bottom shelf to the supports, once they were screwed into the frame.

Now here’s where I modified Ana’s plan just a bit.  I mitered the ends of some 1/2″ cove molding and attached it to the inside of the frame, flush with the edges of the board.

That way, when I flipped the frame over, I had a channel all the way around for my cork board to sit in.  Then I gave the whole thing a coat of primer and white paint.

While my frame was drying, I cut a piece of cork board to fit inside the frame and gave it a coat of  paint in my base color.  We chose Refreshing Pool from Behr, as that is what we used on Bug’s bed.  After the cork was dry, I used a spray adhesive to attach it to some foam core I had laying around.  The reason that I did this was that the roll of cork I purchased was pretty thin.  If you pick up a thicker cork, you may not need the foam core.  Then I used a razor blade to cut the foam core to the size of the cork.

To add some visual interest (and because I’ve always wanted to try it) I decided to stencil the cork board.  I picked up this stencil at Hobby Lobby using my 40% off coupon.

I used a dense foam roller and some leftover white paint.  I made sure the roller was not dripping with paint, but had a good amount on it.  It took a couple of passes, and I can’t say it was perfect, but after touching up a few spots, I was pretty happy with it.

Once all the paint was dry, I enlisted Mr. Type2Fun’s help to nail a piece of fiberboard to the back.  Then we added 4 hooks to the bottom to hold medals and ribbons.

To hang the shelf on Bug’s wall, we drilled holes in the sides of the frame with a countersink bit, like this…

Then we used drywall screws and heavy duty wall anchors to attach the shelf to the wall.

Because I hate looking at screws, we used button plugs to cover the holes.  I just tapped them in with a rubber mallet and used some white paint to touch them up.  Easy peasy, and so much better than exposed screw heads.

Now Bug has the perfect place to display all those hard earned trophies and medals AND she can pin up her keepsakes as well.

All in all, this was a pretty easy project.  I’d say that the cuts we had to make with the jigsaw for the shelf supports were the hardest part.  What I love about Ana’s plans is that they are easy to follow and easy to customize to fit your needs… and on a week like the last one, I needed an easy project!

Have any of you tackled any of the cool plans from Ana’s book?  I’d love to hear about it!

When Good Projects Go Bad

One of my best girlfriends told me on the phone a couple of days ago that all my projects turn out perfect and that I’ve never had one fail.  I had to laugh out loud at that one.  That is far from the truth.  In fact, with most of my projects, I usually reach a point where things just don’t go the way I planned them, and I have to regroup and figure out how go from there.

If you have seen a few of my projects, you know I love chalkboard paint.  I made this snack tray for our game room…

…and this floor desk for my niece…

…but before I made those projects, I had made a huge chalkboard for our game room.

We use it for to keep score, play school, and we also decorate it up for the seasons.  We’re big Nightmare Before Christmas fans over here.  We’ve used the chalkboard for about a year now, and it’s holding up fabulously.

I even took an Ikea frame and made a chalkboard for Tatertot’s room.  I love to write her little notes and inspirational quotes to read when she comes home from school.

So you can see that I had already made several chalkboards when I attempted my snack tray.  I should know what I’m doing, right?  Well, it didn’t go as smoothly as I thought it would.  I attempted the chalkboard surface the exact same way I painted my other two chalkboards.  I gave them a coat of primer and followed up with two coats of Rustoleum chalkboard paint, which I used a dense sponge roller to apply.

After the last coat of chalkboard paint was mostly dry, I started taking off the tape.  This is what happened…

I could take a corner of the paint and peel it like you would an orange–primer and all.  Ugh!  I was so disappointed.  I was seriously thinking about hiding this little table in a corner of the garage and giving up.  As I was planning where to put it, I started picking at the paint.

After a few minutes, this was what I was left with.  These parts had adhered to the wood for whatever reason.  They would not peel up for anything.  I seriously considered leaving it like this. It started to look a little like Pangea breaking up when you looked at it from the side.  Maybe the kids would like it like that.  It was kind of artsy.  But, I bit the bullet and pulled out the paint scraper.  It took me an hour to get it all up.

Eventually, I was left with a clean, somewhat smooth surface.  On my other chalkboards, I’d used raw MDF, which I primed and then painted.  With this one, I think that years of oil-based cleaners must have left a residue on the cabinet door.  I thought I sanded it well enough, but apparently not.

So I pulled out my sander and sanded the heck out of it this time.  You could really see the water damage, but sanding and a new primer coat helped to minimize it in the end.

After it was all sanded and primed, I decided to spray the chalkboard paint on instead of rolling it on.  I gave it several light coats.  I did not want it peeling up again–and it didn’t!

So there you have it!  I’m so glad I didn’t give up on this project when it didn’t go as planned.  We love this little piece–and I learned a lot about chalkboard paint.  Once I figured out my mistake, I was able to avoid it when I made my floor desk.

i just love it when I’m able to turn a major project fail into a win!

Pottery Barn Inspired Shoe Storage

I’ve always wanted a really beautiful entryway.  I have had visions of a Pottery Barn picture perfect entry space since we moved into the house on Harrison.

I have loved this cabinet since I first laid eyes on it.  I can’t remember who makes it, but I’ve seen it on Pinterest a lot.  If it was Pottery Barn, it’s no longer on their website.  I really, really wanted something like this.  Instead, I have something like this…

This is what my entryway looked like last week.  YIKES!  I am pretty embarrassed to show you this, but this is what our guests saw when they first walked in the door.  Our first problem is that we are a family of pilers.  We pile our stuff on any available space rather than actually taking two minutes to put it away.

Our second problem is that we keep all of our shoes in a basket by the front door.  It works out great for finding shoes in the morning, unless your shoes are on the bottom of the basket.  Then it gets a little nuts.

Ana White Shoe Dresser

 

When Ana White posted the plans for a shoe dresser on her site awhile back, I knew this was a perfect solution for us.  It was narrow, so you couldn’t pile much on top.  And the shoes would be organized and hidden.  Perfect!  A few weeks ago, I finally got up the courage to build this piece.

Ana’s plans are pretty straightforward and easy to follow.  There were a couple of things I did want to illustrate, because I wasn’t quite sure how to do them myself until I got to building.  For the dividers in the shoe drawers, I sketched the rounded edge out on one piece.  I used my jigsaw to cut the curve, then I used that first piece as a template to cut the others.  They all ended up perfectly symmetrical.

Here’s a shot of one of the finished drawers.  They were amazingly easy to put together.

I used my Kreg Jig to join most of the pieces, with the exception of the 1×2′s attached to the back of the drawer.  I just put those on with wood glue and drywall screws.

Once I had both drawers and the frame built, I set the drawers inside to make sure everything lined up.  I can’t stress how important it is to check for square (A LOT) on this project.

I also used my Kreg Jig to attach the back cleat to the frame.  This is the part that will screw into the wall, so make sure you mark on the front of the cleat where your pocket hole screws are.  You don’t want to try to drill through screws when attaching this to the wall.

And because I can never make things easy, I decided to make a few modifications to Ana’s plan.  I really liked the look of that entry cabinet I showed you earlier.  So I added some mitered trim to my drawer fronts.  This is just a cheap ($2 for a 4′ length) molding I picked up at Home Depot.  I made mitered cuts…

…and attached it to the door fronts with glue and my brad gun.

I also decided to add an apron to the bottom of my cabinet.  To do that, I added about 3″ to the length of my side boards.  I used a 1×4 for the apron, but if you were using a different width of board, you’d need to adjust your measurements accordingly.

The last modification I made, was to attach a top to the cabinet.  I took a board that was about 3/4″ wider and 1.5″ longer than my top and routed the edge.  Then I aligned it so that there was a 3/4″ overhang on the sides and front, and I attached the top with wood screws and glue.  To make everything nice and neat looking, I attached cove molding underneath.

Once my cabinet was built and sanded, I gave it a few coats of Behr paint.  I didn’t use a primer because I wanted to distress the cabinet.  I didn’t want white primer showing through.  I used the Behr (Ultra, I think) because it has a primer built in.  I had it tinted to the Martha Stewart Silhouette color, and made sure to give it 3 good coats, sanding lightly between each one.

This was the trickiest part of the whole build.  Once I had a good coat of paint on my cabinet, we put the drawers in, inserted 1/8″ plywood spacers in the gaps and clamped the drawers in place. Then we drilled the sides and inserted 5/8″ oak wooden dowels for “hinges.”

Like this.  Once I had my dowels in, I realized that my drawers didn’t open wide enough, so we had to take out the dowels and sand down the bottom corners of my drawers.

Make sure you drill the holes for your dowels as far down and forward as you can, while still catching the corner of the drawer.  You may still have to sand down the bottoms of the drawers so they will open wide enough, but once the drawers are painted, you can hardly tell.

Once my drawers were all set, I cleaned up the cabinet, did some paint touch-ups  and distressed the piece with a sanding sponge.  Then, because the wood underneath was so light, I used a Minwax stain marker, in Early American, to go over the raw wood.  Then I wiped off the excess stain, allowed it a few hours to dry, and gave the whole thing a coat of finishing wax, like I did on my snack tray.

The last thing I did was to add drawer pulls and magnetic clasps to hold the drawers in place when closed.

I also added some webbing to the backs of the drawers to keep the kids from pulling the drawers out further than they need to.

And here’s the finished piece.  It was so hard to get a good picture of it, but it is really very pretty in person.  I love how it looks in the entry.  It’s too narrow to stack papers and soda cups on.   ;-)

The best part?  The shoes all stay organized…  and hidden!

 

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