Tuesday, September 04, 2012

DIY: shelf & furniture & more!

A very small part of The Great Livingroom Make-over...

It all started with a cheap-o, poorly designed floating shelf.

Our front entrance is small and deserves a space for keys, mail, and general stuff dumping. Solution: a shelf! How simple! I went to Home Depot, found a simple floating shelf for $12, installed it and called it a day.

The next day, my simple shelf had foiled me. It was hanging at about 15 degrees. We took it apart, put it back together, put some (non heavy) things back on it and... the same thing happened. Shelf = garbage. New solution: I will build a shelf. Then I can paint it blue! And make it look all rustic and home-made-like!

Here's the original shelf, AKA: so much FAIL.

See that gap against the wall... it was growing each day... like a mutant, thrill seeking death shelf... 

Here's the new shelf, AKA: so much WIN! and BLUE!

NEW SHELF! It's made of solid wood and the brackets are blue and wonderful! It also hasn't moved an inch since installing it 4 days ago. 

Annnnd ignore the weird being in the back. That awesome orange bowl was $10 at Homesense and it holds many keys. 

Basic process:
  • Bought an 6' planed, cedar fence board
  • Cut it into two 2' pieces (top) and two 10.5" pieces (bottom)
  • Sanded and stained all pieces, twice. 
  • Bought 2 metal brackets
  • Spray painted the brackets blue because it's fun
  • Assembled the whole thing and hung it on the wall making sure to cover the holes from the previous FAIL shelf. 
NOW! Now... I want to build everything! That shelf was a pretty simple project but it was very rewarding to hang it up and it looked way better than the original FAIL shelf, and it's completely unique!

My next projects:

1. There's an awkward space under our dining room window that would fit a nice shelf and I'd like to put a bar cart here. While I'm trying to quit buying things from IKEA, they have some great, raw, solid pine pieces that are begging to be DIY'd. Specifically I'm thinking of getting this one, painting it, and adding racks under the top shelf to hang wine glasses. 

2. Our current coffee table has a glass top and drives me nuts, it's impossible to keep clean. I've had it for a few years and like any particle board IKEA piece... it's starting to wobble. It's also too dark. I am generally sick of it. I think I can tackle this project start to finish and if I get any help it will be in using something creative as a table top - like a door - or a pallet.

3. I have a large buffet table that was my grandpa's and it's a great storage piece that fits next to our dining room table. Unfortunately it's a cherry colour which doesn't match anything else. I'd like to paint it and update the fixtures. This project is probably the easiest but it also includes emptying the whole thing which is a whole separate project...

Do you have any DIY's that you're particularly proud of? Any that you'd like to tackle this fall? Any new skills you'd like to master?


  1. Great solution to your previous mutant shelf! (too funny!). I have been wanting to add shelves to the sides of my kitchen cabinets to hold small trinkets. This gives me inspiration to do so!

    1. Awesome! It seriously was so easy - if you don't have a table or chop saw they should be able to cut it for you at hardware store. I found the brackets in the 'storage' aisle.