Archive for April, 2010
We could not be more thrilled to introduce Ana from Ana-White.com who’s swinging by with an amazing build-it-yourself project for everyone to take on at home. For those who don’t already know about Knock-Off Wood, it’s a site full of amazing designer-lookalike furniture plans that will save you hundreds- even thousands- if you’re willing to break a sweat and put in a little elbow grease to whip things up on your own.
And you know we love that Ana proves that woodworking isn’t only about guys in overalls. Ladies can totally make the sawdust fly just as well. So without further ado, let’s get down to business with the first project that Ana is exclusively bringing to all of our lovely readers. And don’t worry, she promises it’s a super easy and affordable undertaking, which is why we thought it would be right up your alley. Let the fun begin…
YHL: Hey Ana, so happy to have you dropping in to share a project with us. What are we building today?
Ana: Youngsters, I want to hack your entire house. Everything. From Burger’s closet to the bean’s crib. If I could, I would write a blog called Young House Love HACKED. So the stalking starts today with my favorite feature in your home, those floating shelves in your dining area.
YHL: Sounds like fun. What level of difficulty would you say this project is?
Ana: Beginner. You, yes YOU, can do this project! No, not the Youngsters, they already have shelves. YOU at home.
YHL: And how much money should someone expect to spend to build all three 72″ long shelves?
Ana: For three 6′ long shelves, it will cost about $50-$60, less if you have some basic supplies like paint, screws, sandpaper and wood filler. In fact, the lumber is only going to run you about $30 (which means you’ll save around $60 as opposed to buying them). Bonus: You’ll have enough leftover scraps to make three 24″ shelves for free!
YHL: And about how long should this project take?
Ana: It will take a couple of hours to construct all three shelves, and then you’ll need to paint ‘em. If you start in the morning, you can have these hung by night. I did!
YHL: Nice. What would our shopping list look like?
Ana: Here’s all you’d need to get ‘er done:
- 1 sheet of 1/4 plywood, sanded on one side or lauan ($15)
- 10 1×2 pine boards ($1 Each)
- 1″ brad nails (think the little tack nails that you use to put the back on an IKEA bookcase)
- 2″ screws
- 3″ screws (for mounting to the wall, you will only need about 10 of these)
- wood filler
- sand paper
- paint (I used high gloss white)
YHL: And what tools would we need?
Ana: Nothing too complicated. Here’s the list:
- measuring tape
- drill with countersink and drill bits
- saw (or get the hardware store to cut your boards for you)
- paint brushes
- stud finder
YHL: Sounds simple enough. What would our cut list look like?
Ana: When you buy your plywood, have Blue or Orange cut it into strips that are 7 3/4″ wide, and 8′ long. I will refer to these as “plywood strips.” By having the store cut your plywood into strips, you can haul it in just about any car and it will be easier to work with to create the exact cut list below when you get home. And you may even be able to get the store to make the exact cuts in the list below, which will save you from any at-home sawing! Here’s that exact cut list for ya:
6 – Plywood strips @ 72″ (tops and bottoms of shelves)
3 – 1×2 @ 72″ (fronts of shelves)
6 – 1×2 @ 69″ (shelf frame)
12 – 1×2 @ 7″ (ends of shelf frame and shelf)
21 – 1×2 @ 5 1/2″ (shelf frame studs)
YHL: Ok, we’re ready. Hit us with your plans.
Ana: Alright. Let’s get down to business.
1. General Instructions. Work on a clean level surface. Have your plywood cut into 7 3/4″ strips by the hardware store. Then make all of your cuts as directed in the cut list. Always use glue and countersink your screws. Keep outside edges flush unless otherwise directed. Use proper safety precautions and equipment. Click plan to enlarge.
2. Frame. Set aside the frame, now let’s drill the sleeve. Predrill with a countersink bit pilot holes for your screws in the frame sides. Then use glue and the 2″ screws to fasten the frame supports to the frame sides. Keep edges flush. Click plan to enlarge.
3. Shelf Trim. Build the trim for the shelf by screwing the trim ends to the trim face. Click plan to enlarge.
4. Shelf Surfaces. Just like you would add a back to an IKEA bookcase, tack the plywood to the tops and bottoms of the shelf. Keep your outside edges flush. The better job you do, the less sanding later!
5. Test Fit. Your floating shelves should look like the above photo (except I made two that are 48″ long, and you’ll probably be making three that are 72″). Dryfit your frames with the sleeves to ensure the frame fits into the sleeve. You may need to sand the frame in areas to get a better fit. You do want the sleeve to fit tightly on the frame to keep it in place.
6. Wood Filler. Fill all holes on the sides and face with wood filler. Fill any and every hole if you want that shiny finish! Overfill your holes and let dry.
7. Sand. Sand extremely well, making all edges flush and even. If you need to, add more wood filler, let dry and sand again. The better you do at sanding, the shinier & smoother your finish will be.
8. Painting. Vacuum your shelves with a soft bristled brush. If you are using paint with primer, you can skip the primer. Otherwise, apply a coat of primer first. Let dry, and begin adding coats of high gloss white paint. I used three coats.
9. Hanging On The Wall. Locate the studs in your wall and mark where your shelf will be placed. If you cannot locate a stud, then you will need to use drywall anchors to hang your shelves. Then fasten with 3″ screws as shown above into the stud or anchor in the wall. Screw in a downward direction, as shown above. This will not just give you room for your drill, but it will also create a hook, or a stronger joint. Use at least 6 screws, in at least 3 different locations or studs. Use a level as shown below to keep things looking straight.
10. Shelf Sleeve. Slide the shelf sleeve over the frame, as shown below. The sleeve will fit snugly. If it’s too snug, you can sand down the frame a little – just a bit will make a big difference. You want the sleeve to fit tightly, as we will not be screwing the sleeve to the frame.
*And now for the Knock-Off Wood disclaimer: This plan has not been tested for weight or safety. Build at your own risk. Knock-Off Wood (or Young House Love) are in no way responsible for any loss, damages or injury resulting from this post.
Onward to the after picture. Check out Ana’s amazing shelves. We can’t believe that she actually whipped up a pair for herself (she wanted to be sure that the plans that she provided were as accurate and detailed as possible). And we also can’t believe how great they look in her home.
So a big thank you to the amazing Ana for whipping up such a fantastic make-it-yourself shelf tutorial. What do you guys think? Will any of you be creating some sleek floating shelves anytime soon? Do you love Ana-White.com as much as we do for the amazing (and free) plans and inspiration that it provides? Let’s shower Ana with praise for stopping in. And of course, we’d love to see photos from anyone and everyone who decides to take these babies on. Happy building to one and all!
When Dana sent us her super simple and wallet-friendly stencil project we just had to share it. Here’s her letter:
I just wanted to pass along a quick and inexpensive project that you inspired! A while back you featured the knot stencil from Sunny’s Goodtime Paints in a mood board and I immediately fell in love with it. My lovely husband gave it to me for Christmas and I recently used it to stencil a pillow cover and laundry curtains (that hide my laundry room water valves and electrical cords) with fabric paint. It was really easy and I’m lovin’ the results. I’m thinking of using it on my foyer wall now that I’ve tackled these smaller stenciling projects. For all the details, you can check my blog. Oh and I just spent $30 on the stencil, $6 on fabric paint, and $3 to make the laundry curtains from on-clearance linen (the pillow cover was free since I already had it around). So my total cost came to $39 for one stenciled pillow and two custom linen curtains. Thanks again for all that you create and inspire! – Dana (& Steve)
Isn’t that a fun way to add a dash of posh personality to a pillow or a curtain panel? We can picture a number of knot stencils applied to long floor length curtains for a super spendy result (much like this). Thanks so much for sharing the eye-candy Dana! And definitely send us those photos of your foyer wall if you ever take that project on. What do you guys think? Anyone out there chomping at the bit to stencil something now? We’ve always loved that knot design…
Psst- Check out another one of Sunny’s gorgeous stencils in action on the sunroom floor of this amazing house that we crashed a while back. The possibilities are endless!
Waaaaay back when we mentioned that we’d be converting our third bedroom into a nursery, we admitted that we loved the asymmetrical wall of frames too much to remove it. But we did plan pretty much from the start to switch out some of the randomly framed prints and pictures with more kid-friendly and cheerfully toned art that’s fitting of a little girl’s nursery. So here’s what it looked like before our big art-swap-fest:
And here’s the same asymmetrical arrangement of frames after the big switch:
Now we’ll zoom out so you can see it in context with the rest of the nursery. Don’t the blues and pinks and greens work nicely with everything from the patterned curtains to the soft aqua ceiling? We think it’s fun and mismatched but it still feels like it goes together without anything feeling too overpowering or clashy.
And true to form we didn’t want to break the bank when it came to our little art 2.0 project. So we hit up Michael’s for some almost-absurdly-priced craft paper to repurpose as wall decor. And when we say almost-absurdly-priced, we mean that it was no more than 99 cents a sheet- and most of it was just 60 cents a pop.
In fact we got all of the decorative paper that you see above for just a total of $4.99. And we framed some of it on it’s own (like that cute paper with house illustrations on the bottom of the pile) and used some of it to layer underneath other items that we planned to showcase- like the bean’s hospital bracelet. Of course we don’t have one yet, so I made a little paper placeholder until we come home with the real deal.
John also came up with the idea to tape some pink heart printed paper behind a glass shadow box full of faux butterflies that we already had hanging in that very spot. It definitely took them from science-y specimen-looking things to cheerful nursery decor in about thirty seconds.
We also already had that cute black cut-out silhouette of Burger (which John got me a while back) so we carefully untaped it from the white paper backing that it was mounted on and replaced it with some fun pink & white striped paper instead. It’s instantly more playful and beanette-appropriate, right? Not bad for 69 cents worth of scrapbooking paper. We also decided that we’d love to someday incorporate a similar black cut-out silhouette of Baby P, so we framed another sheet of playful squiggly line paper and whipped up a quick placeholder silhouette that we’ll someday switch out for a real one of our little girl.
And do you see that “Feel The Love” print to the left of the Burger silhouette in the photo above? We couldn’t help getting a little DIY after we saw this adorable Skinny Cow ad in a magazine that we were reading. We loved the message, the typeface, and even the color…
… so we scanned it and used Photoshop to remove the ice cream bar and move the cute “lovebirds” up closer to the voice bubble. Then we printed it and popped it into the frame. Voila- free magazine inspired art (check out another idea for free magazine art right here and here).
Next we trolled Etsy for affordable art that would work with our palette (we love supporting small businesses and handmade goods almost as much as DIYing things ourselves) and found that sweet aqua-toned girl & her dog print that you see in the photo below (right next to the “Feel The Love” frame). It was actually a limited edition print for just $12 and it featured a girl with her dog and a bunch of hearts floating up into the sky. We thought it was a perfectly reminiscent of Burger and Baby P’s undeniable future-friendship, and the price was definitely right so we snatched it up. Good thing we did because it later sold out (see it up close and learn more about the artist right here).
We also sprung for another print that we thought was too fitting to pass up. It’s actually a print of peas in a pod, but when you get closer you realize that the peas are made up of the letter P… as in Baby P! It’s kind of a hidden monogram of sorts- and we love that it also works perfectly with our color palette. This print actually hailed from Wall Blank and was ours for just $25. We think it was well worth the personal-ish slant that it adds to the whole arrangement. Note: Wall Blank was going to be under construction this week but they reopened their vault just for YHL readers today! Feel free to check out all the affordable art while it lasts!
So that’s how we used some 60 cent craft paper and two playful prints to give our nursery’s asymmetrical wall of frames a fun dose of color and pattern. And although it could easily cost well over $100 to deck out 15 different frames with art, we pimped ours in just $42 ($5 craft paper + one $12 print from Etsy + one $25 print from Wall Blank). And the whole room just feels infinitely more happy and fun. We keep walking in there just to look at everything. And we can’t wait to hold the bean up so she can take a gander at the wall of art that we tossed together in her honor. Especially the part where we compare her little face to our baby pictures to see who she looks more like (John’s gunning for giant cheeks like he had as a baby- which would definitely be cute).
Oh and you might notice that there’s a little celery-toned upholstered bench that now lives under our art wall. We found it for $7 at a thrift store, painted, and recovered it a while back, and slid a big basket for toys that we also already had underneath it. We love that the setup worked so seamlessly with the rest of the nursery design, and we definitely welcome the added storage space and the padded ouch-proof bench top.
So that’s where we are with the nursery these days. We’re definitely rounding home plate and actually plan to share the full monty reveal next week. Time flies when you’re having fun (and having a baby apparently!). What do you guys think about our little art swap fest? Have any of you framed something that’s not necessarily art (like an ad torn from the pages of a magazine or your baby’s hospital bracelet)? Have you perused all that fun printed and patterned craft paper at places like Michael’s and Ben Franklin in hopes of gaining some cheap wall decor? Have you snatched up any great Etsy prints as of late? Let’s talk about DIY or homemade-by-someone-else art on the cheap.
Psst- Wanna see our nursery progress from the very beginning? Here’s our painting post, our big shopping spree, our crib hunting rundown, our curtain-making tutorial, our fun little chair search, our mirror-painting extravaganza, our DIY faux sheepskin project, our big dresser makeover (and subsequent drawer lining project), our closet makeover, our homemade crib skirt undertaking, our DIY mobile adventure and our shelf building project. Fun, fun, fun…