Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Leaning Bookshelf • An Ana White Project

It's been ages, but we are back to building!

We started this project last January, but got pretty swept up in a busy year and essentially forgot about it. When the weather started to chill out and the autumn beer popped back up in the stores, I quickly remembered one of my favorite little hobbies.

I don't think I could have built this bookshelf on my own, though I have no doubt an experienced carpenter could whip this up in no time. The angle cuts were actually made by using a protractor, making them not the straightest, and I definitely worried at several points that this project was going to end up a mess. 

Thankfully, there was no need to worry, because I love it! I am very happy with this build, even it did technically take 11 months…

For the plans head over to Ana White's awesome site. Fair warning though: after building your own furniture you're going to start being horribly disappointed with the quality of things you pick up at the store!

A few thoughts:

  • Paint pre-assembly, it's much easier that way! Just don't paint the actual shelf sides until assembled –it's a tight squeeze when sliding them in, a layer of paint certainly wouldn't help.
  • I didn't like the look of the very rounded corners that are included in the plans, so instead of jigsawing the shelf edges as recommended, I simply sanded them down a bit.
  • Pocket hole jigs are pretty sweet.

Monday, March 10, 2014

"Farmhouse Bench" • An Ana White Project

Here is another build from Ana White's The Handbuilt Home. It's called the farmhouse bench (her site has another variety of it), and I am in love with this build. It was cheap, easy, and easy on the eyes! And if for some reason it no longer fits into our dining room decor someday, it is a very versatile piece. It's a sturdy little bench, and can be used anywhere you need a place to sit! The ledge on the bottom is also great for a little extra storage. 

Head over to Ana's site for other Farmhouse Bench plans or just pick up her book for the details on this simpler one!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Media Console • An Ana White Project

Now that our baby is getting mobile, we've realized it's time to do away with our college years TV stand and replace it with something both more grown up and more baby proof (mostly more baby proof). While most media consoles are beyond our budget, a handbuilt one was not!

There is a plan for a media console in Ana White's The Handbuilt Home, but the dimensions were a bit too large for our family room. So, I took out a measuring tape and figured out what size media console would be best for our purposes. With new basic dimensions on paper, I opened up Sketch Up and figured out the rest of the new dimensions:

I'm glad I took the time to model this, it definitely prevented a few incorrect cuts! I also felt more prepared to assemble it, as I had to walk through each step in the modeling.

Once the planning and shopping were completed, it was time to start working with the wood. The first step was to build the box. Some notes:

  • We used a shelf pin jig to quickly make holes for adjustable shelves
  • Pocket holes, a partner, and L square made assembly surprisingly quick for the box!
Media Console: The Box
Next, came the frame. This was a fairly quick process, scattered over days, of: mark cut, cut, sand, nail to the box. An even easier step was attaching the back (a piece of plywood). The doors took a bit more effort, but were by no means difficult. Before we knew it we had an unfinished Media Console! After a bit of procrastination, and a few paint layers later, we had this:

 We anchored it to the wall with some L brackets, and finally relaxed and enjoyed some TV.


  • Sanding: Medium, then Very Fine
  • Primer
  • Paint: Swiss Coffee by Behr, Satin Finish. 3 coats, sanding between each coat

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gallery Ledges • Ana White

pocket holes
the unfinished product
totally earned it
I* finally completed my very first project! Before the hubs and I tackle building a media console, we built an easier, more "beginner" friendly project first. These gallery ledges seemed like the perfect first build. Especially since we needed something to house these books –and preferably a cheap something.

There are many ways to make these ledges. They can even be assembled with just some sandpaper, a hammer, nails, and wood glue. Since we were somewhat "practicing" for bigger projects, we actually used a pocket hole jig (worked like a charm!) and power tools.

Supplies Used:
  • [ 1 ] 1x2 (8' pine)
  • [ 2 ] 1x4 (8' pine)
  • Medium & very fine sand paper
  • Safety glasses
  • Screws 
    • 1 1/4" pocket hole screws for the ledge
    • 2" wood screws for mounting
  • 2" Nails 
  • Hammer
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Paint brush
  • Behr Swiss Coffee in Satin 
  • Level
Helpful Tools:
  • Jigsaw
  • Pocket Hole Jig
  • Power Sander
  • Power Drill
  • Stud Finder

*Okay, the husband helped.