Build Your Own DIY Kitchen Island | Tutorial & Step-by-Step Building Plans

DIY Kitchen Island & Building Plans | Learn how to build this gorgeous furniture-style DIY kitchen island with this tutorial and building plans!


How to Upgrade Bookshelves

Once I decided to build a Pottery Barn knock-off desk for my husband, I knew the desk would be lonely without a pair of classic bookshelves. Its hard to find good bookshelves people, especially tall ones. When you look online, you find a sea of particle board and bad laminate. Luckily, once upon a time (like... the 90's) you could easily find solid wood bookshelves. The best news is, since "they" decided oak is ugly, you can pick up a pair of these babies for peanuts on Craigslist. After a little searching and a 50 minute drive, I scored a pair of solid oak, 72" x 32" bookshelves (complete with those typical, 90's rounded edges) for $20. Great score, but the plan was to bring them into this century. The wall these shelves were going on is over 12' tall, so these bad boys needed a pair of heels to raise them up. How high you can go is dependent on how tall of baseboard you can find. You will need baseboard tall enough to cover the riser, plus a little more to nail to the bookshelf. You can use 2 x 6 for the bookshelf riser, but I find a 2 x 4 is a reasonable size (Remember, 2 x 4 is the "nominal size". It actually measures 1.5" x 3.5"). Measure your bookshelf, but in my case, with a 2 x 4, I was able to use 5.5" tall baseboard. Measure your bookshelf and cut two lengths exactly the same as the width. Find the depth, subtract 3" and cut two lengths. Now, build a box. If you have a * FULL size nail gun (like the kind framers user, not a finish or brad nailer), you could attach the boards that way. If not, set the boards on edge, vertically. Pre-drill and drive two, 3" wood screws into each end. To attach the riser to the bookshelf you will need pocket holes. If you're smarter than me, you would use your *Kreg Jig® and drill them before you assemble the box, just remember to avoid the last 1.5" of your short ends, where you will have a screw going through. If you're like me, just clamp the jig on and drill pocket holes around the inside of the riser. Depending on your bookshelf, you will most likely need to build out the base before you can attach the riser. Lay the bookshelf down and look at the bottom. Likely the frame will only be around 3/4" thick or less. In order for the screws to go through the pocket holes in the riser and grab into the bookshelf, you need to add more material. Don't worry, its easy. For mine, I found a couple pieces of scrap 1 x 2 and cut them down to size. Then, I flipped the bookshelf on its side and attached the 1 x 2 with glue and finish nails. Boom. That's it. Now you can easily drive 2.5" screws through the pocket holes and into the frame of the bookshelf. Just make sure to have the outside edges lined up. Now, the whole thing should be lifted up 3.5". Cut and miter baseboard to wrap around, covering the riser, and attach with finish nails. Now, our bookshelf has some sassy high heels, its time to tease her hair. Try to keep proportions on the bottom and top the same. Since I used a 1 x 4 riser, I chose 1 x 4 boards to add height to the top of the bookshelf. In order to attach the boards, I needed something to nail them to. I cut 3 pieces of 1 x 2. One, slightly shorter than the width of the bookshelf and 2 slightly shorter than the depth, minus 1.5". On the top of the bookshelf, I spaced the strips 3/4" from the edge and nailed them into place. + This is the same technique you would use if you were simply adding crown moulding, but you would bring the strips all the way to the edge. Cut your 1 x 4 the same dimensions as the bookshelf and miter the corners. Place the board vertically against the 1 x 2 strip and nail into place. Just like crown moulding, nail the pieces of board to the strip, and also to each other at the joints. Now we have some volume. "Yeah, but it just looks like I nailed a board to the top of my bookshelf, It doesn't blend." This is where trim comes in. You are going to use a small piece of moulding to cover the gap where old meets new. Typically, you would probably see "half-round" moulding or similar for this job. Its cheap and easy to find. I happened to have a stash of shoe moulding, so that's what I used. Once again, cut to size, mitering the corners, and nail into place. Looking much better. Just needs some crown to finish it off. If you haven't ever worked with crown moulding. it takes a little practice. I would recommend buying extra material your first time. I would recommend watching a tutorial too, but here is my Reader's Digest version: On a miter saw, flip the crown upside down and lay it against the fence at the angle it would sit on the wall and ceiling (pretend it's where the wall and ceiling meet). Cut at a 45 degree angle. I usually start with the most prominent piece first, nailing it into place, then adding the smaller pieces. To keep your joint from pulling apart, drive a couple nails from one piece of crown into the other, going both directions. Remember, on a bookshelf you can just cut the crown square on the back of the sides and leave the back bare. Its going to be up against a wall. Now, all that is left is make-up. I primed both bookcases and all the shelves with a stain blocking primer. Then, I sprayed 2 coats of Dark Roast from Country Chic Paint (Yes, it is a chalk-based paint and I didn't need to prime, but the oak looked a little orange and I was worried about tannin bleed). Its pretty much my new favorite color. Its the dark, warm gray that goes with anything. Its perfect if you like an Industrial look. You can see my first project I used Dark Roast on, here. Since these bookshelves will see a lot of use, I sprayed 3 coats of satin lacquer to seal my new paint job. Here's what she looks like all gussied up. I think the details on the top and bottom bring a bookshelf into style and make it look much more expensive. Plus, between the riser, 1 x 4, and crown, I added almost another foot in height. A great way to fill a large wall. Once again, here is the boring "before". And after "hair and make-up". What do you think? Quite the upgrade. The bookshelves cost me $20, and I spent about another $40 for materials (not including paint and finish). Not bad for a pair of 7", solid wood bookshelves. Maybe you'll look at those oak bookshelves on craigslist a little differently now? * This post contains affiliate links. Let's be friends! Follow along so you don't miss a thing!


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This Collab Could Make Ikea Furniture Building a LOT Easier

Some of us love the Ikea shopping experience. Cinnamon buns and (now, meatless!) Swedish meatballs fueling your quest to redecorate, little pencils scribbling numbers you’ll never be able to decipher, spending way more than you originally planned (all those Sinnligs really add up). Likely, more of us are just in it for the final product — enviable, affordable furniture you can dress up or down, hack to make even better and move with you from dorm to first home. But there’s another step in there that I’m sure we can all agree we hate: building what you bought. Well, imagine a world where you could put together your Ikea furniture, triumphantly proclaim “nailed it!” and not have used one darn nail in the process. The folks over at Core 77 are imagining it and hoping a small design firm with a great, big idea can make it happen.


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How to Upholster a Caned Back Chair: Tutorial

A month or so ago we were perusing a local thrift store when I noticed this chair. The left armrest was pretty wobbly, but other than that it was in great shape. The seat was dirty but in good condition and there were no cracks in the wood. I could see that it was a Louis XV reproduction, probably made in the early 80's, and once I found the price tag I knew I had to grab it right away! After about 20 mins of finagling, we fit it in my car and took it home. First, I removed the seat by unscrewing the 4 screws attaching it to the frame. The next hurdle was to de-wobble the armrest. For that I simply flipped the chair over, pre-drilled and countersunk a hole, and screwed in a heavy-duty 3 inch screw.That took care of 90% of the wobble. So, I also added a couple 2 inch finish nails to the back of the frame where the armrest meets. No more wobble! I wanted some paint resistance, so I chose not to prime the frame. I lazily roughed up the surface with some 150 grit sandpaper, just to make sure the whole thing didn't peel off. I then brushed on 2 coats of white, latex, semi-gloss paint. The paint I used is supposed to be a "one coat paint" because of it being a "paint and primer in one", but clearly I needed more than one coat. Two coats covered nicely. I then applied the glaze. I used Martha Stewart faux effects glaze (not my favorite, but not terrible) mixed with about 10% raw Umber and 10% Burnt Umber. I didn't do a heavy concentrated glaze because I wanted the frame to still look white. I just wanted to bring out some of the detail in the piece. That's part of the reason why I used semi-gloss. I wanted the glaze to only minorly darken the paint color. Had I gone with a satin finish, the paint would have absorbed too much color. The semi-gloss finish allowed the glaze to slip right off it. Using some 100 grit sandpaper I went around and distressed the raised areas, causing some chippyness. I then sealed it with two coats of my favorite, Polyacrylic in satin. Although it's super smooth and even, it did turn out a bit more shiny than I like due to the semi-gloss paint underneath. Oh well. Time to upholster! The seat went quickly. I'm sure most of you have re-covered a seat before, or at least watched someone do it, so I wont go into an explanation on that unless someone asks. Time to address the caning! I really debated on what I should do with the caned back. Most people these days see caning and think of their grandma's house and cats. Well, due to the large amount of caned furniture in the mid 20th century, I can see that. It really is beautiful and functional though. It can stretch over curves, and it gives great texture. In fact, just the other night I was flipping through the most recent Restoration Hardware Children's catalog where I spotted 2 different caned cribs! Maybe it's making a comeback? A lot of the caned chairs you come across second-hand are in bad shape, but this one was intact, making my decision even harder. I ultimately decided to upholster over it for two reasons. I wanted to try something new, and I figured it would be a usefully tutorial to most of you. I first grabbed some old newspaper and made a template. I kept the caning intact because it would be easier than removing it and having to create some kind of sub-structure. Had the caning been removed, it would have made tracing my template much easier. I then transfered the shape to some 1 inch thick foam (sorry, no photos for this step, my battery was charging and I was impatient). I had to reshape the foam a small amount, but it fit pretty well. I then secured the foam with some spray adhesive. I repeated the same process to fill the recessed space in the back of the chair. Next, I cut a piece of batting and a piece of fabric larger than the area I was going to cover, layering the batting first, and the fabric on top. I then went around the opening, stapling to the frame, making sure to pull the batting and fabric taught. With some help from the husband pulling, I secured both layers all around. I then trimmed off the excess, cutting close to the staples, but making sure to stay within the recessed grove. This step probably would be easier with a sharp utility knife, instead of bulky scissors. I repeated the steps to the other side and now the chair had an upholstered back. You have some options to cover the staples. I wanted this chair really look like a french Louis XV chair, so I went with braided trim. For a more contemporary or simple look, I would use double-welting (if you don't know what that is or can't find it, look it up online. There are a few good tutorials on how to make your own). This chair took about 5 1/2 yards of trim. Simply lay down a thin bead of hot glue over your staple line and smooth the trim over the border. Make sure to seal the ends of the trim with a bit of the glue so they don't fray. And that's it! I now have a beautifully upholstered arm chair. I love the fabric! It has some texture but still feels soft, and the color is a perfect, neutral beige. Let's be friends! Follow along so you don't miss a thing!


Curvy Side Table - Her Tool Belt

Build a cute and curvy side table for around $12 with these free plans.


15 Adorable Gardening Furniture Projects with Wood

15 Adorable Gardening Furniture Projects with Wood #gardenfurniture #backyarddecor


Gardens are right place to spend time talking and drinking with friends or family. The oxygen from the plants provides the fresh air you need for good health. Besides that, the view is very calming. You can escape the kids’ noise in the house and be by the garden alone to meditate or finish some office work with a cup of coffee.


DIY Floating Shelf Plans for the Dining Room

DIY Floating Shelf Plans and tutorial by Shanty2Chic!


DIY $60 Outdoor Dining Table - Shanty 2 Chic

Happy Wednesday guys! We are back with another plan today. I am THRILLED with how this design turned out. I wanted to design a table using only 2×4 studs and that’s exactly what I did. This one uses 17 of them, which made my cost of lumber just under $60. YEP… $60. Before we get…


DIY $95 Modern Plate Rack

Build a custom DIY Modern Plate Rack for only $95 in lumber! Get the free DIY furniture plans and step-by-step tutorial now!


15 Awesome Sites for Free Furniture Building Plans - Honeybear Lane

If you're looking to start building, getting furniture plans is a good idea. Here's a list of 15 awesome sites for free furniture building plans.


Fake It Til You Make It--The Making of a Faux Fireplace

Look at me trying to sound fancy by using crazy words like faux. I mean I could have totally used “fake,” but I opted for the more classy “faux” instead. Let’s be honest, I totally googled the definition for both before I wrote this post just to see the difference. And, I totally googled the spelling of the word “til” as well to make sure it wasn’t 2 Ls. Look, I didn’t major in English. . Last week I took you back to high school geometry with my coffee table. This week we are going back to elementary school spelling and grammar. Everybody on the bus! Just kidding… . So on to the fireplace…my sister had asked me to build her a “faux” fireplace to set her TV (massive TV I might add) on to replace the metal and glass stand she had but didn’t like. Simple enough, I thought. But, then she started sending me a gazillion pictures of fireplaces like “can you do this, but make this part like that, then do the moulding like this, but not make this part so big? Oh, and I want it to come in at this point but stick out here.” . …


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How to Build a Back Yard DIY Fire Pit (It's Easy!) | The Garden Glove

Here's how to build a outdoor DIY fire pit step by step in your backyard. This is a pretty easy project and reasonably inexpensive!


Build Your Own DIY Kitchen Island | Tutorial & Step-by-Step Building Plans

DIY Kitchen Island & Building Plans | Learn how to build this gorgeous furniture-style DIY kitchen island with this tutorial and building plans!


5 Must Have Tools for DIY Furniture Building — Decor and the Dog

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DIY Platform Dresser Bed

Happy Thursday guys! SO glad you are here... To keep up with all of our projects be sure to FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST! Recently, I closed off a loft space to create one