Sunday, June 14, 2015

Bookcase Magic


My newest furniture update- a built-on bookcase for a vintage dresser.  I seriously can't get over how awesome this turned out.  I will take a bit of a break patting myself on my back to get my hands back on the keyboard to share some details on this design.

One of the challenges of our attic remodel is organization.  There isn't a closet in the space and we didn't really have enough of a need for one to get into the logistics of building one in.  But, we did need space for two kids worth of clothing, books and miscellaneous bedroom stuff.  I really wanted a single bookcase and dresser unit for the room since we were adding a bed and I didn't want to clutter up the room with too much furniture.  Also, I thought getting the books a bit more out of toddler arm reach would help with book longevity.  (A moment of silence for the countless books I have had to throw away due to excessive tearing or traces of human excrement).

Starting with the base, I spruced up an existing vintage dresser we had.

For the bookcase, I was inspired by this picture.
I am a super visual person, so I used painters tape to mask out the dimensions of the bookcase, starting with the width of the dresser and using the slant of the wall to determine my height.

I decided I didn't need even shelf heights since many kids books are short (thinking of board books), so I went with 13" on the bottom for my tallest height and 11" in the middle and 10" on top.

Design completed, Andy was in charge of the actual build. ----------

Ap: As per usual I used 1/2" birch plywood for the case and 3/4" pine ripped to size for the face frame. This bookshelf is 38" wide and books/ children climbing can be heavy so I wanted to make sure each shelf was as rigid as I could make it. I rough cut all the pieces with my straightedge and circular saw and then final cut all the pieces using the table saw. Next, I set up the dado blade on my table saw and cut 1/4" deep dados into the sides to accept the shelves and back. Because Megs wanted to paint all the pieces ahead of time I had to be extra careful with the final assembly. I asked that she not paint the edges of the pieces so I would have a clean glue surface for the mating parts to stick. Overall this was a very easy project and went together quickly. I am not a huge fan of pre-painted parts but it worked out ok. Back to Megs...

Mp:  I really liked the different pattern on the back of the bookcase in my inspiration picture but couldn't find a wrapping paper with the right colors that was also gender neutral, so I decided to stencil a design myself.  Using leftover paint from a desk I refinished a couple of years ago, I put two coats of Simply Silhouette by Behr on the backing piece of wood.

While I had my painting station all set up, I went ahead and painted all the other bookcase components with two coats of Ryegrass which was the green I used on the dresser.

I have become so accustomed to county living that it didn't even phase me to knock chickens away from my drying station.  Life is weird.

While my pieces were drying, I created my stencil.  I had left over stencil sheets from a stencil I created for F's old closet so I used this to trace my design on.  For this particular project, a piece of cardboard would also work fine.  I found the stencil design on this site where the author uses it for an accent wall.

Utilizing all of my quilting rulers, I traced the stencil design onto the backing board with a pencil.  Once my entire design was traced, I used one of the kid's craft paintbrushes and hand painted over the pencil marks with gold craft paint.

Andy then took over again putting all of the pieces together and nailing a face frame over the front.

I filled the nail holes and painted the face frame with 2 coats of the green paint.  Andy cut two blocks of wood that he screwed into the top of the dresser and then screwed into the inside of the bookcase.

This is nice because if we ever have to move the dresser, we can easily remove the bookcase and move them in two separate pieces.

Viola.  Pure perfection.

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