Tag: Bookcase

Time and Money Saving DIY Floating Book Shelves

Ever since I was a kid, I have loved reading and owning books. That’s why I could totally relate to my oldest daughter’s request for book shelves. In our previous house, I had built her a recessed bookcase we both loved. As this Christmas inched closer with the expectation my daughter would be gifted more books, it was time to buckle down to give her a way to organize all the book stacks she had lined up on the floor. Although, I love a recessed bookcase, I didn’t want to dive into wall cutting and shelf building while caring for a newborn. That’s how I came to constructing easier and time effective floating book shelves. If you’re looking for a way to organize your own stacks, follow along below!

Floating Book Shelf Basics

Many of the floating shelves out there are quite thick for the elevated look of it and/or the hardware that is likely needed to support the shelf. Generally, I like the look of those shelves more than a thin wood shelf. As I was looking at examples of floating book shelves on Pinterest, I saw a post about L brackets, which really sparked for me. While considering how many shelves were desired in combination with the height of the wall and the cost, I ended up using a 1 in width instead of 2 in. After purchasing 1″ boards from Lowes, I was slightly concerned the boards would bow from the weight. After doing a quick test of the board strength by sitting on it while propped on two saw horses, I was confident the board would be fine. 

The other decision I had to make was the size of the brackets to get. L brackets are definitely cheaper than a decorative shelf bracket, which was part of the draw for me. I wanted to be sure the shelf had enough support while keeping cost down, so I ended up choosing the 6″ x 6″ brackets. 

Supply List

I determined the amount of length I would need for 9 shelves would be three 8′ boards or two 10′ boards. Lowes apparently doesn’t sell 10′ boards as a 1″ x 8″, so I had to get three 8′ boards. Then, I cut the boards the same width as the wall space, roughly 29″.  A word to the wise, it’s worth measuring the wall space several times. This is my second project using wall space to find that they weren’t exactly square. This meant the width at the top of the wall was 1/4 in wider than the bottom of the wall. 

The prep steps for this project were quite minimal, spray painting and staining. I used Rust-oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze I had from my Live Edge coffee table project. The screws should likely be sprayed as well to match. I should have sprayed them at the same time but didn’t. I ended up leaving the screws silver, because my daughter was hard pressed to get the shelves up. 

From there, it was just a matter of staining the shelves. I used a stain I already had on hand, Minwax Chestnut. I tend to like the darker colors better for most of my projects. When it comes to staining, you can use either a clean rag or a foam brush. I learned long ago from my mom to save disgarded white t-shirts for staining projects. Free is always fabulous. After many a stained hand, I have decided it’s worth buying a box of gloves for easier clean up. 

Shelf Attachment

The shelves were hardly dry before my daughter was carting them to her room for me to attach to the wall. This made for a very pungent upstairs since the smell lasts for days. I toggled between attached the brackets to the shelf first or to the wall first. I ended up attaching to the wall first with the thought I wouldn’t be able to screw in the bottom screw with the shelf attached. The easiest method, is to place the bracket against the wall, then draw the holes onto the wall. With the bracket off the wall, drill a hole into the stud. I didn’t necessary want to put the brackets at the end of the boards, but that’s where the studs were in the wall. Using anchors in the drywall wouldn’t be a good way to support the amount of weight books would create. 

After the first bracket was secured to the wall, it was important to level the shelf to ensure the right bracket would be in the correct spot. For me, the right bracket was so close to the connecting wall that the inner screw hole was just outside of the stud. Given I had two screws secured into the stud, I felt okay about one of them going into a drywall anchor. 

With the brackets secured to the wall, it was just a matter of screwing in the shelves. Wood screws are self drilling, which means you usually don’t have to pre-drill the hole. I didn’t want to risk creating a crack so close to the end of the board, so I opted to drill a hole prior to placing the screw. 

While I finished up the last of the shelves, my oldest and youngest daughters, shared some bonding time on the bed. How adorable are they?!

A Floating Book Shelves Must: Book ends

I would venture to say that floating shelves aren’t the first choice for books simply because there’s nothing to keep them from falling off the end. With this being the case, you either buy some book ends or you can go the cheap route of using the extra wood to make sliding book ends. I cut into the wood with the radial saw to knotch out a 13/16″ width. Then using a router, I cleaned up the cut, leaving about and inch or so at the end.

That’s all it took to keep the books from falling off the shelves.

Final Product

That’s all there is to creating your very own Floating Book Shelves! Go ahead and give it a try this weekend! It’s a given you will feel great for accomplishing a project and creating a way to organize your space. As noted in Can organizing impact your mental health?, “Your disorganization, unfinished projects, and piles of “to-dos” may be contributing to your stress and depression. As you work hard to clear away the piles and never-ending projects, your brain will rest easy and make it easier for you to feel relaxed and happy.” For this particular organization, you may also enjoy the chance to organize the books in a particular way. My daughter was excited to organize her books by author’s last name. Whatever floats your boat!

*This page contains affiliate links. This means if you use one of my links to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Cathartic Crafting!

DIY Bakery and Lemonade Stand Charm for Entrepreneurial Kids

While under stay-at-home orders in Maryland, my two younger daughters took hold of a bakery and lemonade stand idea. They knew they wouldn’t be able to sell the goods at that time but were completely smitten with the idea of it. It just happened that while redoing my oldest’s daughter’s room, she had decided she no longer wanted this large composite bookcase. Inspiration hit after the initial request for the stand, so away we went with the creation of it. 

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Materials & Tools

Quite thankfully for our budget, I didn’t have to buy any materials for this project. I used items already sitting in wait for re-purposing. 

Materials

  • Composite Bookcase
  • Old Window
  • Scrapwood
  • Spraypaint
  • Screws
  • Cotton Material
  • Drawer liner

Tools

  • Square
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Kreg Jig
  • Clamp

Getting to Work


I wanted this project to be as easy as possible. The easiest way I figured we could accomplish it was to cut the bookcase just above the secured shelf. This would allow for a small lip of the soon-to-be counter space. Rather than just drawing a cutting line, I used a square as my guide by clamping it on.


Safety Announcement!

Protect your hearing!! My girls have come to use their earmuffs to help quiet the noise of my saws. They also lovingly remind me to wear my safety ear muffs when they see I’m not wearing mine. I know from family experience that protecting your hearing now is important for the years to come. Be sure to wear those ear muffs when using any loud tools. I bought a pair of ear protectors for my garage visitors.


The girls in their PJ’s inspecting my work.

Here comes the Color!!!

This project was a great opportunity for the girls to join in the refinishing fun. Obviously, the blond wood color wouldn’t do for their personal bakery and lemonade stand.  They picked from my assortment of spray paint cans and got to work. I let them do what they could and filled in the light spots later.

Old Window Repurposing

Awhile back, I bought a stock of old windows for $20 and hosted a Window repurposing party. I had a few who weren’t able to make it so have been storing the windows every since and using them for as ideas spark. The girls set to work cleaning one of the windows. They cleaned the glass and scraped off some of the old paint before painting it white.

The width was just about perfect while the height was off by 3 or 4 inches. I found a spare board that worked to fill some of the difference. Using my handy Kreg jig, I attached the board to the window and made pocket holes around the window to attach it to the bookcase. 

With the window on, it was just about complete. Drawer liner from my Antique Hutch Project served to spruce up the shelves. As you can see from the above, the girls were pleased with the results. All that remained for the bakery side of things was to hide that gap. 

Time to Bring Out the Sewing Machine

The girls picked out material from my stash to make a ruffle. I can still remember my mom teaching me how to make a ruffle as a kid. You need to cut a piece of material that is almost twice as long as what is needed and start by finishing off your edges. I’m not an expert sewer, so I’d recommend checking out some other great sites, like Treasurie, for how to best do that.

To make the bunching, you sew a loose straight stitch along the whole length without backstitching. 

Then pull one of the threads while pulling the material in the opposite direction. It may be necessary to start pulling on the opposite side when it starts to get hard to bunch. 

When it’s at the right length, backstitching and a shorter stitch along the length secure the ruffles. With the ruffle complete, I hot glued ruffles to both the bakery and lemonade stands.

Bakery and Lemonade Stand Wares

A lemonade stand is dependent on some beautiful lemons!

We were making the bakery and lemonade stand just after Easter, so we went ahead with baking some Easter Sugar Cookies with icing.

Store-bought pizzelles dipped in chocolate with a smattering of sprinkles were next up on the menu list. The girls also chose to use the mini Easter desserts given to them by their grandmother.

A Quick Menu Sign

Every bakery needs a menu, so I selected this wood cut out from my stack. I used Martha Stewart Chalkboard Paint in purple and gray. 

Personalized Money

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my love of personalized items when creating for the kids. I thought it’d be fun to give them play money to use during quarantine in liue of doing a lemonade stand at the end of the driveway. www.PrintablePlayMoney.net had free templates which were exactly what I was looking for. The girls were crazy about the idea, so away we went. A quick photo and duplication in Word gave them a stack of bills ready to hand out for us to pay for the goods.

Bakery and Lemonade Stand Open for Business

To finish this project, the girls made their own cardboard sign and offered storybooks they wrote for the waiting customers. I used cardboard and acrylic paint to create lemons, cherries, and a cupcake for extra flare. 

The girls are ready and itching to get out to the end of the driveway to put their stand to use with real customers. My ten-year-old wants to use the profits to donate to a charity cause she’s just that kind of girl. I hope you find some inspiration in our found objects project making lemons into lemonade. 

2022 Update: My girls have indeed used their stand for good since its inception. Check them out at Determined to Donate on Facebook.

*This page contains affiliate links. This means if you use one of my links to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Cathartic Crafting!

RSS
Follow by Email
Pinterest
Pinterest
fb-share-icon
Instagram

Are you interested in getting alerts and information on all things coming out of Cathartic Crafting?! Then go ahead and submit your info below: