Saturday, February 16, 2013

Shoes need accessories too

We have a pile of shoes by the front door that gets so out of control it's hard to get in the house sometimes...well maybe not that bad, but after tripping over my husbands' size 12 boots for the millionth time it feels that way. This year we had a snowy winter so the addition of wet boots and a plastic tray for them to drip on really pushed me over the edge and I decided something had to be done.

Over the course of a week we went from this...

To this...

I started with a tape measure and a drawing that looked something like this. I knew that it was going to go behind the front door so it couldn't stick out further then the trim, but that meant it was going to have shelves under 9 inches because of the baseboard. That was fine for Corin's and my shoes, but there was no way Ryan's monsters would fit on that. To get a wider shelf I decided to make the baseboard the support for the back, which gave me another inch and the ability to have a 10 inch shelf. This worked A LOT better for everyone.

From here I took a trip to Lowe's lumber department and bought 6-1x12 pine boards at 4 feet each. You can purchase an 8 foot board if you want to save some money ($4 a board), but I'm all about the convenience of handling something shorter then me while also juggling a toddler, purse, and a blue cart. I also bought a  3x4 foot piece of wainscot hardboard paneling for the back.

 This is how I cut them down...

The two sides were cut down to 10" wide and 29-1/2" long. Remember that boards are not a true whole number, a 1 x 12 is actually a 1/2 x 11-1/2, so I had to take 1/2" off each sides length to get the 30" height I needed the entire shelf to be once I added the top.

The bottom shelf was cut to 10" wide and 45" long. I had to subtract 1" from the length to account for the 1/2" side panels. The middle two shelves were cut to 9.75" wide and 45" long. Thee middle two were a smaller width to take into account the panel, that I recessed in the back, so they would be flush against it.
The top piece was cut to 9" wide and 46" long. I kept the top the length of the entire cabinet, because I wanted it to cover the top edges of the side panels.

The piece of paneling was cut to 29.5" high and 45.5" wide. I routed a 1/4" ledge into the back of the top, bottom, and side pieces to hide the edge of the panel and so that the back would be flush to the shelves.

Next I put some pocket screws in each each board to put them all together. This is a nice trick because the screw goes in at an angle and the head is hidden. They all got a quick sand with 220 grit and a 400 grit to take the roughness off. I was originally going to paint the whole thing white, but once they were sanded the wood was so pretty I couldn't bring myself to do it. I had a can of Mission Oak polyshade by Minwax in satin. It's great, because you slap a couple of coats on with a foam brush and it's stained and sealed at the same time! I did do a light sanding with fine steel wool in between coats so I didn't get bubbles. Make sure that you really wipe up the steel dust or you'll have a lot of debris in the final coat.

I put a little bead of wood glue on the edges that came together and screwed it all together.The panel was attached with finishing nails and then I attached the two Waddell 5-1/2-in Mixed Round Taper Traditional Wood Table Legs from Lowe's using two Waddell 3-in Table Leg Straight Top Plates for support. I was able to get away with only one coat of stain on the legs. They didn't seem to soak it up like the pin boards.

Total cost for parts: $73.70 before tax
6,1x12x4 white pine boards        $38.34
1, 3x4 hardboard wainscot         $10.00
2, 5-1/2" legs                             $4.96
2, 3" top plates                           $3.36
1 quart Mission Oak polyshade  $12.87 (free for me)

You'll obviously need some nails, glue, and tools to put this together but for roughly $75 you can build a custom solid wood shelf that looks great and that you can feel proud of!

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