I am a wannabe builder. I love Ana White to pieces and admire her “can-do” attitude when it comes to creating her own furniture. I so desire to build my own furniture one day but my confidence level is low when it comes to this. All that measuring perfectly scares me. However, Denise (Operation Restoration: Home Edition mommy) is so easy going I figured I would try my hand at making some custom bookshelves for her living room. If they aren’t perfect she would totally just roll with it. So I asked Ana if she would tweak the directions for the Kentwood bookshelves to be 2’ wide by 7’ tall. Here I am all hot, sweaty and proud of the bookshelves I made.
The inspiration for the shelves are the Kenwood Bookshelves from Restoration Hardware.
I spent about $60 in wood and screws for each bookcase, which was pretty good considering they are solid wood and fit the specifications I needed. I followed Ana’s instructions exactly when it came to building but here was my cut list.
CUT LIST FOR 83 1/2″ HEIGHT
2 – 1×12 @ 80 3/4″ (sides)
4 – 1×2 @ 11 1/4″ (side trim)
4 – 2×2 @ 82 3/4″ (legs)
4 – 2×2 @ 21 1/2″ (top supports and bottom shelf trim)
6 – 1×12 @ 21 1/2″ (shelves)
8 – 1×2 @ 21 1/2″ (shelf trim)
6 – 1×3 @ 26″ (top)
7 – 3 1/2″ wide planking or 1x4s @ 80″ long (back)
For those of you who build and don’t have a Kreg Jig it is a must have. You can get the basic one for about $100. It certainly made making this bookshelf so much easier than it could have been.
This is my third ‘build-from-scratch’ project I have done. I did the Laundry Dresser and the Raised Cedar Garden Boxes. I will say each time you learn something new and it gets easier and easier. The second bookshelf was better than the first.
Next I tried that tea/vinegar stain combo that I have seen on one of my contributors sites, Brook from Being Brook. It was really strange but it was fun to try. I am not sure I will use it again just because it is really unpredictable the color it will turn. But it was a fun experiment.
I started by first “painting” on some strong English Breakfast Tea. It changed the color just a bit.
Then I soaked a bunch of steel wool pads in white vinegar overnight. Then I painted over the tea with the vinegar/steel wool combo. It immediately turned into an ashy gray/brown stain. I thought it was pretty cool.
Then I took a hammer, nails, and sandpaper to it to add some character. Denise absolutely loves them and they look perfect in the spot we have them in her living room.