Thursday, June 27, 2013

Storage shelves

Well, I've been thinking about trying my hand at making some furniture and stuff.  I really wanted a big table for my kitchen in the event we have guests over...ever.  We are pretty anti-social so we don't have people over very often.  So, thinking about that I got into looking for furniture plans and things that I might could make.  I found a few tables that I really liked, but then it started seeming like the table would be really really heavy and unrealistic for me to build, but right before I got to that point, I found that table on craigslist, which I then bought.  I'm soooo happy about it and don't regret it for a second!  So, now I am still thinking about things I can build, but more along the shelf and armoir lines.  We really could use more storage around this house, like a linen closet, a pantry of sorts to store food in the mud room, and a shelving unit of some type to go in the kitchen to free up some counter space.

I wanted to start small with a very simple project.  So I found some shelves that I could make for my garage to help organize some things in there.  When the humidity gets bad, the floor gets all wet and I am very sure things do not dry out properly.  So, it would be nice if things were better organized and out of the way.  I got the idea from More Like, she has all sorts of plans on there that seem very doable and easy.  (also if you click that link it takes you to the actual plans for the shelves that I built)  I took a picture of the floor of the garage the other day, just to show a friend what it was like.  As you can see, I desperately need shelves and the time to organize the garage.

In honor of beginning to build things, hubby and I thought it was time that I got my own cordless drill.  Here it is in all its wonderful glory!  Isn't it beautiful?  Its just small enough that I can handle it and still has enough power that it should be able to do whatever we need it to.  (the battery is in the charger)

Okay, on to the project.  The whole thing is supposed to made out of 2x4s.  I decided to mix things up and make the shelves themselves out of 1x4s.

Technical stuff and numbers:
Time: 2-3 hours (probably could have taken less, but I'm new to this)
Cost: about $45
Measurements:  73" tall, 39 1/4" wide and 17 1/2" deep.  (-ish)
Materials used:
4 - 2x4x10 @ $4.59 each (this made the 4 uprights and the 8 shelf supports, and I ended up with 4 - 13" pieces of scrap); and 4 - 1x4x12 @ $5.98 (this made the 16 shelf pieces).  Plus a couple of bucks in screws (approximately 48 - 2 1/2" screws for the 2x4s and 64 - 1 5/8" screws to attach the shelves).

The plan is very simple, you attach the shelf supports to the uprights.  Cut 4 six foot pieces for the uprights and 8 - 17 1/2 inch pieces for the shelf supports out of the 2x4.  If you got 10 foot lengths, you'll have 4 - 13" ish pieces of scrap wood.  Use the 2 1/2" screws to attach the 2x4s to each other.

Then you'll cut 16 - 3 foot pieces of 1x4 for the shelves (since its a 12 foot length, there shouldn't be any scrap).  Then use the 1 5/8" screws to attach the shelf pieces to the shelf supports.

I cut everything to the plan that is in the link, but then when I tried to put the 3 middle pieces in between the uprights they didn't fit, so I decided just to use the 14 three foot pieces as my shelves and adding spaces in between the shelves.  Really, I used 5 1/2 of the 1x4x12s to make the actual unit.  I still have the 6 - 33" pieces to use, I might try to make a little bench or something with those and the other scrap pieces we have hanging around here.  We'll see how that goes.  Here is the shelf unit finished!  I made it all by myself, I even used the chop saw to cut all of my own wood. (scary!)  :) I'm pretty proud of myself!  It isn't perfect, that's for sure...

Here is what the shelves look like up close (that's the bottom one).  
There's about an inch-ish between each board, I think this and using the 1x4 instead of 2x4 will make it lighter and easier to move around, plus most likely its going to hold totes and stuff that shouldn't need a full shelf.  The plan also says to glue, predrill and countersink where you put your screws, but I didn't and it seems to be pretty good.  I also didn't put in the braces, I haven't decided if I'm going to do that or not, but I don't think it needs it.  I'll put lighter things on the top shelf, so it should be just fine.  :) YAY!!
I really really really love it!  I might build a couple of more, depending on what wood we have left around here after the chicken coop is done.  (SOMEDAY!  ACK!)  Here is the web site for something else I'm thinking about building: Cool Jelly Cupboard.

Have a great day!


  1. Wow! Those shelves look awesome! Great job!!! I think it's so amazing that you did it all yourself. Girls are soooo underestimated :-)

    1. Thanks Susie! :) Hubby has trained me well, he has me help him do all sorts of stuff around the house and we've built our fair share of stuff! He makes sure I learn things too, asks me why we did stuff and that has really helped me. I can't wait until the stupid coop is done! :) The chicks are getting too big for the brooder and then he can get all his stuff out of my garage, haha!