Thursday, February 28, 2013

New bed!

Yea! It still needs a little extra poly, but otherwise, the bed is done!!! I wanted it to look like the Pottery Barn Farmhouse bed. Big thanks to Ana White and a modification of the bed that I saw on her Brag Post page here:  I am so very happy!  It really looks beautiful with the dresser I built.

my bed
PB bed

And just as a reminder....


 *This post was written before I changed the name of my blog.*

Friday, February 22, 2013

I like your hat, Mrs. Nesbitt!

Usually, I pull my dust mask down to my neck when I am don't need it, but the metal nose thing was bugging me so I guess I had put it on my head.  Like a little hat.  I didn't realize until I walked into my bathroom that this is how I looked to my neighbors.

I was wearing my hat while working on the modification of Ana White's farmhouse bed.  Hopefully, it will be finished this weekend.   Yea!!

*This post was written before I changed the name of my blog.*

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Time for a new bed, bedding, window treatments...

When we first picked out our home, I had great ideas for the master bedroom.  I loved how our old one was decorated, but I wanted something a little more modern this time.  We picked out a great celery green color which the builder painted, and I found steel grey bedding and cool round stool/ottoman from my beloved TJs.    I thought the room would come together beautifully (and quickly.)  This is how Macy's envisioned the bedding - gorgeous!

 And here it is in our room...

Now, I know you're thinking, "Dang, girl!  You need to audition for Design Star!"  To which I would say:  magic like this is tough to recreate.  Mainly because it is so painful to look at. 

PAINT:  As soon as the paint when up and I saw it during full sun, all I could hear in my head was, "you could even say it glowed."  Yep, I should know to never pick out a paint color without seeing it in a room at different times of the day because the light makes such a big difference.  It also made the tile in the shower look kind of pink.  (Big thanks to Annette for consoling me!)

BLINDS:  $50 blinds  shouldn't break during the first year of use, but I think it was the Design Gods stepping in to let me know that a red next to glowing green only looks good on the red-eyed tree frog I saw on Wild Kratts.

BEDDING:  What can I say.  I bought a duvet even though I know I hate how the comforter moves all around even if you try to staple the corners of the comforter to said duvet.  And bed skirts.  Bed skirts hate me.  This one is slick, so it really moves around.  In a couple of days, it had moved leaving a huge pile on the floor and no coverage on the other.  Plus, we have a really high "pillow top" mattress which is Latin for "no sheet will ever fit" so the combo of a half-naked pillow top mattress and shlumpy bed skirt is really unfortunate.

Side note:  We did have one year when our rescue dog, Xena the Warrior Princess, spent most every day hiding under a bed - the heavily fortified cotton bed skirt made her feel safe.  This bed skirt is good for only one thing - making Cleetus feel he is invisible.  There is going to be hell to pay when I get rid of it.

This will all be remedied in an upcoming post!

 *This post was written before I changed the name of my blog.*

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Shaker Style Dresser Plans

The dresser plans are finally complete!  You can see by the picture below that these plans are a little different than the dresser that I built.

The first design difference is how I constructed the sides and legs. I made this change because it is simpler and sleeker.  I  made the top two drawers slightly shorter and each drawer width 1/4" smaller so you would only need one sheet of 3/4"plywood making it much less expensive!  The remaining design and construction methods are the same as my dresser - consider this the new and improved version!  The Purebond really made this dresser pretty!

(This is a mod of Patrick's Beach Dresser from - thanks!)

 Link to these plans on

***special note***  If you do not have a jigsaw or if you are planning to stain the dresser, there is a modification for each instance in step 4.  Each of these requires the purchase of an additional 1x2x6.



4 - 1x2x8
1 - 1x2x6
2 - 1x3x6
1 - 1x5x6
3 - 1x8x8
1 sheet 3/4" birch plywood
1 sheet 1/2" birch plywood
2 sheets 1/4" birch plywood (review cut list below before purchasing)
8 pair 14"  euro drawer slides
16 knobs
2" finish nails
1 1/4" finish nails
5/8" finish nails
1 1/4" pocket hole screws
wood  glue
wood filler


measuring tape
safety glasses
hammer or nailer
hearing protection
table saw
compound miter saw
kreg jig

CUT LIST - Boards

Side trim:
4 - 1x2 @14 1/4"

4 - 2x2 @35 1/4"

Front trim:  
2 - 2x2 @ 62 1/4"

Back brace:
1 - 1x2 @ 62 1/4"

Drawer dividers:
6 - 1x2 @ 30 3/4"

Small drawer fronts:
2 - 1x5 @ 30 1/2"

Large drawer fronts:
6 - 1x8 @ 30 1/2"

Top trim:
1 - 1x2 @ 67 1/4"
2 - 1x2 @ 18 1/4"

CUT LIST - Plywood

3/4 Plywood:

2 - 14 1/4" x 32 1/2"

1 - 17 1/4" x 31 3/4"

Top and bottom:
2 - 15 3/4" x 62 1/4"

1/2" Plywood

Large drawer front/backs:
12 - 5 3/4" x 28 3/4"

Small drawer front/backs:
4 - 3 1/2" x 28 3/4"

Large drawer sides:
12 - 5 3/4" x 14"

Small drawer sides:
4 - 3 1/2" x 14"

1/4" Plywood

Drawer bottoms:
8 - 14" x 29 3/4"

1 - 32 1/2" x 65 1/4"

Plywood diagrams
 If you are getting this cut at a store, have them make the 32 1/2 rip cut to make the sides.  Having the sides exactly the same measurement is very important to getting the dresser square.

These are the drawer sides and front/backs.  I like to lightly label each crosscut by its row number.  For example, each drawer front/back from the first rip cut would be labeled 'row a.'  This way, I know to pair two 'row a' pieces for one drawer which ensures the pieces will be exactly the same length helping to make the drawer box square.  If I matched a front/back from row a with one from row b, they might be slightly off in measurement.  Likewise, I match sides from the same rows.

 You may not need the second sheet if you have some scrap 1/4" already.

PLEASE read through the directions entirely before starting this project.  Please use eye and hearing protection as well as any recommended safety features on your equipment.

Step 1.    Predrill 4 pocket holes in the inside top of each side to use later to attach the dresser top.  Attach trim to sides with glue and either 1 1/4" finish nails or screws from the inside.  The plywood has a 'good' and a 'not so good' side, so make sure you face the good side out.

Step 2.  Attach the posts to each side with pocket holes and 1 1/4" screws keeping the tops flush.

Step 3.   Attach the dresser bottom to the sides keeping the back of the dresser bottom flush with the back legs.  There should be a 1 1/2" space at the front.  Lay the pieces on the ground like the dresser is on its back.  Making sure each corner is square, attach using pocket holes and 1 1/4" screws from underneath.

Step 4:  Using a jigsaw, cut inserts in center section as shown below.  In addition to drawing the lines, you may want to use a straight edge to keep these corners square.

***no jigsaw*** 

If you don't have a jigsaw, make the center dimenstions as shown below and attach 1x2s as shown.  The extra 1x2 cut will be 1@ 29 1/2" and 1 @ 31".  Use pocket hole screws to screw from the center section into the 1x2s.  Try to place these where the center of the drawers will be to avoid interfering with the drawer divider or drawer slide placement.

 ***staining the dresser***

If you want to stain the dresser, this option will let you avoid sanding the plywood edge to accommodate edge banding and will also keep all the front trim the same type of wood taking the stain more evenly.  The extra 1x2 cut will be 1@ 29 1/2".  Use pocket hole screws to screw from the center section into the 1x2.  Try to place these where the center of the drawers will be to avoid interfering with the drawer divider or drawer slide placement.

 Step 5:  With the dresser still on its back, attach the center section using plenty of glue and screw from underneath.  Use 5 1 1/4" screws.

Step 6.  Attach front trim pieces (2x2s)  using the cutouts as guides.  For the bottom trim, glue and use 2" finish nails or pocket holes from underneath.  Screw directly from underneath into the cutout using 2 1/4"   screws.  

For the top trim, attach with 2 pocket holes on each side underneath and screw directly from the top into the center cutout using 2 1/4" screws.  (I also used glue on each cutout.)

Step 7.   Attach the 1x2 brace to the back with pocket holes under each side and screwing directly into the cutout using 1 1/4" screws.

Step 8:  Drill 2 pocket holes into each end of the drawer dividers.  With the holes facing downward, attach to the center and sides.  Cut a piece of wood 7 1/2" and one 4 3/4" to use as a guide/jig for each opening.  It is very important that each opening is square.

Step 9:  Build drawer boxes as shown.  There should be 6 larger and 2 smaller.  Check for square.  Put your pocket holes in the front and the very back.  The drawer fronts will cover the front pocket holes, and you won't ever see the back holes.

Step 10:  Add drawer bottoms using glue and 5/8" finish nails.

Step 11:  Install drawer glides according to package directions allowing for a 3/4" inset to accommodate the drawer front.  Working one drawer at a time, put the drawer box in the dresser.  Using 1/8" craft wood strips as spacers on all four sides, position drawer front and clamp.  Attach using a few 1 1/4" nails.  Don't put nails where your knobs will be be.  I like to write in pencil where the drawer was originally fit (e.g. L4 for left side, 4th drawer down.)  I found that the 1x8s I used varied slightly in width.  (It's probably overkill, but I wanted to be extra cautious!)

Step 12:  Attach trim to top using glue and pocket holes from underneath or 2" finish nails.  (If you don't want to miter the corners, cut the 2 side pieces to 15 3/4" and do a butt joint with the unmitered 67 1/4" front trim piece.
Step 13.  Place dresser top upside down on the ground.  Remove drawers, and place dress upside down so that the backs of the dresser and dresser top are flush and there is a 1" overhang on the front and sides.   Attach using the pocket holes and 1 1/4" screws.  Also, screw through the brace into the top using 1 1/4" screws.

Step 14.  Using glue and 5/8" finish nails, attach back to dresser.

*This post was written before I changed the name of my blog.*

Friday, February 1, 2013

Tips on Building Drawers

Here are some of the things I learned while building 8 drawers.
1.  Definitely listen to Ana White, and buy the cheap euro-slide mounts.  Don't install the dresser/cabinet back until your drawers are mounted.

2.  If you are making more than 4 drawer boxes of the same size, you will likely need to rip 2 sections for both the sides and the fronts/backs.  The picture below shows my cut lines for making 8 drawers each 5 7/8" high.  For an easy way to keep the boxes square, label as shown below.  As long as your cuts are straight, making making 4 drawers of  "1"s and "3"s  and another 4 of "2"s and "4"s ensures that they are all exactly the same size.  My husband (engineer, of course!) did this.

3.  Art from Woodcraft taught us to make drawers my keeping the sides of the drawer the full desired length so they would have a clean look.  If you are using drawer faces, you can keep the pocket holes hidden by drilling them in on the front of the drawer and the very back of the drawer.  The drawer face will cover the front holes, and you will never see the back of the drawer.

4.  Here is a simple way to make sure you drawer faces are even.  The inset drawers need an 1/8 inch spacing all the way around.  You can find craft wood at Michaels that is 3x12 and 1/8 inch thick.  I cut one and used one piece on each side and then 2 full pieces on both the top and bottom.  The length made sure the drawer was supported and didn't go wonky and made the job much easier.

5.  As I fitted each drawer's slides to the opening, I marked in pencil on the back of the drawer where it had been fitted.  So if it was the top right drawer, it was R1.  This way, I always know which opening it belonged to.  If each opening and drawer were perfectly square and perfectly the same in measurement, you wouldn't need to do this, but mine had very slight variations.  Even the 1x8s that I used for the drawer fronts were also very slightly different, so it helps to keep them straight.

6.   Make s simple jig to drill precise holes for your knobs.  I used a scrap of the same wood from the drawer front with i piece of 1x2 on the top and on one side.  The 'drawer' part should be centered on the 1x2s so there is overhang on front and back.  I drilled 4 1/2 inches from the side.  (Make sure you are drilling straight into your wood!  It is very easy to push the bit through on a slight diagonal which will make your knobs slanted.)

On the right hand side of the drawer, clamp the jig so the 1x2s are on the top and side and drill.  For the left side, turn the jig so the 1x2s are again on the top and side, clamp, and drill.  This method ensures that not only are the holes the same distance from the sides but from the top as well.  (I had noticed that my hole wasn't precisely centered vertically, but since the holes are the same distance from the top, you never see it!)

 *This post was written before I changed the name of my blog.*