Monday, March 28, 2011

Max’s Bookshelf

Max’s room has been in some desperate need of easily accessible storage to help the toys-all-over-the-floor situation. He loves toys, even if sometimes he has a very loose definition of “toys.” He has a piece of folded cardboard that came with one of his outfits that he just loves, he pretends it’s a book and that he’s reading it. He won’t pretend to read actual books, but that piece of cardboard he’ll open and close, and open and close… He’ll even babble to me as he reads it. Very serious, he is.

Back to the point - he needs storage. My requirements:
  • Easily accessible for an infant/toddler
  • Tall enough that he can’t reach a lamp sitting on the top shelf
  • Sturdy (I know he’ll be climbing it when he thinks I’m not looking)
  • Relatively aesthetically pleasing
  • Something neutral that he can grow with
  • Inexpensive, or even better, free
We don’t really have spare furniture so moving in a piece from another room wasn’t a great option as I would then be lacking in another room. I scoured thrift stores, Craigslist and FreeCycle for over a month with no success. I just didn’t like anything. I had a vision of long and low in my head, with different sized cubbies for different sized toys and books, and that wasn’t appearing.

Then, I remembered some Ikea bookcases (two different sizes) that we had used in an apartment but didn’t assemble here since we have a lot of built-in bookcases. Essentially they’re spare lumber. With some pre-drilled holes and lots of screws…

I did a lot of measuring and planning, and made a diagram. I used the larger bookcase frame as a base and half of the smaller for the top, trying to incorporate as many pre-drilled holes as possible.

I cut the ends off two long edge boards (where they were curved to fit over floorboards) and cut two shorter shelf boards in half. Then I did a lot of measuring and pre-drilling. And some more pre-drilling when I put those holes in the wrong spots. (thankfully hidden by other boards)

Then I assembled the whole unit, using exactly the number of screws that came with the units. Cool, huh? I also used iron-on veneer to cover the rough ends on the long boards. If you tilt your head sideways to the right you can see the 1 1/2 bookcases that went into this.

I debated painting it white, but I’m glad I stuck with the light wood. We brought it up to Max's room and I secured it to the wall studs with some strapping that came with the bookcases.

I love them, Max loves them (or at least loves pulling himself up on them), I got some practice building something, and they were free. I had everything except the veneer, which my dad bought for another project that he never ended up doing.

What do you think?

Linking up to:

Dittle Dattle

1 comment:

~ Regan said...

Wonderful job! I need some shelves down in our playroom- I was just going to get some brackets and boards since we've outgrown the 'pulling ourselves up with furniture' stage. I hope to have a few shelves that are flanked with bookcases I scored on CL.
I like the natural wood too, you can always paint later to fit his room as he grows.