January 25, 2015

DIY Bedside Shelves

Welcome to "Part Deux" of the DIY Platform Bed Frame post. This portion will focus on adding bedside shelves that match the frame, acting as nightstands. I had originally planned to build a headboard along with my frame, but after restructuring the room (for the 10th time!), I placed the head of the bed against the far wall in our room (which also has two huge windows). Instead of blocking all of that natural light like a vampire, I decided to build some bedside shelves to help balance everything. There are TONS of ways you can build these, some have drawers, some hang from the ceiling -- I decided to go with something simple and big enough to fit a small lamp, a few books and maybe a candle. Let's get started...

Step 1: Measure. Decide where you want your shelves situated in relation to your bed, and measure the length and width that the area can accommodate. Keep in mind that the deeper your shelf is, the more support it will need (translation: you'll need some heavy-duty/costly brackets).

Step 2
: Get Materials. I used scrap wood from other projects and the same stain + poly from the bed frame, so this project cost me ZERO dollars (yay!). Additionally, you'll need wood screws and wood glue (all of which I already had as well, I'm weird).

Step 3: Cut & Prep the Wood. Using a jig saw, I cut down the wood planks based on my initial measurements. Draw a straight line with a pencil to follow since jig saws can sometimes be hard to handle. I did the same trick of beating the wood to make it look "reclaimed". Sand down any errant wood pieces that might have resulted from the cut -- it doesn't have to be perfect because the "real sanding" comes after you've constructed the shelf.

Step 4
: Construct the Shelves. I used two different widths of wood for the base and two 1x1 pieces to adhere to the sides to give the shelves a bit more visual interest. From there, use a bead of wood glue on the interior pieces, then screw the 1x1 to the sides. This technique helps to hold the wood tightly while the glue dries. If you'd prefer a flat shelf, you'll need to use wood clamps to let the wood dry. Approx. 2-3 hours later when the wood glue dries, use an electronic sander and 100 grit paper to sand the shelf. Make sure you get all of the corners to avoid any scraps/injuries during use (safety first, people!).

Step 5
: Paint. Once the surface of your shelves is nice and smooth, you're ready to paint / varnish / decoupage...whatever's your style. I wanted a cohesive look with my frame, so used the same varnish and wood. I did about 4 coats, allowing dry times and sanding between coats (see previous post for more details).

Step 6: Install! You are now ready to install the shelves. Once again....MEASURE. The last thing you want is for your shelves to look wonky -- it'll drive you crazy! I had some large brackets I had found at the $.99 Store (hey, don't judge). I chose to spray paint them from white to gold to give the hardware a little flare. First, adhere the part of the bracket to the shelf. From there, it's all about measuring where you want your shelf to lie, marking the drill holes with a pencil and pre-drilling the hole using a drill bit slightly smaller than the width of your screws. Have someone help hold the shelf in place while you adhere to the wall. Since these shelves will hold a fair amount of weight, I'd highly suggest using drywall screws to make sure they're super secure. That's it -- you now have a full bed set that you built from nothing more than wood, varnish and some screws. Pretty amazing when you think about how much companies charge for stuff like this...

Next up will be a sweet, 15 minute project that will breathe life (and comedy) into your entryway. Stay tuned!

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