I believe that everyone is special in some way, and that we all have a unique gift. Some of us are gifted with beautiful voices, to sing, others with beautiful hearts, to offer comfort. Some of us are leaders, some of us are loners. We are all different, but I believe, we are all special. We all have something special to offer this world.
For me, I was not blessed with a beautiful voice or a quaterback's arm or any other obvious talent. My "thing" was I liked to design and build my own furniture. And like us all, I dreamed about taking my passion and making something of it. It was my dream to see my plans in a book on the shelf of a bookstore.
But living up here in remote Alaska, thousands of miles from a publisher, with no real experience, no connections, and no money to invest, I knew my dream was so far fetched and unlikely, I kept it a secret.
And as the years passed, I kept building furniture, and people would tell me, Ana, you need a website to sell your furniture. And I would just nod my head, and think it over.
You see, that was not my dream. My dream was not to make money off my talent by selling furniture. That's not what kept me going back to the saw every spare moment I had.
No, my dream was to share with others my plans, to see others discover everything that is so awesome about building your own furniture.
But with a toddler, a husband that worked full time, DIYing a house while living in it, it seems weeks went by without any time to do anything but function. Everyday was the same, dishes, diapers, dinner, dishes ... more diapers .... it never ended, and there was no time for me to have a dream of my own.
But in October of 2009, I packed up the dial-up modem and we got high speed internet. My husband was going back to school online. And my friend sent me an email, saying, hey, check out my blog post on our playdate! So I clicked the email, and for the first time, I was reading a blog.
As I read her blog, suddenly, I saw a path to my own dreams. A path that had nothing to do with taking care of everyone else. I saw path for me to someday have my own dreams.
I thought, I could get one of these blogs. And I could start posting plans on it. And maybe, just maybe, someday, twenty years from now, when my husband retires ... maybe I could write a query letter to a magazine, and say, no I don't have any experience. But I've been writing this blog for twenty years, and you can see some of my work on it. Please consider publishing one of my plans.
So I clicked the "get your own free blog" button. And my dream, that I'd kept secret so long, so far-fetched I would not even share it with my own family, was put in the hands of strangers. I turned to you, and poured my plans out to the public, begging for you to give me the confidence and experience I needed to pursue my dreams.
You always say I'm the one who is generous. But I always feel so thankful and appreciate that you embraced me, you befriended me, you cheered me on, and gave me the confidence to just try. No, you are are the one who has helped me. You told me I could. You are the one who has been generous.
I cried when I opened the package and held in my hands for the first time the first copy of my book. Yes, I did feel pride in the hard work I've put into it, pride in the plans I'd created for it. But the tears fell with thanks to all of you who have helped me make this dream possible. I know this book would not be possible without you. When you open the book, you'll see it's dedicated to you.
How could it not be?
And I cried with thanks for the help that I had writing this book. You see, this book of plans is the very first time I have ever sold my work. I have always given plans away for free, knowing we all build to save money. And with great respect for your budgets, I wanted to cram as many plans as possible in this book. 34 plans. Thirty four. And you can buy it on Amazon for $15. I am pleased that this book will be of great value to you.
But taking on an extra 34 plans - 27 completely new - was a huge undertaking. I knew it would not be possible with just my two hands. So I asked some of my friends if they would help me.
And did they ever.
My friend Amanda from Clark|Pharm... she's always inspired me ... but the projects and photos she took for this book amaze me. I've learned so much from her. You'll never look at tools the same again after seeing her photos in the book!
My dear friend Jaime from That's My Letter, she took my most favorite plans in the book, the child's Adirondack Chairs (I made four myself for about $5 each in lumber) and made these chairs. And then she loved them so much, she made three more!!!!
And there's another child's chair - a really simple but sturdy one - in the book. And my friend Amy from The Idea Room built it and it is lovely. I think you'll love this chair for your little ones.
And there's more than just kid projects in this book! There is furniture for every room! My friend Shaunna from Perfectly Imperfect and her husband Matt built this beautiful bed and headboard! And the headboard plans are in the book!
And sweet Ashley from The Handmade Home built this amazing console and hutch. I love how she painted it. I really wanted to put these plans in the book - I'd made so many years ago just like it, and found the console with hutch to be so useful and beautiful!
Since I knew that this book would be in the hands of people without internet, I wanted to make sure the plans were as versatile as possible. Here, with just two plans, we have an entire media wall! My friend Hillary from The Friendly Home totally blew me away with this beautiful entertainment center! I absolutely love the distressed black and grass cloth!
There's lots of plans for all skill levels too! My friend Crystal Rose from The Reading Girl built and photographed this kitchen island. It is so beautiful!!!
Inside you'll find a few of my absolute favorite plans that I just could not justify NOT putting in this book. I hope this book will end up as a gift, and wanted to make sure we put the best plans in it! My dear friend Brook from Being Brook built this sewing table for the book!
We had to include the modern craft table, built by Cherish Fielder. You'll love that I've completely redrawn these plans!
The same is true of the storage daybed. I completely redrew the plans to make them easier to build for the book! My friend Layla from The Lettered Cottage and her husband Kevin built this daybed.
Because I know you are crafty, my friend Amanda (if you love this blog, thank Amanda. Her husband John takes care of many of the technical issues and is responsible for how fast this site is now!) built this craft organizer for the book! You'll love it. It's so simple and easy and useful! Perfect for the upcoming holidays!
And of course my building best buds Whitney and Ashley from Shanty2Chic are in the book too! With this bench, I really wanted a bench that could double as a coffee table too!
I love love love the entire book. But I think my favorite part is the outdoor section. My sister Lydia built this table and bench sent for the book - those benches are sturdy!!!!
I know how love the play kitchen was. So I completely redrew the plans to make them a little easier to build for the book! My dear friend Kirsten from The Crafting Chicks built this kitchen and also shares her sink skirt tutorial in the book.
I keep saying this plan is the favorite, no this plan ... truth is ALL of the plans in this book are favorites!!! BUT I especially love this bunk bed, built by Rebecca Ridner.
And this is just a sneak peak of all the plans in the book!!!! There are many, many, many more!!!!
But after all of the photos in the book, my editor felt there was some photos missing.
There were no photos of me in the book.
Living up here in remote Alaska, I am the photographer. You rarely see pictures of me because I'm taking the pictures. I didn't know what to do. I did not want to waste precious pages in the book that could be filled with more plans or technical information with photos of me taken by my preschooler.
At the Snap Conference, I met Kristen Duke finally in person. And although we did not have the time, we did not have a location... she somehow made it happen. Kristen put me in my book.
And she somehow got my grumpy tired preschooler to laugh. I am so thankful to Kristen.
The book offically releases on October 9th. It is available for preorder at
Barnes and Noble
I hope the book is of great value to you and you check it out!!!
Thank you so much for making this dream possible for me.
Congrats! It looks like an awesome and inspiring book. I may have to buy it even though I don't have many opportunities to build things... (someday I will!)
I cant wait to buy it! If only I can convince my husband that we need all new hand-built furniture...
This is fantastic! I am so impressed! Congratulations!!!
You had me crying! I am SO happy for your dreams to be coming true. I still believe that this is only just the beginning. I'm so proud to be an "Ana Whiter".
No matter what you saw, I am still in awe at everything you share with us! My book is preordered; wish it was coming this week instead of next month! Can't wait for your second book!
Congratulations Ana! Very proud and happy for all the success and recognition you are getting. Look forward to continuing to work with you!
Jeff McClure www.atouchofarkansas.com
I am so, SO happy for you.
You're an awesome person, Ana, SO deserving of every single dream you want to dream.
I think what you do here is extraordinary. I am so pleased to now be able to buy a piece of it for my bookshelf. Congratulations on the book, but even more so on having the courage to follow your impossible dreams.
And can't wait to crack it open! Congratulations on fulfilling your dream. I bet there's even more amazing opportunities in store for you in the future
Congratulations! I am preordering mine now! Maybe I can learn to build?
WooHoo! You are a published author! Your blog is one of my very favourites. This book will make a great Christmas present for my son-in-law.
I love this post and I LOVE the drill in your picture. Seriously - one of the best investments I ever made was to get a new drill set with that little zippy thing in it. Made my kitchen renovation oodles easier!
Ana what a great 'dream come true' moment in time for you. A wonderful post to capture all the dreaming and doing! And most importantly Grace will be able to look back and say 'wow my Mommy did the most amazing thing'. Congratulations and I'm truly honored to have been a part of the process. Here's to lots of book sales!!
Please work with Amazon to add a Look Inside feature to your book on their website. Once people see those gorgeous photos, they will HAVE to buy the book. congrats!
Congrats...love all your creations!
First, thank you so much for all your wonderful FREE plans. Second, I cannot wait to spend $15 on this book...I can already say that it will be money well spent! That hutch is to. die. for.
Congratulations on being not only an amazing blogger, but now a published author, too! Woohoo, Ana!
Already pre-ordered and can hardly wait for it to arrive! You are awe-inspiring and have earned every page. Enjoy this experience - I am sure there are many more in your future!
My husband and I are looking for a home right now. And now, because of you, I'm thinking I could BUILD my own home!
And while I don't know if that particular dream will ever come true I dream of a house with an ugly kitchen that I can tear out and replace with cabinets built with my own two hands, from Ana White[-inspired] plans. Now when I look at a catalogue of dream kitchens instead of thinking, I'll never be able to afford that, I think, I can build that!
And even though I'm not currently in a position to get to building, I dream of a home furnished with handmade furniture from Ana White plans and getting to post pics of all my creations!
THANK YOU Ana, for turning "I wish" into "I CAN!"
Followed you for a while now....you are amazing......our home is filled with your creations! Congrats on he book.....it is the next step in your journey......continue to do what you love!
yay!! congratulations!! i have already pre-ordered on amazon and i can't wait until October!
i plan on starting my first (of hopefully many) projects this week and i am soooo excited!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Congratulations, couldn't be more proud of you and all of your accomplishments - GO GIRL GO!!
Love your site ( Thanks Pinterest!)
Can't wait to buy the book!
Your story is inspiring--from 2009 to now--look what you've accomplished!
Congrats to a VERY deserving person! You rock!!
I've said from the beginning you are so inspiring. I am home now, but I first read this posting in my car, on my smart phone as I waited to go into an appt. Very touching and I got a little teary eyed. Then I looked just a few inches from me where a 4x4x8 and the 1x3x8s were reaching from my trunk, up in between the front seats, waiting for me to be brought home to build something beautiful. Something I would never have even pondered without your vision. I thank you Ana. You deserve this and I know I can speak for all of us when I say I am so proud of you! Much love!
Congratulations! I am so excited for this book. Between this and Young House Love's book, this will be an amazing fall for homes :)
So excited for your book. Bought my first kreg jig, miter saw and sander after googling cheaper pottery barn furniture about a year ago, not ever thinking I would make it! Now I follow your blog and your friends that make your plans!! ( oh and I have a cute pink work apron like yours too!) lol
Congratulations Ana! So happy you've had this opportunity! It's been awesome to see you/your blog/your family evolve/grow over the last few years!
You're amazing! Congratulations on your work.
you are more inspiring than you could possibly know.
Been following your blog for quite some time now. It's wonderful.
So happy that you have had this opportunity. I am sure the book is going to be swell.
(All the way from India)
Amazing what you have accomplished over a short couple of years! I count myself lucky to have found your blog early on and be able to follow most of your journey. You have inspired countless people to 'make' instead of just 'dream'...
This book is well deserved and long overdue! Can't wait for it to ship...
The next step should be your own 'KnockOffWood Show' !!!
Congrats on the new book! I can't wait to get my hands on it. I LOVE everything you've posted! You're such an inspiration to me, especially since I've had to learn how to live on a tight budget after buying my first home. I've discovered the love of building furniture and hope to fill my home with "homemades". I hope you continue to share your passion with others!!
Ana, You amaze me! Just wanted you to know I have pre-ordered mine! I can't wait for October 15th!
Thank you for all you do.
Ana, thank you so much for your wonderful website. It has totally inspired me to start building my own furniture. Of course my husband may not be too thankful since I "needed" a 10x20 shed in our backyard so that I could build! No, really, he loves the furniture I build. I'm so excited about your new book! What an awesome culmination of your dream! I hope this is just the first of many! My son turns 16 on October 9th so I definitely need a present for myself for getting through 16 years (and a year of teaching him to drive!). Keep the awesome plans coming!
Ana, I am more thank happy for you! There are so many like me that have become builders because of your dream! Thank YOU!!!! I can't wait to get my hands on your book it looks amazing! Wishing you the best!
Like others have said, I would not be building my own furniture if I hadn't stumbled upon your website. I feel very lucky to have found it. It has turned into a new hobby and I have enough plans in my to-do list to last me for a long time. Even so, I will definitely be buying the book as well. You certainly deserve all the recognition you've received so far. The only thing better would be to see you with your own DIY show on HGTV.
Congrats! You are wonderful!! I will absolutely be buying this book!!
Hi Everyone!!! Oh my goodness - you totally made my day!!!! I am so thankful for all the support and congrats - and especially thankful for the support over the years to help me get here. I truly mean it when I say this book would not have happened without you!
I hope you love the book as much as I do! Thank you to those of you who have preordered it!
Thank you, Ana, for all of the wonderful plans. You've put a lovely home within my reach . . . and I don't know how I would have done it without your help. Long before I found your original blog (waaaay back in 2009!), I had searched Amazon for books with simple furniture plans, but nothing existed that was worth using. I'm so glad that you have done this, and that it has worked out so well for you.
Ana, you rock. :)
It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory. -- W. Edwards Deming
I LOVE your story! You sound like someone I would really enjoy becoming friends with:) I would love to say that I am going to buy your book and make lots of my own things but....I'm just going to buy the book and hope that someone else will make some of your lovely projects for me. Congrats to you for hanging on to your dream and making it a reality! Thank you for sharing your beauty (and I don't just mean your furniture:))
I am so inspired by you. Congratulations on turning your secret dream into a reality. I have pre-ordered and am super excited to receive your book.
I'm from the East Coast (read big, open, floorplans...) but have been living in San Francisco for the last 5 or so years. I live in a 750 sqf shoe box. Granted, my little shoebox is in an absolutely FABULOUS shoestore (I adore SF), but it is a shoebox none the less.
I have big plans for when we eventually buy a house, whether it is here or back East, and am looking forward to incorporating your design plans into our new home.
Thank you so very much for sharing your story, and vision, and your talents with us.
Ana, I'm so happy for you! I've been following and building for over a year now and I can't begin to tell you how happy I am that you're doing this.
I wanted to share this link with you
Right now, even before your book has sold, you're number one in the furniture building category! I'm so happy for you!
I have been following your blog almost from the beginning, and have made several of your plans. I am so very grateful to you for sharing your amazing talents with us, and am so excited for your book!!! I have pre-ordered it, and will wait with baited breath until I receive it on October 9. Thank you, thank you!!!
Your readers think you are #1 wherever we find you! And Barnes & Noble also shows you as #1 book in Woodworking - Furniture & carpentry:
So excited for you! Can't wait till my copy arrives! Already making my to-do list of projects from this book, just from the preview pictures. Congratulations on such a wonderful achievement that you are sharing this with your readers.
Will your book tour bring you to Maryland? I would stand in line to get to meet you!
First time I've ever pre-ordered anything! So excited! Congratulations!
I just pre-ordered your book on Amazon. You have helped me build beautiful furniture for my home, inspired me to think of ways I can do things myself, and I am so grateful for all you do! Way to live your dream! This is just the beginning!
i'm so happy for you that your generosity and passion have resulted in your own dreams coming true! I have also pre-ordered your book and some day hope to get your autograph in the cover! You are like a rock star to us DIY women!!
A year ago, I thought all home improvements had to be done by the man....well my man just wasn't feeling it! I came across your blog one day and you literally changed my life! I have finished my bedroom, built a closet for my guest room, made a cute little farm bench and last weekend built the cute little trestle playtable for my friends baby shower gift! Before "meeting" you, I've never touched a power tool. So thank YOU Anna White! Never underestimate how empowering you are to women everywhere! I CAN'T WAIT TO GET MY BOOK! Weeeeeeeeeeee!!!!
Congratulations, Ana! I will definitely per-order! I am already excited to make the armoire and use it in our bathroom remodel. I would not have even imagined I could build my own furniture if I hadn't found your blog. Thank you. Now my husband can't believe what I have already built- he even surprised me with a miter saw last week. (Side note- my husband works on the North Slope and jokes with his co-workers about hiring me on as carpenter.)
Now THAT'S what I'm talking about, ha!
Can't wait to get the book. I actually just found you blog not long ago and I keep coming back over and over due to the wealth of awesome info!! Gal after my own heart (; May you have much success with the book with many more to come!!
Through Chapters/Indigo in Canada.
I didn't even spell my last name correctly, so hopefully I have pre-ordered. hahaha
What a Special Young Lady you are!
I just preordered your book.
You have opened up a new world to us beginners in woodworking.
I'm going to make your farmhouse bed first. I have always wanted to do woodworking and now I have begun at the age of 69. It's never too late!
Thank you Ana for making my dream come true!
Ana, you're the best (no ka oi in Hawaiian). I'm excited to have pre-ordered my book, and can't wait to get started taming my bamboo jungle with your beautiful planters. I applaud your generosity in creating the Momplex, and also your openness and dedication to making them what they want, not just what you might like, or might be cheapest or easiest to build. You're a daughter every Mom would want! Can your book tour come to Hawaii?
Ana, your site is thoughtful, practical, and generous. I've made several plans from it for my own little ones and really appreciate how thoughtful you are in presenting your materials and encouraging others to just go for it. Your work has inspired me to think of little DYI projects to help my own mom, who has been a paraplegic since 1970, most of her adult life (albeit a very active one raising four kids). I would love to support your work and will be buying your book, and any others you decide to publish. Thanks for your hard work and your dedication to your family. What a great example you are!
oh my! thank you so much! my husband is a youth pastor in napa valley california, we have 4 cchildren 3 and under twins that will be 3 in Nov a little girl that will be 2 in Nov and a precious little 3 month old princess! We live in one of the most expensive beautiful places in the continintal US on one salary and trying to keep up with the kids growing needs as well as storage has proved to be impossible, that was until I found your site! So far we have built a bench, nightstands, a console table and we are beginning to work on a china hutch and soon bunk beds! Not possible without your generosity and passion! You inspire me! A wife and mom who can provide for her family in the coolest way possible! Thank you so much!
It's finally here! Get all the details on my first book!
What's going on up here in Alaska.
We are DIYing our moms a Duplex in Alaska! Check out our progress so far as we owner build a home, step by step. Read the Momplex blog here.
New here? Check out our most popular free, step by step furniture plans.