The Media Hutch
A beautiful media hutch to match the Cabin Collection. Features two large open shelves for controllers, two drawers for remotes, and a large shelf to customize the fit of the tv and store additional controllers, games, or books.
You don't hear me talk a whole lot about finishing because it's not the exact science of screw board A to board B of construction. Probably what you hear more than anything is comments that go something like this . . . . "building was the easy part, finishing . . . that was the real work!"
The problem with finishing is that there really isn't a "wrong" way to finish something. If you have achieved the look that you are after, than you have succeeded. (Of course, you should read instructions on your paint cans to make sure that finish is durable and safe.)
For those of you looking to achieve that edge rubbled finish, most recently seen on my Cabin Entertainment Center, I thought I would put together a few tips for you. These are just tips, and you should always build to suit your needs first and foremost.
This is really the easiest of all finishes, in my opinion. Even easier than a solid paint, which requires perfection. And you gotta consider, if you live in a home with a preschooler, you might just want to accept that you furniture is going to get distressed anyway. Might as well give em a head start.
Here is just flat paint. Just needs something, don't you think?
The clear top coat also brings out the color, but in my opinion, the slight distressing warms the entire look up. So here is exactly what we did:
- Sand the entire piece in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Make sure you clean off any sanding residue with a vacuum and a damp cloth.
- Spray on one coat of flat paint with primer in it. A roller would also work (try those cabinet ones with the sponge rollers) but avoid brushing because a brush will put a heavier coat of paint on, completely covering the wood grain. I also avoid separate primer because then you got this white coat under the colored coat.
- Let the coat of primer dry completely. If you start distressing too soon, chunks of paint will come off.
- When dry, with a piece of 120 grit sandpaper, lightly rub exposed edges that would receive natural wear. Concentrate on corners, outside corners, tops, and around handles - areas likely to wear naturally. Resist the temptation to use a power sander. It's too easy to remove to over distress.
- Avoid over distressing - just a touch here and there is all you need.
- Vacuum off all sanding residue and wipe clean again with a damp cloth.
- If you painted a light color, you may wish to glaze the exposed wood with a glaze. You can buy glaze in the faux finishing aisle, but I like to use Minwax Express Color. Note that the stain may also add color to the painted areas. If you wish to keep your paint color from accepting the stain, you will need to apply a clear coat BEFORE you distress edges, glaze, and then apply your final clear coat. I like to work my glaze in with a rag by hand, but others use brushes. Rags tend to use less glaze, and glaze can be spendy. Work the glaze into the exposed edges, wiping off and reapplying. Your weather (hot dry climates will dry very fast) will determine just how long the glaze needs to be left on (and what color you are trying to achieve) so be patient and do lots of testing.
- For inside corners, you can apply glaze and wipe clean. Glaze will remain in cracks and tight corners, creating adding dimension on your finish.
- My cabinet was not glazed because I love natural wood and dark gray. We sprayed on a clear coat of water based poly to give the project a dustable and durable finish.
Now for the center hutch plans.
Just like the finish, you should build this around your needs. Measure your TV and make sure it fits.
1 – 1×12 @ 8 feet long
2 – 1×12 @ 10 feet long
6 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×2 @ 8 feet long
1/4″ plywood for back (to do both side hutches and the center, you can use the same piece of plywood)
2 – 1×8 @ 10″ long (scraps for drawer fronts)
2 – 1×12 @ 48″ (Sides)
4 – 1×2 @ 11 1/2″ (Trim for sides, cut it to match the width of your 1x12s)
4 – 2×2 @ 48″ (Legs)
4 – 2×2 @ 54 1/2″ (Front/Back Trim)
4 – 1×12 @ 54 1/2″ (Shelves/Top)
1 – 1×2 @ 54 1/2″ (Shelf Trim)
1 – 1/4″ plywood @ 48″ x 57 1/2″ (Back)
5 – 1×12 @ 7 1/2″ (Assuming your 1×8 drawer fronts are 7 1/4″ wide – adjust to fit your 1x8s)
2 – 1×8 @ 10″ (for 10 1/4″ wide drawers)
As we did the side on the rest of the collection, start by trimming out the top and bottom. I didn’t have a nailer handy, so I used 1 1/4″ screws from the inside (flat side) countersunk and glue.
These would be the legs if we were making a bookshelf, so I’ll refer to them as legs. I used pocket hole screws to attach, but you can also use 2 1/2″ finish nails and glue or countersunk trim screws (I believe trim screws come in a 2 5/8″ length, which is perfect).
You can do step 4 first, step 3 first – do what makes sense for you. Attach the 2x2s with either pocket hole screws (2 1/2″ long) or the trim screws from the outside.
Attach the top to the sides and front/back trim with either pocket hole screws or the trim screws and glue.
I built my shelf first with the intention of making the shelf adjustable, but ended up screwing the shelf in place as a fixed shelf. The back of the shelf has a 2×2, but the front has a 1×2. For an adjustable shelf, simply drill holes to match shelf pins in the desired location.
I highly recommend a back on the top just because the piece is so large, and the back adds so much strength. If your shelf is fixed, attach to the shelf too with 1 1/4″ screws and glue.
Build the Controller Shelf
The controller shelf not only adds dimension to the look of the piece, not to mention increased useability, but it also strengthens up the base unit. Measure your 1x8s drawer fronts (you should have some leftover from the media base unit) and cut your 1×12 dividers to 1/8″ (tight fit) to 1/4″ (loose fit) longer than the width of the 1x8s. Also, measure the width of your controllers (as shown below) and make your two center cubbies a width fit for your controllers.
Adding the Controller Shelf
We screwed the controller shelf directly to the bottom of the hutch. There is a 1 1/2″ gap behind the controller shelf for wires. The drawer fronts are simply 1x8s on hinges – perfect spot to hide remotes and to place charging cords.
When we assembled the entire unit, we screwed all of the pieces together and also anchored to the wall behind the hutch. Safety first!
Side Hutches for the Cabin Collection
Large cubbie hutches, that work with the Cabin Collection. Perfect for storing everything from extra blankets to display objects to books and entertainment essentials. Shelves can be made adjustable.
A few weeks back, I made a commitment to focus on the projects that I need done around my personal home. And I want to thank all of you for understanding and supporting me, for being patient with your own requests as I try to fill them in between making my personal home better.
With the help of the Real Alaska Man, over the last week or so, we've been devoting much time to a new entertainment center. And yesterday, I couldn't help myself. I just had to share a quick photo with my friends on Facebook. So many of you have already seen this . . .
When I first started building furniture, saving money was the main motivation. And money still is a huge factor. But as I'm sure you know all to well, when you finish a project, and it is painted to match an impossible slate fireplace, a dark shade of gray that only comes from a can, you become overwhelmed with a feeling of wow, I (in this case, we) actually built this. And you wake up in the morning and think, wow, did we really build that? (as opposed to ugh, how much did we spend and when is the credit card bill due?)
There are so many reasons why DIY rocks. It's healthy. It can save you money. You can get what you want. You can customize projects. But my most favorite part of DIY is when you move a piece of furniture into your home and sit back and smile, and think, it's not perfect, but we built it with our own hands. What I like to call the DIY High.
You could probably say that I am a tad addicted to the DIY High. I had big intentions of posting the plans for the entire rest of this collection tonight, but we are already dove into our next DIY project and couldn't quit until we ran out of materials at 10PM! So today we'll look at the plans for the side hutches, and I'll get to the center hutch in the next day or so.
And for those of you asking, here's a quick breakdown of the project.
- Estimated cost: $250
- Paint: 2 Cans of Flat Enamel by Valspar in Mark Twain Gray Brick (Get a free Valspar sample here)
- Time: Here and there over a week, approximately 20 hours
- Composition: 100% pine boards, 2x2s are furring strips, box is made of 1x12s, with 1/4" plywood on the back
- Plan Collection: Cabin Collection
I am very happy with the gray, it's a softer more muted version of black. For this project, we pulled the sprayer out (a first for me on furniture projects) and I found the sprayer gives a more even finish, but does not necessarily cover imperfections in the wood as a brush might. Our sprayer was purchased to paint the exterior of our home, but it worked great for this application as well. We also sprayed a top coat on to give the piece a dust-able finish. I lightly sanded by hand exposed edges (just giving Grace a head start if you know what I'm talking about) to distress prior to the clear coat. I'll post more pictures of the finish with the center hutch plan post.
1 – 1×12 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×12 @ 4 feet long
3 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×2 @ 8 feet long
1/4″ plywood, 48″ x 18 1/2″ (optional back)
1 1/4″ screws and 2 1/2″ screws
2 – 1×12 @ 48″ (Sides)
4 – 1×2 @ 11 1/2″ (Width of 1×12 – Side Trim)
4 – 2×2 @ 48″ (Legs)
3 – 1×12 @ 15 1/2″ (Shelves)
5 – 2×2 @ 15 1/2″ (Shelf Trim)
2 – 1×2 @ 15 1/2″ (Shelf Trim)
1 – 1/4″ plywood @ 48″ x 18 1/2″
Start by attaching the trim to the sides. I used screws from the insides, but for those of you with a finish nailer, have at it. Just make sure your screws or nails are less than 1 1/4″ long.
These aren’t really legs, but if we were making a bookshelf, these would be the legs, so we’ll refer to them as legs. Attach. I used pocket holes from the insides, but you could also use 2 1/2″ fasteners – just predrill holes carefully and use glue.
Attach the shelves to the sides as shown above. I used pocket holes, but again, you can also use countersunk screws and glue. You can also adjust the shelf height as desired but I found these heights perfect to fit large milk crates for storage.
Back Shelf Trim
Trim out the back shelves as shown above. The bottom 2×2 will give you something to screw the plywood to.
Trim out the front as shown above. This time, use 1x2s for the shelves, but a 2×2 for the top.
The back is really optional because of the trim on the back, but if you choose to add a back, glue and screw or nail to all of the shelves too.
Finish as you finished the base. You should also anchor the hutch to a stud in the wall behind the hutch and attach to the base with screws for safety.
Lyds’ No-Sew Upholstered Bed
An upholstered bed that requires no sewing!
Meet my sister Lydia.
This is a sad, sad post for me.
Lydia moved away from Alaska a couple of years ago.
Over the years, Lydia and I have worked on so many projects together. Most recently, when Lydia was visiting, we built the storage sofa together. Have you ever worked with someone who knows exactly what you are thinking? Who is working on the next step without even having to discuss it? That's my sister Lyds. She's always a step ahead of me.
Or a few steps ahead of me.
This is Lydia's king size upholstered bed that she made in about 8 hours for a little over $100. And the best part? You too can make this upholstered bed with these plans without even having to sew! That's right, no sewing required!
Lydia is sharing her plans with us today.
2 Sheets cheapo plywood, 1/2 – OSB is what Lyds used
2 – 1×12 @ 6 feet long
2 – 1×12 @ 6 feet long (instead of the 1x12s, you could purchase a third sheet of OSB and have it ripped into 11 1/2″ wide strips)
2 – 8′ 4×4 posts
1 – 1×4 @ 3 feet long
9 – 2×4 @ 8 feet or stud length (whatever is cheaper)
Approximately 6 yards of fabric, jute and batting (patterns NOT recommended)
2 1/2″ screws
3 1/2″ screws
2 – 1/2″ plywood or OSB @ 48″ wide x 64″ long (Headboard Panels)
3 – 2×4 @ 57″ (Headboard Joists)
2 – 4×4 @ 49″ (Headboard Legs)
1 – 2×4 @ 40″ (Headboard Top Joist)
2 – 2×4 @ 10 1/2″ (Headboard Top Spacers)
1 – 1×4 @ 28″ (Panel Cleat)
2 – 2×4 @ 60″ (Bed Frame Top/Bottom)
4 – 2×4 @ 77″ (Bed Frame Joists)
2 – 4×4 @ 13″ (Bottom Legs)
2 – 1×12 @ 80″ (Siderails)
1 – 1×12 @ 61 1/2″ (Footrail)
1×3 wood slats @ 60″ or plywood @ 60″ x 80″ or boxspring
From the OSB/Plywood pieces, cut two identical panels as shown above, or as desired for your headboard. TIP: Use the first corner piece that you cut off as a pattern for the other side and for step 2 (below). You will need to use a jigsaw for angled cuts.
From one of the plywood or OSB panels, mark the center as shown above. Use the pattern from step 1 to mark the sides. Carefully cut out with a jigsaw. You will need to use both pieces, so only cut on the line shown above.
Build the headboard frame as shown above. You will need to predrill holes in the 4×4 posts 1/2 way through with a bit sized to the heads of your screws. Then predrill the remaining distance with a bit sized to the shaft of your screws. Use wood glue and 3 1/2″ screws for the 4×4 posts. If you have a Kreg Jig™, you can of course just attach the 2x4s to the inside of the 4x4s. Also, for those of you having trouble locating 4x4s – what you can do is build as shown above, but instead of a 4×4, screw a 2×4 to the joists (blue boards). Then add a second 2×4 to the outside of the first 2×4. This will change your leg dimensions slightly, so you will need to increase the length of your joists (blue boards) by 1″.
After building the frame, attach the plywood pieces as shown above to the frame. Use 2″ screws and glue.
You need these spacers to make the legs look even with the top. Attach as shown above.
Here is Lydia’s bed at this stage. You also might want to paint or stain your legs at this point.
Upholstering Outside of Headboard Frame
Cut a piece of batting, a piece of burlap, and a piece of fabric 5 yards long by approximately 20″ wide (save the scraps for the siderails). The headboard shown above is the front side of the headboard. Staple the burlap snugly over the outside of the headboard, followed by batting, and then followed by the fabric. Take your time at corners, neatly folding the fabric around the corners for a tailored look. Staple to the inside and to the back of the headboard. Trim excess fabric. Make sure you upholster to the bottom of the plywood spacers on the legs.
Start by covering the center panel in burlap, batting (I like to spray glue the batting on) and fabric. Staple to the back side. Then on the back side, attach a 1×4 cleat to the top as shown above. The cleat should overhang 1/2 way on the top (approximately 2″). Use 1″ screws from the back of the cleat so no screws show in your fabric. If you wish to add buttons, drill holes in the center panel as desired and thread a button through, tying the thread off to a staple in the back of the headboard.
Insert slide the upholstered panel into the upholstered headboard as shown above. Screw the bottom of the panel to the bottom joist in the headboard as shown above.
Your headboard should look like the above bed. Now it’s time for the sideboards and footboard.
Lydia often remarks that it’s not just the bed that she would have had to buy, but also a box spring. And Lydia’s entire bed costs about as much as a box spring alone would have been. Or a bed skirt. This bed does not require a box spring, but if you already have one, no worries. The box spring will just sit on top of the frame.
You will need to attach the bottom 4×4 legs to the bed frame. If you have a Kreg Jig, go that route. Otherwise toenail a few 3 1/2″ screws in (screwing at an angle from the leg into the frame) or use brackets like in this post.
Wrap the sideboards in burlap, followed by batting and fabric and neatly staple to the inside of the sideboards. Then screw to the frame as shown above.
Just as you did the siderails, wrap the footboard in burlap, batting and fabric, neatly stapling to the inside. Screw the frame to the end board.
The bed can be transported into the desired room in two pieces. To assemble, screw from the frame into the headboard as shown above.
If you live in a humid environment, air circulation is important, so use slats as shown above or a box spring to support your mattress. You can also use plywood, but this is not recommended, as mildew can build up under your mattress. Make sure you screw the slats down.