The Brag Blog - Built and Written by You

Welcome to the most awesome blog on earth, one about real people building real furniture! Come get inspired, learn, and be amazed! Special thanks to our readers who post to our brag blog!

Farmhouse king size bed with matching bedside table

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About This Project

The bed was a great project to start with. Very easy to follow instructions. I was a little worried that the bed was going to be too big, but once my husband and I got it together it was perfect. I used the metal frame that the bed already sat on, so I didn't need supports. I added a special touch for my husband since it was almost our anniversay. It's barely noticable but I carved our initials into the footboard. He loved it! After I completed the bed I moved on to the table. I forgot to take progress pictures. My next project I will be sure to do so. This was a joy to build. I still can't believe I made these beautiful peices! One more bedside table to build and my room will have all new furniture. Thank you Ana for the plans!! It's going to be tough to figure out what to build next. so many plans to choose from! :)

Pine
Required Skill Level: 
Beginner
Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Finish Used: 
Minwax Wood conditioner, Minwax Jacobean, and Minwax satin finish varnish.
Estimated Cost: 
Both peice about $150-$180

Printers Triple Console Cabinet

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About This Project

When I presented my husband with the plans for this piece that is inspired by "Restoration Hardware Printmaker’s Sideboard," I thought he would tell me I was crazy! But he looked over the well-written and thought out plans Ana provides and set out to tackle this cabinet. It turned out BEAUTIFUL! We are so happy with it and can't wait to decorate around it now.

Pine
Required Skill Level: 
Beginner
Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Finish Used: 
American Walnut (Home Depot) oil rubbed bronze cup drawer pulls (Lowes)
Estimated Cost: 
Estimated around $375

Red library cart

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About This Project

I've been eyeing the Land of Nod library cart for months!
...However, I wasn't sure about the price tag, so I started researching how to make it myself.
This is our first of many projects!

Pine
Required Skill Level: 
Beginner
Estimated Time Investment: 
Afternoon Project (3-6 Hours)
Finish Used: 
Behr Premium Semi-gloss

Rustic X coffee table and end tables

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About This Project

WOW this was our first build. We had some money to get started so went and bought new miter saw and sander, kreg jig, basically everything we needed to build it. Tools aside we spend only about $100 on the lumber to build the coffee table and 2 side tables.

Eric cut notches in the X instead of using 2 separate pieces for the other side, so they fit together like a puzzle piece. it was a learning experience of trial and error, but he got better and better each time.

For the finish i used the tutorial of dissolving steel wool in vinegar and then added a coat of strong coffee which made an ugly green-gray color. I happened to have picked up a can of "autumn" wood stain that when applied made the color pop and look amazing. (thank goodness because i was so frustrated and wanted to give up) when we do this again (cuz i just sold the set we made) i will be better at sanding everything nice and smooth, and do staining/painting of the Xs and the top separately before putting everything together.

I dont recommend the steel wool and vinegar stain, it smelled terrible and was hard to apply because it was watery and ran a lot plus you cant see the color develop for a long time so its hard to see what was wet and what wasn't. yuk. The Minwax "gray" stain they just released would most likely work a lot better. those small can of stains for $6 are big enough for all 3 pieces we built so really i don't think i saved money buying the steel wool and vinegar.

Anyway this was way fun! Cant wait to build again :)

cheapest grade stuff from Lowe's, the ugly wood wont matter since this is a "rustic look" project
Required Skill Level: 
Beginner
Estimated Time Investment: 
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Finish Used: 
steel wool and vingear, plus a coat of coffee, then a coat of Rustoleum Autumn stain, coat of spray-can poly
Estimated Cost: 
$100 of lumber, $500 of power tools and supplies

Rolling Dressers with Flip-up Compartment

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About This Project

New dressers to match the nightstands. I modified the plans to make three smaller drawers up top and added a flip-up compartment for small stuff like jewelry, hair brushes and trinkets etc. It was fun to get more creative.

I made two at the same time so the wood and stain would be more consistent. However, in hindsight, I will never do any project that requires me to make 14 drawers at the same time again. I also used planked 1x4s instead of plywood for the sides and tops for looks. This made the dressers about an inch or so narrower. I used 2x4s instead of 2x2s for the bottoms of the frames to beef it up and reduce deflection, and also did not use braces in the back.

Wood -> $245/dresser
Hardware -> $ 150/dresser
Strain -> $20/dresser

Select Pine for exterior wood, Whitewood boards for drawer boxes, plywood
Required Skill Level: 
Intermediate
Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Finish Used: 
Wood conditioner -> 1 coat of Miniwax oil based stain in Weathered Oak -> 1 coat of Miniwax oil based stain in Special walnut -> 2 coats of Polycrylic
Estimated Cost: 
$415/dresser
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Bigger, Stronger, Kitchen Floating Shelves

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About This Project

Pine

When we recently bought our 150+ year old house, we were pretty happy with just about everything (not stopping us from coming up with projects!) except the kitchen. This kitchen hadn't been updated in about 15 years, had dark brown walls, boring square white tiles with white grout, and TONS of cabinets. Everywhere. I felt like the walls were closing in!

So before we ever signed a piece of paper I had a vision of open shelving. Wide, white floating shelves to put our every day items at arms reach and display the few items we rarely use but think are beautiful.

I loved Ana's plans, but I needed these shelves to hold 12 dinner plates, 12 bowls, 12 salad plates, 4 pasta bowls, and...well, right there that about 40 pounds of stuff. And the basic plans just didn't seem heavy-duty enough.

Enter our contractor, John, who I asked for help because, while they were my vision, they were his handy-work. My husband and I didn’t even attempt to build them on our own. John is a perfectionist and we knew he’d make this plan work…perfectly.

As usual, this was no sweat for John. To build the frames he used 2 x 2′s and secured them with 10 x 1 1/4″ angle brackets. During assembly, John made sure to position the center supports to match the wall studs in front of which the frame would hang. Once assembled, he removed some dry wall and attached the brackets directly to the studs.

We could store baby elephants on these shelfs, they wouldn’t budge.

Since I knew what needed to be stored on that first shelf (our every day items), we used the measurements to equally distance the three shelves (not including the first shelf of course—it needed more space above the counter top). Then we sealed up the dry wall. Another help with support was butting the shelves right up to the corner, putting another screw in another stud.

We moved the lighting electric up for new under cabinet lighting—so easy pre-tiling.

For the actual shelves—I like to think of them as “sleeves”—John used 3/4″ sanded plywood for the tops and bottoms of each shelf, then 1 x 6 clear pine ripped down to desired thickness for the fronts and one side (the other side is against the wall, so was left open). The primed sleeves spent a few days on the screened in porch while I tiled around the frames, they were pretty heavy and very solid.

I’ve made an attempt to lay out the measurements involving our floating shelf project. These are to scale and give a good idea of how our plans differed from Ana’s.

We LOVE our shelves and get so so many compliments. The seemingly small and simple changes (tile, shelves, new window trim, paint, and soon flooring) made a HUGE impact and not that huge of a cost. And we don't miss the upper cabinets at all.

Thanks for the head-start and inspiration Ana!

Required Skill Level: 
Advanced
Estimated Time Investment: 
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Finish Used: 
Primer and white paint

Changing table out of discarded birch plywood

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About This Project

Birch plywood

There was a cute little niche in the guest room my son and daughter-in-law stay in, probably designed for a dresser. With the addition of grandkids to our lives, I knew what they really needed was a changing table. On a trip to a popular home decor store, I saw a HUGE pile of lumber and shelves in a pile in the parking lot. I asked to see the manager who told me it was all being hauled away TO THE DUMP the following morning! I asked if I could take some off of her hands, and she said I could have all I wanted (a woodworker's dream come true!) I quickly put the seats down in my Pryus and stacked it to the ceiling! 3 trips later, and I managed to gather enough wood to make this project and many others, all for FREE! It's all 3/4" birch plywood. Most has deep scratches, probably from being thrown in a pile in the parking lot. Some of the scratches are too deep to sand (because of the birch veneer) so that is why I painted the top, sides and doors.

This was my first time making a drawer and these type of hinges. I also made the hardware and the legs. I love mid-century modern, so used a 1 X 4 and cut/sanded down a 1 X 1 at an angle for the legs (ok, honesty time, this was my 5th attempt! It took me awhile to figure out how to get the angle just right and make sure it was sturdy enough).

A big THANK YOU to my new KREG JIG, which I learned about in Ana's book. Without it, I couldn't have done this project!

Required Skill Level: 
Intermediate
Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Finish Used: 
2 coats of KILN primer, 3 coats of BEHR high-gloss ultra white paint and MINWAX walnut stain and 3 hand-rubbed coats of Tung Oil on the drawer front.

Headboard out of kitchen cabinets

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About This Project

mixed

I wanted to make a headboard for our Queen-sized bed and wanted it to be something I hadn't seen before. I came across a pallet of kitchen cabinet doors at a discount resale shop and knew these would look great! I used a 1/32" spacer between each door so I wouldn't have to sand the edges. If I ever do something like this again, I would do another row to make it just a bit taller to give it a hotel room look.

Required Skill Level: 
Starter Project
Estimated Time Investment: 
Afternoon Project (3-6 Hours)
Finish Used: 
Minwax Walnut stain and Minwax Poly.

re-invented nightstands

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About This Project

mixed

I purchased these nightstands at a garage sale for $15 each. They were in dreadful shape needing repair and too many hours of sanding to count! I was inspired by this project and decided to try the finishing techniques out myself. I made the hardware myself out of angle aluminum and used the aluminum posts used to bind corporate booklets. Since I wanted to use the existing holes for the original hardware, the shorter nightstand has 2" pulls/handles and the taller has 4.5" pulls/handles. I really like how they turned out!

Required Skill Level: 
Beginner
Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Finish Used: 
on the nightstands, I first painted 2 coats of KILN brand white primer, then did 3 coats of BEHR high-gloss white paint. On the drawers I used Minwax gray stain (LOVE LOVE LOVE this!), Minwax walnut stain, and a dry paintbrush technique where i painted on a VERY light coat wiping as much paint off of a dry brush as I could and then VERY lightly sanding to get some of the grain to show through. I then hand rubbed 3 coats of Tung Oil on all 3 drawers (even though the can said it wouldn't work on paint, it worked great and left a super soft, shiny surface!)

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