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Pretty in Pink {Pottery Barn inspired} Bedside Table: The Reveal!

Whew!  Finally we are at the reveal for this project!  Life has gotten in between me and the final coat of Polyacrylic for this one.  But now here it is, all set in its place in Pip’s room:

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Pretty in Pink {Pottery Barn knock off bed} The Reveal!!

I love it.  I can’t believe I made it!!  The drawers work.  It is the right size.  All the stuff I worried about before I started turned out fine.  It isn’t perfect, but remember my motto: Perfect is the enemy of done.  And it’s done!

The before:

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Pretty in Pink {Pottery Barn knock off bed} Drawer pulls

Ok, one more progress post.  The bed is done and in her room and the reveal post will be coming tomorrow.  It turned out better than I had hoped!

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Pretty in Pink {Pottery Barn knock off bed} Drawer fronts

The end is near!  No, I do not believe that because the Mayans stopped their calendar in 2012 that THE end is near, the end of this build is near!

The drawer fronts are on and the way that I built them is a perfect example of why two heads are better than one.  I had planned on constructing them the same way as the pocket hole doors I made for the built-ins which involved miter joints, rabbets with the router, and glue up time.  My Man was talking with me about the drawer fronts and it was like we were speaking in tongues–neither of us could figure out what the other was talking about.  I was talking about rabbets and he was assuming I was going to build them the easy way.  Here is what he was talking about (and I felt like an idiot after I realized that this was WAY less complicated and worked just as well):

Glue and nail some 1×3’s to the front of the drawer.  <duh>

It does have to have some precision. Here’s how  I did it.

Give everything a good once over with some 220 grit sandpaper. My finish sander makes quick work of that job. I made sure to get the top edges of the plywood on the drawer really well--even rounded their edges just a bit since these will have people contact.

Cut two 1x3s the width of the opening with 1/8" space on BOTH sides. Cut two the vertical height left, less 2/8" (or 1/4") so you have the same space top, bottom, left, and right.I made the space larger than I would normally for an inset drawer front because of the play in the drawer glides (don't want it to nick the sides). Because this is a larger project, it looks proportional.

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Pretty in Pink {Pottery Barn knock off bed} Drawers

The drawers are built and are in!

And I no longer like drawer glides.  I should have only had 12 to put in (2 for each drawer).  For one drawer alone, I had to redo it 3 times.  Both sides.  And that wasn’t the only problem I had!  If I had not done inset drawers, I probably wouldn’t have had some of the problems.  But they were relatively easy fixes, and I’m now happy with them.

Here’s how I constructed the drawers.  There ARE better ways, but this is what I used and hopefully they will prove to hold up over time.

I used a scrap piece of plywood under it so I knew I had a flat surface.

Dry fit all pieces together, with bottom in at the bottom...of course. Loosely clamp.

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Pretty in Pink {PB Knock Off bed} Day 2

I have learned two things about myself since I have taken up woodworking:

1) I procrastinate if I am not sure about how to proceed during a project.  Using the router and doing a routered-edge face frame has caused some procrastination during this build.  I find other things that MUST be done instead.  Like vacuuming refrigerator coils.

2) I am more comfortable building in a 30 degree garage than an 80 degree garage.  This is huge!  I am normally freezing (even inside) from November until May every year.  I was surprised this winter when I was able to work out there and not freeze–as long as I had my hearing protection on.  Even when I wasn’t using power tools, I was wearing my attractive, green hearing protection.  Guess what?  It makes my head want to implode in 80 degree weather.

But the procrastination due to the router and face frame is over!  Here are some progress pictures:

Bed frame carcass completed

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Pretty in Pink {PB Knock Off bed} Day 1

I am excited with how much I got done on the first day!

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Pretty in Pink: {PB Knock-off bed} The Plans

Happy Independence Day!!  I hope you are enjoying this holiday.

So this is how I roll.  I decide I want to do something.  Then I research it to death.  Find some inspiration and instruction and maybe a plan and then decide that if I change it just a little, it would be perfect. Hence, it becomes more tricky to execute and I feel unsure about it.  So I ponder, and plan, and sketch it out to death.  And then I eventually do it.  I’m at the “do it” part.

I have spent HOURS modifying the plans that Ana White has already drawn up.  She has knock off plans for the Pottery Barn Stratton Bed.  And hers are good plans.  I’m sure I would be very happy with that bed if I built it.  But look closely at the PB version–the extra details are lovely and I really, really want them.  Routed edges.  Extra trim on the end boxes.  Higher bottom trim.  And so began the modifications.

And this is where I’m at.  I’ve even got the drawers drawn up, but I’m not including those because the dimensions will likely change from the drawing.  I’ll wait until the frames are built before I finalize them.

**Disclaimer!!!  I include my drawings as a way to see my planning process, not as directions!  I would feel SO bad if I caused someone to have to by another sheet of plywood because the cut was wrong!  I double check as I go, and often will have to make corrections during a build that are not necessarily changed on the sketches.  I recommend using Ana’s plans and figuring out what you need to change with sketches of your own.   In the process you will understand your build far better before you even cut the first board.

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The view from our “front” door Post 4: I’m no expert

Advice from blog books: Be an expert in your niche.

I gotta tell you, I’m no expert.  Not with power tools anyway.  I’m a beginner.  My compressor is still in the box.  My cordless drill still looks pretty.  I have no idea what the experts do.  But I think the benefit of my blog may be because I am not an expert.  A lot of times when you are an expert, you forget what it feels like to be a beginner.  You assume knowledge that the beginner may not possess.  Nope, I’m not an expert.

So bear with me on this laundry room journey.  This may end up being a long series.  I plan to learn a lot on the way and I hope it may be of some benefit to you as well!

I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about the laundry room.  I’ve got to actually purchase the wood and get started, but I’m nervous because I’ve still got questions about how it is all going to come together.  How am I going to make the back look good–I can’t tack it on because that will be visible.  How am I going to make those vertical panels on the back like the Pottery Barn picture (which is actually their wall since their version is open backed).  Making those panels will make the back thicker, which compounds the problems of making the back look good…and on and on it went in my head.

The doors have got me stumped too.  Ana White builds her doors by layering wood on top of wood.  That means I have to take 3/8″ wood for the door back and layer on 3/8″ wood for the rails and stiles to equal 3/4″, which is the thickness of the opening for the doors.  Sandra on the other hand, uses a router and dado cuts.  I want to use a router.

I have no idea how to use a router.

Woodcraft to the rescue!  We have a Woodcraft store somewhat nearby that offers a router basics class!  I called this morning.  All classes are filled with a waiting list of at least 5 all the way through May.  I am now on the waiting list, but unless a nasty cold takes out at least 1 class member and the 15 people ahead of me on the list, I’m right back to square one.

SOOOO, I’m ignoring the doors right now.  Here’s the cut list for my storage unit:

Here’s my sketch of the whole unit:

Ignore the dimensions on this--some are incorrect now.

Notice on the first cut sheet that the shelves and hutch bottom are cut 1/2″ less wide than the hutch sides?  That’s my attempt at hiding the back panel of the hutch, which if it works out correctly will be 1/2″ thick with 1/4″ plywood and 1/4 pine hobby boards glued together to make the panel with the look I like.  I’ve got to check out what they have at Home Depot to see if this is going to work.

Which is where I am headed off to now.  Wish me luck…



The view from our “front” door Post 3: What I’ve got in mind

Like I’ve said on the other posts about our laundry room, I’ve had some time to think about what I’d like to do in there to make it a nicer “front” entrance.  We had originally planned on putting a small desk in there to hold the mail and school papers.  That was before we even moved in.  It would never work where we wanted to put it.

It sat like it is for a few years before the wooden entrance lockers became popular and I got excited about that possibility.  A place for the backpacks and coats!  All of the ready-made models were a bit wide for our space and I was worried about how neat the kids would be able to keep them.  It hit me one day that we could make that idea work in an existing closet.  If you’ve read the posts leading up to this one, you’ve seen our built-in lockers, hidden from view in a closet:

That was a pat-me-on-the-back idea.  I don’t know why it took me as long as it did to come up with it…

But that didn’t make my “front” door view any nicer, just neater with a place for backpacks and shoes.  So then I began to wonder about a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf in front of the hanging laundry.  I found some custom manufacturers of these things on the internet such as Highland Designs that seemed reasonable before I started adding things like paint and doors.  The traditional style was $298.00 unfinished and no extra options.  It went up to $745 once I added in just some of the things I’d like to have on it.  We could wiggle $300 into the budget in a month or two–$800 puts it on the “wouldn’t that be nice to do someday” list.

And the laundry room sat unchanged until I stumbled across Ana’s site.  I could build the unit even cheaper than buying it!  Ana has plans on her site based on Pottery Barn’s Logan modular wall system that she calls the Classic Storage Wall Base and Classic Storage Wall Hutch.  And the wonderful thing about building it yourself?  You can make it perfect for you.  Which meant I would be modifying.

I did it on paper first:

Don't pay attention to dimensions--some are wrong since I've modified the modified plans...

But I’ve also dabbled in SketchUp, which means that I tried to learn it on my own and with books out of the library and then after much frustration, turned off the program and vowed to never look at it again.  Then some nice person on Ana’s facebook page posted a link to another nice person’s website about tutorials for beginners who want to draw up woodworking plans.  This man is awesome.  Check the tutorials out here.

This is what I came up with after just a few of those tutorials:

What is great about this process of building your model in SketchUp is that it is like a virtual build.  It made me think about a few aspects of my plan that I might change and it prevented a MAJOR mistake in my finished project, all because you build your project with your computer first.

The bottom of this unit will house the litter box with a shelf above that for the scoop, bread bags for the yuck to go into, etc.  Then there are two drawers for hats and gloves, which currently live on a shelf above the lockers in the closet (too high for convenience).  The shelves will hold the mail and library books.  Best of all?  The entire thing will hide the laundry that dries on the rack behind it all.

I’m putting this project on hold until after the holidays for obvious reasons (like how busy it will already be) and for less obvious (I’m hoping that Santa will bring me some new tools that I’d like to break in on this).  Can’t wait!


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