DIY Built in Bookshelves

I’m baaaaack! I have been such a procrastinator with this post….It entails a lot of pictures that took me awhile to find since I took them at varied times….but no excuses! This is the mother of all DIY projects…at least in my books. It’s scary, somewhat easy & a bit confusing! Intrigued?

IMG_1572

One thing we loved about our house is the big open, airy feel it gives with two story ceilings and combined rooms. However, it presents a challenge to fill these huge walls with something that does it justice!

I saw on Centsational Girl and a couple other blogs the idea of using Ikea Billy Bookcases to use as the starting ground for built ins…and they’re brilliant. Put together, secure, add molding…waalah! And that waalah turned into few months. Not that any step was very hard…it just took some figuring out.

Hope on my DIY magic carpet and I’ll take you on a tour.

The before:

Image

Notice the bookshelf waiting to be put in place and the farmhouse table….that’s how long ago this was if you’ve read my other posts!

We measured our wall and figured out that we could fit 5 bookshelves across the space with a little room in between each. But then I decided if I ever wanted to have a TV, I needed to plan accordingly! So, the built in became an entertainment system to my husband’s delight!

We got:

2 half height billys

2 half width billys

2 15 inch depth regular heigh billys

and 4 height extensions (2 half width, 2 full)

Image

To make it secure, we screwed all the shelves together in inconspicuous places (inside front near where the holes for the pegs are).

IMG_1574

The bookshelves are not all the same depth so we put the 15inch depth ones flush to the wall and then lined them up according to those. We actually didn’t have to remove the back bottom molding because Ikea is brilliant and added a cutout in the back of the shelves! Thank you, Ikea!

You can see we started to add half doors too….they of course didn’t have enough so that set us back months!

Next, we started to add the bells and whistles. We went to Home Depot and Lowe’s to look at our options and compare prices. After a million trips back and forth over weeks, we slowly started to make progress!

First up: Beadboard wallpaper in the middle…I needed to fill in the empty space!Image

A little peek at the process:

Just wet and paste…and clean up the awful goop of mess that comes with it! No, seriously…I’m warning youImage

Image

You can check out my beadboard wallpaper tutorial here

Then came the molding. I’ll be honest…we had a little trouble with that. We’re still working on the finishing touches but our problem was that the crown molding just wasn’t working for our space. So, we decided to cheat. We cut chair molding and glued and nailed them flat rather than angled like you would actual crown molding. This makes it a bit hard at the corners where you need to make right angles but it works.

Image

As you can see, we had to add some extra boards and molding, to fill in the gaps and make the piece cohesive

Image

Next, came the molding in the middle to “crown” the whole piece…we took some chair molding and cut it at a 45 degree angle to make it appear like a crown molding piece…but it’s just glued flat onto the wall!

To make each bookshelf blend together, we just cut lattice to end where the doors would be placed. This really made the shelves start to come together and look like one piece…crazy what a little nailglue and some finishing nails can do!

For the big gaps on the ends of the shelves closest to the walls, we took a big piece of molding and screwed them straight into the bookshelves. So they’re actually attached to the shelves but not to the walls. We had to remove some of the bottom molding on the walls with a dremel so that there was a little nook for the molding to fit in…

IMG_1573

Is it contractor perfect? No. Could it be? Probably close. We are still tweaking it and working on little pieces but the naked eye really doesn’t see it. We have a few additions we want to add to hide the tv cables but are waiting until we know exactly what cords are going to be there…

The verdict? We love it. It was definitely worth it!

IMG_1572

Ribbon & wreath garland

20121203-204033.jpg

Hey there! Man, did I fall into the blogger black hole or what?! The fall weather tends to tackle me with its cinnamon smells, holiday gatherings, and crisp weather… Love it!
Thought I’d get back in the game with a little CHRISTmas decorating!
Let’s face it… I’m cheap. That makes it a challenge to decorate for the holidays but I am pretty happy with how things are turning out.
I love beautiful banisters adorned with garland and ribbon and festive decor. I hate working with garland that cuts your hands and arms and sheds everywhere! So I came up with a simple solution…. This is soooo easy!
Take a spool of ribbon and secure it to the bannister, draping or wrapping however you wish… I used a thick burgundy ribbon with gold trim.
Next, take small wreaths and secure them where the ribbon fastens to the bannister… I was super lazy and used gift wrap ribbon… No joke.
The best part about this project? The price!!! I had the ribbon already but most of the time they’re on sale and the wreaths were a bargain at Michael’s for 50% off making them under $3 a piece! Woohoo! Garland done!!!
And the swoops in the ribbon kinda look like mustaches… A popular theme in our house right now as movember just ended… Thank you, December!!! I’m tempted to hang a banner that says, “mustaching through the snow”

There is so much more you could add to this… Glitter, pine cones, ornaments, lights… I’m going basic for now!

20121203-204058.jpg

Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potatoes

20121014-200826.jpg

It’s soooo close to fall that I just can’t contain myself…. And I’ve got to cook! And every DIYer needs to take a break to eat, right?!
So it only makes sense that this blog needs recipes…
My first easy peasy recipe: Roasted sweet potatoes!

Seriously, they’re addictive… You can cut ’em up into wedges, slices , squares, whateva!!!
The secret kick is the seasoning… A little spice for your life!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Servings: 1-2

Ingredients:
One large sweet potato, cut into pieces
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of Celtic sea salt
1 tablespoon of Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning
Black pepper to taste (optional)
Dash of honey (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F

20121014-195303.jpg

Cut up sweet potatoes and put in a large bowl
Throw all ingredients onto sweet potatoes (measurements can be tweaked for taste) and toss with fingers in bowl until potatoes are well coated

20121014-195527.jpg

Now here’s the great part! Instead of turning the potatoes over halfway through cooking…. Place a rack on top of a cookie sheet so the potatoes roast all the way around and the excess oil drips off! Genius right?! Totally not my original idea!

20121014-200310.jpg

Bake potatoes in oven for about 20 minutes. When they’re starting to brown a bit on the edges and you can easily prick a fork through them, they’re ready! Let them cool about 10 minutes before snacking!
This might not be your style, but I love these sweet taters with ketchup!

20121014-200731.jpg