I have been SO BUSY lately!
It’s entirely my own fault – the girls went camping with their Grandparents the other week and I set my sights on making over my basement…
problem is, I didn’t break it down into bite-sized steps like “sand and paint trim”, then “paint walls” then “DIY rustic x bookshelf”.
Nope, I left it as one giant To Do “makeover basement” that left me feeling overwhelmed and slacking because I couldn’t check of anything until the entire project was complete.
Lesson learned – from now on “S.M.A.R.T.” goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound).
Step 1 – I needed a custom piece of something to fill an awkward gap in a basement wall. The cut out was/is intended to house a second gas fireplace, but since it hasn’t been a priority (or in the budget) for the last 11 years, it’s sat as an eyesore.
Step 2 – Once I’d selected a bookshelf I wanted in the room, I needed to custom make it. Beyond the building of it, I needed it very specifically sized and so I couldn’t entirely rely on pre-fab plans.
Step 3 – Cut, drill, swear, cut, drill, swear, cut, drill, swear… call Step-Dad for help.
I managed to build the frame myself and Hubby helped me by cutting the shelf inserts, but those F*ing X-braces were impossible! If you use Ana White’s plans and build either the 72″ or the smaller bookshelf, she gives you the angles exactly. But because neither would fit into my nook, I had to figure out the angles myself….
or rather, I wasted 8 feet of 2×2 wood and then my Step-Dad saved the day.
Step 4 – Paint DIY rustic X bookshelf in a complimentary colour. In this case I created a ‘wash’ for my bookshelf; I took the leftover accent paint (latex wall paint, nothing special) and watered it down in a ratio of 1:1. I wiped it on with a paintbrush, with the grain of the wood, and then wiped it off with a clean, dry cloth before it dried. Two coats like this and you get:
paint that looks like a stain! Coat your rustic x bookshelf with varnish or polyurethane to protect it and you’re done!
Total cost for this diy rustic x bookshelf? $17 in wood and $4 in screws (and about $58 in the swear jar).
The colour coordinates perfectly with the decor and it is custom-sized to fit exactly (with a slight
kick nudge) inside the nook beneath the TV.
Spending so much time and frustration on the X braces seems silly given that the piece fits inside a nook and you can only barely see them – but it does give the piece versatility in that I can pull it out and place it someplace else should we ever decide to move on the fireplace….
plus, I did’t want it to look like I’d just slapped a few 2 x4’s together – it needed a bit of style to take it from garage shelving to decor.
For the original plans from Ana White click any of the images above, or click on her completed projects below: