Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Awesome Kid Bookshelves!


I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THESE BOOKSHELVES!!! I've never been so excited about a project and so thrilled with the result! If you have kids, you must make these!!!

I found this great idea for easy kid bookshelves about 6 months ago and loved it so much that I instantly pinned it... then I looked around pinterest and found about 15 different versions of the same idea. I pinned some of those, then looked at them and marveled at how simple and awesome they were. I kept pinning, and looking, and pinning... I know, I'm so productive! When I decided on my New Year's resolution I knew that I wanted this to be one of the first ideas I did. Then when Andrew got a couple dozen more books for Christmas I knew I had no choice.

I love how they show the covers of the books so that a kid who's not reading yet can still easily find their favorites, and be intrigued by the cover of a new book. I also think they look good and will help add a lot of color to his walls as we transition from super calm sleepy baby room to toddler room where he can be active and spend time playing with toys, reading etc.

I went to Home Depot and decided to spend a little more to get the primed wood, especially since I knew I was painting the shelves white I figured it would be a good time saver and probably only cost a dollar or two more. I had the guy there cut all of the pieces to the exact length for me. Then I came home and used wood glue to put them all together. We had a carpenter at our house at the time working on our fireplace remodel (pics to come as soon as it's completed as Pinterest was my main sourse of inspiration!) and he had a nail gun. I kept thinking I should ask him if I could borrow his gun, and considered using it after he was gone etc... but I felt wrong just using it and he seemed so busy during the day that I hated to bug him... so I went to option #2 and bought my own nail gun!!! Technically I've had a nail gun for a couple of years, but no air compressor to use it with, so it was new in the box... went and bought a compressor and ka-blam! My shelves were solid as a rock in a matter of 10 glorious minutes! If you have never used a nail gun I highly recommend it. AWESOME!!! I'm looking around our house for anything that seems a little loose or that could use some trim... ka-blam! Problem solved. Naturally while using the nail gun I wore safetly goggles and my pink hard hat - mostly because they are awesome.

I had family over and wanted their thoughts on how high to hang the shelves etc.. and was holding them up on the wall when Andrew came over un-prompted and started trying to put his books on the shelves!!! SHUT UP! They aren't even up yet and he already likes them!?! Not sure which is more awesome, the kid or the shelves!

But I digress... once the shelves were constructed I spent about an hour doing some very light sanding along the cut edges, wood filling over the nail gun holes and painting the shelves. This was the longest part of the job, and could be done much faster if you spray painted the shelves. But I wanted to match the trim paint in our house and had that in a can, so I went with that. I also used a brush because I had one handy, but a small foam roller would have been a lot faster... the one I had was full of dried paint from my last project (oops)and it was too late to go to the store that night to get another. Not a major time suck, but if you're going to go get the boards anyway, get a foam roller and be done faster :)

I left the shelves to dry for a few days in the garage (then realized that I hadn't painted the edges enough so touched them up and left them for 24 more hours... you can skip this step by being a little more careful when you paint, or as mentioned before, using spray paint, a roller etc...). Anywho... just trying to be helpful and learn the lessons for you :)

Once the shelves were dry it was time to hang them. Because I wanted to hang so many in a fairly small space I felt that making sure I had the spacing right was important. I was probably a lot more detailed than necessary, but they went up quickly and I AM SO HAPPY WITH HOW THEY TURNED OUT, so maybe it was worth the extra steps. I took a sewing tape measure and taped it to the wall... then I used painters tape to mark where I wanted the shelves on both walls... I played with the spacing a bit and was able to move the tape around to figure it out etc... see pictures below to understand what I am talking about. Once I was happy with the placement of the shelves I kept the tape measure on the wall and used it as my vertical guide the whole time. Next I found the stud and ran a piece of painters tape along the stud so we wouldn't have to keep finding it over and over again as we hung shelves on top of each other. With a shelf and a level in my hands and the power drill and a screw in my hubby's hands we had all 9 shelves up in about 30 minutes. I didn't bother painting over the screws because the books cover them so eh.... if it bugs me I can always fix it later.

While Chris gave little man a bath I took the 8 bazillion books we have all over the house and started arranging them. THEY LOOK AWESOME!!! And, most importantly they were a big hit with the little man! After his bath I asked if he wanted to read a book and then showed him the shelves. He said "wow!" and then we spent about 20 minutes reading new books. He kept jumping off of my lap to check out a new one and would bring it over to me, then see another he was excited about and would take the books and put them back on the shelves (SERIOUSLY!) and bring me another one! It was a great moment :) I put the paper books up higher so he can't reach them yet, and all board books on the bottom shelves so he can explore those on his own as well. Such a great project, so easy and so rewarding! HOORAY FOR PINTEREST!!!! (and shout out to the Just A Girl blog where this awesome idea came from!)

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