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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Time We Decided to Make a Bookshelf from Scratch

How to Build a Bookcase from Old Fence Pailings or Pallet Wood

If you've been following Southern In Law for a while, you'd probably know that Jesse and I LOVE a good project. 

Whether it's a craft project, a DIY project or a home makeover, we tend to always be doing something. 

Why? Because I'm one of those people that doesn't know how to just relax and do nothing (I relax by doing things) and so I rope my husband into everything I decide to do 🤣

And a few weeks ago, that thing I decided to do was building a bookcase.... from scratch.... as you do. 

So let me share our story of that time we decided to build a bookcase >> 

How to Build a Bookcase from Old Fence Pailings or Pallet Wood

It all started with the pile of old fence pailings we have lying around the side of our house.

A weird thing to have lying around the side of your house - but you see, once upon a time Jesse was looking for firewood for his firepit and saw a sign saying "Free Firewood - Call XXX" randomly as he was driving home and decided to call that number. 

The guy that answered told him that he had "a few" old fence pailings and would even deliver them to our house if we were happy to take them all. 

Cue said guy arriving with like TWO HUNDRED fence pailings. That was almost a year ago and we still have quite a big pile left. 

Luckily not all the wood is bad so I've been picking through it here and there to make things like my DIY String Art Tutorial Using Recycled Wood because there's only so many fires one can make.

How to Build a Bookcase from Old Fence Pailings or Pallet Wood

So cue me, outside on a Friday night, searching for the straightest pieces of wood and hosing off all of the dirt (and let's be honest, spiders and bugs) off them ready to create something with them the next day. 

My neighbours probably think I'm nuts because I was standing there, lining all of the different pieces up against the side of the house, carefully hosing each random plank of wood down, waiting for them to dry and then carrying them through the house to set aside for the next day. 

How to Build a Bookcase from Old Fence Pailings or Pallet Wood

Jesse looked at me like I had three heads when I told him I wanted said pieces of wood to become a bookshelf - but luckily he let me going along with my crazy plan and we got to work... without a real plan.

Because I didn't really have a plan - I also didn't really take photos, so here's a quick run through of what pieces we used.

For the Back:
5x pieces of wood that were 90cm high by 10cm wide by 1.5 cm thick

For the Sides:
4x pieces of wood that were 87cm high by 10cm wide by 1.5 cm thick (so the sides would be doubled to give more width for books to fit) 

For the Top and Base:
4x pieces of wood 50cm long x 10cm wide x 1.5 cm thick 

For the Shelves:
4x pieces of wood 47cm long x 10cm wide x 1.5 cm thick (don't cut this until you've put the first side on as you'll need to measure the exact length once you have the side in place. 

How to Build a Bookcase from Old Fence Pailings or Pallet Wood

Once you cut all the pieces, sand the crapola out of them because, at this point, you probably already have 23502034293593459394 splinters. 

I still have splinters in my hand from that stupid wood. 

And you don't want to screw up your books with jagged bits of wood. We used medium sand paper.... but I don't know if that's what you're supposed to use.. I just know that it worked.

How to Build a Bookcase from Old Fence Pailings or Pallet Wood

Then it's time to put it all together. Because the wood we used was hardwood we (ahem, Jesse), predrilled holes before screwing it all together. 

How to Build a Bookshelf from Old Fence Pailings or Pallet Wood

To put the first layer of the top and bottom on, Jesse measured and predrilled holes on both the back planks and the boards that would form the top/bottom so he could line the planks up one by one and drill them together.

How to Build a Bookshelf from Old Fence Pailings or Pallet Wood

Apparently, after this point, I thought the project was either doomed to fail or I forgot all about it because I stopped taking photos. 

Basically, what we did next was screw in the first layer of the sides (attaching them ontop of the back piece, tucked between the top and bottom pieces - that's why they're 3cm less than the back pieces). 

Then we put the shelves together by using brackets to hold them together (you could also use small pieces of wood to support and connect the two pieces) and then attached the back of those shelves to the side planks. Our shelves were placed at 30cm from the bottom and 60cm from the bottom (or 30cm from either side). Once the sides were in place, you can then attach the second side pieces by screwing them into the shelves. Once your sides are all on, add your top and bottom and you're good to go. 

How to Build a Bookcase from Old Fence Pailings or Pallet Wood

Then, you should be good to go! As I planned to put my bookcase on top of my desk, I wanted to make sure it wouldn't damage the desk - so we bought these adjustable feet from IKEA, hot glued felt circles onto the bottom (so I can slide it around and it doesn't damage the desktop) and then screwed them onto the base. 

The adjustable feet were a brilliant idea because the wood isn't perfectly straight - so the adjustable feet meant we could adjust the cabinet to sit perfectly level. 

And hopefully, once you're all finished - you'll have a pretty awesome looking bookshelf! 

Here's a little sneak peek of this month's decor - featuring the bookcase! Even though I am just about to change all of that again - so it might not look exactly like that... stay tuned! 

But tell me, 
Have you ever built any piece of furniture from scratch? 
What do you usually do on the weekends?

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