can ya’ll build it?

I can build it!  (Sorry, it’s a terrible title…let’s move on.)

I’m not sure what ignited this desire in me to build things.   But anymore I just feel like there are things that I could make myself that are (1) higher quality (2) cheaper and (3) exactly what I want.  Maybe it’s because I read a lot of DIY blogs and it’s inspirational (if they can do it, I can), but I’m starting to realize that I like it.  And I’m not necessarily intimated by it.  I like using my hands to build things; it’s rewarding.   Or maybe it’s just because there is a lot of over-priced crap for sale out there.

Admittedly I’ve learned that building things by hand isn’t easy.  There’s a reason why people don’t do it.  There are a lot of swear words involved, there can be a lot of frustration and things can go terribly wrong or not work out at all.  Sometimes it’s hard to wonder if it’s all worth it and if you should have just bought the $20 POS in the first place.  BUT.  But, but but.  Even with the small projects I’ve done so far…my window boxes, and the projects here….the sense of accomplishment when it’s done is pretty awesome.  And honestly I love being able to answer someone who asked “where I got it” and say “I built it.”

I’m learning as I go, so I’ve started off pretty small.  Once I build my confidence up I have some pretty ambitious plans that I hope I can work on next summer.  Remember my patio table plans?  Yeah.  That’s where I’m going with this.  I knew back then it was something I thought I could do, so it’s just a matter of learning how, getting the right tools, and putting a few projects under my belt.

So….let’s show you what I’ve been up to!  Like I said, I’m starting off small so these are pretty simple.  I’m still pretty stoked to have made them myself though.

First up…a simple frame for our entry-way mirror.   My in-laws put a new deck in this summer so you can bet I grabbed a big ‘ol stack of free “reclaimed” wood.

I always knew I wanted to frame this mirror, so literally all I did was cut this to size and glue it on the mirror with Liquid Nails.  No fancy miter-corners; I wanted it to look rustic and it does.  And p.s. I love it.

I suppose I could show you a before and after cuz that’s always fun.

nonna3-001 IMG_5503


Pretty awesome, right?  And so easy.

Then I set my sights on the kitchen.  I was in the middle of some re-arranging and putting together a “drop zone” for piling all of our bills, etc.  What I needed was a shelf to put our cookbooks on, so they were easily accessible.

So I made this:

(The only “before” pic I could find was from Abby’s party….sorry.  You get the idea.)

IMG_4976-001 IMG_5496

(The desk was from my aunt.  I gave it a nice little refresh by sanding it down, putting fresh paint on and swapping out the knobs.  The pin board is also just a quick DIY from some Goodwill corkboard, linen and nailhead trim).


This shelf was super-simple.  It’s (clearly) just a big ‘ol thick piece of wood attached to some fancy brackets.  I sanded the be-jezus out of each of them, applied primer/paint and then screwed the top in.

The finishing touch here that made all the difference was adding a bit of paintable caulk along the top of each bracket (where it attached to the shelf).  This really helped make everything seamless.   I got the inspiration (and the how-to) from Young House Love.  #shocking

Next, I decided that Abby needed some book ledges for her room.  We read books every night and she’s really into it so I wanted to have some place in her room we could display them and easily pick out a few for bedtime.

I really stepped up my game on this project and dabbled in the area of wood joinery.  All that means is attaching wood together, you know, like with dove tail joints or something similar.  For my wood joinery I treated myself to a kreg jig.  I kinda want to carry it around with me everywhere because I love it so much, but that would probably just be weird.



At any rate, I’m sure it’s the tool that’s going to take my woodworking to the next level.  Seriously.  It’s amazing.   These ledges were done in no time flat and without uttering any swear words.  That’s impressive folks.

And a bonus – Abby loves to stand on her toy chest and pick out our books for the night.  It’s pretty dang cute.  I wish I could say I made that toy chest, but it was actually a gift from Grandpa T…a little something that he built!

Lastly (isn’t this fun?  It’s like 4 posts in one), is something I’ve been wanting to make for awhile but was too nervous.  I found the plans for this step stool on Ana White’s site and finally felt like it was something I could tackle.  I actually worked with Grandpa T in his shop on this (he’s got all sorts of cool tools) so I think it’s extra special that it’s something we made together.


Now Abby can reach all those places she’s not supposed to.  You know, the knife drawer, the medicine cabinet and the faucet?  Yep.  I really thought that one through, didn’t I?

I do love the stool though – I love that it’s distressed because this thing is going to take a beating.  It already has!   We didn’t make any effort to hide the screws because I actually think it adds a vintage feeling to it.    Maybe down the road when she’s older I can clean it up, hide the screws and give it a fresh paint job.  For now I’m loving it in this fun playful color.

And so is she.

Here she’s about to cook me some dinner.   See, it’s useful.

So there you have it.  Proof that even though I don’t blog, I’m still alive and doing projects.  As far as my next project?  Well, Christmas is coming and if you follow me on Pinterest you know I’ve been pinning a lot of these:

Play kitchen.  So much better than the plastic.  (found on [the good life blog] Play Kitchen. DIY
Reader Redesign: Mini Kitchen Masterpiece | Young House Love diy play kitchen - Bing Images
DIY play kitchen

Now there’s a project I’d be sure to blog about!

P.S.  Can you see that last set of pictures?  I can but had some trouble on my laptop….please comment if they’re not coming through for you and I’ll look into it!



  1. Heya pretty lady! What would you charge for one of those ultra-cute step stools? Any chance you would be willing to put a few together! I love them :-)

  2. You sound a little bit like ‘Bob the Builder’….I can build it! :) haha. But seriously impressed with your wood working skills. Drooling over your book ledges and already anticipating the big (little) kitchen reveal. Adorable. There’s a little something satisfying about doing it yourself and happy you enjoy it. xo E

  3. Awesome! I’ve been working on getting the husband to start building stuff. I showed him Ana White’s site and he became kinda obsessed. I hope. Until then, we go book sling!

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