Apr
04
2016
You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a V Bookshelf/Room Divider
Project Details

This is definitely a new slant on the traditional bookshelf! This piece has several nooks to place all of those great reads that you want to display. All you need are a few 1x2s, a piece of plywood, and a few hours and you've got yourself a beautiful and functional piece of furniture.

As with all of our plans, you are building at your own risk and you should have a firm understanding of building in general before you attempt many of our plans (some are easy as pie and perfect for beginners). With that, go forth, have fun, take lots of pictures and share them in a showcase on the site or on social media with the hashtag #builtTDCtuff and we will share our faves! Be sure to tag @thedesignconfidential on Instagram / FB and @thedesconf on Twitter / Pinterest. Don't forget... for all of our newer plans, clicking on the images will let them expand to enormous sizes with much greater clarity. The older plans may need updating so please let us know if you need one fixed!

Showcase: Built From These PlansI am so honored each and every time one of you fine friends builds from these very plans! If you have built this piece, please take a moment and showcase your build! We are dying to see your fabulous hard work!

Estimated Cost
$75-$125
Dimensions
You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a V Bookshelf/Room Divider
Tools
Lumber

6 – 1x2 at 8’
1 – 3/4” plywood at 4’x8’ (you will have a decent bit left over after cutting pieces)

Materials
Cut List

4 – 1x2 at 32-1/4” – Frame Tops/Bottoms
4 – 1x2 at 75” – Frame Sides
1 – 3/4” plywood at 13-1/4” x 22-13/16” – Shelf A
2 – 3/4” plywood at 13-1/4” x 37-13/16” – Shelf B
1 – 3/4” plywood at 13-1/4” x 27-9/16” – Shelf C
3 – 3/4” plywood at 13-1/4” x 22-13/16” – Shelf D

Instructions

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Step 1

Cut the pieces for the Frame Tops and Bottoms. With the Kreg jig set for 3/4” material, drill pocket holes in each end of the Frame Tops and Bottoms.

You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a V Bookshelf/Room Divider
Step 2

Cut the pieces for the Frame Sides. Attach the Frame Tops and Bottoms (with pocket holes facing the each other/the inside) to the Frame Sides as shown with glue and 1-1/4” Pocket Screws. 

You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a V Bookshelf/Room Divider
You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a V Bookshelf/Room Divider
Step 3

Cut the pieces for the Bookshelves A, B, C, and D. With the Kreg jig set for 3/4” material, drill pocket holes in the ends of each piece as shown. Pay attention to the location of the pocket holes in the images. Some holes will need to line up with the Frame Tops, Bottoms, and/or Sides. Apply Edge Banding to all of the plywood edges if desired.

You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a V Bookshelf/Room Divider
You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a V Bookshelf/Room Divider
You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a V Bookshelf/Room Divider
You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a V Bookshelf/Room Divider
Step 4

Attach one of the Bookshelf Ds to Bookshelf C as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws. Position the pair of Bookshelves on the Frame Assembly as shown and attach with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws. 

You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a V Bookshelf/Room Divider
Step 5

Next, attach one of the Bookshelf Ds to one of the Bookshelf Bs as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws. Position the pair of Bookshelves on the Frame Assembly and on Bookshelf D as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws.

You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a V Bookshelf/Room Divider
Step 6

Next, attach the last Bookshelf D to the last Bookshelf B as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws. Position the pair of Bookshelves on the Frame Assembly and on Bookshelf D as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws.

You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a V Bookshelf/Room Divider
Step 7

Lastly, attach Bookshelf A to Bookshelf D as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws. Attach to the Frame Assembly as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws.

You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a V Bookshelf/Room Divider
Finishing Instructions

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

Disclaimer

// Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you ONLY use 1 image and provide an ADEQUATE link back to the original source and appropriate plan! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential. By accessing or using any part of the web site, you agree to become bound by the terms and conditions of this website as outlined under Terms of Use. If you do not agree to all the terms and conditions of this agreement, then you may not access the Website or use any services. The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by The Design Confidential.com and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, personal injury or death, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of information or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website. I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it. The Design Confidential.com is inspired by but does not replicate exact designs, any similarities between these plans and items sold at specialty retailers is coincidential and not endorsed by or related to any said retailers. // Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Nov
17
2015
The Design Confidential Builders Showcase // Vintage Fir Platform Bed with Storage

I made this bed ages ago and it has a few tweaks to the design.

To Read More About This Build, Visit This Blog Post 
Estimated Cost 
Length of Time 
Modifications 

I used 12" x 6" beams for the headboard and made the sides of the bed flush instead of having an overhang.

Lumber Used 
Finishing Technique 
Additional Project Details 
The Design Confidential Builders Showcase // Vintage Fir Platform Bed with Storage
Note
Oct
21
2015
The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Magazine Sling Side Table
Project Details

I am so excited to share this simple multi function project plan with you guys! Part Side Table, part Magazine or anything you like storage and sheer gorgeous piece of furniture and easy to build plans! This Magazine Sling Side Table seems like it would blend seamlessly with any style of decor and is something even a non-sewing gal like myself could handle! Get your saw ready and make some sawdust fly on this beauty!

The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Magazine Sling Side Table

Showcase: Built From These PlansI am so honored each and every time one of you fine friends builds from these very plans! If you have built this piece, please take a moment and showcase your build! We are dying to see your fabulous hard work!

Estimated Cost
$55-$75
Dimensions
The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Magazine Sling Side Table
Tools
Lumber
  • 1 – 2x2 at 8’
  • 1 – 2x4 at 8’
  • 1 – 1/2” plywood at – 2’x2’
Materials
Cut List
  • 4 – 2x2 at 18-1/2” – Legs
  • 2 – 2x4 at 15-1/2” – Side Aprons
  • 2 – 2x4 at 23-1/2” – Front and Back Aprons
  • 1 – 2x4 at 15-1/2” – Top Support
  • 1 – 1/2” plywood at 13-1/2”x15-1/2” – Table Top
  • 2 – 1/2” plywood at 2”x15-1/2” – Sling Supports
Instructions

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Step 1

Cut the pieces for the Legs and Side Aprons. Set the Kreg jig for 1-1/2” material and drill pocket holes in the ends of the Side Aprons. Secure Side Aprons to the Legs as shown with glue and 2-1/2” pocket screws. Repeat this step twice, once for each side of the Table.

The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Magazine Sling Side Table
Step 2

Cut the pieces for the Front and Back Aprons. Drill pocket screws in each end of the Aprons. Attach the Aprons to the Legs as shown with glue and 2-1/2” pocket screws. Make sure that the pocket holes face the inside of the Table as shown in the sketch.

The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Magazine Sling Side Table
Step 3

Cut the Top Support. Drill pocket holes in the ends of the Top Support. Attach the Top Support to the Front and Back Aprons as shown with glue and 2-1/2” pocket screws. Make sure that the pocket holes face the same direction as shown in the sketch.

The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Magazine Sling Side Table
Step 4

Cut the piece for the Table Top. Set the Kreg jig for 1/2” material and drill holes on the underside of the Table Top on all sides. Assemble as shown with glue and 2-1/2” pocket screws. The Table Top will sit 1/2” below the Aprons. Make sure that the pocket holes face the ground as shown in the sketch.

The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Magazine Sling Side Table
Step 5

Now it’s time to cut the Sling fabric! Cut your fabric as shown. Turn under long edges of the Sling 1/2”, iron, and then turn it under another 1/2” and iron again. Repeat this process with the short edges of the Sling.

To secure the edges of the fabric, you can use iron-on adhesive, fabric glue, or sew the edges.

The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Magazine Sling Side Table
The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Magazine Sling Side Table
Step 6

Cut the pieces for the Sling Supports. Drill pocket holes in each end of the Sling Supports. Don’t attach just yet!

Place one of the short ends of the Sling under the Sling Support. Attach the Sling Support with 2-1/2” pocket screws as shown to the Front and Back Aprons. The Sling end should extend 1/2” below the Sling Support. To further avoid the Sling from slipping out of the Sling Support when weighed down with magazines, screw the Sling Support to the adjacent Side Apron with 1-1/4” wood screws.

The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Magazine Sling Side Table
The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Magazine Sling Side Table
Step 7

Repeat the same process for the other Sling Support. Let the Sling hang down into the opening.

Now all you have to do is grab a seat and a magazine… and relax!

The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Magazine Sling Side Table
Finishing Instructions

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

Disclaimer

// Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you ONLY use 1 image and provide an ADEQUATE link back to the original source and appropriate plan! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential. By accessing or using any part of the web site, you agree to become bound by the terms and conditions of this website as outlined under Terms of Use. If you do not agree to all the terms and conditions of this agreement, then you may not access the Website or use any services. The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by The Design Confidential.com and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, personal injury or death, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of information or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website. I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it. The Design Confidential.com is inspired by but does not replicate exact designs, any similarities between these plans and items sold at specialty retailers is coincidential and not endorsed by or related to any said retailers. // Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Oct
07
2015
You Can Build This! Free DIY furniture Plans // How to Build a Vodder Chest of Drawers
Project Details

I love a good chest of drawers, and when those drawers are stylish... well that is simply my fave! We have so many DIY Dresser Plans for you to choose from and of course you can browse our entire Plan Index for coordinating pieces!

As with all of our plans, you are building at your own risk and you should have a firm understanding of building in general before you attempt many of our plans (some are easy as pie and perfect for beginners). With that, go forth, have fun, take lots of pictures and share them in a showcase or on social media with the hashtag #builtTDCtuff and we will share our faves! Be sure to tag @thedesignconfidential on Instagram / FB and @thedesconf on Twitter / Pinterest. Don't forget... for all of our newer plans, clicking on the images will let them expand to enormous sizes with much greater clarity. The older plans may need updating so please let us know if you need one fixed!

You Can Build This! Free DIY furniture Plans // How to Build a Vodder Chest of Drawers

Showcase: Built From These PlansI am so honored each and every time one of you fine friends builds from these very plans! If you have built this piece, please take a moment and showcase your build! We are dying to see your fabulous hard work!

Estimated Cost
$100-$150
Dimensions
You Can Build This! Free DIY furniture Plans // How to Build a Vodder Chest of Drawers
Tools
Lumber
  • 1 – 2x4 at 8’
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at – 4’x8’
  • 1 – 1/2” plywood at – 4’x8’
Materials
Cut List
  • 2 – 3/4” plywood at 14-1/2”x33” – Chest Sides
  • 2 – 3/4” plywood at 14-1/2”x26” – Chest Top and Bottom
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 26”x31-1/2” – Chest Back
  • 4 – 2x4 at 5” – Legs
  • 10 – 3/4” plywood at 1”x12” – Drawer Guides
  • 6 – 1/2” plywood at 11-1/2”x24-1/2” – Drawer Bottoms
  • 12 – 1/2” plywood at 4”x11-1/2” – Drawer Sides
  • 6 – 1/2” plywood at 3-1/2”x24-1/2” – Drawer Backs
  • 6 – 1/2” plywood at 5”x25-1/2” – Plain Drawer Fronts
  • 6 – 1/2” plywood at 5”x25-1/2” – Bowtie Drawer Fronts
Instructions

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Step 1

Cut the pieces for the Sides, Top, and Bottom. Apply edge banding to front edges of all pieces, if desired. Set the Kreg jig for 3/4” material and drill pocket holes in the ends of the Top and Bottom pieces. Make sure the pocket holes will face the inside of the Chest. Assemble pieces as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws.

You Can Build This! Free DIY furniture Plans // How to Build a Vodder Chest of Drawers
Step 2

Cut the piece for the Back. Drill pocket screws in each edge of the Back. Attach the back as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws. Make sure that the pocket holes face the inside of the Chest.

You Can Build This! Free DIY furniture Plans // How to Build a Vodder Chest of Drawers
Step 3

Cut out the Legs as shown.

You Can Build This! Free DIY furniture Plans // How to Build a Vodder Chest of Drawers
Step 4

Attach Legs to the bottom of the Chest as shown with glue and 1-1/2” wood screws. The Legs should be placed 2” from the edges of the Chest and at a 45-degree angle. Insert the wood screws down through the Chest Bottom into the Legs so that the screws are hidden. Also, make sure that the screws are countersunk so that they do not interfere with the Drawer.

You Can Build This! Free DIY furniture Plans // How to Build a Vodder Chest of Drawers
Step 5

Cut the pieces for the Drawer Guides. Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” wood screws. Insert the wood screws from the inside of the Chest, through the Drawer Guides, into the Chest Sides so that the screws are hidden. The Guides will be 1-1/2” set back from the front of the Chest, and have approximately a 1/4” gap in the back.

You Can Build This! Free DIY furniture Plans // How to Build a Vodder Chest of Drawers
Step 6

Cut the pieces for the Drawer Sides, Bottoms, Backs, and Plain Fronts for all Drawers. Set the Kreg jig for 1/2” material and drill pocket holes in the ends of the underside of the Bottoms and on the outside front ends of the Sides. Attach as shown with glue and 1” pocket screws.

You Can Build This! Free DIY furniture Plans // How to Build a Vodder Chest of Drawers
Step 7

Drill pocket holes in the sides and bottoms of the Drawer Backs. Attach as shown with glue and 1” pocket hole screws.

You Can Build This! Free DIY furniture Plans // How to Build a Vodder Chest of Drawers
Step 8

For Drawers 1 through 5, attach the Plain Fronts as shown with glue and 1” pocket screws. The top of the Plain Fronts for Drawers 1 through 5 will extend 3/4” above the Sides.  The bottoms of the Plain Fronts will extend 1/4” below the Sides.

You Can Build This! Free DIY furniture Plans // How to Build a Vodder Chest of Drawers
Step 9

Next, cut out the Bowtie Fronts for Drawers 1 through 6 as shown. Attach to the Plain Fronts of Drawers 1 through 5 with glue and 3/4” brad nails. The Bowtie Fronts will line up exactly with the Plain Fronts.

You Can Build This! Free DIY furniture Plans // How to Build a Vodder Chest of Drawers
Step 10

For Drawer 6, attach the Plain Front as shown with glue and 1” pocket hole screws. The bottom of the Plain Front will be even with the Sides, and the top of the Plain Front will extend 1” above the Sides.

You Can Build This! Free DIY furniture Plans // How to Build a Vodder Chest of Drawers
Step 11

Attach the Bowtie Front as shown with glue and 3/4” brad nails.

You Can Build This! Free DIY furniture Plans // How to Build a Vodder Chest of Drawers
Finishing Instructions

Tip: Paint the fronts and tops of the Plain Drawer Fronts in a darker color to add a really cool effect to this piece.

After sanding, staining, and sealing, you may want to apply a coat of paste wax to the bottoms of the Drawers and tops of the Drawer Guides to help them slide smoothly. Add drawer hardware such as a pull or knob if desired.

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

If painting, I like to sand the entire piece with 100 grit, then 220 grit, prime with any latex primer, sand again with 220 grit, and paint. Sanding the primer gives an extra-smooth finish! Finish with water-based polyurethane for added durability.

If staining, sand the entire piece with 60 grit, then 100 grit, and then 220 grit. Stain as desired. For the finish, use wipe-on poly or brush-on poly.

Disclaimer

// Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you ONLY use 1 image and provide an ADEQUATE link back to the original source and appropriate plan! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential. By accessing or using any part of the web site, you agree to become bound by the terms and conditions of this website as outlined under Terms of Use. If you do not agree to all the terms and conditions of this agreement, then you may not access the Website or use any services. The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by The Design Confidential.com and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, personal injury or death, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of information or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website. I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it. The Design Confidential.com is inspired by but does not replicate exact designs, any similarities between these plans and items sold at specialty retailers is coincidential and not endorsed by or related to any said retailers. // Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Aug
10
2015
The Design Confidential's Builders Showcase // Asian Style Bookshelf

This is only my 4th project. If I can build this, you can too!

I had blue cut birch plywood for me so I could get it home in my car.  I sanded it really well, using several grades of sandpaper, I stained it with kona colored stain and put it together very easily.  The only trouble I had was when my daughter and I brought it from the garage into the house because it's big, awkward and heavy.  Thanks to TDC for posting these plans.    Get building...you won't be sorry.

Estimated Cost 

$120.00 for screws, wood and stain.

Length of Time 

15-20 hours? I'm not sure, I work on stuff when I can...and I'm slow and my garage is very disorganized which slows me down even more.

Lumber Used 

birch plywood - 2 sheets

Finishing Technique 

kona stain - it's really dark - love it

Jul
20
2015
The Design Confidential DIY // Easy Live Edge Shelves + Finishing Technique

I'm excited to share this project with you guys today - and not because it is the first of it's kind - by any means... because it most definitely isn't. Nay, it's because this method for making any sort of project like this is so easy it's stupid. Stupid good - and for you folks who like to play with the big boy tools, this is definitely worth sharing. So I dedicate this fine finishing technique and project to my gal pal Kristin and hereby deem her as the creator of this method and an all around sweetheart too! So yahoo...

If you follow blogs or hang on Pinterest (duh, that would pretty much be all of us), you may have seen a couple of these amaze projects roll through your feed (this one and this one). Her latest version of this organic finishing touch was featured on Domino and is a big focal point in such a fabulous space. Teenage boy, shmeenage boy... let me in there!

So good, right? When it came time to create some surface space in the photography studio (you can see the design plan for that space here) and a few shelves in my home office, I knew this was the perfect thing and would balance out the stark industrial feel of the other elements in both spaces. No space is complete without a healthy dose of texture and a bit of something organic feeling, to breath a bit of life into it.

The Design Confidential DIY // Easy Live Edge Shelves + Finishing Technique

You can see this technique in play in the image above and it provides an added level of interest where function is necessary and I love when that happens! So let's get this show on the road so you can see exactly how easy this is, along with a few extra tips and tricks for doing this successfully!

MATERIALS //

  • Wood - 1x12 or any dimensional lumber you prefer, I used Poplar (my fave) - Something with a gorgeous grain pattern will work best and if you can use a real board rather than joined boards or plywood you will have greater success in making this look realistic.
  • Jig Saw
  • Sander
  • Sanding Supplies
  • Finishing Supplies - I recommend a Paste Wax to leave things natural and protect
  • Brackets - if making a shelf - The smaller sizes in 6"x8" or 5"x6" are more ideal if you plan to get creative with your curve.
The Design Confidential DIY // Easy Live Edge Shelves + Finishing Technique

There are essentially only 3 components involved in creating a live edge finish - so simple! You will basically be creating the shape, cutting the curve, and sanding it smooth and you are done. Rather than reiterating Kristin's instructions, I am going to give you some helpful tips below for each of these steps.

CREATING THE SHAPE //

You will start by sketching out the shape of your live edge. If your wood is amazing, you can choose a grain line and go with it. However, if you want to give it more interest than it happens to have, you can create your own grain line like I did above, and I promise as long as you keep your cool, it won't look odd. Just be sure to give your line a realistic curve throughout and keep things irregular. Too much same, same is not so good, good and it will end up looking contrived.

The Design Confidential DIY // Easy Live Edge Shelves + Finishing Technique

Finishing off the edges is just as important as the straightaway portion of your live edge. If you continue with your curves right up until the edge, and then stop, it will look less realistic. Once you know the length your board should be for your project, find a clever and interesting way to finish it off on the ends. I would suggest an asymmetrical shape that curves in more on one side than the other so it mimics real wood that is drifted and has been out in the ocean or the elements for some time just as the real deal might be found in nature.

The Design Confidential DIY // Easy Live Edge Shelves + Finishing Technique

Don't be afraid to get creative. Maybe an extreme indentation or curve won't work for your particular project... so consider a cutaway section and channel your inner whale watcher (doesn't this portion above look like a whale's mouth!).

The Design Confidential DIY // Easy Live Edge Shelves + Finishing Technique

CUTTING THE CURVE //

Once you have your perfect shape with asymmetry and perhaps a cutaway or two, you are going to whip out your jig saw and start cutting.

** It will save you so much time if you have a jig saw with an adjustable cutting angle blade like this one (my fave and really inexpensive) then you can alternate your cutting angle throughout so that some of your curves cut and angle inward and some of your curves angle out like you see above.

The Design Confidential DIY // Easy Live Edge Shelves + Finishing Technique

SANDING IT SMOOTH //

After your edge is live and your project looks amazing, you need to sand those edges smooth to finish it off and complete the look. Since you used a jig saw and altered your cutting angle throughout, you can get away with using a finish sander or any sander that you already have to smooth out your curves and create a rounded look for your edges. This should be a relatively quick process, unlike much of the sanding we have to do when we work with wood and is easiest to do if you start with a medium grit paper of around 100-150 and then you can follow that up with something closer to 220 and above to refine things.

Just as you did with your jig saw, be sure to angle your sander as you go along to get that weathered realistic look you are going for! For tricky spaces and tight corners it helps to fold a small piece of your sandpaper in half with the grit facing outward, then run it through your tight space by hand. It will sand both sides of a tight angle for you and truly smooth and finish every portion of your live edge.

That is it, so super simple and totally gorgeous. Leave it natural or give it a nice paste wax protective finish and call this baby done!

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