Monday, August 9, 2010

Freebie bookcase!

Now, you all know I love a good deal. I'm cheap. Don't get me wrong- I'd love to just be able to go buy whatever I need/want, but instead I end up spending money on crazy things like diapers and string cheese. So I made me a bookcase. And didn't spend a dime.

First time I made one of these was when Girly-Lou was a baby. I needed something to coral all the board books we had around. It worked ok, but the shelf had some issues. I think I fixed that with this version.

Seriously - you can do this today. It's even likely that you already have everything you need for this.

1 big-ish cardboard box (bulk diaper boxes are PERFECT)
*small-ish box (I used one of those little box thingies that they display canned veggies in)
8-15 pieces of paper (I cut up 11 because that's how many were in the stack I grabbed)
modge podge (used about 1/3 a bottle)
duct tape
sponge brush
scissors/paper trimmer (you could use scissors, but this was easier)
Step 1: Decide which way your bookcase will go. Just remember, the longer that shelf you put in is, the harder it is to support it. (in other words, tall = easier)
My box was shaped the wrong way, so I had to cut off a side instead of just the flaps. No problem, still works fine! The flaps (or side in my case ) will used for the shelf.

Step 2: Decide the height of your shelf. Grab the tallest book you want to put on a shelf and place it in your box. Put the flap on top and mark where it will be. (ok, you could also measure the height you want. But my way has less math!)

Step 3: using the remaining flaps and/or extra box, form your supports. Basically, you're making an upside down U shape, with the shelf on top and the side supports flush with the sides of the box. Clear as mud? Great. Here's a picture to show what I'm talking about.

Step 4: Duct tape everything in place. Then duct tape some more. Cover EVERYTHING that can move in tape - sides, supports, shelf all around. The more tape you use the more secure things will be. nope no picture of this step. ahem. Just look at the next picture and everything that is white - imagine that silvery duct tapey!

Step 5. Ok, now you've got a basic bookcase. You could stop here, but personally I'm trying to avoid looking like a redneck decorator. So let's get ready to paint.The problem with duct tape is it does not accept paint very well. That's where the paper comes in. Cut strips of paper 1/2 inch wider than your tape (this is not exact science. Just make it big enough that it will completely cover the tape.). Then modge podge the paper over the tape. To give a more finished look, also wrap around any exposed cardboard edge.
Step 6: Let everything dry (ok, I lied. If you add in drying time this takes longer than a day. But active work time only takes an hour or so!)

Step 7: Find some spare paint and slap it on. The goal here is for this to be in Buddy's room, so I grabbed this brick red color. *if you don't have spare paint laying around, or want to match something else color wise, go to your favorite home improvement store and pick up a sample can. They are only $3 or $4, and that way you could have any color you can dream of.

Step 8: Fill 'er up! You're done. Now don't you feel good about your free bookcase?

*I may have totally forgotten to post these instructions months ago. If you're wondering how it's holding up, well, it's been five months and it still looks brand new. So yes, cardboard furniture is strong enough for 4 year olds!

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  1. Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party this week!

  2. Awesome, I love making something out of nothing! Very cool, thanks for sharing!

  3. That's thinking inside the box! :)


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