In the not so distant past, my two children shared a bedroom.
But then one day, my little guy, age two at the time, decided his nightly bedtime ritual required lengthy discussions with his stuffed monkeys.
And my big guy, then age six, cranky in the face of anything that disrupted his sleep, decided his only course of action was to yell and moan and whine and cry, for several
nights months straight.
Hence, the shared brotherly bedroom needed to come to an end. We made arrangements for EeBee (the big guy) to move into his own room.
But moving him into his own room meant filling it up with his own furniture. And since he only had a bed to his name, we had some work to do.
Given our teeny budget for furniture, I considered scouring thrift stores for a desk and a headboard I could refinish. But with my limited time frame, I figured the simplest answer was to build these pieces myself.
So I scurried down to Home Depot, bought one piece of plywood, had them slice it up, and ended with three pieces of functional furniture.
Piece 1: DESK
To make the desk top, I stained and varnished the plywood with supplies I already had on hand. I formed the chevron pattern with Frog Tape, then painted it in using a small container of white sample paint.
If you haven’t used Frog Tape already, oh man, you’re missing out. Clean, crisp paint lines all the way. It works much better than that blue stuff.
The desk base is made of a wooden cube I had already, painted with some leftover house paint.
The desk top is secured to the back and side walls using two lengths of 1×2 wood bought in the scrap section of Home Depot for 75 cents. I screwed the 1x2s into the studs, then set the plywood on top, with the cube supporting it on the left.
I wanted the option of disassembling this desk, so I used several pieces of Velcro to attach the plywood to the 1x2s and cube base.
Item 2: HEADBOARD
We needed a headboard that had a place for the big guy to set his cups of water and maybe an alarm clock. So I came up with this simple L-shaped design.
This headboard is as basic as you see it. The vertical plywood piece (stained and varnished) runs down to the floor, and is secured to the bed with four heavy-duty screws and bolts, with the bolts being on the inside of the bed frame, and the screw heads on the outside of the plywood.
The little plywood edge (painted white) is secured to the vertical piece with simple L-brackets from beneath.
EeBee quickly discovered that the headboard ledge is a great place to line up his Lego guys right before bed. Every kid needs one of those.
Item 3: SHELF
This one was more of an afterthought. When the desk and the headboard were finished, I still had one plywood piece left.
So I went back to Home Depot and had them cut it down again. Using brackets I already had, I fashioned a little under-counter shelf to house our stacks of mail and charging gadgets.
And after all of this, I still have another strip of plywood sitting unclaimed in the garage. I’m thinking…art canvas?
Here’s what I spent for everything I didn’t already have in my DIY collection:
- Plywood – $42
- Scrap 1×2 wood – $0.75
- Screws & brackets – $8
- White paint – $2.50
- Frog tape – $4.50
Total Cost – $57.75
So, you probably didn’t believe me when I said building my own furniture was the simple solution, did you? Are you a believer now? I’d love to hear how you’ve come up with furniture solutions on the cheap. I know there are several savvy-favvy ones of you out there with stories to tell. Do share!
Time to swap. Check out these great DIY posts by all of you.
- Five Minute Hair Using a Sock. Seriously! by Shopping Detox
- Creating a Custom Party Centerpiece by Careful Cents (this one uses plywood too!)
- Acne Skin Care on a Budget by Face and Fitness
- DIY Vanilla Extract by Mike and Molly’s House
- How to Make a Hogwarts Acceptance Letter by Debt Free by Thirty
A big thanks to everyone who participated in DIY Friday this month! We’ll be back with another edition on February 3, 2012. You can submit your DIY posts at any time.