Monday, April 12, 2010

Building a DVD shelf system

Please, please, PLEASE ignore my flood curtains. I am moving the green curtains upstairs (only cream down here soon) but I haven't finished their replacements yet and they're a little short.

As many of you know I am completely over the moon about finding the KnockOffWood blog. I have SO many projects in the works right now, some from her plans and some of my own design, now that I'm inspired to be creative. I have just finished off one of my family room projects that I was inspired to create after going through the easy plans at KnockOffWood. Note, this is not one of her plans but I did adapt some ideas from there.

If you're interested in doing something similar I have posted below the steps I took in making the shelves. If you've never built something yourself before I would highly recommend checking out Ana's site and looking through some of her instructions first as she gives some really easy to follow instructions and tips.

I decided that I didn't have enough space for my movies as I was stacking them two deep just to fit them on the current shelves. I thought about putting them in a binder and chucking the cases but really my kids still flip through boxes (and the boxes end up scattered around the house). If the movies were in a binder I'm worried that they wouldn't get put back and they'll get scratched without the boxes. So instead I decided on a new shelf for them that will hold everything without taking a bunch of floor space. Since my downstairs has 9 foot ceilings I made it 8 feet tall (plus 6 inch feet) by 4 feet wide. I gave it the 6 inch feet so I could clear the 5 1/4" baseboard and still be flush to the wall.

My shopping list:
8 - 8' 1x8 boards (be sure they're nice and straight)
1 - 1.5' 4x4 post scrap
56 - shelf pins

My cut list:
A) 2 - 96" (8') 1x8 (sides)
B) 1 - 94.5" 1x8 (middle upright)
C) 2 - 48" (4') 1x8 (top and bottom)
D) 16 - 23.5" 1x8 (shelves)
E) 3 - 6" 4x4 (feet)

Two of the D shelves (in the middle) are screwed in for extra stability but the others are held in place with shelf pins. You should mark and drill all of your pin holes BEFORE you screw this together. Keep in mind that the middle upright is offset from the sides by 3/4" on the top and bottom (to make room for the top and bottom shelves) when you're lining up the holes for drilling. Also, you'll see that my bottom shelf is taller than the rest for a couple reasons. First, I wanted the shelves to each be tall enough for the movies and a couple fingers (so they're easy to remove) but no more so as to fit in as much as possible. Second, I wanted a little room at the bottom for decorative items. It's a good idea to pre-sand all boards at this point rather than trying to get into corners later.

Once everything was sanded I just screwed boards A and C together into a rectangle and then screwed board B in from the top and bottom. I then screwed two of the D boards in the middle in place. I waited to attach the feet until after painting the rest because with feet only on the front there was no way this was going to stand up on its own with them on. Holes were filled with putty and then one more quick sanding to smooth those out.

It was freezing outside when I painted this and the primer can said 50 degrees or warmer so I moved it indoors to my dining room and painted with the windows open for ventilation. The whole thing has a coat of primer and two coats of paint total. I went ahead with a satin finish since the kids will be touching it a lot and it will have to be wipeable.

After it was all painted I pushed all of the pins in and set the rest of the shelves in place to check the fit one last time before I attached the feet and installed it.

The feet were then screwed on and the whole thing was secured to the wall studs in several places to make sure it won't tip over (it is only 8" deep so securing it is essential!). You could fill in the holes for the feet with putty but I didn't. I choose not to both because if I move later I want the feet to be removable (who knows if I'll still have 9' ceilings) and also because once the shelves are loaded I won't see the screws anyway. I did go ahead and dab some blue paint on the heads after they were in though.

An installed picture before it was loaded with movies:

And the finished product, all loaded up:

All of the kids' movies are on the bottom for easy reach and my collection now has room to grow. Yay!


  1. Great design, love the color! Thanks for sharing, I will have to brag!

  2. This is great! Thanks for sharing. I've been trying to think of something for our massive collection of dvds also...

  3. Wow. Great job designing these on your own.

  4. Awesome! I could use one of those!

  5. This looks great! My husband and I want to do some floor to ceiling book shelves and are trying to decide what style we want them to be. (We have no style and are significantly style-impaired.) Good stuff!

  6. Looks GREAT!!

    How much did this cost you?

    How long did it take you/

  7. I think total cost (not including paint I had on hand) was around $55. I built the frame and cut the boards in a few hours but the painting process took a couple evenings after the kids had gone to bed, one each for priming and painting. I put on 4 coats in total (2 primer and 2 paint) to get a nice even finish.


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