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There has been significant progress on the house in the last two weeks. The home inspection is scheduled for Friday, so I expect all of the final touches will happen this week. Here’s the current state of things.







It is finally finished. Here is the Pottery Barn Stratton inspired bed that we just completed.

The only thing left to do on it is make the dog bed for the end. The one you see is Major’s old bed. In hindsight, I would have shortened the overall height. Don’t worry though, I’ll explain exactly where in the tutorial below.


  • 3 – sheets of 1/2″ MDF
  • 3 – 6′ 2x4s
  • 3 – 8′ 2x4s
  • 6 – 6′ 1x4s
  • 1 – 8′ 1x4s
  • Trim

NOTE: I allowed for a 2″ thick headboard to attach to the bed. If you are not using a headboard you may want to shorten the boxes.

  1. Cut MDF for top and bottom into 61″ x 21.5″
  2. Cut and attach 21.5″ lengths of 2×4 to the left, center, and right bottom of the MDF – this will elevate it off the ground the perfect distance to add the 1×4″ facing boards at the end (I know the picture shows two sections but that is only because I was using scrap 2x4s and didn’t want to waste anything. The other two boxes were done using 21.5″ sections)

  3. Cut and attach 14.5″ 2x4s to the MDF base (we used the Kreg jig for pocket holes) to the MDF in six places (front left, back left, front middle, back middle, front right, back right) Our 2x4s were cut to 17.5″ and if I were to do this again I would shorten it by 3″. I suggest you cut them to 14.5″

4.  Attach MDF board to the top (61″ x 21.5″)

    5.  Attach MDF panels to the inside walls of the compartments (21.5″ x 14.5″)

    6. Add 1×4 facing boards horizontally to top and bottom first and then vertically to left, middle, and right

    7. Add trim pieces (I used cove molding because it is the same width as the 1×4)

    8. Add beadboard for backing.

    I chose not to finish the ends on the two benches that would be used for the left and right side of the bed. I wanted the box at the foot of the bed to fit snugly up against them. However, the ends on the box for the foot had to be finished.

    Footboard box notes:

    • Make sure to account for added width of the boards you will be using on the ends. I had to cut the MDF down to 59.5″
    • Remember that whatever you add to the back will push the box away from the other two – I added trim pieces inside on the top and bottom and then used liquid nails to glue the beadboard to it. The beadboard was then flush with the edge of the MDF

    It really wasn’t hard to make. I apologize for not taking better pictures. Just remember to think through the concept before you make your cuts – especially on the footboard box.

    We attached the headboard using large L brackets

    If you are wondering what that stuff on the vent is, yes, it is duct tape. The bed was going to cover 1/2 of the vent and I didn't want to heat and cool under the bed. It is working like a charm.

    Bed with two boxes in place

    We didn’t want to use a boxspring with our mattress so we opted to add slats instead. I attached a 2×2″ to the back of the boxes for the slats to rest on. The slats are made from the left over MDF.

    The baskets are the the large Wicker Pole Handle Storage Baskets from the Basket Lady. The paint is Pottery Barn Decorators White from Benjamin Moore.

    Matt & I have been composting organic matter in a pile in the backyard (behind the garage so we don’t have to look at it) for way too long. I finally got around to building a compost bin this weekend using scraps left over from our back fence. I had no real plan to build from so there was quite a bit of improvising. My mom and stepdad are in town for a few days and she was kind enough to take lots of pictures to document the process.

    The first step was to build the gate that will lift out of the front. This will allow easy turning of the dirt. I spaced out the five boards evenly and screwed to board perpendicular to hold them in place.

    Front gate

    In order for the front gate to slide in and out properly there needed to be some type of joint (there is probably a more accurate term for it but that is all I could think of) in place. I inserted a 1″ x 2″ between two of the cedar boards and screwed them together to form the joint.

    Adding the side joints

    2 x 4s were added to the back to create a frame for the cedar boards.

    Creating a frame

    Next, I screwed the cedar boards onto both sides and realized that I didn’t have any boards long enough to fit across the length of the back. I cut a center brace to fit and trimmed the cedar boards to 1/2 the length and attached them.


    Complete (almost - I added cedar boards to the top to cover the 2x4s)

    Matt finally came out to assist in moving it into place and moving our compost pile into our new compost bin. There were far too many spiders around for me to do that job.

    Putting Matt to work

    Wow, we really need to weed our beds again. So, there it is and I didn’t spend a single cent. Every board was left over from a previous project. Now we have one less thing on the to-do list.

    For more on composting, check out:

    Composting 101

    The bookcase is complete! I still can’t believe it took so long for the oil paint to dry. This was the inspiration.

    Pottery Barn Thomas Wide Bookcase

    Here is our bookcase:

    Hays bookcase

    Oh wow. Doesn’t posting your own pictures make you realize what you could have done differently? I’m thinking we should add a trim piece to the bottom to smooth out the lines a little.  In any case, it is so sturdy and needed. This was our reading nook before. I can’t believe we have been living with our books like that for over two months!

    Reading nook before bookcase

    We are definitely going to have to build more because we still have a lot of books on the floor. The plan is to build two more. One the same size which will go to the right of this one and another shorter to fit on the wall with the window. We will have a square open spot in the corner if we do that so I plan on making a filler table so the tops are consistent around the wall.

    Here are the plans if you want to build some for yourself.

    I finally finished the hanging wall shelves for the bedroom and they are great!

    Hanging wall shelves

    I originally saw these on My Home Ideas but I decided to make some adjustments. Theirs called for inserting small dowels under each shelf to hold it in place.

    I opted to tie a knot under each shelf.

    The knots made leveling the boards a little difficult, but all in all it took less than 20 minutes to hang and put them in place. I had a little assistance from Matt. He was pretty good at telling me if they were level or not. (The shelf is hanging at the foot of the bed so he had the perfect vantage point)

    Hard at work

    I had a hard time adjusting the shelves properly on the floor and found it was easier to hang the rope and then add each shelf one at a time. I secured a wall hook with anchors and draped the two ropes through it. The anchors were larger than the hook so I’ll have to go back and touch those up.

    Wall hook

    I also only used three boards instead of four. The spacing was too small between shelves with four boards.

    Material list:

    8′ 1×8″ – cut into 30″ sections (three sections)

    24′ sisal rope (I used 3/4″)

    1″ spade bit

    Wall hook


    Related links:

    The Shabby Chic Cottage, Its So Very Cheri

    Wow, what a weekend. It is very sad that it is coming to an end so quickly. There isn’t a lot that is finished, but we have a great start on a few things.

    Thomas wide bookcase

    The plan is courtesy of Ana at Knockoff Wood. She is amazing! This is a PB design and we are planning on building at least three of these. We just wanted to test one and see how it turned out. It currently has one coat of oil-based PB decorators white paint. I can’t believe how long it takes oil paint to dry! The second coat should go on tomorrow and once we get it upstairs I will post an update. That was project #1 for the weekend.

    I’ve also been dreaming about these tables as bedside tables, but couldn’t bear to spend that much. Besides, I want white ones and these are 26″ in diameter (too big).

    Pottery Barn Rustic Pedestal Accent Table

    Well, on Saturday I was shopping for fabric at Hobby Lobby and look what I found on the clearance aisle.

    Candle holder

    Not just one, but two! They were marked down from $69.99 to $23.99. I wasn’t sure if they would work, but I decided to give it a go. I purchased two 15″ round table tops from Lowe’s for less than $7 each on my way home. (In my excitement, I also forgot to look for untreated 4x4s – see wooden buoy post).

    Precut wooden table top

    The candle holders were a bit too tall so Matt & I cut them off with the hack saw. I primed them and secured the top with silicon (the candle holders were made of some type of resin). The silicon is still drying so I probably won’t be able to paint them until later this week. I’ll publish an update post when they are complete.

    Still needs paint

    Somehow I also finagled Matt into moving the bedroom furniture around. We are planning on building some type of bookcase to go where the white table is but for now it looks better than the tall dark dresser we had there.

    Moved the chair to this corner. Hung the curtain rod and added the long drapes. We are still in need of wall decor, especially above the bed. I’m working on hanging shelves, which should go up in the next few days. For now though, it is getting closer to feeling like a beachy retreat.

    Drop cloth drapes

    The table is finished and it looks fantastic. I couldn’t be happier with the design!

    Outdoor table

    I only got around to making one chair over the weekend. Matt played golf on Sunday and it is amazing how difficult it can be to hold pieces together and try and drill them and screw them together.



    I think they will be great once they are painted to match the table. It looks like it should be a beautiful weekend and hopefully we can finish this project. Updated pictures to come.

    For us, it feels like Home Depot. The day started out with a 2 hour trip to the depot, followed by two additional trips. We changed the original table design and I didn’t account for the extra boards and then I miscounted on the second trip. Luckily we live less than 2 miles from it.

    Lots of lumber

    I guess Major thought we needed a little more wood and wanted to help out. Matt was reading up on the plan last night and noticed a comment about Kreg Jigs. Neither of us had ever heard of a Kreg Jig so we found a video on YouTube. Matt decided we had to have one to do the project right and now at the end of the day I have to admit he was 100% right. It is basically a guide for a drill bit so that the screws go into the wood at an angle, ensuring a strong hold.

    Kreg Jig

    Pocket holes from Kreg Jig

    We drilled pocket holes to secure the 4×4 legs and on the underside of the table to hold the top boards. The finished look from the top is beautiful! All in all, it took about 4 hours to build.

    On the third trip to Home Depot I bought paint for the table and chairs. I spent a 1/2 hour trying to decide on a color. I thought a nice bold color would look great on the deck, but ultimately I decided on a very light gray. I also had the great idea of buying a drop cloth so that I could paint the table inside while Matt relaxed. Great idea in theory. Bad idea in reality. The table won’t fit through the doors. We could have removed the legs, but I didn’t have the heart to since we had just finished building it. So, I turned on the flood lights and put the first coat on it outside in the dark.

    Working on the first coat

    Second and third coats will go on tomorrow and hopefully the chairs will go smoothly as well. I can’t wait to upload finished pictures!

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