Shutter shelving...

If you are cruising my website, chances are you are a fan of Pinterest. After all, isn't that what we are all looking for...inspiration!? Ideas? Ways to take the unwanted and undesirable and turn it into something useful and beautiful?

So today I want to share with you two totally different shelf ideas, both made from "stuff" that would otherwise have been tossed. One I made and one Moira (Mitchell's girlfriend) made!

I happened upon a single set of shutter style bifold doors (louver doors) at the auction this past week. They were poorly painted but in good shape (one busted biggy). Not something anyone really wants in their home anymore. Before I ever bid, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them!


(Yes, I know they are upside down in this picture!)

I am always in need of shelving in my flea booths...but I want "interesting" and "different." It is one of the reasons I repurposed this old grandfather clock! I usually take old shelving, give it a nice makeover, and then price it high enough that someone will have to REALLY love it to make me move everything I have displayed. Sadly, they usually do and I end selling the one item in the booth I really don't care if I sell. 

But it can all be replaced! So when I spied the bifold shutter door I knew it was exactly what I needed to replace some shelving that has sold in the last few months! 

Since I didn't want to plaster/chalk paint them and "distress" them I decided to prime them. Lowe's was out of Kilz, so I stepped outside my comfort zone and gave a new primer a shot...Zinsser Bullseye. Not bad...dries quickly and sands nicely. Jury is still out on how well it holds up...guess I am getting ready to find out!  

After priming and sanding, I had to cut and install the shelves. Since this was a bifold door and already hinged, corner shelving was the easiest. All I had to do was install some bracing, triangle shaped shelves and install...always sound sooooo much easier than it is! 

I used big stir sticks from Lowe's for the bracing. I thought it looked more along the line of the louvers in the door! I could have purchased 1/4" or 1/2" flat molding, but the sticks were free and they are about 1/4" thick and 1 1/2" wide. All I had to do was prime them and cut them to fit.

I used 1x12 bullnose MDF shelving for the shelves. The bullnose has a nice rounded front edge and MDF paints up nicely. I usually use it for closet shelving. 

The width of each door on the bifold was 14" I cut triangles with TWO 13 1/2" sides...don't ask me what the 3rd side measures...I was one of those that just knew I would never use that geometry stuff! (You ought to see me try to figure out circle stuff!) I also know that corners are generally 90 degree angles (if you had a decent framer) the two 13 1/2" sides would be at a 90 degree angle.

(Side note: I asked my ubber smart 16 year old daughter that evening how I would figure the third side....she proceeded to give me a 30 minute geometry lesson. Again, I am in complete awe of one of my children. I went to bed with a headache.)

I decided to make 5 I cut 5 identically sized triangle shelves from the MDF. I used my framing square and speed square to make my mark from front to back, measured 13 1/2" from the front and then marked another line from that point to the front of the shelf using my framing square. Then I used my skill saw to CAREFULLY cut the board.  (Hopefully the pictures make it clearer than my description)

For the bracing, I cut 10 (2 for each shelf) 13 1/4" pieces out of the stir sticks...I mitered one end of each stick so they would fit in the corner.

After installing the bottom shelf, I decided it would be sturdier if I had one large shelf holding the top together. Since I wanted it to sit ON TOP of the two doors, rather than inside, I measured and cut that piece and nailed it on the top! 

This shelving unit is a prime example of how important glue is...more so than nails. I glued and nailed the bracing for the shelves to the doors, and I glued the shelving onto the bracing. Since I was only using 1/4" material for the bracing, I decided not to try to nail the shelving to the bracing...just too much risk that a nail would splinter the narrow wood bracing or miss all together. I did put one little nail in the front corner of each shelf, tacking it to the door. The glue is what will hold all this together and make it sturdy once it dries. The nails just hold everything in place until the glue sets up. I use regular old Elmer's wood glue!!! But my point...if you are going to nail it, put some glue on it FIRST! 

After installing all the shelving, I caulked it and then  spray painted it with one of my favorite Valspar spring colors.

This is the REAL color of the paint...the top picture is not real representative of the actual color....

This is the REAL color of the paint...the top picture is not real representative of the actual color....

After the first coat of paint, I thought it looked a little "grainy" so I decided to sand it down and spray it again. But I kind of liked the "distressed" look with the white showing through. So I left it that way!

Totally awesome! 

My son's girlfriend, Moira, made these bookshelves. She is a law student in LA so the fact that she is "crafty" AND found the time to do something so incredible is amazing to me. 

I'm not sure what "style" you would say these fondant cake lingo they would be considered "topsy-turvy." In construction terms we call it "seriously, do you not own a square?" Either way, I think they turned out totally awesome!! I love the "randomness" of the shelving! Soooo unique!

I emailed her last week to find out what type of wood she used...this was her reply...

"All of the wood used was from a warehouse in northern California...these guys have a huge supply of donated and salvaged materials from the area...they even go out to places they find out are going to be demoed to get some of the supplies. Really cool guys.

The back of the shelf is a door from a 100 year old water tower they found before it was demoed, and the rest of the wood is all old wood taken from houses in the area before they were torn down. Any paint on there was already there from however the wood was used before. None of the wood is stained but I did paint a satin finish on the entire shelf, which ended up darkening the wood just a little bit"

This girl rocks! Super smart and major crafty talent! When she first showed me the picture I asked her how she measured for the shelving...she said she just kept cutting it until it fit. 

This proves my point...if you really want to accomplish something, YOU CAN DO IT! Moira has no construction "know how" as far as I know...and she managed to create this totally awesome bookshelf.

While I was in the spray paint mode, I decided to hit a few frames and lamps I bought at the auction with paint. Still have a few hundred frames to paint and a few pieces of furniture to "rehab" time!