DIY Floating Shelves

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I am so excited to FINALLY share this project with you all! I have been working on it for what feels like forever. Wait…you mean…having a baby will drastically change the amount of time in the day you have to accomplish things?!?! Case in point, I’ve been trying to write this blog post for 3 days now 🙂

When I started placing the furniture in the nursery, I knew I wanted this corner to be the “play” corner or the area for all the toys. Landon already owns quite a few books so a book shelf seemed like the way to go but I also wanted room for some sort of toy box (a post on that to come in the future) so shelves up on the wall were necessary for space. Enter the DIY Floating Shelves from Shanty 2 Chic. If you haven’t checked out their site before and you enjoy DIY building, check them out. If you’ve ever searched for DIY building projects on Pinterest, chances are you’ve come across some of their work. Their projects are always really well explained and the plans are very detailed.

I did make some adjustments to the original plans because the plans called shelves that were 3.5′ in either direction and I only had room for 2′. So, my plans are for 2′ long corner shelves and the materials listed are enough for 3 shelves. If you follow the plans on Shanty 2 Chic, their plans are for 3.5′ shelves and the materials listed are for 1 shelf so make sure you double or triple the amount of wood depending on how many shelves you want.

So, here we go…step by step 🙂

Supplies
NOTE: Before purchasing the wood, see the note in step 6 regarding the 2×4 and 1×6 boards

3 – 2″ x 4″ x 8′
2 – 1/4″ x 24″ x 48″ plywood
2 – 1″ x 10″ x 8′
2 – 1″ x 6″ x 8′
kreg jig for pocket holes
drill
2 1/2″ pocket screws
nail gun
1 1/4″ brad nails
3″ screws (torx or dry wall, whatever you prefer, these will be to screws the support boards to the wall and into a stud)
stud finder
wood glue
paint
hardware (for decorative purposes, I’ll show you what I used when I get to that part below)

Step 1: You will need to determine the height placement of each shelf. You want to think about what you are going to put on the shelves and how much space you need in between each one. I wanted my shelves to take up the majority of the corner and knew I was going to be putting some taller items and books on them so here are the measurements I used…
Floor to ceiling, the room is 96″ tall. Each shelf is approximately 4.5″ tall. Based on that, I measured out equal spacing from ceiling to the top shelf, between each shelf, and from bottom shelf to the floor, which was 20.5″.
Ceiling
20.5″
Shelf #1: 4.5″
20.5″
Shelf #2: 4.5″
20.5″
Shelf #3: 4.5″
20.5″
Floor

You will also want to locate the studs in your wall and mark those as well as you will drill each wall cleat directly into a stud.

Step 2: Build your wall cleats.
Using the 2″ x 4″ x 8′, make the following cuts
3 pieces @ 2′ (long wall cleat)
3 pieces @ 1′ 10 1/2″ (short wall cleat)
12 pieces @ 7 5/8″ (cleat braces)

When constructing each wall cleat, you will use one long wall cleat, one short wall cleat and 4 cleat braces, 2 1/2″ pocket screws and wood glue.
Using a kreg jig, drill for 2 1/2″ pocket screws into one end of each cleat brace then attach the cleat braces to the cleats as shown. I didn’t measure the placement of the cleat braces, just lined up the wall cleats (long wall cleat against the corner, short wall cleat against the long wall cleat) and then marked where the cleat braces should go so that they just met each other at the corner edge. The other two cleat braces went at the opposite ends of the wall cleats.

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Step 3: Attach wall cleats to the wall
Use a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the 3″ screws. Line up a wall cleat where you want it and drill a pilot hold into the wall cleat directly over the stud, check for level. Using the 3″ screws, attach the wall cleat to the wall in at least 2 different points.

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Step 4: Attach bottom panels to braces
You are basically going to wrap the braces in wood to build out your shelf. Using the 1/4″ plywood, make the following cuts (I made the cuts at home but if you don’t have a saw, you can ask some in the lumber department to make the cuts for you)
3 pieces @ 23 1/4″ x 9 1/4″ (long bottom panel)
3 pieces @ 14″ x 9 1/4″ (short bottom panel)
Use a wood glue, a nail gun and 1/4″ brad nails to attach 1 long bottom panel and 1 short bottom panel to each set of braces.

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Step 5: Attach top panel to braces
Using the 1″ x 10″ x 8′ make the following cuts
3 pieces @ 23 1/4″ (long top panel)
3 pieces @ 14″ (short top panel)
Attach 1 long top panel and 1 short top panel to each set of braces using wood glue, 1 1/4″ finish nails and a nail gun.

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Step 6: Attach the side trim
Using the 1″ x 6″ x 8′ make the following cuts
6 pieces @ 4 1/2″ x 9 1/4″ (side front trim)
NOTE: Because 2×4 are used for the wall cleats, it requires the front and side trim to be only 4 1/2″ wide which is not a width you can buy and will have to rip the board down to 4 1/2″. Again, you can have them do it for you in the lumber department. If you have a table saw at home then you can do it yourself. The other option would be to use 2″ x 3″ for the walls cleats instead of 2″ x 4″. By using 2″ x 3″, you will not need to alter the width of the 1″ x 6″ boards.
Attach side front trim pieces using the same method, wood glue, a nail gun and 1 1/4″ finish nails.

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Step 7: Attach front trim pieces
Using the remaining 1″ x 6″ x 8′ boards, make the following cuts
3 pieces @ 14 3/4″ x 4 1/2″
3 pieces @ 14″ x 4 1/2″
Attach using the same method, wood glue, a nail gun and 1 1/4″ finish nails

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Step 8: Finish with paint and decorate!
I used wood filler to fill in nail holes and the seams. Once dried, I went over the wood filler with 180 grit sand paper to smooth it out.

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I used Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in A La Mode to finish the shelves, topped with clear wax, and sanded the edges for a roughed up look.

Finally, I added some hardware to the corners to give the shelves a bit of an industrial look to compliment some of the other pieces in the nursery.

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I used metal corner braces similar to these from Lowes, and furniture tacks to attach them, spray painted all the pieces with black matte finish spray paint and roughed them up with some sand paper before attaching.

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That’s that! Then I decorated 🙂

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Nursery Crib

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Someone contacted me asking about some of the furniture details in Landon’s nursery and I realized that I never shared the finished crib! No time like the present…

I remember sharing a while back that I was having trouble finding a crib that I liked. I wanted white distressed wood. Everything I was finding in white was smooth finish and everything in a distressed finish was off-white or almost yellow. Of course, I have no problem painting a piece of furniture 🙂 but if I was going to put work in to it, I didn’t want to spend a lot. I searched some thrift stores but there’s not a lot of cribs out there. Enter Wayfair.com.

I went on Wayfair.com just to see what they had. I had purchased my office chair from Joss & Main, which is a sister company of Wayfair.com, and loved it so I thought I’d check it out. Turns out, there are a lot of options under $250! The crib I chose is by Viv & Rae, called the Rocco Kokopelli Convertible Crib.

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What I loved about this crib was the “shutter-like” look on the endcaps. I knew the raised edges would give great texture when I distressed it. Unfortunately, this crib is sold out 😦 However, if you go on Wayfair.com and search cribs, there is an option on the left side of the screen to select “cribs under $200” and there are lots of options to choose from.

My favorites, to get a similar look to what I did would be…
Camden 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by Child Craft
Harbor Lights 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by Graco
Watterson 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by Child Craft
And, the first 2 options come in multiple finishes, in case you don’t want to refinish or paint.

To refinish the crib I used Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in A La Mode. Heirlooms Tradition, as most chalk paint, is non-toxic and safe to use on furniture that a baby may put it’s mouth on. You just want to make sure to let the paint cure for a few weeks before baby would have it’s mouth near the furniture. The thing you don’t want to use in this case, is the soft wax. I didn’t use the soft wax this time and it didn’t really affect the distressing. The biggest benefit of the wax is that it seals the paint, protecting it from chipping and stains.

*Quick tip: assemble your crib before you paint it!

There are so many nooks and crannies and areas that will not be visible and therefore don’t need paint, you will save so much time if the crib is assembled first.

Once painted, I used 100 grit sandpaper to sand the edges. I used a coarser sand paper because I really wanted the dark brown to show through. I didn’t sand any flat surface, just ran the sand paper along each edge.

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That’s all folks! Pretty simple transformation. And for those wondering, the crib bedding is the Vintage Ticking Stripe and Vintage Washed Percale Collection from Restoration Hardware.

Vintage Scoreboard was made by me and you can find the instructions here.

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Changing Table Organization

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The fourth trimester…I saw things on Facebook and Pinterest about this topic when I was pregnant but I didn’t really read anything about it until now. Essentially, it speaks to baby being in the womb for 40 weeks and how shocking it is to them when they are born to no longer have hunger & thirst needs constantly met, to not be rocked to sleep at every moment by mom’s movements and to not be constantly warm, “snuggled” and comfortable. It makes so much sense!

We are still learning so much about Landon on a daily basis and it feels like every few days, you master one thing and then something new comes up. Right now…we are working on Landon’s feeding. Meaning, for the first 3 weeks, he never seemed to have gas, never spit up and was never fussy while nursing. Then, all of a sudden, in the last few days, he is nursing at such a fast pace for the first few minutes that he gives himself a tummy ache EVERY TIME! Any tips that you mamas have on getting baby to slow down are much appreciated! So far, I am trying the following…
1. Anticipate baby’s hunger, feed baby at the first hunger cue or beat him to it and not let him go more than 3 hours without nursing to keep him from getting agitated.
2. Laid-back/Biological position or Football/Clutch hold with baby sitting up rather than laying for breastfeeding. Laid-back position means, mom is laid back in a semi-reclined position (I usually prop myself up on pillows in my bed) and baby lies on your chest/stomach. This is how the lactation specialist showed me how to breastfeed in the hospital and is also a great position for skin-to-skin time. When we got home, Landon seemed to do best in the football position, so we changed things up and I position him so he is more seated than laying flat and propped up against my leg. Basically, I just avoid keeping him as upright as possible so gravity is doing it’s job.
3. Burp baby every 5-10 minutes, especially if he seems to be eating ravenously. (Making sure to anticipate baby’s hunger can help with this though. He will eat slower and not need to burp more than once or twice). After the first 5 minutes, whether he stops or not, I pull him away to burp, as the first 5-10 minutes are when he nurses the fastest. Typically, I burp him after 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes and end of nursing session.
If I can manage to make all of these things happen, he stays happy and there is no upset tummy or spitting up.

Anyway…on to my original topic for the day…changing table organization!
Not sure why I felt the need for an exclamation point there 🙂 This is my life now, getting excited about having time to post on the blog, no matter what the topic, and about getting a new shipment of diapers from The Honest Company. I’ll take what I can get these days… you know…when showering is no longer a part of daily life but rather a luxury that happens when dad is home and baby happens to be napping well. Ahh, mom life 🙂

My changing table is a 6-drawer dresser with a changing pad on top. I filled the drawers with all the essentials for diaper changing, nursing and bedtime. I really could have done with just 4 drawers, so if you’re trying to save on space you could get away with that, however, I still found stuff to put in those 2 extra drawers that would need a home somewhere else in your nursery.

Drawer #1: Diapers & Diapering products (i.e. Diaper rash cream, powder, ointment, baby body lotion. Note: Wipes are kept in the wipe warmer on top of the dresser (not pictured because it was added later) with extra packs of wipes kept in a bin in the closet. If you have room, certainly keep extra wipes here as well.)

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Drawer #2: Onesie sleepers and swaddle blankets

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Drawer #3: Nursing supplies (i.e. burp clothes, nursing pads, nursing covers)

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Drawer #4: Extra changing pad covers, diaper genie bags and scent fresheners

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Drawer #5 (Extra): Crib & cradle sheets, car seat covers, breast feeding pillow and sleeping cushion covers
Drawer #6 (Extra): Baby wearing & carriers (i.e. Moby Wrap, Ergo carrier, etc)

Hopefully this was helpful for all you new mamas out there. I know I was totally lost as to what to include and how to organize before I started researching so I hope this makes things a little easy, even if just for one person 🙂

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Nursery Closet Makeover

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I CAN NOT believe my baby is already 2 weeks old!! How did that happen already! We have spent the last 2 weeks getting to know each other, I’m learning all his cues and we are really starting to get into a good rhythm. Luckily, it seems he has taken after me in the sleep department and not his dad because he is a GREAT sleeper! We get a 5-6 hour stretch each night and then back to sleep for another 2-3 hours after feeding! Can’t complain about that! On top of that, he is eating really well and gaining weight 🙂 Happy mama!

In my haste to get tasks accomplished before Landon arrived, I failed to take any before photos of the inside of the nursery closet. Fail. I do, however, have the real estate photo from before we moved in of what the room looked like before, just to give you an idea. The closet was pretty simple before I started, just a single hang bar with a single shelf above it. Nothing fancy. It also had sliding doors on the front which I removed…haven’t really decided yet if I am going to leave the doors off or put them back on. I have a feeling his closet isn’t going to stay pretty and organized for very long so the doors may go back on in the future 🙂

Here is the room before…

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Pretty sure Landon had a few diapers that were that same color in his first few days 🙂 Just can’t really understand someone standing in the paint department at Lowe’s looking at this green and thinking…”yep, that’s the one!” SMH.

Anyway, first step was to remove the closet doors and then I removed the hang bar and shelf that were inside leaving a blank canvas. I painted the inside of the closet the same color as the walls, Valspar Lyndhurst Timber from Lowe’s.

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Next, I purchased and installed the closet shelving. I knew I was going to want and need room for hanging as well as room for organization so I needed some shelving as well and I wanted the unit to be white. I searched multiple brands and stores. There are quite a few different options out there, ultimately I went with this option (Allen & Roth Wood Closet Kit) because of price and because I liked how it had 3 hang bars which left room on the left side for the laundry bin (which is tall, to keep it off the ground and away from the dogs) and I liked the option to add on with other pieces and customize the look if I chose to.

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 Once the closet kit was installed, I added these cute wood grain boxes from The Container Store for organizing. On a side note, can we talk about how obsessed I have been with The Container Store these last few months. Granted, I’ve been nesting, but I could literally spend HOURS in that place! It’s not just baskets, boxes and bins! Pretty sure I’ll be getting my holiday wrapping paper from them.

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I ordered these dark walnut wood hangers from OnlyHangers.com to complete the look. There are a few different color options and I ordered some with and without pant clips.

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Finally, I finished the space with this cute antique wash tub that my mom gave me at one of my baby showers. I was originally going to use it for toys or blankets but then decided it would be perfect for dirty laundry because it was high up off the ground so the dogs wouldn’t be able to get to it. I don’t have the info on this one in particular but I found a galvanized version on Wayfair and linked it here. You could always spray paint and sand the edges if you wanted a different color and distressed look.

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That is the gist of it! Hope this is inspiring for you. It really was an easy update, the closet kit took me about an hour to put together and another hour to install and anchor to the wall. I plan to use the same kits when I redo our master bedroom closets. However, when that actually happens is anyone’s guess 🙂

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Changing Table Upcycle

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If you’ve learned anything from me over the last couple years, it’s probably that I like white distressed furniture and it is extremely hard to find already finished. There is plenty of white furniture with no distressing and plenty of off white or cream with distressing and I even found a few bright white distressed dresser but they were $900!!…which is why I end up building my own furniture or buying an old piece and refinishing it myself.

This piece was  little different. I wasn’t finding a dresser/changing table that I wanted so I was considering making my own. However, I made my way to my 32nd week and decided this would be a terrible idea, mostly because of the pace with which I was accomplishing baby tasks (procrastination anyone?) I went searching for an old dresser to refinish, I found a few but most of the ones I liked were broken in some way. I got online one night and searched for unfinished dressers and came across this little beauty from Target.

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And…it’s on sale right now!! Regular price is $371, but you get $100 off when you spend over $350. I painted the dresser with my usual Heirloom Traditions Chalk Paint in A La Mode, it took 2 coats and then I finished it with clear wax before sanding the edges to get a distressed look. Because the base wood was so light, it’s a little tough to see the distressing in the picture but it’s there. To get a darker look, you could take a dark wax or patina to the edges as well.

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I didn’t want to use the wood knobs that came with the dresser because I wanted to add a bit of a metal/industrial look and bring in a color other than white. I found these knobs at Home Depot and they turned out great with the style I was going for.

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The changing pad is Serta Perfect Sleeper Contour Changing Pad from Babies R Us with the Serta Perfect Sleeper Changing Pad Cover in Ecru and topped with Koala Baby Essentials Terry Changing Pad Liner in Navy.

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Finally, the mirror above the changing table is the Horizontal Oval Fynn Captain’s Mirror from World Market. Unfortunately, it looks like the horizontal is sold out, but they do still have the vertical.

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I hope you all love this little space as much as I do! I can’t wait to show you the full room tour soon!

Inspired by…Nursery Decor

I’ve begun the task of building my baby registry…this is no small task! Having a baby is like planning a wedding. I start to research one item that I want or know I need and during the process, I end up finding 5 other items that I’m supposed to have on the list! Who knew so many gadgets go into raising a baby. The list of things I need to choose, decide between or research grows by 10 each day…never ending.

On top of this, I’m not very good at planning an entire room just by looking at photos so it’s going to be so hard for me to choose nursery décor and not just go buy it all myself! When I design a room, I build piece upon piece, starting with 1 main furniture item, decorating around that and the moving onto the next furniture item. Many times, I buy things in 2 or 3 different colors, patterns or styles and bring it home to try it out with what I already have to make a decision about what I like best. How is this registry thing ever going to work!?!?

Case in point…it took me about 2 weeks to find a crib that I like. I finally picked one out that is the color and style I want and will work for either gender. Of course, the one I picked is $900! I know this is an investment, it turns into a toddler bed and I can use it IF we decide to have more kids later on, but still! Then, as I was searching high and low for other cribs, I came across a gem! I want a rustic, French country look but many cribs that fit that description are very girly and would be tough to make work for a boy’s nursery…if that is what we have 🙂 …plus, I want white furniture in the nursery and most of the shapes and styles of cribs I like don’t come in a distressed white finish (off white maybe, dark brown, smooth white, but no distressed white that I like) So I found a really simple crib with “shutter-like” head and foot boards.

Now, it only comes in dark brown, however, it is only $200!! My plan is to chalk paint and distress it to get the look I want. The crib should arrive in 2 weeks so I will post an update when it comes and let you know how it turns out! In the meantime, here are some of the photos inspiring my nursery décor!