My wife loves books. She loves them. How much, you ask? Last year she read 68 books and felt like she could have read more. I once built her a library which housed our current collection three times over. What did she do? She filled it to overflowing prompting me to find other creative ways to bless her with storage.
Sidenote: it is said, “nature hates a vacuum,” well, my wife hates empty shelves just as much, if not more. For her birthday I found an idea to help her store, organize and display some of the 18 books on her bedside table. No, 18 is not a typo, it’s eighteen!
I saw this picture on Pintrest a while ago and pinned it under Home Projects thinking it would be a great gift for her one day. Welp, one day is here! It’s her birthday / our anniversary / Thanksgiving and showering her with book accoutrements seems like the thing to do.
Design: I gathered up half (that’s nine books if you’re counting) of her books on the bedside table and brought them out to the shop to measure and stage them for their future residence. Here is what I came up with:
The design will not hold nine books, but it I thought is was an appropriate size to match the picture and not be classified as a Book Mansion.
Materials: I chose to use “new” materials for this project mostly out of necessity. The book house needed to be light, strong and sturdy, but didn’t need to be pretty because the books will add the eye candy to it. MDF (medium-density fiberboard) qualified and was something I had on hand. I rationalized my decision to use “new” materials because the MDF was left over from a previous project (the library mentioned above which I built before starting W3), so I technically didn’t use new material.
Construction: Using the picture as a guide and the plethora of books on her bedside table as real life measurements, I set out to build the Book House. One of the reasons I love MDF is it’s easy to cut, shape, glue and build. Using a mitre saw to cut the pieces I used glue and brad nailer to hold it all together (don’t underestimate the super duo of glue and nails). Having a good speed square is another great thing.
I used this tool in conjunction with clamps to make sure everything was up to snuff. I used a small piece of MDF at the apex of the house’s peak to secure the top of the house to the wall as well as a small rectangular piece below the bottom to help hold up the massive weight of knowledge and adventure my wife will store in the house.
I finished it up by sanding away all of the saw marks from the faces, rounding the edges and finishing up the shape. The angle of the roof causes a slight overhang of the walls (see above picture on the left). This makes it look more like the classic stick figure house shape, but I didn’t like the look of it. I sanded the overhangs down to be flush with the walls.
On to paint. MDF paints pretty well, so all I had to do was chose a color which would match our light blue walls – espresso brown. You know what works in a pinch? Spray paint!
Results: Surprise! She loves it. Why? She can fill it with her books, display them and keep her place in one lucky book on the roof. If you know my wife, look out on Facebook for monthly updates of what she is housing in her beloved bedside book house.
Lessons learned: When you are building something your wife would love and it’s near Christmas, build a second one at the same time to give away as a gift (you’re welcome Mom).
When you find something someone you love loves, then hit that note over and over again until they say stop!
Knowledge is heavy, support wisely.
Your Algebra teacher was right, you will one day use it again (SOHCAHTOA suckers!).