I’ve had this project on my to-do list for the last few years. And now that it’s finally done, I’m so excited – because of what I’m using it for. If you don’t have school age kids, I’ll let you in on a little secret…the kids get a crazy, astronomically high volume of papers sent home with them. Daily. I think it might be the number one complaint I hear from moms when we’re discussing clutter and things they struggle with. All the papers. And when you’ve got more than one kiddo in school, it’s the same papers times 3 or 4 or whatever. Thankfully, I’ve been able to keep up on the paper overload over the years…sorting and getting rid of papers quickly, done. Keeping my floors clean, not so much. 😬 Ya win some, ya lose some. And while I can sort and get rid of the massive amounts of papers coming in, there’s still quite a few the boys need to keep. Homework packets, field trip info, etc. So for the last few years I’ve just been sticking the “keep” papers behind a cutting board on our counter, not the best place, but at least we don’t see them. I wanted something so that each of the boys could have their own little shelf or pocket for their papers, but I didn’t want it to look too “office-y”. And maybe be able to use it for something different down the road – like magazines or mail. And if you’re wondering why it looks like that’s what I am using it for now, well school papers just don’t photograph well (shocking, I know). 😉 So yes, it’s styled pretty for the photos, but keeping me sane and organized in real life.Materials:
– 1’ x 2’ x 1/4” birch plywood
– table saw
– 1” x 2” x 6’ pine board
– power planer
– wood glue
– nail gun and nails
– carpenter square
– drill with 1/4” forstner drill bit
– 3’ long 1/4” dowel
– flat ring hangers & screws
On the table, saw cut the plywood board at 11-1/2” lengthwise. Cut again at 11-1/2” from the remainder of the board. Cut three 2” pieces from one of these and cut three 1-1/2” pieces and one 1” piece. From the other 11-1/2” piece cut two 1” pieces.
From the pine board, cut a piece 1 3/4” wide, and then cut it into two 28” pieces and one 12-5/8” piece.
Cut the two 28” pieces to 5/8” thick using the table saw. use the power planer to clean up the saw marks taking the boards down to 9/16 inch thick. Leave the 12-5/8” piece 3/4” thick.
Using one each of the 2”, 1-1/2” and 1” pieces, glue and nail them together to form a shelf with a back.
Glue the 2” piece to the front of the 1-1/2” piece, and then glue the 1” piece on top at the back of the 1 1/2” piece. (We used a 23 gauge brad nail gun to hold them together while the glue dried. You could also just glue and clamp them together).
Repeat these steps with the other two shelves.
Lay out where your shelves will go on your side boards. Using a square, draw lines to help you position the shelves. (Our measurements are: first one flush with the bottom, second up 9-1/4 to the bottom of the shelf and the third one up 18-1/2 to the bottom of the shelf).
Lay out where the holes for the dowels will go. (We placed ours at 5-1/4” from the bottom 14-1/2” and 23-3/4” and 5/16” back from the front of the sides to the center of the holes).
Using a 1/4” forstner bit, drill the holes 5/16” deep.
Cut the 1/4” dowel into three pieces, 12” long.
Starting with one of the side pieces, glue and nail and then clamp the three shelves in place, allow the glue to dry.
Place that side on a flat surface with the shelves sticking up. Insert the dowels into the three holes, glue the ends of the three shelves and place the other side in position. (It may be helpful to have a helper at this point to get the dowels all into their holes at the same time).
Glue and nail and then clamp or just use glue and then clamp. Allow to dry.
Glue and nail the 12-5/8” piece to the top of the sides.
To hang, install two flat ring hangers to the backside of the top piece and one flat ring hanger to the middle of the bottom shelf so that they stick out, use screws to fasten the unit to the wall.