Kid-Size Shelving Unit and Nightstand
Keep treasures within reach for small children with this project.
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The unit in this project has three simple shelves and a center divider. The shelves curve at the ends to eliminate sharp corners, and an extension unit provides extra play or study space. The top of the extension has a divider in the center to support the unit and provides a spot for stowing small stools, which can be enhanced to fit a theme by tracing letters from a store-bought stencil with a pencil and filling them in with a paint pen.
Materials and Tools:
1-by-8-inch, 1-by-12-inch and 1-by-3-inch boards
sandpaper or belt sander
hammer or nail gun
brass draw brackets
1. To make the shelves, cut three 1-by-12 boards to 6 feet. Soften the front corners of one by drawing curves using a carpenter’s compass. Clamp all three shelves together with the edges lined up, and then cut along the curved line with a jigsaw (this will ensure that the shelves are exactly the same).
2. Sand the edges smooth starting with 120-grit paper and finishing with 220-grit paper.
3. For the end and center dividers, cut three 1-by-12’s to 6 inches in length and three more to 9 inches. After marking the locations for the dividers along the shelves, attach the three tall ones to the bottom shelf with wood glue and finish nails. Place the middle shelf on top of the dividers and secure it with nails. Then add the next three shorter dividers (they’ll need to be toe-nailed into the middle shelf) and attach the top shelf. If desired, attach thin decorative trim where the shelves and dividers meet for a finished look.
4. Fill the nail holes with spackling compound and sand the entire piece smooth. Remove the dust with a tack cloth or damp rag.
5. Cut 1-by-3’s to length to make a rectangular box to rest the unit on. Attach the box to the bottom shelf with “L” brackets.
6. For the top of the extension, add a soft curve to a 24-inch-wide panel using the compass and jigsaw as above. For the leg unit, use a panel that measures 20 inches high, and then attach the top and the leg together (set the leg back 4 inches from the curved top edge) with wood glue and nails. The final cross-support board is a 1-by-8 cut to the inside length of the extension, and it rests against the center divider of the shelf unit.
7. Paint the pieces as desired and let dry thoroughly.
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