Last year, my family and I were expecting a baby. I had created this nursery for my daughter when we moved in and still love the soft colors. It's also still my son's room (for now). So knowing the baby would be in a co-sleeper in my room for a while, I decided to leave it as is. I thought we could use a little change and I wanted a little bit of added storage. With a baby, you need things to be in reach. I planned on using the top drawers of this dresser (I painted years ago) for the baby and the top as a changing table and I also wanted to add some shelves. So this shelf unit (I built) was a perfect solution to add a little extra storage.
I made this a couple weeks before my due date (I was enormous, it probably took me twice as long as it would've otherwise). I also wanted to work in an old mirror (and babies like mirrors). The mirror backing was pretty corroded in some spots, but I thought I could rescue it with some paint by covering the blemishes with paint. (Why not? We do that to ourselves.) I already had an outdoor theme in this room and the dresser is green, so leaves would work nicely. They add a little more whimsy to the space and were easy to paint (I LOVE how they turned out). I ended up painting much of that while in labor, while stalling on going to the hospital (so it can't be too hard to do, lol). (Not a good thing to do when you're a 1/2 hour away. Minute apart
contractions and bumps in the road don't compliment each other (!!!!!!!) ).
..........Anyways, after much thinking, and some measuring I came up with this unit that would wrap around the mirror and also be shallow enough to not be in the way. I liked the idea of making squares where I could and came up with four up each side and across the top. The dimensions of the shelves work perfectly for baby things. It would set on the dresser and be mounted to the dresser and wall (ALWAYS mount taller pieces of furniture to the wall, particularly shallow items like this). The dimensions I wanted could be achieved by using stock lumber. So that's what I used, some 1 by 6" boards we'd bought for fascia. I fought a little with some warping but it still came out pretty well (for a very pregnant lady).
The two boards/shelves that run the width of the top are continuous as well as the boards on either side. I cut these first and lay out the boards to get a full size idea of what I'm about to build. I can then screw these pieces together (and will fill and sand these holes later). These make up the basic frame of the unit (this could be built
without deciding how to space dividers and vertical shelves beforehand, because figuring out the measurements between them would be easier later). The vertical boards alongside the mirror butt up against the top shelf. I then cut the dividers for the top and the shelves for the sides. The smaller dividers and shelves were tacked in place with my pinner (to hold the shelves in place) then screwed. The measurements (for a project like this) would obviously be relative to the furniture you're working with.
Before, I put his shelf together I painted it (the cut boards) with a coat of primer and a topcoat (being careful not to leave drips or paint build-up at my cuts that would hinder making tight joints. This makes it so that my final coat of paint is much less difficult to get on. Once, I got it all put together, I filled the holes, sanded, and primed those spots. Then a couple final coats of paint were rolled on with a foam roller (I used a small brush in the corners before rolling).
After all that work, I was excited to get it upstairs on the dresser. My husband and I positioned it on top of the dresser and attached it where it meets the dresser with small, flat metal braces on the back (we also added one to the mirror too).
This is a GREAT way to make an old
dresser more useful. My family is living off one income so going out and buying new furniture wasn't a possibility. Besides, my (10$) dresser is very sturdy, with perfectly sized drawers that are also dovetailed. I doubt I could find another dresser I like more very easily.
Whether for a nursery of other space to organize clutter, a shelf like this might be useful to you. If you model a project after this one let me know, I'd like to know I was of some help :) Thanks for stopping by!