Jun 21, 2013

Project #5: Window Seat with Storage Towers

If you follow my blog, you know about my dilemma choosing a project for the Birthday Build, and what I finally chose.  Here is the finished project and some pictures I took along the way

What a weekend!  It was an exhausting build, but so worth it.

We went from this

to this.

I love how his awkwardly sized Imaginext and Little People toys fit perfectly on the shelves.  That is what happens when you custom build something yourself.  you can measured the toys and built everything to fit them.  I also love how within a day of finishing the window seat, all of the stuffed animals had mysteriously migrated from the floor and bed to the bench.  I've been told they enjoy the view. 

This project has been in my mind since we moved in 8 months ago.  I walked in this room for the first time and thought "Wow!  This is the perfect place for a window seat!"  It was not however, the perfect time to build one.  We had to unpack and settle in first.  Besides, the windows were rotten.  They would pop open on their own in a strong wind, and were not very secure against our inquisitive 4 yr. old.  The shutters covering them were not  screwed in well, and I didn't like how they were configured to open toward each side and the middle of the double window.  It blocked the light, and I need light. 

Time passed, we unpacked had fabulous, new, secure, efficient, vinyl windows put in, and since the shutters no longer fit with the deeper windows, the shutters came off and lived propped against the new window opening.  

When I decided to build the window seat, I knew it was time to address the shutters.  The plan: take them out of their frames and reconfigure them so they open to the sides leaving the middle area free and clear of obstructions.  

To make this work, the trim around the windows was replaced with flat stock to give a nice flat wood edge I could screw into.  

I drafted up plans for the window seat and towers and we got our build on.  If you want to try something similar, but aren't comfortable drafting your own plans visit Ana White's site and check out her plans.  Her  rolling cubby bench minus the wheels would make a simple window seat and 5 cube tower bookshelf would work great for the towers.

Don't forget to check out my other DIY projects before you go.

Jun 14, 2013

The Birthday Build Winner

Drum roll......   and the winner is...

Something More Practical   a.k.a

A window seat and storage for the little guys room so I'll have someplace to put all of his toys.

Pictures coming soon!

Jun 11, 2013

Happy Birthday to me!

I got the best presents ever.  Gift cards to Home Depot, a "Bamboo" drawing tablet which is the coolest, but best of all time.  My marvelous mother in law is going to take the kids for a couple of days so hubby and I can work together on any building project I chose.  Now, what will I make?

Benchright Farmhouse Table

Wooden Ice Chest  like this beauty created by Jenny from Birds and Soap who has posted plans at Ana-White.com

Flip Top Storage Bench New Plans

or something more practical?

Jun 7, 2013

Plans for Bunk/Loft Bed Stair System Shallow Bookshelf

*BTW, I've made these plans available on Ana White's website.  You can find them at


A few people have asked about the steps I built a while back for my boy's room at the old house.  At the time, I built the loft bed from Ana White's plan with minor modifications.  However, I couldn't find plans that I liked for the stairs.  At least not free ones.  So with no experience, I drafted a set built them and couldn't be happier with how they turned out.

I love these stairs!  And why wouldn't I?
They have: 

  • 2 deep compartments which can store toys or extra bed linens
  • a shallow compartment in the top step that is perfect for treasures or those large flat books
  • a small shelf under the middle stair that fits a rolled up sleeping bag perfectly.
  • a large cubby under the top step that can be used as a crawl through, suitcase storage, could be divided into smaller cubbies or could have doors attached.  

Over a year later these storage stairs are still holding together beautifully even after the move.  Now, it is time to share the plans with you for free.  

The usual caveats apply.  I am no expert, build at your own risk and work carefully.  By building these plans you assume all risks and release me from any liability. I do not guarantee them in any way.  With that said, if you still want to try the plans I'd love to see and hear how your project turns out.  You can let me know in the comments section below.

Finished Dimensions:
34 5/8" H x 20" W x 42" D

3/4 plywood (I used Purebond)
Kreg Jig and 1 1/4  pocket screws
3 sets of hinges

Table saw/ circular saw
tape measure

Cut List:
3 - 1x3 @ 20 (tread brace of 3 steps)
4 - 10 3/4 x 10 3/4 (sides of bottom 2 steps)
2 - 5 3/4 x 17 1/2 (sides of top step)
2 - 20 x 9 1/2 (treads of bottom  and middle steps)
1 - 20 x 16 3/4 (tread of top step)
3 - 20 x 10 3/4 (front of bottom step, shelf and base of middle step)
1 - 20 x 22.5 (front of middle step)
2 - 20 x 33 7/8 (front and back of top step)
1 - 10 3/4 x 18.5 (bottom step base)
1 - 20 x 17 1/2 (top step base)
1 - 17 1/2 x 18 1/2 ( top step compartment base)

Step 1

  • Attach sides of the bottom step to the front of the bottom step from the inside with pocket screws.
  • Attach bottom step base from underneath with pocket screws.

Step 2
  • Attach sides of the middle step to the shelf of the middle step with pocket hole screws from the inside of the step.
  • Attach the front of the middle step from the inside with pocket screws.
  • Attach bottom step base from underneath with pocket screws.

Step 3

  •  Attach sides of the top step to top shelf compartment base with pocket hole screws from the inside of the step.

  • Attach front and back of top step from the inside with pocket screws.
  • Attach the top step base from underneath with pocket screws. (although the top step base is shown in the same color it is NOT the same size as the top shelf compartment base.

Step 4

  •  Join bottom to the middle with pocket screws, then middle to top in a similar fashion. I chose not to glue the top step to the middle step so I could take them apart to move them.  

Step 5
  • Add 1 x 3 tread braces to each step. Again, I used pocket holes screwed from the inside.  It would be easier to just screw down from the top.

Step 6
  • Attach the stair treads to each stair with hinges.

Step 7

  • Finish as desired.
  • Be sure to securely attach the stair to your bunk or loft bed.  I recommend placing the stairs between the wall and the bed or adding a stair rail, especially with younger kids.

Good Luck!

I now have free plans for all 3 parts shown above:  

and railing.  

To find the free plans and how to connect the finished parts please visit my post Storage Stair System for Bunk/Loft Beds.

Please check out all of my  DIY projects, and  free plans!

Jun 6, 2013

Beautiful Fresh Veggies from Isom's

Picked up these beauties from Isom's.  I can't believe I never went there before.  Everything was so fresh.