DIY Recessed Bookcase



Recently Jeff and I have really caught the DIY bug, which is easy to do if you start looking at all the fabulous projects and tutorials there are on the interwebs.  We’ve done some really BIG projects lately, which I’ll blog about later, but there was one project that I wanted done before all the others.

A recessed bookcase.

When our homebuilder was building our house, we were living in NC at the time.  Though we did make a few trips out during the construction process, a lot of our plans and modifications that we wanted them to do were made via the phone.  We had them take out a door and wall it in, totally flip a closet around so that we had a linen closet in the boys’  bathroom and add a small linen closet in the hallway.  On the plans, it looked as though this would all work out perfectly.  Well, that was on the plans.  In an effort to make us happy, our builder did as we asked without raising any flags.

Fast forward to closing day and our final walkthrough when we find the world’s most ridiculous closet ever!!!  This closet measures 22inches wide and 7ish inches deep.  7 inches.  What one earth can anyone do with 7 whole inches?  I challenge you to try and fold a towel or sheets small enough to comfortably fit in a 7 inch deep closet.  LOL.  On one hand, I appreciate the builder doing what we asked, but on the other… I wish they would’ve just told us that it would be ridiculous.


So… I knew right away that this closet would have to be our first DIY Project!!  Lucky for me, I love recessed bookcases and although 7inches is crazy for a closet, it’s perfect for a bookcase!!!

First thing we did was remove the door and all the hardware!  I then used A LOT of mud to fill in all the holes left by the hardware… and then I sanded.  And sanded.  And sanded. I supposed if you wanted to get really fancy, you could totally replace the molding around the door but using mud just seemed easier and worked out great in the end.


Next I removed all of the ugly and cheap shelving that the builder used.  I actually giggled and what they used because I’m sure that it was hard to find closet shelving that was only 7 inches deep.  And… as an added bonus, when I removed one of the side supports, I found 17 pilot holes drilled within those 7 inches in an attempt to find a stud???  17 holes people… so, I filled all of those in too!

Next I decided to paint the inside walls of my new bookcase a delightful green color.  I’m a Sherwin-Williams girl so we used a quart of “Parakeet” to get the job done.  I was a little unsure of the color when we first picked it, but now I’m in love with it.

Now came the hard part, building the shelves from scratch.  I knew I wanted the shelves to appear thick from the front but that they didn’t actually need to be that substantial.  Jeff decided to cut supports for the sides and the back out of 1×2 wood.  He then used 1/4inch plywood for the actual shelves and cut them to size!  (I love watching my man work!!!)  We laid them out in the garage and painted them white!  (Sherwin Williams Shoji White to be exact.)


Once everything was nice and dry, it was time to install the shelves!! YAY!  Jeff first installed the supports on the side and the back, making sure they were all level and evenly spaced.  Then came the plywood.  Surely they would just sit nicely on top of the supports and look awesome, right?  Wrong.  When we put them in there, they looked weird and were bowing.  Bummer.  I also wanted to be able to use a 1×2 in front of the shelves to give them a thick, uniform look.  We weren’t sure how to accomplish this.

Then Jeff had an idea that ended up working out wonderfully!!

We had some scrap 1×3 (from another project) laying around in the garage.  He took the 1×3 and turned it on it’s end so the short side faced out.  For this reason, you could really use any kind of 1x piece of wood.  So he turned it on it’s side and then used his nail gun to sink nails from the top down, through the plywood and into the 1×3.  He made sure to countersink the nails slightly so that we could later mud them in and make them disappear.  This gave us sufficient surface area to nail the face of the shelves into.

This is basically what it looked liked…


Finally, he nailed the remaining 1×2 pieces that we used as the face of the shelves into his plywood/1×3 combo.  This ended up working out perfectly!!!  To finish we mudded over all the nail holes, sanded and applied a final coat of paint.  After doing all of this, it looked FABULOUS and I was really happy with the way it all turned out!!

All that was left to do was decorate my new bookcase and show it off!!!  YAY!!


In the end, I was super glad that this crazy weird closet was there because it made for a terrific bookcase!!  It was fun working with my hubby to make our house more beautiful and it makes me look forward to our projects in the future!!!

Now that I know just how handy we are together, our to-do list will be ever growing!!!

Happy fourth.

The fourth of July is generally a holiday that I love and look forward to.  My birthday is two days before it and so celebrations generally just run together giving me one big birthday week.  I was lucky enough to be able to spend this fourth with a lot of my family that I adore.  We laughed and played and ate.  There were kids and dogs and lots of sparklers.  It was great.

This year also had one really really scary moment that will forever change me.  However, years from now, I’m hoping to look back on this weekend and only remember the good and not the bad.  I’m hoping to only remember my family and the fun that was had.

I am choosing to focus on these photos and let them flood my memory of this weekend.

Happy fourth.


A New Family Tradition…

Recently I have been hyper aware of just how quickly my babies are growing up. Maybe its because I’m pregnant, reflecting and remembering when they were babies, maybe its because my first born will be heading off to real big boy school in two months, or maybe it is because every day they seem to be more and more independent. Whatever the reason, I’ve been looking for ways to spend quality time with them, make some memories and cherish them in their littleness.

Due to all of my DIY projects recently, more on that later, I now know the name of the local Home Depot store manager. (It is Martin if you are wondering.) Martin, in addition to helping me pick out the perfect miter saw for me, encouraged me to bring my boys on the first saturday of the month to a kid’s workshop that the Home Depot always has. I never knew such a thing existed.

Luckily, this Saturday happened to be the first Saturday of the month and thanks to the new saw, the boys are very interested in tools and projects. It was perfect timing you could say. So off we went to the kid’s workshop to build a little wooden lawnmower! They boys had a blast being able to glue, hammer and screw the lawn mower together themselves. (Followed by awesome paint jobs of course!) Jeff and I had a blast watching them, enjoying them. It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning and we will definitely be going back next month!

I think we found a new family tradition!

Family Cruise 2014: Carnival Fascination

So recently my family and I had the pleasure of going on a week long cruise to the Caribbean on the Carnival Fascination. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect and to be honest, I was a little nervous about taking our children. I wasn’t sure what there would be for them to do, what exactly they might be exposed to and if Jeff and I would have any alone time by the pool. (Not that watching children run up and down the water slides didn’t have its own charms!)

I’m happy to say not only did we have a terrific time, the boys are already asking when we are going on another cruise. I have to say that Carnival really went out of their way to make my children feel special and provide fun activities for them to do. I was so humbled and honored that the staff were so unbelievably kind to my children. As we’d walk down the hall (inevitably making our way to the water slides…lol) almost every single person we would come across would be quick to give the boys a fist bump or a high five. They felt like celebrities. They also had many many MANY fun activities and parties to go to! They were able to make some buddies on board and compete in some kids games! (One of which got my children to start a conga line on the Lido deck and smear ice cream in daddy’s face!) They had a blast and were never bored!

Not only did we have a great time on board, we really enjoyed the beach time with them! They got to play in the sand and swim in the most gorgeous water on planet Earth. They ran, jumped, splashed, swam and snorkeled on the beaches. It was nice to be able to give them a little of their own space to play in the water and be able to watch them play together. Memories I will hold on to!

My mom was also on the cruise with us, which was extra special for us all. I was very close to my own grandmother and cherished her deeply. I want that so badly for my own children and to see them make memories with my mom was amazing. She is always the ultimate grandmother, but it was nice to see some extra special moments between her and my children.

All in all it was a great trip and I will hold on to these memories forever. I’m so grateful for moments such as these.

Gabe turns ONE!!

Can’t believe that this little guy is already turning one. Just where does the time go? His wonderful mom put together this super cute sock monkey first birthday that all the kids just loved!! Since his dad was deployed, we were fortunate enough for him to watch his little man blow out his candle via Skype! Thank you Lord for technology!! It was my pleasure to be able to be there and capture such a special moment for this sweet family!!

Happy Birthday Gabe!