Do you know how long we’ve been working on this seemingly tiny and simple project? I’ll tell you how long.
ONE MILLION YEARS
Or maybe like two months.
But, at any rate, an absolutely ridiculous amount of time.
And I’m not going to give you a step by step tutorial for two contradictory reasons: 1. It’s so simple you don’t need one! and 2. We messed it up so many times we’re not qualified to write one!
Background information: the kids have been taking piano lessons since last January, and their ever increasing collection of sheet music and piano books has been getting more and more out of control ever since. We needed some way to corral it all, and, at some point, it occurred to me that Ikea’s Trones shoe cabinets were the perfect size for our needs. I liked the idea of them also because we could hang them on the wall in our library (where the piano is) and they wouldn’t stick out very far and get in the way too much either physically or visually. Another advantage was that each kid could have his own, so that it wouldn’t be one big mess of music where no one could ever find his stuff (can I just mention how easy having all boys makes it to use pronouns when talking about my kids as a group?)
But the boxes by themselves are a little….plastic. So we decided to build a simple wooden frame around four of them to make them look more finished and grown up. Incidentally, the Trones cabinets come in sets of three (for $40), so needing four of them was a little inconvenient. We have two extra. We’ll figure out something to do with them).
So what you do to make this is you cut boards to size to make a frame around the boxes; use your skil saw to cut them at 45% angles so that you get nice, mitered edges, and attach all of them togethe. (Dave used the skil saw for the angles and the Kreg rip cut thing to rip the plywood). Only the measuring part went awry somewhere, and then we were out of plywood and couldn’t try again, so Dave had to use two separate pieces for the top and bottom (or buy another sheet of plywood, but we weren’t going to do that):
It’s not ideal, but it’s not particularly noticeable unless you take a picture of it up close like that.
We attached it all together with L brackets (those triangles came off. Actually, I’m not sure what Dave’s plan was with those; they would not have worked, had they stayed on):
Then hung the boxes on the wall with anchor screws and slid the box over them (it was a very tight fit, and we were worried it wasn’t going to work AGAIN, but we finally got it on there). And then put all the music in there. Yay!
Things we learned from our mistakes:
Hang the boxes up first, before you even start on the frame. That way you’ll know exactly how big your frame needs to be AND you’ll get to use the boxes right away and not have to wait MONTHS for the frame to finally be finished.
Measure 18,000 times, cut once. I think what we’d do if we starting again is measure one side, cut that, then measure another side and cut, then attach those two, and keep going. Instead of doing all the measuring and then making the whole frame before realizing we were off a little (because you can’t be off even a little with this).
I still want to put a coat of polycrylic on here, too….mostly so it will look shinier, not so much to protect it, since I don’t anticipate it getting much wear. And I have a couple of ideas for what to hang above it. Oh, we were planning to hang it just above the baseboard, but then we noticed that outlet there. We already have outlets covered up by bookshelves and a piano in this room, so we decided it wouldn’t be smart to make yet another one inaccessible. Even though it would have looked better.
So let’s pull back and look at the whole library, which we haven’t done in awhile, which is a shame because (when I clean it) it’s one of my favorite spaces:
That archway is one of the reasons I didn’t want a big piece of furniture on that wall: I wanted a nice, relatively unobstructed view through it. And the piano isn’t completely covered with music books anymore!
Just a Rubik’s cube, because I waited a whole five minutes after I cleaned it off before taking pictures. But then I cleaned it off again after Milo finished:
Incidentally, I’m kind of itching to paint this room–and maybe the foyer and dining room, too–white. I still like the blue, but it’s been there over 3 years now, and these rooms get so much natural light that I think they’d work really well with white. Dave doesn’t like it when I talk like that.