How to make Built in shelves and cupboard, without a lot of carpentry skills

Today I'm sharing the
I constructed without a ton of carpentry skills.

how to build built ins without a lot of carpentry skills

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In our dining room,
we had a weird little nook.

I slapped up some simple shelves
and put an ill fitting cupboard into the nook.
It was a great place to
display family photos, even if it wasn't the
best use of space.

I didn't really know what I was doing when I first
"designed" this space.
  Redoing this space has been on my
to-do list for a while.

I removed the shelves, 
the cupboard and the baseboards.  
I used this tutorial for removing the baseboards.  

how to remove baseboards

It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be.

I used a *utility knife
a *pry bar 
and a *hammer
just like the tutorial said.

measurements to build built ins

I measured everything, 
drew a diagram and 
took my drawing to the hardware store for supplies.  

how to make built ins with items from hardware store

I found a store employee and asked tons of questions.  
Once we nailed down 
all of the details of the plan, 
I purchased all of my supplies and headed home.  

Supply List:

-a pre-made kitchen wall cupboard
-2x4 for underneath the cabinet
-1x8 pine board for shelves
-1x3 poplar board for the trim on the front of the shelves
-various trim pieces to fill-in gaps between the cupboard and the wall
-furniture grade plank of wood cut down to size for the top of the cupboard
-baseboard trim
-caulk and wood glue

built ins from hardware store cabinets

The cupboard fit almost perfectly.  
I built a base for it to sit on out of 2 x 4's. 
 I essentially just made a square stand for the cupboard to sit on.  

For the shelves, I pulled out Bitsy, my miter saw.  
If you don't have a saw, the hardware store will cut wood down.

I cut the 1 x 8 and 1 x 3's down to the size of my recess.  
Since the walls weren't exactly square, 
I measured the space for each shelf 
individually because all of the measurements were different. 

To make the shelves:  
I ran a bead of glue all along the side of the 1 x 8.  
Then I set the 1 x 3 on top of the 1 x 8 and drilled a small pilot hole so the 
nail wouldn't split the wood.  
Then I tapped in the nails.  

After the glue dried, I sanded the shelves. 
I tried them out in the space and thought they looked pretty good.   

minwax red mahogany stain

I stained the shelves and the top of the cupboard

While that was drying I painted the 
cupboard with black satin paint.

To make cleats to hold the shelves:
I cut 1 x 2's to the depth of the shelves.
Then I screwed them into the wall and painted them wall color. 
I sat the shelves on top of the cleats and nailed them in.

I also installed the cupboard by screwing
it into studs in the wall,
 from inside the cabinet.  

I cut new baseboard molding 
to go all the way around the cupboard.  
Traditional baseboard molding wouldn't fit underneath the cabinet, 
so I used some 1x2 white mdf trim.  
I then caulked all the seams and the nail holes.  

how to build built-ins without a lot of carpentry skills

 Here is the finished product.  
The biggest compliments 
I received are from my son and my husband 
who both said that it looks like the shelves 
and cupboard have always been there.  Yay!

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