ikea hack

Our Family Room Media Cabinet DIY

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked for the DIY instructions on this media cabinet… I would have a lot of nickels. SO here we are in my family room and I am sharing how this came together. The TV cabinet is made up of Ikea media units, my Sarah Sherman Samuel Beaded doors for Semihandmade and some DIY legs for yet another IKEA hack. This one might be my all time favorite though.


DIY Credenza

sss-studio10ssss-studio6While furniture hunting and shopping for the studio, I couldn’t quite find the right credenza to fit the space that didn’t come with an insane price tag so I looked to ikea, per usual, and started doodling in my notebook to design a piece using their “besta” cabinets as building blocks. I wanted there to be storage, be a certain length and height (tall enough to be a workbench height) and not look like straight out of the box ikea.

diyz-app-640As you might be able to tell, if you can decipher my chicken scratch, I came up with a couple different ideas, one with shelves on the sides but the open sides ended up being the winner. I then took my sketches to the computer and drew it out to scale to make sure I was happy with the proportions etc. Once I got it exactly how I wanted it, I took my plans to the lumber store, selected 2 pieces of high quality birch plywood (4′ x 8′) and had the on-site milling cut it down to the sizes I specified below.


plywood-credenza-diyOnce I got everything back at the house, I assembled the Ikea cabinets and measured out where I needed to use the router to create channels for stability, I did this at every joint where the vertical boards intersect with the horizontal boards (As shown in the image below, highlighted in blue). Also, you will see that I assembled and built it upside down and then flipped it over once it was finished.


plywood-credenza-diy1plywood-credenza-diy2I used a scrap piece of plywood and clamped it down to the board to use as a jig while using the router and lied the top and bottom board down next to each other so I could easily make sure the lines would match up exactly.

I used a 3/4″ bit and sunk it down about 1/4″.

Once I created all the grooves it was time for assembly.

plywood-credenza-diy4I used wood glue in every joint and then secured everything with screws. A LOT of screws. I used long cabinet screws where the horizontal boards capped off the vertical board so it would sink deep into the vertical (while still remaining hidden). OH and make sure to use a drill bit to pilot the hole before screwing in to make sure the boards didn’t split. I used shorter screws when attaching it to the base of the besta cabinets so they wouldn’t show through on the inside.

For the legs I notched a 3″ groove (using the router again) into the side of each of the legs and glued and screwed in the 3″ x 60″ support piece. This piece is crucial for stability but also is nice and hidden giving the illusion once it is standing that the credenza is balancing on just the thin boards as legs.

DIY credenza // ikea hack // sarah sherman samuelAnd finally, I flipped it over, finished it with a clear coat and called it done! I am super happy with how it turned out. Hello beautiful modern credenza/workbench.

Taking on projects like these can look intimidating but coming up with the idea is 90% of it and the other 10% is just knowing how to use the tools (o.k. and there’s a lot of math in there too). There is a new app called DIYZ  that recently came out which is full of information and guidance to help you tackle DIY home improvement projects with more confidence and I found some great tutorials on tools. Pictured on my i-Phone above, you can see an entire dedicated story with step-by-step instructions on how to use a drill. Which if you don’t happen to have a wood working dad that taught you a big bag of tricks, you could probably benefit from. The app also has full projects outlined with how-to videos and it also includes a handy tool & material list where you can choose exactly what you need, with links to order it online and have it delivered right to you (the amazon prime fanatic in me LOVED that). You can download the app on iTunes here or on Google+. Happy DIY-ing.

Supplies and Materials list:
2 4’x8′ sheets of 3/4″ high quality birch plywood
Wood Glue
Measuring Tape
Table Saw (or have the main cuts done where you buy the plywood like I did)
3 Besta Cabinets  (in high gloss white)

This post was done in collaboration with DIYZ. All thoughts and ideas are my own.

ikea hack rocking sheep diy

DIY rocking horse (sheep) ikea hack // sarah sherman samuelDIY rocking horse (sheep) ikea hack // sarah sherman samuelI am no stranger to an IKEA HACK and when I saw this moose (which is pretty cute on it’s own), I got to thinking… the red doesn’t match my color scheme and I wasn’t a fan of the piercing, but what if… And this furry rocking sheep was the result.

DIY rocking horse (sheep) ikea hack // sarah sherman samuelDIY rocking horse (sheep) ikea hack // sarah sherman samuelKeep reading for the how-to…


nursery progress & ikea hack DIY

ikea hack - mint dresser- nursery // sarah sherman samuelLast week you might have caught a glimpse at the one wall of the nursery that is finished, over on Mother Mag and I wanted to give you a better look, and share what I did with my dresser issue. It is a simple Ikea hack you’ve seen done a thousand times, but the most important detail is often overlooked. You just have got to do something about those legs!

tarva dresser, DIY ikea hackYou may remember on the dresser I re-worked for the cabin I cut the legs shorter. Well, for this one I kept the length the same but cut them at an angle to create a more elegant profile. It is just one small detail, but it doesn’t cost a thing to do, and it changes the look of the dresser dramatically.

nursery-ikea-hack2ikea hack - mint dresser- nursery // sarah sherman samuelnursery-ikea-hack4

get the rest of the DIY details and sources after the jump… READ MORE

house update: DIY built-in shelving

DIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioWe did it! We finished one of the gazillion projects on our hands right now and I am so happy to share our finished built-ins. We started the project a couple weeks back and just put on the final coat of paint this weekend.

DIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioDIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioDIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioThe paint was hardly dry before I dove into the garage and started digging out some of our favorite tchotchkes and books that I haven’t seen in ages (8 months of living through renovations and we are finally starting to un-pack some boxes and settle in). It took us (my dad, Rupe, and I) two LONG full days to build 98% of it, and then another day to finish trimming out the front of each shelf and to paint.

This project isn’t the easiest of DIY’s but if you know your way around a miter saw and a router it isn’t as intimidating as it sounds (just takes a lot of elbow grease). We also utilized Ikea kitchen cabinets for the base of our built-ins which made it a heck of a lot easier. The thing about built-ins are that of course they are unique to each room so I will outline the steps we took and hope you guys can take something away from it.

All the details and product sources for as much as I can remember after the jump!


studio update & DIY shelves

smitten studio // a sunny afternoon // diy shelvesI am embarrassingly still not quite settled in the new studio (although it is doing better then the house right now), but these shelves I put up are helping A TON. I needed some organization in my life more than I can express (If you are remembering the corners of the house that I kind of had finished, like the living room and the entry way… erase them from your mind because they are now almost empty rooms with an inch thick of construction dust!).

Anyway… the studio is now my happy place :) You may notice I also painted the floors again. Thanks to my obsession with seeing other peoples workspaces, I’ve seen so many all white studios and I wanted to switch it up a little, so I went for this floor paint called georgia peach (I had them tint it 20% lighter). It’s bright and light like the white on white spaces I still love, but brings a subtle bit of color in.

Still to do in the studio is: Replace the light fixture, install skylights, find a place for a mood/layout board, and decide what to hang over that love seat.

Shelf DIY instructions after the jump…