In my living room, there once was a blank wall that cried out for tender loving care. This led to a spark of an idea which led to a fun and experimental weekend project.
I decided to fashion some inexpensive shelves to attach to this blank wall. I needed them to be sturdy enough to hold small decorative items and books. (Not heavy textbooks, but mostly paperback books.)
First, I picked up two semi-hollow interior doors from a hardware shop and cut them in half vertically. (With two halves of two doors, I could make four long shelves.)
I decided to use 2″x4″‘s because they would fit fully inside the half-door without any gaping. I selected four 2″x4″ pieces of wood and cut them to the length of the interior of the semi-hollow door.
You can see (left side of picture) that there is some cardboard inside the half-door (ergo the semi-hollow core). This cardboard had to be pushed back further inside the half-door a few inches so that later, the half-door can fully encase a long piece of wood that is attached to the wall.
Once the cardboard is pushed back, the 2″x4″ pieces fit perfectly inside the semi-hollow half-door piece.
Using medium and fine grit sandpaper, I lightly sanded the surface of the door so that it would be smooth and be able to take a stain. (Since this is an inexpensive semi-hollow core (half) door, you can’t sand too deeply since the wood veneer is not that thick.)
To make the shelves a little more decorative, I cut some trim that I found at the hardware store and glued it to three of the edges, that is, the three sides that would be facing out from the wall. Since I don’t have a circular saw for mitre cuts, I just used this simple box tool to make the diagonal cuts on the trim:
After fastening the trim to three sides of the half-door with wood glue, I lightly sanded the surface of the shelf again so that it would be flush on top:
Then I stained the shelf and sealed it with a topcoat. (All of this describes one shelf, but with the materials that I had I was making four.)
Using long screws (tailored to the material that is behind the wall, e.g., wood stud, drywall, cement, etc.) I drilled the 2″x4″ pieces into the wall, affixing them on their narrowest side so that the semi-hollow half-door/shelf could fit neatly over it. It was important to make sure these pieces were level, so I checked the level multiple times before drilling.
Finally, I fit a semi-hollow half-door/shelf (that was now stained and trimmed) over each 2″x4″ that was attached to the wall. Using wood glue on the semi-hollow inside as well as light copper nails to tack the shelf down to the 2″x4″ inside, I secured the semi-hollow shelf to the 2″x4″.
Once all four shelves were attached and dried and settled, all that was left was the most fun part: run around and look for the books and stuff to put on this new display.
Here are the finished shelves (only half-decorated as I kept moving things around, trying to decide what to put on them).
I think that perhaps even Robert Frost would approve of this wall, especially since it has a book of his poetry on it now.