Pottery Barn Inspired Storage System DIY ~ Take 2

I’m back from our crazy, busy weekend and I have a project to show for it!  I am continuing on with the Pottery Barn Storage System that I found over at Ana’a Blog ~ Knock Off Wood.  Last week I completed the open cubbies.  If you missed that tutorial you can check it out HERE.  My goal in this series of projects is to prove to you that you CAN do this too!  I have very minimal carpentry skills and just like many of you, I have NEVER built a piece of furniture from scratch.  Well, now I actually have and I am ADDICTED!
This week I moved on to the media base and you can see the plans I used for it HERE.  (It’s the part the TV stands on).
I started by drawing out a cut layout on a piece of graph paper so that I could maximize the amount of cuts per sheet of MDF.  I then took the layout to Home Depot where they cut all of the boards for FREE!  ( I know some of you mentioned that your Home Depot would not cut or charged per cut.  I did ask this time and it turns out that my Home Depot cuts the first two cuts for free and then it is $0.25 for each additional cut.  They were very nice and still did not charge me for any of the cuts…hopefully I will get this lucky everytime!)
This is a close-up of the cut layout for the 3/4″ MDF, which I used for the top, sides and back of this piece.
Here is a close-up of the cut layout for the 1/4″ plywood that I used for the back.  I had to use plywood because they did not have a long enough piece of 1/4″ MDF:(  I bought the longest piece available and added a few cuts for the backs of future pieces to get my money’s worth.  The cut needed for this piece is the top left cut.  (Feel free to copy my cut layout and take it with you…I just handed it to the Home Depot guys and they cut it while I shopped around.
Make sure to line each edge with Gorilla Glue Wood Glue before you secure them with screws.
Most of the predrills are blind so I draw a line to guide where I should place the screws.  3/4″ is not very thick so a bad angle or placement of a screw could make it tear through the surface.  (If this happens, no worries!  You can sand it and fill it with wood filler and sand again.  Good as new!)
Using a drill bit that is a tad smaller in circumference than the screws you are using, predrill at least three holes (make sure to start at least 1″ from the edge to protect the wood from splitting…I use three fingers vs. measuring).  I also predrill the first hole and then add the screw before I predrill the other holes so that the boards stay still.
Here are the screws I have been using.
Drill the screws in until they are below the surface just a little.  You can fill in the gap later with wood putty for a more finished look.
After the first steps.
and another…
Almost done!
Next, I used 1″ wire nails and hammered the piece of plywood to the back side.
I used Gorilla Glue Wood Glue and wire nails to attach the top trim and base molding.  I then hammered the wire nails to secure the back piece of plywood.

Finally, a little Elmer’s Wood Filler in each screw hole..
and pack and smooth.  If it is not flush you can sand it down with a light grit sand paper.
This part of the Storage System was definitely harder than the open cubbies because of the shelves but it was still easy.  Total cost was about $45 and it took me about 2 hours to complete.  If I can do it ANYONE can!  Just do one piece at a time.  You will be amazed at what you can do when you set your mind to something.  Check back for the next piece to my Storage System!!!

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  1. K @ Prudent and Practical on January 29, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    You just gave me a wonderful idea! We're doing a diy home theater room and this piece would be PERFECT for underneath the projector screen – it would make the room look finished and hide the speaker wires currently running along the baseboards. I've emailed this page to dh so we'll see what happens. Thanks a bunch!

  2. astarterhouse on January 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Love what you are doing. I'm going to take a stab at doing the farmhouse table. I'm so excited to try! Now if only I could build a couch! 🙂

  3. Sherry on January 27, 2010 at 2:06 am

    That is one big project but make it sound like it's a breeze. Can't wait to see the finished piece.

  4. Teresa Pomerantz on January 26, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I just spent 2 hours on her blog! What awesome stuff- I have plans to build a few of those things soon. My daughters need beds and my photography studio could use some of those storage cubbies and bases. Hooray!

  5. Frugal Home Design on January 25, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Awesome. I didn't know there was a Gorilla Wood Glue! Her site is amazing and you are doing a really great job. I can't wait to see the finished product.

  6. Shanty 2 Chic on January 25, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Hi Haley,
    I could not reply to your email because you have to allow for response when you leave a comment. I did use the exact cut list that Ana offers. I went back and double-checked just now and it is the same. I added one extra cut for a future piece to this so I didn't waste any wood ~ maybe that is what is confusing? Hope this helps:) ~Ashley

  7. Haley Hill on January 25, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    It looks like your cut list is different than the one on Ana's blog. Did you change the plans or am I missing something? We're going to make the TV stand part of it so I was just wondering why your numbers are different than hers. Thanks!

  8. Allison Shops on January 25, 2010 at 2:32 am

    So far so good! Look forward to seeing them finished.

  9. whitealderhome on January 25, 2010 at 2:02 am

    WOW that is some project………not sure if I'm brave enough to attempt it. You're doing an awesome job, looking forward to seeing the finished product!

  10. Sheri on January 25, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Wow!! You know something similar to this is on our list and hubby keeps asking if I have seen any photos of it done following Knock Off's directions! Well HA! Now I can say "Yes, as a matter of fact, I HAVE" (sorta)

  11. Rustique Gallery on January 24, 2010 at 4:41 am

    Wow, you make this look easy. I'll be following you! Sherry

  12. {Bellamere Cottage} on January 23, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Wow! You need to add this to the "I did it without my husband" MEME! That's pretty darn impressive!

    Warm blessings,

  13. jacksmom on January 23, 2010 at 1:29 am

    I love seeing your progress! I am going to start this project next week and love all of your tips so thank you. I do have a question for you, is there a reason you decided to use MDF over plywood? I am trying to decided which is the best option for me and would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks

  14. Lara on January 23, 2010 at 1:16 am

    My husband and I just started ours! We are SO excited!! Thanks for showing us how to do this piece, we are starting it next week!

  15. JOY on January 23, 2010 at 12:00 am

    WOW! I'm off to buy some gorilla glue and some deck screws! Thanks for the inpiration!

  16. Bethany on January 22, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Can't wait to see more! I just discovered your blog (and Ana's) and I'm having a great time seeing your furniture process!

  17. Lovely Scribbles on January 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    This project is awesome! I can't wait to see how it turns out – it looks pretty great so far. Have a great weekend!!

  18. The Liles' on January 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    This is amazing!!! I love, love, love the fact that you are telling how much everything is costing along the way!!! I am going to do this project, but didn't know how much to budget! You have inspired me to start this weekend! Thanks! Oh, also a BIG Happy Birthay to Ashley!!!

  19. the7daggetts on January 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    This will be our next building project, when we get our tax money back in a couple weeks. Can't wait to get started, and can't wait to see how yours turns out! It's gonna look great!! 🙂

  20. Cindy on January 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    I am also very impressed. I have always wanted to make furniture, but thought I couldn't. I am rethinking that after seeing what you are doing.

  21. sleepyhead designs studio on January 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Impressive! Can't wait to see it all done! I know, patience! You are inspiring me to give it a try-maybe this summer!

  22. Lettered Cottage on January 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Oh my gosh- I cannot wait to see the finished product. You are ROCKIN that thing!!!!

    Layla 🙂

  23. mom2domgigi on January 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    You are so awesome. I love to find other women who are not afraid of household things that normally fall into the man range. I recently replaced my kitchen faucet and I am so happy. I love Ana's site and am trying to decide what I want to try first!!

  24. Samantha2818 on January 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    These look great. I also recently found Ana's blog and was amazed at all she had built. I have had so many pieces of furniture made over the years based on Pottery Barn items cos we can't get them in the UK. Now I realise I could probably do it myself. I'm going to be making the TV stand myself for my kids TV room but need to alter the measurements slightly. Seeing you do it too just strengthens my determination to have a go!

  25. duchess on January 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I'm definitely impressed & can't wait to see the finished product.

  26. Mrs. Schmoopers on January 22, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I'm so glad you introduced me to Ana's blog. We're in the process of selling her condo, but when we're in a house (and have more room!) I'm so giving some of her projects a go. You're doing great!

  27. Taija on January 22, 2010 at 5:05 am

    You are doing a great job! I cannot wait to see the finished produce, you go girl!

  28. elisabeth (bovagoods) on January 22, 2010 at 4:47 am

    this is so great! i can't wait to see the finished product. i am wondering if it would be a good idea to paint or at least prime the wood before putting it all together??? thoughts??? that middle section looks like it might be a bear to paint.

  29. on January 22, 2010 at 4:36 am


  30. Amanda on January 22, 2010 at 4:33 am

    This turned out really well! I have had people at the same Home Depot tell me at different times that they won't cut sheet goods and that they will cut sheet goods. I guess it just depends on who's working that day, and how busy they are?
    Anyway, I'm really encouraged by your project! Ana's designs are amazing. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  31. The Smith Family on January 22, 2010 at 4:06 am

    OMGOSH! I am totally impressed!
    I can't wait to see the rest!!!!!

  32. **Amy** on January 22, 2010 at 3:23 am

    I just found Ana's site and have been wanting to try some of her designs. You give me hope and inspire me! It looks awesome!

  33. Candace@craftysisters-nc on January 22, 2010 at 3:15 am

    This gives me the courage to build it! I NEED one for all the toys.

    By the way…I have yet to be charged for a cut at Home Depot. I think it helps that I'm a woman with kids in the cart. It's very unusual to all the men when a woman comes up with a cart full of lumber! 🙂

  34. Ana White on January 22, 2010 at 3:14 am

    superwoman! You are amazing, these pieces look fabulous!

  35. Jeanette on January 22, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Wow! I am impressed. You did a great job.

  36. Two Beautiful Girls Mommy on January 22, 2010 at 2:56 am

    I just wanted to say that I am so glad you are building these! We want to build the same entertainment set when we get back to the states. It is great to see someone build and to learn your tips etc. I can't wait to see the rest!

  37. Alexis on January 22, 2010 at 2:54 am

    I'm so impressed.
    I'm doing this as soon as the snow melts….

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