When I decided to renovate the kid's playroom, I envisioned this beautiful arched bookshelf with the drawers underneath. I made the arched bookshelf a while ago, and it took me ages to build a DIY bookcase that would go underneath. I thought it would be fun to make it in mid-century modern style.
As always, I have plans available for this build and you can find them here.
I made these cute mid-century legs from scratch for it. First, since I already hung the yellow arch (and had zero desire to move it), I had only a 17" clearance underneath. Second, all the midcentury legs are expensive and mine cost me about $3. Whoot Whoot! I'll explain below step by step how to make wooden mid-century legs.
For the reeded trim, I found this panel molding on Amazon. My original plan was to use 2" half dowels but I had a hard time finding anything. Although I love the look of the reed trim a lot! Maybe some other time I'll make a trim with half dowels somewhere.
- 1 - ¾" plywood sheet
- 1 - 2x2" for legs
- 4x⅜x94 ½" panel moulding
- 2 ½" pocket hole screws
- wood glue
- ½" brad nails
- Construction adheisive
- Table saw (or circular saw with a rip cut guide)
- mitre saw
- Kreg jig
- Brad nail gun
- Clamps (these are the best)
- Right angle clamp
- speed square
PIN TO MAKE IT LATER
Step 1 - Cut and assemble the base
The overall dimensions of this midcentury DIY bookcase are 40x12x17 ½". But remember, you can always adjust it. I did it to fit under my shelf
You need to cut ¾" plywood to size first. I used a miter saw but you can also use a circular saw with a guide. Whatever you have or feel comfortable using.
Cut two parts at 40x12" and three parts at 13x12".
I started by assembling the sides and the middle board to the bottom. Use a Kreg jig and make pocket holes on the vertical boards from both sides. Using 2 ½" pocket hole screws and wood glue, attach all three boards to the bottom.
Turn it over and attach the top part as well, using wood glue and pocket hole screws.
The base is ready! It's as simple as that.
Step 2 - Add a reeded trim
As I mentioned before my original idea was to add 2" half dowels to the sides, to create a scallops effect. It didn't work so I opted for a reeded trim instead.
This panel that I got is a flexible solid urethane. It's very easy to cut and I used my miter saw to cut it to length. The height of this DIY bookcase is 14" so I cut 6 strips from the panel and attached it to the sides.
It took me a while to figure out how to attach it so they don't band and won't come off.
I used this adhesive and at first thought, it would hold if I clamp it. Not so fast! The first try was a disaster and the panel simply came off. I used ½" brad nails to secure it and it worked like a charm. To fix the tiny holes I used the wood filler since I was going to paint the reeded trim anyway.
Step 3 - Making mid-century wooden legs
These legs turned out so cute and now I want to do it again haha
Since you are making it from scratch you can use any wood. I used 2x2" because I just like the look of it.
I measured the right angle, it could be anything but 15 degrees angle looked the best for me. Adjust the miter saw at 15-degrees and cut four boards at 3" with angles at both sides ( those will make shorter sides for two legs).
Cut two boards at 7" for the bottom sides. Cut the 15-degree angle from both sides, making the 7" side the tallest.
To attach them I used a Kreg jig and wooden glue, making sure that the pockets holes are on the bottom and not visible to the eye. Don't forget to use a clamp since it will make the assemble easier.
Step 4 - Attaching the legs.
To attach it I tried to use a piece of plywood attached to the leg. It semi-works but I don't like how it shows on the bottom. So I'm planning to switch it and attach the legs with a mounting plate. These ones are perfect for the job.
Step 5 - Paint midcentury DIY bookcase
To paint this bookcase I chose two coordinating colors. I already used them in other parts of the playroom and they were present since the beginning when I just made a mood board for the kid's playroom.
The pinkish color is "Rasberry smoothie" by Behr and the off-white is "Vanilla paste". I already love how Vanilla paste coordinates with the yellow arch and adding this pink brought it home.
I painted the sides off-white and the rest of the bookcase is pink. The legs are stained with "Provincial" by Minwax.
I added a pink neon light to the top of the shelf and it became a favorite spot for my kids to hang out.
Isn't it lovely? What do you think? I'm so happy that now all the books will have a place to be. Well, definitely not all of them, but this bookcase improved the storage situation tremendously.
I think I'm on the finishing line to be done with this playroom. Ugh, it's been a while already. I started renovating it 5 months ago and have a hard time finishing. I already made so much furniture for it. You can read it here
- Moodboard for kids playroom
- IKEA hack toy shelf
- DIY bookcase
- From trash to trasure
- DIY tassel chandelier
Follow me on my Instagram @ifonlyapril to see behind the scenes and updates on my projects.