Can She Build It? Yes, She Can!

I’m starting a new project today.

We are big-time movie buffs, and we buy a lot of DVDs. The collection currently numbers around 300 (it’s always hard to decide how to count those TV-on-DVD collections) and there’s no end in sight. In Florida, we stored them on a DVD rack that stood on the floor. When we moved to Tennessee, they started out on those shelves but soon moved to the shelves of the hallway linen closet – once Jonas became mobile, there was no way to really secure all those DVDs, much less the shelves themselves. When we got here, I didn’t even want to unpack the three boxes of DVDs until we had a place to put them! For “the time being,” they were unpacked onto the picture ledge that’s built in to the wall in the family room. It’s 16 feet long. Only about 3 feet remains open and unoccupied.

In brainstorming storage options, we came up with- and rejected- a number of things marketed for this very purpose. Those cool album binders that store over 100 DVDs in about 2 inches of space? Vetoed by Chris, who doesn’t want to toss the DVD cases and booklets. Those enormous shelf units with glass-front doors? Vetoed by the budget. A large wall-mounted shelf that would hold about 200 units and take up nearly the entire wall space of the picture ledge area? Vetoed by Michelle, for aesthetic reasons.

When I saw these online for $160 each – with each unit storing only 98 DVDs – I knew I had a
project on my hands. My daddy didn’t raise no fool…. I know for sure I can build 4 shelves for less than that price! I’m certainly no master carpenter. Heck, I’m not even a fraction as experienced a woodworker as my Dad and his brother Daniel. But everyone has to start somewhere. I do have a few basic skills. My dad and I did once build a birdhouse, with my very first tool kit, and I seem to recall hammering at least one of those nails all by myself. Plus, I’ve been watching HGTV and DIY networks for months and that has to count as some sort of handywoman apprenticeship, right?

So I roughed out a plan for the shelves. Then I called my dad to ask him if I’d forgotten anything, miscalculated anything, or gotten myself in over my head. There will be four shelves, about 48″ long. That gives me 16 feet of storage space – hopefully enough for four years’ worth of movie-buying. I’m going to do straight corners on my shelves, like the one in the picture; even though mitered corners are beautiful, I think I’m more likely to wimp out and create a UFO* if I make this too complicated. I’m planning to use my new power drill to put the shelves together – mine won’t have a backing piece. I’ll hang them with L-brackets and mollie bolts. Oh, and I’m going to paint them to match the wall color – I’m hoping for a cool, floating, built-in shadow box sort of effect. Hopefully it will turn out okay.


It just started raining here, so I need to bring my diapers back inside. I hope you’re all having a lovely holiday celebration today, rain or shine. Happy Independence Day!>
*Unfinished Object

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I write uplifting women’s fiction woven with threads of faith, grace, and Southern hospitality. My blog is where I share a glimpse of my life, and I hope you’ll find the thoughts here encouraging!






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“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

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