For Christmas, my husband gave me a miter saw. “How romantic!” you say with an eye roll and inner cringe of disgust. Ok no, it’s not what everyone looks for behind the red and silver wrapping. But then again, what about me is normal?

Project one was a shelf. I’ve built them before, but never with a miter saw. I ran across a design on instructables.com and HAD to give it a go! As the post promised, it’s not complicated and takes 60 minutes or so to build.

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The kids and I got to cutting (sorry, don’t know where my hard core sawing pics went to!). We cut 18 12×6 pieces out of poplar wood, which is a really weak, horrible quality wood, but cheap. I wanted cheap in case I messed up. We didn’t need all 18 pieces, so the ones that broke for no reason (um, while sanding? Seriously?!) didn’t send me over the edge.

For a simple design, I managed to make it complicated. It’s a bottom piece with one nailed to the side, the other to the back, then the next layer is just the opposite. However, the pieces MUST BE FLUSH when adding shelves, not hammered onto the side of the horizontal piece. I know, that’s confusing, but I did Charli’s this way and it’s not QUITE right, but it still looks fab. She’s totally happy with it, and I wasn’t crying or tearing my hair out because this was the test run.

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I let her pick out a blue from Lowe’s and we painted. Look how pretty!

On my next Lowe’s run, we purchased aspen and made 8×20 cuts. Ok, I’ll be honest. At first we made 10×20 cuts, but then I figured out that the staggered design wouldn’t work (simple math here- 10+10=20=duh! Silly me). I cut them down to 8 with my trusty miter saw.image

Now the size change means larger shelves but fewer shelves. This was fine with me. I wanted something nice to put decorations on. We stained and lacquered so it would go with the grown up furniture. Keep in mind we’ve just moved and I’m still switching around my decorative items. Charli put tacks on the bottom of the shelves to hang things on.

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Et voila! All you need is wood, wood glue, nails, hammer, saw, and some company. For more detailed instructions check out http://www.instructables.com and research bookshelves.

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