If you find you never have quite enough bedroom closet space, take matters into your own hands, as well as your clothes off the chair, and build an armoire for additional storage. Create a compact unit that boasts a simple yet attractive appearance. Building an armoire can be a better value than making structural changes to try expanding an existing closet. A bedroom armoire you build yourself is also portable and can travel with you if you move into a new home or apartment.
Build the Basic Box
You will build a bedroom armoire that stands 60 inches high and spans 36 inches across, inspired by a model created for Black & Decker. Approximately one-third of the interior is devoted to shelves for folded items or small baskets. The main section is for hanging items and includes a closet rod. One door closes off the shelf section, while the other door is for the larger section. Pine door rails create the illusion that there are three evenly sized paneled doors.
Form the basic box of the armoire, also known as the carcass, with plywood pieces. Ensure that the individual pieces of plywood are square. Tom Hintz, creator of the New Woodworker Handbook, notes that even beginning woodworkers should use a high quality square to check for squareness during the assembly process. A good drywall square with a 4-foot-long blade is useful for marking the full sheets of plywood for cuts, Hintz advises.
Join the sides, bottom and top panels with wood glue and finish nails. Attach the sides to the bottom. Insert the panel that separates the two sections. Hold a shelf in place and use it as a spacer to help position the center panel. Nail the center panel into place. Install the shelves. Glue and then nail the back panel to the unit.
Attach self-adhesive veneer to the exposed edges of plywood. Press the veneer with a basic iron on a low setting. The heat from the iron activates the adhesive on the veneer.
Add Doors and Stain
Cut a section of pine with a jigsaw to create a front skirt with a decorative curve. Secure the front skirt to the front edges of the side panels and bottom panel with glue and nails. Join the top panel flush with the side and center panels using glue and nails.
Trim the door panels down to size. Do not forget to check that the pieces are square. Add wood rails to the front faces of the doors in a rectangular pattern. Lay the unit down to make it easier to attach the door hinges. Use 270-degree overlay hinges because those types of hinges will allow the doors to swing open for full access to the interior.
Stain the bedroom armoire with your choice of wood stain products or leave it unstained. Apply a protective topcoat, whether or not you apply a stain. Add closet rod hangers to the larger side of the armoire. Install door pulls on each of the door panels.
One person should be able to construct this do-it-yourself bedroom armoire project over the course of a weekend. It will be safer and less strenuous if a second person helps with standing the unit upright.
- "The Complete Guide to Wood Storage Projects," Black and Decker; 2006
- "The New Woodworker Handbook," Tom Hintz; 2007
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