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JAY D-I-Y: How to build a simple toy shelf

If you're ready to take on a simple project, we have the perfect one in mind: a functional and fun toy shelf.

CLEVELAND — JAY D-I-Y is back, and if you're ready to take on a simple project, we have the perfect one in mind - a functional and fun toy shelf. 

The materials list for this project is actually pretty simple, you'll just need a 2 by 4 sheet of plywood at either three-quarters or half an inch thick, and 6-quarter-inch thick rods - the ones I bought were 48 inches long. You’ll also need wood screws and wood glue….and that’s about it!

The design of this shelf is about as simple as it gets. Basically, you're going to need two sides and two legs. Of course, you can always adjust length and height for your own space, but I decided to go with 11-by-31-inch sides for my shelf. 

I’ve also drawn two pieces to be cut three inches wide by 15 and a half inches long. Those are the legs that will support the toy cabinet.

On each side, you'll need to add three drill holes, at three-quarter-inch drill thickness, and then you'll go a half-inch deep into the three-quarter-inch plywood. That's where the wood dowels will be glued in to give it support.

First up, mark your rounded side edges. To do this, all you need to do is take any round cap, put it down in the corner, draw your rounded edge, and then simply cut along the line with a jigsaw. 

To cut each corner, I used a cordless jig, and then made sure to smooth my corner so there were no splinters. Don't forget to sand on all sides. Repeat for each side and also each leg.

Next, it’s time to drill the holes for your dowels. You'll measure two inches off each edge, so from the bottom they'll be six inches,15 inches and 24 inches. 

Once you've put your wood in place, line up your drill bit perfectly with the middle of your mark. Don't forget to clamp down your wood so it doesn't move. Then, set your drill press to a depth of one-half inch, so it will go two-thirds of the way through your board - this prevents the dowels from coming all the way through the other side.  

The six dowel rods I purchased from the store were each 48 inches in length, but I didn't want them that long - I only want them 40 inches long, which will be the width of my toy chest. Again, you can measure your width to your own liking. 

After your holes are counter sunk to about a quarter of an inch deep, add your wood glue. I wanted two and a quarter inches hanging off on either side, so once all holes are lined up with the dowels, you'll also screw them in for extra support.

Final steps are all about the finishing touches. You can leave the shelving unfinished, paint it or stain it.  Then simply add bins. I bought six bins for my shelves. They're 11 inches wide, eight inches deep, and 16 and a half inches wide. These are a standard size you can find at most stores, and they'll fit right into your shelving racks. Now your toys are easily visible. You can keep everything organized and your kids (or grandkids) will love it.


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