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Feb 24, 2018

Floating Bathroom Shelves

The one fact that always holds true is that there is never enough storage in a bathroom. In our main bathroom for example, the only place we have for storage is in the vanity under the sink. However, our toilet is in a little alcove with walls on three sides, providing a perfect spot for floating shelves.

Floating Bathroom Shelves

The tops and bottoms of the shelves are made from 3/4" veneer plywood, and the shelf faces are cedar trim boards. My finished shelves are 5"x30" and 3" thick.

I was able to build them entirely with scrap wood, but even if you were starting from scratch, it would only cost you about $20 total.

Materials needed:
6 - 3/4"x5"x30" plywood shelf boards
3 - 3"x30" trim boards
3 - 1"x2"x30" mounting boards (for back wall support)
6 - 1"x2"x4" mounting boards (for side wall support)
screws, anchors, brad nails
sandpaper, stain, paint

Measure the width of your back wall and cut your mounting boards to length. My mounting boards are 1"x2" boards left over from when our roof was redone. (These are the same boards that I used to build the wooden crates last month.) Our toilet alcove is about 30 inches wide, but the walls aren't perfectly straight, so each board had to be customized. I cut the mounting boards to just under 30 inches first, and then shortened each one of them a sawblade's width at a time until they fit perfectly.

Using a stud finder, locate the wall studs on the back wall and mark the locations on your mounting boards. Drill holes through your boards, aligning them with the marks you made for the studs.

Floating Bathroom Shelves

Place the first board against the wall in the location you've chosen, and use a level to position it horizontally. Drill your screws through the holes in the board and attach it securely to the wall. Repeat with the other two mounting boards. My shelves are positioned 14" apart.

Floating Bathroom Shelves

The mounting boards on the side walls were only 4 inches long, so I wasn't able to attach them to a stud. When you aren't able to hit the studs, you'll need to use wall anchors.

Pre-drill the holes in your side mounting boards. Place a board in position and use the level to line it up with the back mounting board. Drill through the holes just enough to touch the wall behind and mark your anchor spots on the wall.

For a shelf that is this shallow, an anchor is only needed for the front hole - the back end of the mounting board is tight against the rear mounting board and only needs a screw to hold it in place. Repeat the process for the other side wall mounting boards and install your anchors. Once your anchors are in place you can attach the side mounting boards to the wall.

Floating Bathroom Shelves
Floating Bathroom Shelves

Cut your top and bottom plywood boards to length (approx. 30 inches in my case). Repeat with your face boards. Sand and stain one side of each plywood board, and one side plus the long edges of each face board. I stained my boards with Jacobean stain from Minwax, and then followed up with a light wash of flat white paint to give a weathered look. You could also finish up with polyurethane or furniture wax if your shelves were going to see a lot of traffic.

Take your first plywood board and lay it on top of your first mounting framework, stained side up. You may have to adjust the length of your board if your walls are uneven like mine. Again, shorten the board just a little at a time so that you don't end up with it too short. Once your board fits snugly, nail it to the mounting boards using the air nailer. You could also attach the boards with screws, but you'll need to putty and stain the screw holes when you're done, while the brad nails are virtually invisible.

Floating Bathroom Shelves

Take your second plywood board and fit it snugly below your mounting framework. Nail it in place as with the first board.

Floating Bathroom Shelves

Repeat the two previous steps with the other shelves.

Floating Bathroom Shelves
Floating Bathroom Shelves

Take a front face board and fit it into place, lining it up top and bottom with the plywood. Nail it into place all around the edges. Repeat for the other shelves.

Floating Bathroom Shelves
Floating Bathroom Shelves

Step back and admire your new floating shelves.

Floating Bathroom Shelves

They're a perfect place to store extra rolls of toilet paper and bath towels, as well as showing off your favourite knickknacks. (And of course a scented candle or two to keep the air fresh.)

Floating Bathroom Shelves
Floating Bathroom Shelves
Floating Bathroom Shelves

Additional note -

If your shelves are longer or you've made them significantly deeper than mine, you may want to add 1"x2" center supports between the top and bottom face boards (i.e. sandwiched inside the shelf). This will keep your shelves from sagging over time, especially if they are supporting something heavy.



Feb 5, 2018

Valentine's Day Popcorn Cake

Have your thoughts turned to Valentine's Day yet? I have a really fun recipe for you today to get you into the spirit.

Valentine's Day Popcorn Cake

My family has been making popcorn cake at Christmastime for as long as I can remember. A mixture of popcorn, marshmallows, jujubes, and peanuts is always a crowd-pleaser. For Valentine's Day, I left out the rainbow colours and brought in reds, pinks, and whites. In a sea of chocolate, this lighter snack is a welcome change.

You'll need:
10 cups of plain popped popcorn
1 pkg (250g) of marshmallows
1/2 cup of butter or margarine
3/4 cup of shelled peanuts
1 cup of red jujubes, cut into smaller pieces
white and pink candy melts (or white melts/chocolate and pink food colouring)

Pop your popcorn and remove any unpopped kernels. Melt the butter and marshmallows in a small pan over low heat. Pour the mixture over the popcorn and stir until all of the popcorn is coated. Add in the peanuts and the jujubes and stir again.

Valentine's Day Popcorn Cake

Press the mixture firmly into a greased or parchment lined pan - this recipe fits a 9x12 pan, but you could also use a bundt pan. Let cool.

Valentine's Day Popcorn Cake

Melt your candy melts or chocolate over low heat. If you would like it a little thinner you can add a bit of vegetable oil to the mixture. If using food colouring, split your melted chocolate into two bowls and stir a drop of pink food colouring into one bowl.

Invert the cake pan onto a platter or board. Cover the area around the cake with parchment or paper towels to protect it from splatters. Using a teaspoon, flick pink and white chocolate over the cake to get a splatter pattern. Use as much or as little as you'd like. Refrigerate to let the chocolate set.

Valentine's Day Popcorn Cake
Valentine's Day Popcorn Cake

One last tip: When cutting the cake, butter your knife to keep it from sticking.

Valentine's Day Popcorn Cake
Valentine's Day Popcorn Cake

Valentine's Day Popcorn Cake
Valentine's Day Popcorn Cake




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