2020 Spring ORC – Week 4 Schoolhouse Shed

Hello Friends! If you are just checking in we are already in Week 4 of the OneRoomChallenge for my Schoolhouse She Shed. I’m so thankful they have extended our deadlines and made it a longer challenge this time around. First off because trying to do it all while homeschooling, working and keeping our life generally stable is proving to be challenging. Secondly I am finding items I need are harder to find and shipping a lot later than originally advertised. I’m looking at you plexiglass sheets! Third – and most important- We rescued this adorable 5 week old furr ball!

Meet Pumpkin, aka “Punky” the newest addition to our household. You are probably wondering, “Why on earth does this have anything to do with a Schoolhouse Shed Renovation?” To that question I respond, “Nothing, except that she had to move into our Shed for the first few weeks until she could be with around our other pets.

When we found Punky she was in a rough state – Starving with fleas, ticks and bald circles around her eyeballs. This poor little baby was barely hanging on. Our vet recommended keeping her isolated from other pets for the first two weeks while she recovered. Luckily with the help of her new kitty mama (my 7 year old), medicine and food she is now a healthy rambunctious kitten.

This also means she can move out of the shed and I can get back to building in there!

If you are new here and wondering what project I decided to tackle for the ORC then please jump over and check out my Week 1 Plan, Week 2 Infastructure Update and Week 3 Organizing of all the things.

Kids Work Station Plans

This Week I am excited to share a fun little project I came up with for the “kids side” of the shed. As a reminder this was my layout and moodboard.

In Elevation B you can see I planned for a double desk with storage in the middle. I knew I was going to have to custom make something here since the dimensions were not standard. Additionally I wanted to save money and use a material that was easily accessible. This is where I came up with the idea of creating a desk from one sheet of plywood.

Material and Tool List:

  • (1) 4×8 sheet of plywood
  • (2) 2×4 by 8′-0″
  • Box of 1.5″ screws
  • Drill Gun
  • Skilsaw
  • Router with 1/4″ rounded blade
  • Left over paint samples
  • Clear Satin Poly
  • 150 and 220 grit sandpaper
  • wood clamps

The Desk Build Plans

I wanted the desk to feel familiar for the kids and have a little hollow spot for them to put books, paper, laptops. So I decided to sandwich the plywood on top and bottom of a 2×4 frame.

I first cut the plywood in 18″ strips in the 8′-0″ direction. So I ended up with (2) 18″ x 8′-0″ long pieces. One of these pieces will be the top and one will be the bottom, so I sandwich them together with four wood clamps so I could cut any sharp corn off these boards. A roll of masking tape was the perfect round corner for this applications, once the round was traced I used the jigsaw to cut through this wood.

Lately I have been trying to challenge myself by using tools that “scare” me or that haven’t been used in ages. For this project I pulled out our handheld router, used a 1/4″ rounded bit and slowly routed down the top and bottom of each piece on the three exposed sides. Plywood can be very sharp along the corners and I didn’t want to risk little arms getting scraped up.

This picture illustrates that nice beveled edge I was trying to describe. Next step was sanding, sanding and more sanding. My first pass was using 150 grit sand paper and then a second pass with 220 grit sand paper. Once it felt buttery soft I was ready to clean it up and use a Satin Polycrylic to protect the raw plywood.

I cut down a few 2×4’s to create the sandwich effect I described earlier. Using some leftover paint samples I then painted the 2×4’s in order to define each kids desk space.

This definitely interjected a bit of much needed whimsy and color to their desks. Both kids helped me mix the paint samples in order to achieve the colors they liked.

Once everything dried it was time to secure the top and bottom to the 2×4 frame. I used 1.5″ screws and my handy drill gun. My husband helped me carry the desk to the shed and with the support of the Besta unit we were able to easily attach it to the wall along the back and the side.

I couldn’t believe how substantial the desk ended up being. A support leg was not even needed on the far left, which worked out quite nicely for the flow and openness of the space.

I wanted the kids to be excited for their new desk spaces, so before I showed them their desks I hung up new Ikea peg boards above each location. They are both super excited to accessorize their individual spaces.

I snapped this picture around 9:30 pm on a Sunday night and closed the door on a very busy week of ORC progress. Are you participating? If so, how is your project going? Do you feel like it is really hard to get certain homegoods/construction materials right now? Let me know how its going for all of you:)

OneroomChallenge kids desk

Also make sure to jump over to the Oneroomchallenge Blog to see all the amazing projects people are working on!

One thought on “2020 Spring ORC – Week 4 Schoolhouse Shed

  1. I’m hoping you can help. I found you on Pinterest for a pattern painted on a concrete porch. Click and it brings me to this post. Did you paint the porch? Do you have a post on it? I’m interested in the pattern for myself. Thanks.

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