Last year I decided my Son needed some shelves in his room.  But being the Geek that I am, I couldn’t just make regular shelves, that would be too easy…

I saw some shelves on the Internet that someone had made and thought “I can do better”.  The ones I saw were the same basic shape, but they were the entire wrong color – they were BROWN.  The bricks in Super Mario Brothers are BRICK colored, not Brown.  Sheesh, if you are going to Geek out, GET IT RIGHT!!

So as usual, I sketched up some plans:

I would make 3 shelves, made up of 4 “blocks” each.  They are 12 inches tall, 48 inches long and 8 inches deep.  MDF woud be just fine for these, also cost effective.  First thing I needed to do was fire up the Nintendo and get a screen shot:

What?  Doesn’t everyone still have a Nintendo hooked up to a TV in their house?  You don’t?  Why not?

With this and a search through Google images, I Photoshopped up some templates to actual size of 12 inches by 12 inches:

I took these to the store and matched up some paint chips.

I got some MDF and cut it all with a circular saw, a straight edge, a lot of time and even more patience.  Oh and a VAST amount of sawdust, that’s why I cut MDF outside:

The top picture is all of the doors and dividers.  The bottom one is all the tops/bottoms and backs.  Yep, the backs were the same thing to make them beefier and sturdier.

I broke out the makeshift tables, the can of BRICK colored paint, and a 6 year-old to help me paint them:

He did an awesome job while I stood around and stared at the wall.  Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we got all the pieces painted with the Brick color.  There were a LOT of pieces to paint.  They were all over the place:

Jumping ahead… here’s all the pieces of one shelf painted and dry fit together just to see what it will look like:

Now came the details.  Just for the record… I HATE BLUE PAINTERS TAPE!  It really sucks.  Paint always gets under it.  It’s garbage.  I use Frog Tape for painting.  WOW, does this stuff work!

I took the template of the question marks and taped off the areas to paint the shadows first.  Yes, it took a long time.  Longer than you are thinking:

But when the tape is peeled off… LOOK AT THOSE CRISP LINES!  You don’t get that from the garbage blue tape, do ya?  Nope:

Then I had to tape off for the tan color.  At this point, I was getting better at taping, so this took a shorter time than the black did:

Here’s the question mark doors all painted:

Here are all of the dividers and the blank blocks all painted:

Now came the crazy taping!  The 12 inch x 48 inch backs with the brick lines.  This took a while to tape.  Times 3, remember?:

I got the 6 year-old child labor going again on this one.  Notice the tongue… That means he’s concentrating, or something:

Here’s all the backs painted:

Jump ahead, again… The shelves are together with dowels because I didn’t want to see any fasteners on the outside.  Yes, I scraped off the paint from the areas where the glue and dowels were going, I’m not a goober 🙂  Well, not much of one, anyway.  Here’s shelf #1:

Here’s shelf #2:

And lastly, but not leastly, #3:

The question marks and blank “blocks” are doors.  Did I mention they are doors?  No?  Yeah, they are doors.  That open.  The hinges are mortised in.  The doors are held closed with those cool spring-loaded magnetic closures because I didn’t want handles on the outside to ruin the “block” effect:

Here’s the back of one of them.  I’m installing them on the wall using a “French Cleat”.  I painted the cleat and some 3/4 inch x 3/4 inch wood the same blue color as the wall so it would blend in.  The cleats are glued and screwed on, a LOT.  These things are heavy.  The wood around the back isn’t glued on, just held on with brads because they just make up the gap for the cleat:

Here are the Cleats on the wall with lag screws into the studs.  My Son had fun being the “Vacuum Guy” while I drilled the holes:

FINALLY!!!  After way too many months, they are on the wall.  Things just kept cropping up.  This just isn’t a project you can work on a little here and a little there because there are 3 times the parts for everything!  After I put in the bottom one, I showed it to my Wife, then sat my Son on the shelf to show her it can take the weight:

Remember those doors I wrote about up there?  Yeah, here they are open:

Okay, let me get this out right now… NO, I will NOT make you some.  I already had to field that question from too many people.  No.

I have to remind myself to think a little bit smaller for the next thing I’m doing.  Whatever that will be.  These things took forever.  But they are pretty cool, huh?  My Son thinks I’m awesome.