Vintage furniture lovers this post is for you because today I'm sharing plans to make this replica vintage shelving unit. It's a rare day when I jump in a photo but truly this was one of the most fun builds and I just had to get in there for scale (and so you know I'm actually here, usually hiding behind the scenes covered in sawdust).
You may recognize this shelving unit from Miss Mustard Seed's post over on Instagram a few weeks back. Through the magic of social media I reached out to Marian and she was kind enough to send me a few estimated dimensions and photos from other angles so I could recreate this piece and make building plans for you.
Marian commented how she had sold this piece and regretted doing that and I immediately thought well let's build a replica to replace it. Now nothing will ever come close to real, true antique furniture, it's nearly impossible to recreate years of wear, knicks and worn wood in all the right places (not to mention those casters on the original piece hubba hubba!!) but we can make a replica.
My replica is similar in size, shape and design and if I had one ounce of Marian's finishing skills my paint job might be better. Alas I should have used milk paint or chalk paint but I tend to use what I have on hand so it's regular latex paint with the vaseline trick.
That's the beauty of making replica furniture, you can finish it how you like. And my point here is to share the free plans (down below) so you can build this piece for your own home at a fraction of the cost of buying an antique.
The shelves in this unit are movable so you can adjust the space to fit your needs, adding more or less as you like. And it's not too deep or bulky so this piece won't stick out into your room.
I love the little angled cross stretcher detail, that was probably essential support in the original version but for my build it's simply decorative.
Below are step by step instructions to build a replica vintage shelving unit. Always read through all the steps before beginning and follow all safety precautions when using power tools.
- 4 – 2x2x6 boards
- 1 – 2x2x8 board
- 3 – 1x2x8 boards
- 2 – 1x10x8 boards
- 1 – 1” dowel @ 48”l
- 2 - 3/4" square dowels @ 36"l
- 1- ¼” plywood handy panel
- 1 ¼” & 2 ½” pocket hole screws
- 2”, 1 ¼” & ¾” finish nails
- wood glue
- 4 – 2” casters (2 locking)
- 4 – 2x2 @ 60” (posts)
- 14 – 1x2 @ 9 ¾” (shelf supports)
- 2 - 2x2 @ 48” (base front and back)
- 1 – 1” dowel @ 44” (cross support)
- 2 – 1x2 @ 43” (back supports)
- 4 – ¾” square dowel @ 9 1/4”, both ends mitered 45 degrees (angled supports)
- 1 – ¼” plywood @ 12 ¾” x 28” (base shelf)
- 4 – 1x10 @ 48” (shelves)
Step 1: Prepare posts. Round off top corners using a jigsaw. Make 1” diameter hole in only 2 posts using a spade bit, go about ½” deep. Predrill pocket holes at back for later attaching to base.
Trace a small paint bottle to mark the curved edge then cut with a jigsaw, flip it over and repeat process on other side. Sand smooth.
Step 2: Attach shelf supports to post using wood glue and 1 ¼” pocket hole screws. Consider making an 8 ¼” spacer from scrap wood. Make 2 of these.
Step 3: Attach other post to shelf supports using wood glue and 1 ¼” pocket hole screws.
Step 4: Make base by attaching cross supports to front and back pieces using wood glue and 1 ¼” pocket hole screws.
Step 5: Attach sides to base using wood glue and 2 ½” pocket hole screws.
Step 6: Insert top dowel into predrilled hole, use wood glue and secure from exterior using 2” finish nails.
Step 7: Attach back supports using wood glue and 1 ¼” pocket hole screws.
Step 8: Attach angled cross supports using wood glue and 1 ¼” finish nails.
Step 9: Attach base shelf using wood glue and ¾” finish nails.
Sand well and finish as desired. Add casters and insert shelves.
Hope you enjoy these plans and be sure to share on social media and tag me, I love to see your finished projects! Happy building.
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