How to Build a Box Shelf

Hello everyone! I am going to do a “How-To” post today and I think you are going to enjoy it. Have you ever wanted to try building something with your bare hands but not sure how to do it? Well, today I am going to show you have to make a box shelf. I had all this spare wood in my back yard and I decided that I was going to make something out of it. I had seen these box shelves online and thought they looked pretty cool, so I decided to give it a try without any previous wood working experience.

So first, you need to get your stuff together. I got literally make this by hand since I couldn’t afford a circular saw right now. So, if you have a circular saw, I would suggest you use it 🙂

You will need:

  • A saw of some kind. (I used a hand saw and it worked but it took a little bit more elbow grease to do it.)
  • A hammer
  • Wood
  • Nails
  • Sanding Block
  • Pen
  • Tape Measure
Here is everything I used. Please excuse the dusty table.

Next you want to cut your boards to size. I was using fence boards that had already been cut in half so my shelf was 19″ x 17″ x 5″. You can make it how ever big or small you want. Just make sure you wear gloves and glasses for safety.

Next, comes the hammering part. I like to cheat and hammer the first set of nails partially in because I didn’t have a grip or anything to hold the two boards together. Another way you could probably do this, but I didn’t think of it til later, is using wood glue to initially make the box and then nail it together. But you would need something to hold it in place while the glue dried.

img_20170201_130836891Now it is time to actually hammer them together. Take your boards and make and L out of them. I placed the bottom L between my knees to hold it steady and then place the board with the nails in it on top of it. Now hammer the nails in 🙂 Repeat this until you make a square. (I put in four nails but you can put in more if you feel you want the shelf to extra secure.)


Look! A box! Good job! Now to sand. I used a 120 grit sanding block and it was just enough to get the roughness out of the wood without removing the natural grain to it. Once you have finished going over the whole thing, time to move on.

The next part is the part I think is the most fun and that it painting the thing to whatever color you like. I chose a nice teal for my shelf and this was the paint I used. (No money paid for advertising.)


You can use the can and brush method if you want but I like spray paint because it dries quickly and there are no brushes to clean after. But make sure you wear a mask or you might have an adverse side effect that comes with breathing toxic fumes. Depending on the type of board you use, you might need more than one can. I wanted a more white washed (or should I say blue washed) look so I only needed one can. If your wood is really thirsty and you want it completely covered, you will probably need two or more cans.


SO PRETTY!!!! After you paint it, you can add layers until it is the exact color you want. If you don’t end up wanting to paint it, I would still use some kind of a wood sealer just to protect the wood from spills a stuff from the things you end up putting on it.

After you have your final layer of paint, I would suggest you let it sit for 24 hours to fully set. It would be a bummer to have a colored square on your wall because the paint transferred. I know you are super excited to get it up and show it off, but you need to wait one more day. But after that, it’s finished and it will look gorgeous.


This is how mine turned out and I am super happy with it. Want to make one? Great! Now you can, but if it’s still not up your alley but you want one of these shelves anyway, feel free to order one right now from my Etsy Shop HERE. I would love to build you one!

Happy building! Have a great day!

Yum, Yum! Homemade!

So I have posted a few things concerning tightwad things and my new tightwad bible so to speak, The Tightwad Gazette. This one is more about how tightwading can be used in the kitchen. Believe it or not, cooking at home is much cheaper than going out or pre-made foods. Here are my most recent examples.

My family loves this pre-made dish from Costco that is $10 a bag. It’s rather tasty but I was looking at it and knew I could make it better. So I looked and saw the dish pretty much chicken, carrots, broccoli, noodles and corn. The seasoning was garlic and butter for sure and the rest I would have to play with. I said in my head. “Oh my gosh! This is so easy to make and I could make it I’m sure for half of what this cost me”. So I did.

I looked at the back of the dish’s bag to get some other clues on seasoning but otherwise went and bought the ingredients at the store. Carrots: $1.75 for 16oz (only used a a quarter of the bag), Broccoli $1.50 (only used half the bag), Chicken: $2 (bought a $16 for a stock up on chicken and only used 3 breasts),  Noodles: $1.00, and 1 can of corn: $0.89. The seasonings were all in my cupboard so they were not going to be calculated.

So to make this dish from scratch it costed:

Carrots: $0.44

Broccoli: $0.75

Chicken: $2.00

Noodles: $1.00

Corn: $0.89

Total: $5.08

And I think it looks pretty close to the original inspiration of the dish.


So It is a simple as that. In a matter of twenty minutes and some prep work, I saved myself $4.92. Not only that but here is the ingredient list for the pre-made dish:


There are so many preservatives I can’t pronounce them all. It’s a simple chicken dish for heaven’s sake! It should only be 5 ingredients. So not only did I save almost half of the cost but I saved my family from the harmful preservatives and other “ides” that should never be in food. Isn’t that worth the extra ten minutes to make a dish from scratch instead of out of a bag?

Another thing we love in our house in pizza. Who doesn’t? But it’s super expensive out and even self bake is over priced in my opinion. It saves time but that is it.

Our favorite pizza is veggie combination. The cheapest we could find it is for $10 from our local warehouse store. But I thought I could do better. This requires more time but the dough can be made ahead of time and put in the fridge. So here we go.

Pick your recipe but they all consist of flour, oil, yeast, water, and salt. All these things are either in your pantry or very easy to get. We buy our flour in bulk (25 lb. bag for $7.00) so that plays a part in my calculations but most are about $3 for a 5 lb. bag. So to be fair I will use the average cost of a 5 lb. bag of flour.

Next is the sauce. You can buy it for $2-$3 at the store in the little jars or you can buy the big can of plain tomato sauce and season it yourself for less than $1 a serving. This is what we do. We buy a #10 can of tomato sauce from our warehouse store for $3 and get 14 cups or 7 pizzas out of it. We freeze the rest and have it ready to pull out later.

Next is cheese. This is the most expensive part of the pizza no matter where you go. You can buy bulk cheese and shred it or just buy the little bags. I will let you guess what we do but there is no true tightwad way to do this. We get our cheese in bulk (2 lbs. of cheese for $7) and shred it. Each pizza normally takes up 2 cups of cheese. But we will just use the average price for a 2 cup bag of cheese.

And lastly, the toppings. This is to the imagination but for right now we are just making a veggie combo. Green bell pepper: $.69 (half used), onion: $.69 (used half), mushrooms: $2.00 (used half), sweet sausage 5 pack: $3 (used only 2), and olives: $1.00 (only use half the can).

So now let’s break that down.

Yeast: $0.33

Flour: $1.00

Sauce: $0.42

Cheese: $2.00

Bell Pepper: $0.35

Onion: $0.35

Mushrooms: $1.00

Sausage: $1.20

Olives: $0.50

Total: $7.50

That is enough to add on a soda if you absolutely had to. We don’t do soda so that just goes into the food budget 🙂

So I hope I encouraged you to look a little more into making your own food from home instead of buying it from a pre-made store item. You might think you are saving time but in the end you aren’t. I won’t go in to that right now. Maybe another post. But I would love to see your creations. So post the pictures below in the comments and happy cooking! 🙂