Simple Carpentry - Juniper Home

Simple Carpentry

Dining Room

My Grandpa Russell was a really talented woodworker. I used to love to go out to his workshop and watch him measure (and remeasure) before cutting each piece of wood. It makes me endlessly happy to think of him and how he approached life and work – he was so precise, methodical, and dedicated. He used to always say “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.”

Grandpa liked modern and clean-lined houses and furniture, so most everything he built was simple but well-designed. He would have liked the shelves in this nursery and this banquette.

Desire to Inspire

It wouldn’t take more than a trip to the lumber yard and a $35 hand saw to make these pieces in a weekend.

Have you ventured into the world of wood working? I’ve done only little projects, but some day I’d love to try something on a larger scale – like a big coffee table or a desk.

What did you think?
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39 thoughts on “Simple Carpentry

  1. How did hanging the sconces and mirror go? I'm also curious to see what you did with the bookcase over the weekend! I love your ideas and can't wait to see how they are realized!

  2. Very sweet posting this morning! I have no doubt if you wanted to conquer something big you could totally do it! Make sure you post about it if you do!! (;

  3. Love the little book shelf in the nursery. My carpentry skills are limited but I made a king sized platform bed with an upholstered headboard last year for our guest room. My parents spent a month on that bed and it's still holding up!

  4. I'm sure you could create just about anything you wanted to. I make my husband assist me in attempting simple carpentry projects often. They usually turn out just as planned, even with our limited skills. Where there's a will, there's a way.

  5. This is such a sweet post! I love special memories like that. I actually did a post this morning on a wine cabinet that my hubs and father-in-law made for our kitchen. Check it out if you have a chance. I'm also dying to tackle a coffee table with wide wood planks one day. Let us know if you decide to make something!

  6. Actually, I would love to have a power saw so I could cut different shapes, and the space to use it! I have an idea for a bear bed for my son in my mind, but the whole cutting part is too daunting, so the bed will remain in my mind!

  7. I've made a floating shelf, a couple of headboards, and an ottoman. But after putting a rotozip through my arm one time, Hubs told me I'm not allowed to play with the power tools anymore. This shouldn't stop you, though. That looks like a great beginner project.

  8. Whoa – this post took me on a surprise journey…to my dad's garage…and the smell of freshly cut wood. My dad used to say the EXACT same thing "Anything worth doing is worth doing right". I have a very vivid memory of sitting out in the garage, watching him measure and remeasure, and asking him why so many times…I think I was 8 yrs old or so. I love that my daughter has the best made bookshelf up in her room right now, thanks to his careful, simple work. He passed away a year and half ago. Thank you so much for this post! Loved it. And yes, I would love to venture into the world of woodworking someday.

  9. Had to come back and say, a few months ago I set my mind that I was going to learn to use a few tools we have in the garage. Let's just say, it didn't exactly go as planned. I sort of gave up. Way too soon. Your post has motivated me to try again. Thinking about how very much I treasure the pieces I have that were carefully made w/my dad's own hands and time and care. I'd love to be able to carry that on.
    Thank you so much!

  10. My dad is an awesome woodworker. He has built me a work bench in my garage so that I can start learning the trade also and is attempting to show me how to use all of his tools and gadgets. I would never have thought that I would have such an interest in learning this but I do!

  11. I don't personally have much in the way of woodworking skills, but thankfully my boyfriend does – he built (from scratch, not just put together) all our new kitchen cabs and they are beautiful. I tried to attach a pic, but it doesn't work :(.

  12. My dad is a wonderful carpenter. He took 4 years of woodshop in high school (back in the day when no when cared how many years of a foreign language you took). I love to email him stuff I like that he can make for me. I'm saving all those emails so that when I live closer he really can make them!

  13. Oh Jenny! You made me misty-eyed thinking of Grandpa Russell. He was the most awesome father-in-law. I've never known a better man. And you're right…he would love the simple, functional, clean designs you posted here. Love your blog! Dad

  14. So sweet! Your grandfather sounds like a great man!

    The biggest woodworking project we've (being me and my husband) would be some shelves we built in a nook to hold our tv and related equipment. Despite being terrified that our large tv would come crashing down at some point, it was actually a pretty straightforward and successful project! I'll have to post pictures on my blog soon!

  15. I'm always so inspired by DIY ideas! My first real project was a desk. To keep it simple and within my skill set, I just made a table top (it was super large and involved cutting at Home Depot and re-joining together) I plopped it on top of two nightstands we already had. Aside from waiting for stain and poly to dry, the most time consuming part was DEFINITELY the measuring and remeasuring! And making sure again :)

  16. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting the picture of the banquette. I've been wracking my brain trying to think of one I can do with my limited carpentry skills. I also really like how the back cushion is attached to the wall. Also, if you sign up for a basic woodworking class at the local community college, you can often get one-on-one help for personal projects during the lab hours. AND access to all of their professional equipment.

  17. Love adding trim or shelving. We did both. We made shelves in our kitchen, copied Ballard Design shelving with trim. The little things made everything look much more put together and we now have shelving above a kitchen window! Great post~ Jennifer

  18. Your grandfather sounds like my father in law! He built our kitchen table and island from scratch! He's amazing and quite the handyman. : )

  19. I haven't tackled any of the projects yet, but I LOVE the inspiration, ideas, and free plans I've found on Anna White's website. Found it via YoungHouseLove sometime ago and I feel like it's just what I need to get started. I especially appreciate that she works with wood that is easily accessible and tries to use as much of each piece as possible, for the least waste. Love the remembrance of this post, Jenny!

  20. Have you ever check out ? Ana posts great DIY furniture plans with economical cuts and modifications to make the project friendly to the novice builder. Most of her plans are inspired by Pottery Barn, West Elm, or Crate & Barrel. You may already be well aware of her but just in case you aren't, it's a great resource!

  21. I must have gotten the woodworking gene from my grandfather, he's an amazing carpenter, he had a very successful custom cabinetry business after he retired from the Air Force, not to mention the beautiful home he built himself in the mountains!

    I love building, it's absolutely the most rewarding thing to build your own furniture. So far I've tackled 2 beds, a coffee table, sofa table, Kitchen Island, and a bar for my dinning room! Up next a metal covered parsons desk!

  22. This is a lovely post, but having just hung shelves like those picture in the nursery, I would encourage anyone considering hanging such a shelf to work with a professional carpenter. Obviously those shelves aren't holding a heavy load, but if the shelves are going to be holding anything of substance (books, etc.), the brackets should be no more than 1.5 feet apart. I learned this the hard way, when my lovely DIY bookshelf collapsed! Then I brought in a carpenter and he confirmed it needed more support.

  23. Oooooooh I love that last pic….looks Swedish to me. I havent tried woodworking, but my dad said he would help me build a sliding barn door in my house one day!


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