How To Build The Be Jane Three-Day Stay Closet

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Step 1

Size and Style

First, figure out what your style is. How do you want this to fit in the room? Will the piece be streamlined and subdued or a statement maker? Now, how much room do you need inside? What are you going to put in your closet? For ours, we only needed a little room as this was for guests only. If you're looking to build something larger, adjust our plans accordingly.

Step 2

Determine Your Materials

Once you've determined your style, put together a materials list. We're going to show you how we built our Be Jane Three-Day Stay Closet, however you can always incorporate your own variations.

Step 3

Let's Make Some Boxes

Since our overall unit is 8' tall, 3' wide and 16" deep, we decided to build it as two stacking boxes. That makes it easier to work with and easier to install.

Step 4

The Bottom Box


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Overall dimensions of bottom box: 4'-10"h x 3'w x 15 ¼"d

Starting with the bottom box, cut your plywood to size, in this case, you'll need 2 pieces at 4'-8 ½" x 15 ¼" and 2 pieces at 3' x 15 ¼". These longer pieces are ¾" shorter on each side due to the thickness of the plywood - once assembled we'll get our full 4'-10" height.

Assemble the pieces of the box by placing a bead of glue along the top edge of the longer (vertical) board and then overlaying the top shorter (horizontal) board on top and attach the two pieces with 3 screws through the shorter board into the longer board. Be sure to slightly countersink your screws (sink the heads below the surface) so they won't get in the way of assembly. Attach all pieces to make your lower box as shown below:

Next, cut the ¼" plywood to size (same dimensions of overall box less ¼" height and width). You're cutting slightly shorter so that when you attach it to the back, it won't peek out from behind the finished piece. Turn your box over on its face (lying on the floor), and pre-glue along the back edges of the box then using a nail gun, attach the back to the back side of the box. You'll now have a box with a back.

Jane Tip: Make sure you are putting this box together on a flat surface otherwise your box will end up not being square.

Step 5

Building your clothes rack


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(a) Cut two pieces of wood each to a 5" x 5" square. (b) Then, taking a 1 ½" spade bit and a c-clamp to hold it down, drill a hole through the center of the wood. (c) Now using your sander, sand the bottom corners to a rounded shape.


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Now, we're going to attach the squares to the top inside of the bottom box. Locate the center of the box on the top inside part of the box and mark it. Do this for the front and back of the top portion of the cabinet. Glue the top of your bracket and place in position. Attach with screws from the top as shown below. Next, take your dowel and cut it to 15". Insert your dowel into the back pre-glued hole and then into the front pre-glued hole in the bracket. Glue and hang the front bracket as shown.

Step 6

Build the Top box


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Overall dimensions of top box: 3'h x 3'w x 15 ¼"d

To build the top box, follow the instructions for step 4 with your top pieces the same width (3' x 15 ¼") however your side pieces will be 2'-10 ½" x 15 ¼" since this is a shorter box. You'll also need to cut two shelves at 2'-10 ½" x 15 ¼". Mark equidistant locations (every foot) from top to bottom to denote the location of the two shelves. Glue and screw in place inserting the screws from the outside of the cabinet through the shelf-make sure you countersink the screws below the surface here as well.

Step 7

Build Your Base

You'll need to support your unit so that it isn't sitting directly on the floor, otherwise your doors will scrape the carpet as you open them. We built a small pedestal to set the entire unit on that raises it 2" off the floor. Cut two pieces of 1 x 2 to 2'-10" and three pieces to 14". Assemble as shown below.
(This is the base pictured from above.)


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Now, attach the base to the bottom of the bottom box. Align it so that it is centered horizontally and inset about 1" from the back edge to allow clearance for any baseboard molding your room may have. Glue and screw into place.

Step 8

Build the Face Frame


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Since you're working with plywood the edges will be unfinished and will require some additional structural stability. This can easily be accomplished by building a face-frame out of 1x2's (which are actually ¾" x 1 ½"). Place the top box on top of the bottom box and measure the full length and width of the exposed fronts to be covered. This is best done by laying the two on the floor to do this as you won't be attaching them yet. Cut the boards to length, in this case:

  • 2 x 7'-10"
  • 5 x 2'-10 ½"

Place the boards on the carcass as shown being sure that the vertical face boards are flush on the inside of the carcass and then glue and screw them together (as shown). We can't stress enough making sure to align the boards over the shelves with the top of the shelves so that items will slide off easily. You'll want the overhang to be beneath the shelf. This will provide stability to the shelves and give it a more substantial look.

Step 9

Door Construction

To construct the doors, you'll need to cut the following lengths out of 1 X 4 wood (which is actually ¾" x 3 ½"):>/p>

  • 4 x 5'-10"
  • 14 x 10 ½"


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Attach these boards with a technique called 'toe-nailing'. But in this case we'll be using screws, so we're toe-screwing! For each 10 ½" piece, you'll need to pre-drill each side of the ends. Each hole is actually a 2 step process: (1) first, begin to drill at 90 degrees, once the bit starts going into the wood then, (2) angle the bit down to 45 degrees. You'll use a 5/16" drill bit to allow for the screw to countersink into the wood, you only need to drill about ¼" down. See diagram.


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Once all the shorter pieces are pre-drilled, you can start your door assembly. You'll need to do this step twice as you'll be making two doors. First, take your long side pieces and mark the center, then mark equal-distant locations for the other boards (see diagram). Glue and toe-screw the pieces in place, being sure your screw is at 45 degrees to screw through the cross-brace and into the side stile.

Step 10

Adding Some Zing


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We now need to create a circle out of wood. Take a pint paint can or something similar in size to a 4" diameter circle and trace it on a piece of wood. Attach the wood to a stable work surface with a c-clamp and cut out the shape with your jigsaw (you will need to cut as much as you can, loosen the c-clamp, move the wood around and then reattach it to finish the entire cut. Once it's cut, cut the circle into quarters and sand smooth. You'll then repeat the toe-screwing method in Step 9 to pre-drill two holes into each circle. Then, glue and screw into the top corners of each door as shown.

Step 11

Sand and Prime

Now, fill all the countersunk screw holes and any seams on the doors or face frame with wood filler, let dry and sand all pieces (not just the areas filled) smooth using first 80- grit paper, then finishing off with 150-grit paper. Once sanded, prime all pieces (inside and out-except for the back) and let dry.

Step 12

Assembly

Move all pieces to the location to be installed.

Mark the studs in the wall where the unit will be placed, then put the bottom box into location and screw through the back of the box and into the studs - this will provide stability for the unit.

Next, place some glue on the top of the bottom box and place the top box on top of it and screw to attach.

Then, attach the face frame to the front of the unit by placing a bead of glue along the front of the carcass and then nail the face frame into place.

Step 13

Side Trim

You'll want to hide where the two boxes are joined on the sides and this is easily done with 1 X 4s. Cut the following pieces:

  • 4 x 7'-10"
  • 6 x 8 ¼"

Using your nail gun, place a bead of glue along the backside of the boards and attach along the sides, top, bottom and in the center where the two units join. Fill with wood filler and sand smooth, then prime.

Step 14

Attaching the Doors

In this case, we used three Euro-style non-mortising hinges for each door. These are stronger than normal hinges and the non-mortise type allows for them to simply be screwed into place-no routing necessary. Align them about 3" from the top and bottom and then one in the center for each door. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on installation - most all kits will provide a template to follow. Be sure that you allow about 1/16" between the doors for easy opening and closing.

Jane Tip: Allow for things to not work out the first time you put them on. Hinges are a tricky thing and may take a few tries to get them right. Just so you know it took us three tries before we got Jennifer's on properly!

Next, attach the magnetic catches on the top and bottom of each door and the corresponding catch on the unit's frame or carcass.

Step 15

Paint

Almost done! Paint the unit your color of choice. You may need a few coats to cover evenly. Usually on furniture an oil-based paint is most durable, however there are several water based enamels that will work well too. Let dry.

Step 16

The Finishing Touches

Cut the fabric to size to fit the inside of each door-note that you'll cut the width approximately 2x the door width to allow you to pleat the fabric and you'll need to add enough length to allow for two pockets to be sewn in. Next, hem the two long edges and sew pockets in the top and bottom. Attach your rod hangers at the top and bottom of the door by screwing in the mounting brackets, slip the rod through the pockets and then attach the rods to the brackets.

The three doors below are:

  1. The back side of a door with the rods in place without fabric.
  2. The backside of a door with both the rods and fabric in place.
  3. The front side of a door with both the fabric and rods in place.

Once you've selected your door handles, drill holes in the desired location (approximately in the middle of the doors), insert the screw and simply screw them on.

Congratulations! You now have a custom-built (by you!) piece of furniture that will welcome your guests for a few lovely days. But the size lets them know that they can't stay forever!

Next: watch how custom-made fabric panels gave Jen's guest room the hotel touch: Watch the Video.

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