Favorite Friday – Knock-off Wood


Favorite Friday

Oh my oh my oh dinosaurs, do I have a treat for ya’ll today.

Let’s say that you love expensive furniture. You ransack every “upscale American-based home furnishings” catalog and swoon, pining over EVERY SINGLE piece of furniture printed on those pages. You fantasize about owning a whole house full of three thousand dollar bed frames and nine hundred dollar coffee tables.

But if you are then brought back to reality by the pathetic little balance in your checking account, and you dismiss this time you’ve spent with the catalog as “inspiration for the future,” then you are going to love this girl.

No, scratch that. You will want to marry her. Or kidnap her. But she’s in Alaska, so you might have a hard time with that.

Anyway, meet Ana of Knock-Off Wood

Knock-Off Wood

Beautiful. Alaskan. Mother of a toddler. Self-taught carpenter.

I’m not joking. TAUGHT HERSELF TO BUILD FURNITURE. We’re not talking about the “cutting out paper in the shape of a star for your scrapbook” type of DIYer here. This woman is a talented, creative, finish carpenter.

She finds furniture she likes in stores and catalogs, figures out how she would build it, and draws up easy-to-understand plans for you to make it yourself. “Easy-to-understand” on her site is not like the “easy-to-understand” instructions that you get with a desk from Wal-Mart or a shelf from IKEA that might as well be written in Chinese. All of her plans are intended to be used by someone with little-to-no experience in carpentry. Translation: these plans are easy to follow even if the only thing you’ve ever built was a bad reputation.

She makes these great illustrated plans, some of which are even animated. She also has video tutorials on certain concepts she uses and provides handy tips and tricks that she’s picked up through trial and error.

And people are actually building furniture from her plans. Readers build pieces and write to her, and she displays them on her site in her “Bragging Board” posts. There are even some links to the blogs of women who have built from the plans in which they document their own experiences.

She has a ton of plans for Pottery Barn, since that’s her personal taste, but she’s also got some other, more modern stuff in there too. And, if you don’t see plans for something you would really like to build, you can actually request plans from her.

Did I mention this is all for free? Yep. Free. That’s my kind of price tag.

See, I have a disease that I like to call “thrift store syndrome.” This is characterized by an unrealistic expectation of price, due in part to years of shopping in second hand stores. I think a solid wood dresser should be around $150, tops, and a pair of jeans should be no more than $5. Kyla Brown says that things just don’t work like that…you can’t get nice things for cheap.

I think I’m going to be changing his mind.

Oh, and she swears that carpentry is what keeps her in shape. If that’s what carpentry can do to a post-pregnancy body, then get me a nail gun…stat.

So, ya’ll take a look at some of the images below. You can click the image or title to go directly to that post, or you can just go to her blog and spend the rest of the day there, fantasizing about not only owning these gorgeous pieces of furniture, but building them yourself.

Oh, and let me know if any of my real life friends want to go in on a table-saw. I’ve GOT to have that farmhouse table.

PLAN: Bailey Console Table, Knock-Off of Pottery Barn
Simple, solid, beautiful. I’ve often wondered how difficult it would be to build great furniture like this…and know, thanks to Ana, I’ve got a pretty good idea.
PLAN: Bailey Console Table, Knock-Off of Pottery Barn

PLANS: The Farmhouse Table from Salvaged Lumber { Restoration Hardware }
These are so adorable! OMG, my girls need these chairs. There is a plan for a coordinating table as well!
PLANS: The Farmhouse Table from Salvaged Lumber { Restoration Hardware }

PLANS: Kid’s Storage Chair, Finally! { Land of Nod }
These are so adorable! OMG, my girls need these chairs. There is a plan for a coordinating table as well!
PLANS: Kid's Storage Chair, Finally! { Land of Nod }

PLANS: Puzzle Bookcase { Crate and Barrel }
See? She also does modern. The Godmother, are you paying attention? Get ya Daddy these plans today!
PLANS: Puzzle Bookcase { Crate and Barrel }

PLAN: Cameron 3 Shelf Bookcase, Perfectly Simple { Pottery Barn Kids }
I think I really am going to try these. Look over the plans…it looks so easy. And I just can’t bring myself to pay hundreds of dollars for a bookcase.
PLAN: Cameron 3 Shelf Bookcase, Perfectly Simple { Pottery Barn Kids }

Plan: Kitchen Island like Williams Sonoma Home, Save Thousands
Best for last? Maybe. If I could build this, I would give up web design and become a full-time carpenter.
Plan: Kitchen Island like Williams Sonoma Home, Save Thousands

And here are a few more links…the “honorable mentions” of my favorite projects. I just couldn’t narrow it down.

Plan: Pottery Barn Kids Classic Stove

PLAN: Magnetic Chalkboard Tree Wall Art, Just Like Pottery Barn Kids

PLANS: Barnwood Frames – $1 and 10 minutes

Pottery Barn Kids Classic Kitchen, Retail Over $500

Plans: Craft Organizer Just Like Pottery Barn

Plans: The Simplest Nightstand, Retail $299, Build it for $30!

**I yoinked the images from Knock-Off Wood without permission (including images from Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, and Land of Nod that were on the site), so if the owner(s) see(s) this and want anything removed, just let me know. **