Furniture Building – Leveling-Up from My Mistakes

Taking on a furniture project can be a daunting task. At least, I found it daunting because I was so afraid of making mistakes.

When I had a few years of furniture building under my belt, I ventured out and built a project of my own “design.” I put design in quotes because I still borrowed elements from someone else’s furniture plan. This project was our kitchen island.

1656357_320037201527263_4422601645066050301_nFor the kitchen island, I stripped and refinished the top of our old kitchen table. I then used the techniques I learned from building Ana White’s 20 Sec Tidy Up Coffee Table to build the front and sides of the island. (I am a big fan of Ana White’s projects, check out her website at

Boy, did I make some mistakes on this project. The biggest mistake…. I used the wrong pocket hole screws (I used fine instead of course). A few months later, the panels started to separate. Sadly, I could not blame the panel separation on the normal expansion and contraction that happens to wood when the humidity changes. I eventually switched out all the fine screws with course screws and added additional supports to keep the panels together. Even with these improvements, the project doesn’t look quite as nice as it does in this picture. While the kitchen island is sturdy and still adorns our kitchen, I will probably take this guy apart someday and redo the front, sides and shelves.

Years later, I still make lots of mistakes on my projects. This summer, I built an armoire for a friend that proved to be the bane of my existance. However, with each mistake, I leveled-up my carpentry stills and knowledge. Mistakes are simply part of the learning and growing process! By the way, the armoire turned out beautiful and is one of my favorite pieces!


If you are curious and want to give furniture building and wood crafts a try, find an easy project and and go for it! Just accept the fact that mistakes WILL happen. Remember, it’s only wood. Just learn from those mistakes and level-up your skills.

My projects DIY Craft – 4×4 Snowmen and Plans – Crate Style Pumpkin are excellent beginner projects and only require basic tools.

Comment below and let me know what you are going to build today!





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