Thursday, November 24, 2011

School Bus Bookshelf

original photo from Pottery Barn Kids catalog

Back in September my daughter saw the picture above in a Pottery Barn Kids catalog and asked me if I could make one for her.  With her birthday around the corner, what could I say?  The original was $79.00 and looked to be made from MDF.  I figured I could do better for much less.  I used the basic dimensions from the description and extrapolated the other dimensions from the picture.

I used 3/8" birch plywood (1/2" just looked too thick).  Unfortunately the home improvement stores only carry 1/2" so I had to overpay for the plywood at Michael's Arts & Crafts.  For the wheels, I used a length of 3" diameter wooden rod.  I used whatever spray primer I had in the garage and I picked up a can of Krylon yellow spray paint.

almost ready for paint

After cutting out the parts, I could see this thing was going to be much larger than it looked from the catalog photo.  I should have known from the dimensions, but it didn't hit home until I saw the pieces cut out.  Construction was fairly easy.  To make the wheel wells, I used a 4" hole cutter and cut out 2 circles.  Then I used a 3" hole cutter to cut out the center of the circles to make 2 rings.  Cut the two rings in half and you have 4 wheel wells.

Some glue, lots of sanding, some paint and it's done.  It took me a few evenings of work and cost about $30.  (It would have cost much less if I had sourced cheaper plywood, but I didn't have much time.)  And best of all, my daughter loved it.  Not too bad if I do say so myself.

The homemade version


  1. way better than pottery are amazing!

  2. Hello. I LoVE it! Wild you make one more for sale?

    1. Sorry, but I have a long list of projects that I have to build once before I build anything a second time.