I started doing small woodwork projects as a child, during woodwork projects at my primary school Escuela Anexa, and grew up watching my brother and my father’s varied projects (i’ll include some photos of those below). During the COVID-19 pandemic, I took upon a few woodwork projects, some of which I am very proud of! Below are descriptions of our first built in boockcase and bench storage living room we made during July 2022 for our new home, and some wooden toys I have been making for the Alexander and Nikolay.

Built in Bookcase

We begun the project trying to plan our ideal “Ikea Hack”, and soon realized we needed something much more sturdy and resilient for our 3 meter high ceilings, so we ended up with a mixture of solid frames and Ikea objects. We made the built-in bookcase together with my husband James Unwin and it took us about 60 hours, and we are so happy with the final product!

It all started when we bought our family home in June 2022, and had a large room on the second floor which we hope will be our daily play area next to a large office space and a nugget room.

After some drafting we decided to buy the following Billy bookcases and Kallax cubes from Ikea to complement pine wooden frames we would make.

Here is a list of what we bought.

After building all pre-made parts and choosing separations and positioning, we had to take all the moulding out of the walls and build a robust frame to hold our 3 meter high bookcase and benches. We had no tools apart from my old electric screwdriver, so we got a nice starting set (we’re only 10 minute walk from Lincoln Park’s home depot and a couple of other great hardware stores!).

The frame allowed us to add a lot of weight both on the Kallax as well as on the Billy bookcases, and was attached along many points to the studs inside the wall.

The final details are what made the builtin look amazing when finished, so we learned how to use acrylic caulk and wood-fillers of different kinds to make surfaces smooth and any gaps disappear.

Wooden Toys

I have started making wooden toys with some mathematical inspiration (to teach about series, sums, products, squares). I’ll be uploading photos of any successful toy in the future - likely once we are back in Chicago after our year away.