Introduction: Airplane Shelves for Kids

Picture of Airplane Shelves for Kids

I decided to build airplane shelves for my 3 year old son. The project is very basic and can be easily done in half a day. It may take more time if the paint dries longer.

The shelves are very sturdy and you can stack quite a lot of books/toys/things on top. It has a rotating propeller, which is kind of fun.

My kid was more than happy to help. Most of the time he kept stealing the tools, though :D

I only used things that were leftovers from my house building process, mainly:

MATERIALS USED:

1. 60 cm x 200 cm of oriented strand board (OSB) - plywood or a plain plank should work well too.
2. A couple of broken wheels from a commode (typical furniture wheels)
3. A thin plank for propeller, under wings and cabin walls.
4. Paint.
5. Hangers/hooks for wall fixture.

TOOLS USED:

1. Drill
2. Fretsaw/handsaw
3. Pencil
4. Paintbrush and paint tape
5. Screwdriver
6. Measuring tape and a level.
7. Workbench (or a stool at least...)

STEPS:

1. Cut the appropriately sized wings.
2. Cut the underwings.
3. Cut the propeller, the engine and the cabin
4. Grind surfaces and any and all sharp corners ( important ! ).
5. Use some screws to tighten the whole thing (more on steps)
6. Use the paint-tape to secure the needed surfaces and paint the airplane. Let it dry. Add some markings if you wish.
7. Use a level and some hangers/hooks to fix it on the wall.

Step 1: Airplane Shelves - Tools I Used and Cutting the Wings

Picture of Airplane Shelves - Tools I Used and Cutting the Wings

First step

First you need to cut the desired sized wings.

After some experiments I found out it is best if the lower wing is a bit smaller than the upper one.

The upper wing will act as a main shelve, so it has to be sturdy and able to hold lots of various stuff. I chose to make it quite big.

My measurements were: Top wing: 1,30 meters x 0,3 meters, lower wing: 1 meter x 0,25 meters, height between wings - 0,25 meters.

Had some leftover OSB for the wings. A sheet of plywood or a broader plank should work OK too.

Step one, cut a simple rectangle. You can round/shape the corners later if you like. This will require some kind of saw.

Cut another one till you have 2 needed wings.

Step 2: Airplane Shelves - Cutting Wing Holders

Picture of Airplane Shelves - Cutting Wing Holders

Second step

You will also need to cut wing holders. A had a thin pole left, so it worked like charm.

All 4 holders are equal in length. I divided a 1 meter stick into 4 x 0,25 meter ones.

Sorry about the picture quality, my LG Cookie phone made it bit blury and unclear. This is a photo from assembly page, but you can see holders fixed to the lower wing.

Step 3: Airplane Shelves - Propeller, Engine and the Cabin

Picture of Airplane Shelves - Propeller, Engine and the Cabin

Step three

An airplane without a propeller is no plane, but a flying cow :D

Well, not really, but a rotating propeller is quite a fun addition for the little ones.

Step 3.1. An engine. I took a bit of plank, then put an up sided cup on top and drew a circle. Fast and easy way to draw a circle... Drilled holes along the perimeter and a central hole for the propeller holder.

Step 3.2. Propeller. I just drew it, used the fretsaw to cut it and then used a knife to make the rims thiner.

Step 3.3. For the cabin - two short equally sized planks.

Step 4: Airplane Shelves - Grinding It All

Step four - grinding

Once again, this is important. When cut, OSB splinters, so grinding is a must.

I used an electrical grinder and did every single piece of wood rounding the corners, smoothing the wood and so on.

Step 5: Airplane Shelves - Assembly

Picture of Airplane Shelves - Assembly

Now it is time to assemble the airplane.

You might want to paint it first.

Using simple wood screws (drilling from below) I fixed the wing holders to the lower wing, cabin walls to the lower wing. Engine to the sides of cabin walls, then a propeller to the engine.

Make sure you drill a bit larger hole through a propeller compared to the screw. It has to rotate after all!

Use a level to check if the wing holder angles are correct. Fix the upper wing using the screws.

You may also want to fix some wheels below the lower wing. I used two broken wheels from a commode. Visually they look fine and turn too.

Step 6: Airplane Shelves - Painting

Picture of Airplane Shelves - Painting

Step six

Grab a paintbrush and some colors. I used what I had after making sure the paint are not toxic and OK for interior/kids rooms use.

Used some paper under the airplane to prevent paint leaking and stains.

Two layers of paint, as one was not enough. You may want to choose a fast drying paint. Mine was a pain with a 24 hours drying period.

Add some airplane markings to make it more unique. I added 2 "LT"s (marking for Lithuania, my home country) and a Cross of Vytis - one of the main symbols for my country.

One could also write a name of the airplane on the sides of the cabin.

Step 7: Airplane Shelves - Fixing the Shelves on the Wall

Step seven - fix it on the wall

Once your plane is done and ready, you'll have to fix it on the wall.

I used hangers/hooks (each can hold up to 24 kgs of weight), so it should be more than enough. The whole structure can become quite heavy (airplane - around 10 kgs, +books +toys +all the boy stuff)

A level was really helpful at this point to make it even.

Step 8: Airplane Shelves - Let It Fly!

Picture of Airplane Shelves - Let It Fly!

Final

This small DIY project is done, painted and fixed. And the best buddy - the Piglet - is ready to be the test pilot.

And the propeller rotates too!

Some thoughts: this is a small and relatively easy half/full day DIY project. Imho - perfect weekend build. It does not require any sophisticated tools or high DIY skills.

I built it from leftovers, so it did not cost much too.

Any and all comments/ideas/remarks are welcome :)

Comments

nate15 (author)2015-09-25

who is a teenage girl

amandamany (author)2011-09-16

I think I'm doing one of those in my room, I'm 22!

ibcallus (author)2010-03-17

Wonderful model very good

brian

ringvald (author)2009-09-17

I really like this one! Will definitely make one with my son. I am a big fan of spending time with the children, making stuff, rather than me working overtime and buying something ready made.. Well done! :)

berserk (author)2009-09-12

Very neat idea, I have always found the red baron's plane very snazzy, and that'd add another shelf!

somc (author)2009-08-11

cool

mg0930mg (author)2009-07-27

I'm moving, and I might be making this for my new room. :)

ChrysN (author)2009-07-27

They look great, It's neat that your son can help with your project.

Andsetinn (author)2009-07-27

Very nice. Simple, looks good and can be modified easily for different looks.

The Rocketizer (author)2009-07-27

Wow, good work. It looks great

skiedra (author)The Rocketizer2009-07-27

Thanks for the first comment, Rocketizer :)

About This Instructable

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Bio: A simple geek with handful ideas and not enough time to make them all happen. So, I'm battling one idea at a time :)
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