In our kitchen we had an overflowing pile of cookbooks and a tiny nook that was just right for a shelf. I got this large pine board for cheap at MacBeath Hardwoods in Berkeley and set about turning it into a shelf.
Here's how I grade my work in the end:
As a learning experience: A
As a couple's bonding experience putting together the shelf: A+
As a final shelf: B+ (we'll get to that later)
As they say in the world of Instructables written in part to get a free class at Techshop, "I made it at Techshop!"