Introduction: Instructables Robot Picture Shelf

Make Robot useful instead of just hanging around. Make this handy knicknack shelf with a picture of the Instructables Robot.

Put it by the entryway to drop off the keys or use it as a charging stand for your electronic devices. Great choice for an easy first woodworking project or simple craft project to create something functional and fun.

Caution: Large power tools are not used but handsaws and scissors are sharp. Be careful using any cordless drill/driver.

By the way, Happy 10th anniversary for Instructables! Coincidentally, this is my 210th ible and have lost count of how many ibles' ibles and Robot themed ibles I have done.

Step 1: Basic Materials...

All of the materials I used was spares or cutoffs from previous projects.

I have a lot of these MDF wainscoting panels left over. I glued two scraps together to form a piece big enough to cut out to the size of a regular sheet of letter paper. They make a great base for a lot of things when you don't have sheet plywood to use.

You can use 1x lumber glued up like a cutting board or thick plywood for this project.

I had some 1/2 inch square stock that I will be using for the banding to thicken up the edges of the picture panel and shelf.

Print out a picture of Instructables Robot. Set your print options to make it fit a full sized page. You can scale this up to make a bigger shelf if needed.

Download picture here:

You will need some paint. I used acrylic paint for easy tool cleanup and Mod-Podge for a clear final coat.


Saw to cut the wood.

Sandpaper or sander to finish the glued up joints.

Some small wood screws.

Cordless drill and driver if you have one to fasten the shelf.

Step 2: Frame It In...

Since we are using a thin sheet material for the picture panel we want to add some depth to it for strength and looks. The wainscoting panels are flat on the back. Have the ribbed side on the inside.

Cut a piece of your panel to be the same size as the letter paper.

Cut a shelf panel to fit the width of the printed Robot's bottom where the rivet marks are. You can make the shelf panel as deep as you want but the front will be curved. Use a jigsaw/scrollsaw or coping saw for the curved cut. You can also rough it with any straight blade with multiple cuts approaching the curve.

Place your strip of wood on the panel up to the edge of one side. Just start marking off your banding material to form an edge on your picture panel as you go around.

Cut to size and glue together the banding that forms the perimeter. It is relatively small so no need to worry about how you butt or miter the joints and what order the pieces are glued on.

Try to glue the banding strips flush with the edges of your panel so there is less sanding later to smooth out the joint. Clamp if necessary and let glue dry completely.

Do the same for the small shelf but you may need to do some more complex cuts to fit or cover the curve. The excess will be trimmed and sanded smooth later.

When the glue has dried, sand the outside of the picture panel and the shelf smooth. You can use a plane or utility knife or saw to nibble away at the wood left outside of the curve or edge to make sanding less of a chore.

Step 3: Paint and Posterize...

Mix up a batch of Robot orange - or yellow depending on what you see.

Paint the picture panel and the shelf.

Yeah, I should have primed it first but two coats of paint worked out well.

Allow the paint to dry completely.

I used a permanent marker to draw the black outline and rivet marks on the shelf. It's ok, you don't have to make perfect lines and dots, Robot is a bit wonky.

Trim the printed picture of Instructables Robot on the edges a bit. This will make a picture frame like border when we glue it on to the picture panel.

I had some spray adhesive.

You could just spread glue all over but the misting of the spray glue seems to help prevent that paper curling when it absorbs the liquid from glue.

Position the Robot picture on the panel and gently massage out any bubbles and bumps to flatten it out.

Let the glue dry completely.

Step 4: Robot Gets Screwed in the End...

The shelf will be protruding from the flat picture so we want to provide additional support with screws.

Position the shelf on the picture.

Use a framing square or something that has a right angle to make sure the shelf is level in the picture frame.

Gently lay it down so you can mark three pilot holes for screws coming in from back of the panel.

Drill three small holes with a bit that is about the diameter of the wood screws you will be using. I picked a length from my screw assortment that would not protrude when driven through the thickness of the panel and the shelf edge banding.

You can add some glue to the shelf and put it in position.

Drive the screws in from the back to secure the shelf.

Run a fillet or smooth bead of glue around where the shelf meets the picture to finish it up.

Add on any picture mounting hardware if needed.

Give it a clear coat overall to increase durability. I used Mod-Podge.

Put it up on a wall or just have it lean back on the desk with its feet propped up all this guy, wait....


Shelving Contest

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Shelving Contest