Introduction: Mermaid Bookshelf With LED Night Light

About: Husband, Father, Woodworker,

While my wife and I patiently await the arrival of our second child we are setting up her nursery.

We are going with the mermaid theme and what better than build your little girl a keep sake piece of furniture.

I hope everyone follows along and enjoys this build as much as we did creating it!


Step 1: Drafting

We had an over all Idea of what we wanted it to look like but the dimensions and layout was all free handed.

Using 3/4 inch Baltic birch.

36 inch wide at its widest point both body and tail.

6.5 foot tall over all to tips of tail.

these are just basic guild lines we used but feel free to build the shelf you need to fit the room or area you are working in.

Step 2: Using a Jig Saw Trace the Lines

I used a jig saw and traced the outsides of all the lines. This way if i have an issue i can just sand back to the lines rather than messing up the actual piece.

I know looks a little like a whale here but hang tight!

Step 3: Setting Up and Building the Shelves

Using 1x select pine I laid out the shelves where I wanted them to sit on the backing.

as the shelf backing curves in and out none of the shelves would be the same width. For this I went with a 3 inch in on both sides to get my measurement.

After cutting the shelves to width. I then used a corner radius jig for a perfect look and feel Remember no sharp corners for a nursery.

to found out how far part I wanted my shelves to sit I picked out the tallest book we had in the house and used that for reference. You again may have different needs here please plan accordingly.

Step 4: Just a Quick Overview

Here is just a quick overview of the shelves laid out.
this is the point I started brain storming shelf supports. I didn't want to take a normal approach so head over to the next step and see what I came up with.

Step 5: Shelf Support

My idea was to have a shelf support on the top to act as both a support and book end.

Using my CNC I created a file the fit my exact needs and i couldn't be happier with this nice little feature. that will be totally custom to this piece

Step 6: Sanding and Staining

Planning ahead my wife wanted to go with a distress look.

First you want to stain everything in a dark stain.

Step 7: Painting

After the stain dried we moved on to the paint. My wife took over here (she is a better painter)

And so pretty I almost hate to sand on it next!

Step 8: Distressing

After the paint dried it was time to distress the piece. This of it as a ship wreck that has been in the ocean for a while!

Taking a Ransom orbital sander be sure to move in random ways the part is to not make it look hand made!

Step 9: Now Its LED Time

Using LED strips and a hot glue gun we we start adding the strip as close to the edging to try and provide the best light output we can.

Amazon Daylight LED strip. 16 foot

Basic 1 amp 12 volt power adapter.

Step 10: Glamour Shots

This was a very special project for me. I enjoyed the time with my wife and creating this together for our little girl.

Pack with small features that the over all project is sure to catch your eye!

If you have any questions about this project do not hesitate to ask. I will do my best to answer all of them in a timely matter.

If this project interests you and would like to see more follow me on Instagram @handcrafted_by_trey

LED Strip Speed Challenge

Participated in the
LED Strip Speed Challenge