Today, I am sharing my tutorial for my Creating with the Stars Knockoff of the Worlds Away Anna Bar Cabinet. Are you ready for this MONSTER tutorial!?! I kid you not, this is a Tolstoy novel, but I didn’t want to leave out any details. This was a lot to squeeze into such a short time frame, and for real– I pulled 2 all-nighters to get it all done!! A lot of planning went into creating this. Originally, I wanted to find a premade cabinet and just build the base, but it was actually more cost-effective to build it from scratch and I could not find a suitable cabinet on such short notice in my area.
I just want to preface this by saying I am not a carpenter and I tried to keep it as simple as I could. I also kept in mind that a lot of DIYers may not have access to certain wood-working tools. You will have to have some basic knowledge of how to use a drill, a nail gun, a miter saw, and a jig saw. I would not consider this a beginner’s project. I pushed myself for Creating with the Stars and I’m glad I did it.
I also built this in two pieces–the cabinet and the base. This way it is easier to move, since it is quite heavy and a larger furniture item.
Make your cabinet cuts…actually… let the home improvement store do it.
The first thing I did was build the cabinet. I went to my local home improvement store and selected 2 pieces of 3/4″ 4×8 Birch Hardwood Plywood. This has a really smooth finish which is great for painting. This design is based on the 3/4″width of this plywood, so all measurements had to take that into account.
I designed some templates to get the best cuts from each piece of plywood so I would not have to buy extra or waste too much. I had the home improvement store use their large saw and make all my cuts for me. I LOVE THAT SAW!! The first two cuts are free and then they charge 29 cents per cut after that. This is a great alternative if you don’t have access to the proper saw at home.
The first piece of wood will make the cuts for your top, back, and 2 side pieces of the cabinet. You will want to save the extra wood because you will be using it later.
Your second piece of wood will be the cuts for your 2 doors, bottom, and transition piece between the cabinet and the base. Again, you are going to want to save your leftover pieces for later.
Keep in mind, that your 2 doors are cut to have a tiny space between them when hung so they do not touch.
Build your cabinet.
To build your cabinet you will need the following:
cabinet cuts from your plywood, wood for the frame: (2) 1″x1″x8′ (actually 1-3/8″x 1-5/8″) lumber, a nail gun and 1-3/4 in. x 15 gauge nails, a level, a drill and 1-1/2 in. wood screws, wood fill, a sander or sandpaper
**an extra set of hands to help position and hold pieces in place
You will cut your lumber into 8 pieces to use as the inner frame that you will attach your cabinet plywood pieces to. It is really great to have a buddy near by to help hold things in place as you use your nail gun. I kept a level handy too to make sure everything was aligned properly.
To start, I drew lines a 3/4 inch inside from the outer edges of the bottom piece. This was my guide as I attached my frame. Since the plywood cuts are 3/4 inch wide, this makes everything line up perfectly.
It is really important to make sure that top piece hangs over the front of the cabinet by 3/4″. You want your doors to be flush with the top.
I placed a nail using my nail gun about every 4 inches. I used my drill and 6 wood screws on the top, sides, and back to ensure solid construction.
Once constructed, I filled in nail holes with wood fill, sanded them down, and cleaned the surface.
Build the base. You will need:
(4) 1″ x 1″ x 8′ lumber (remember it is actually 1-3/8″ x 1-5/8″ x 8′)
1/2″ oak pressed board cut to 36″x 20-3/4″
3/4″ birch hardwood plywood cut to 15″x 21″ (from leftover wood from cabinet)
(12) 2″ 2-hole 90 degree corner brace
(8) 2″ 2-hole L-strap
(8) 3″ mending plates
(8) brass furniture glides
drill and wood screws
After you make your cuts for the base pieces, take your top piece and lay it on the ground. Basically, build it upside down. I found that working from the top down was best. I used corner braces on all interior corners. I hid the L-brackets on the back sides of joints that can not be seen from the front of the cabinet. I did this to keep things plumb and extra secure. I just used the wood screws that came with the packages and my cordless drill. The mending plates I placed under the joints on the bottom of the base for extra stability.
The brass furniture glides were an extra touch and I placed them under every vertical leg of the base.
Paint cabinet & add in fabric pop out panel to the back
I loved the emerald green of the original Anna Bar Cabinet, so I went with Benjamin Moore Very Green (2040-30) in Semi-Gloss. I purchased 1 quart of Benjamin Moore Fresh Start High-Hiding All Purpose Primer in Deep Base. My friendly Benjamin Moore paint expert also tinted the primer for me with Very Green. I did one coat of primer using a foam roller. Once dry, I applied two coats of Benjamin Moore Very Green. 1 quart is enough to cover everything twice and still have enough leftover for the doors and base piece. I used a foam roller application for the paint and had a paint brush handy for hard to reach areas. This is excellent paint, and my paint expert advised me to use Benjamin Moore Advance Paint for furniture. Hands down the best quality paint I have worked with.
While my paint was drying, I worked on the fabric panel for the inside of the cabinet. This was really simple and I customized it so it could come out easily and be changed. I had my home improvement store use that handy saw of theirs once again to cut a piece of smooth board (it’s brown and located with the baseboard and paneling) the size of the back of my cabinet 33″x 35″. When I got it home, I notched the corners with my jig saw so it would fit tightly against the back of the cabinet.
I found this animal print fabric at Hancock Fabrics. That is also where the awesome white hand came from that you all loved so much! It is an outdoor fabric and easy to clean. Using spray adhesive, I attached the fabric to the board and smoothed it out as I worked with a wallpaper smoothing tool. Worked like a charm! The excess I just taped on the back.
This is not permanent and if I ever wish to change it out it will be an easy fix. The shelving I added in holds it flush against the back, so there is no need to permanently attach it to.
So, cabinet meet your base…
Now onto doors…
The bamboo detail– I spared no expense…LOL. I had some old tiki torches in my garage that we weren’t going to use ever again, so I grabbed my hand saw and got to work cutting them.
First, I marked on my doors in pencil where I wanted the bamboo to be placed. Then, I made my cuts. I cut the corners at 45 degrees. I attached the bamboo with liquid nail. Once it was dry, I primed and painted the fronts of the doors.
Attach doors and finish painting. Attach hardware. Gold leaf the base.
You must have the proper hinge for this type of door. The hinge has to be attached to the inside and not noticeable on the outside. I think they are called hidden collapsible hinges.
Hanging doors…not easy! Let me repeat…hanging doors… NOT EASY! It helps to have another set of hands for this too. The directions that came with the hinges did help a lot though.
Once hung, I painted them and the shelf for the base.
The hardware is handmade, actually…Dave made…I loved the help with that!! I made a template out of grid paper that mimicked the shape and size of the hardware on the Worlds Away version. Dave took leftover birch from the cabinet cuts and used the jig saw and cut those by hand!! I was just going to cut pieces and glue them together, but he wanted to see if he could cut some out for me to save me the extra time…since I was playing beat the clock at this point! Once they were cut out, I spray painted them gold.
The base got the gold leaf treatment. I filled in screw holes with wood fill and sanded them down before hand. It took a couple of hours to gold leaf the entire base. I was really tired of gold leaf at this point. In retrospect, I could have just spray painted the base, but I wanted that gold leaf look.
Shelving is subjective, so I didn’t feel the need to do a tutorial for this. You can customize it to your own needs. I used the left over birch from the cabinet build and made my own.
So, that’s my high-end knockoff. The Worlds Away Anna Bar Cabinet is in a league of its own. It is extremely well made with gorgeous finishes and details. My homemade version, recreates the look of this upscale piece using materials you can get at your nearest home improvement store.
My costs include all the lumber, all the hardware, fabric, and paint.
I still can’t believe I got it done in time. I basically had 4 days to have it finished, styled, photographed and submitted to CWTS. You can see the amount of work and time I poured into every detail. I had to fit in time to source items to style it with since I couldn’t use anything identifiable to my home. I also painted those black and white abstracts quickly to add some art to the wall…oh and I painted the walls white too. It’s an insane amount of work to cram into such a short period of time! I am so glad I pushed myself and got it done. Now I have a lovely cabinet in my office.
A special thanks to my CWTS Blog Star Kristin from The Hunted Interior & CWTS hosts Monica and Jess from East Coast Creative.
If you would like to see more projects to get inspired, check out my PROJECT GALLERY.