The Handbuilt Home Book Review & Giveaway

I never thought at age 27 I’d be kicking myself for not taking woodworking in 4-H (I heard most kids’ parents did their projects for them anyway and my parents aren’t woodworkers).  I also never knew that I should have asked potential suitors if they liked to build things.  Because I married a man who can play a mean guitar and fix a car like it’s nobody’s business, but (and I’m quoting him verbatim here) “hates working with wood”.  You win some, you lose some.  So I guess this means that I we need to up our woodworking game.

Which is why I’m thankful for Ana White’s new book The Handbuilt Home.  Ana has a great website with a plethora of free furniture plans.  But I was excited when I heard that she was coming out with a book because I could get a bunch of useful information in one place (sometimes I get distracted on websites).  I was even more excited when I was asked to review The Handbuilt Home.


The book is split into ten chapters.  The first couple chapters cover tools & equipment, materials, prep, cutting, building, and finishing.  And the rest of the book is broken down to areas of your home (entryway, family room, kitchen & bath, dining room, office & craft room, bedroom, children’s room, and outdoor furnishings).  There’s step-by-step instructions, building illustrations, a shopping list, tools, and a cutting list with each of the 34 projects featured in the book.  Each project also includes 3 icons which represent skill level, cost, and time necessary for completion.  Very handy.  The building illustrations are detailed and include the measurements.  Lastly, the book is pretty.   I bet you didn’t think that a woodworking book would be pretty, but it is.  The layout is bright and neatly arranged.  And the illustrations are detailed and the photos are beautiful.

The book left me feeling that I could take on woodworking and build something all by myself, with or without my “I hate working with wood” husband.  I’ve already chosen a project from the book that I’d like to tackle.  Don’t worry– you guys will be the first to know about it.

Now here’s your chance to take on woodworking because I’m giving away a copy of The Handbuilt Home.  You must use the widget below to enter the giveaway.  If you are reading this in your email, you’ll need to click through to the blog to enter.  Giveaway ends 11/14/12 at 12:01AM (EST).  Giveaway open to those in the US.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What would you like to build in your home?
Did you take woodworking in 4-H?
Did your parent build the majority of your custom built porch swing for you?
Does your husband “hate working with wood”?


  1. Brenda says

    My dad is a carpenter, so he gets roped into a lot of my “projects”, but I didn’t pick up that gene from him. Bummer.

  2. Carly says

    I did want to build a rustic coffee table, but then I scored one of Craigslist for $100 (retails for almost $400), so now I need a new project. My husband mentioned framing out his dart board to protect the wall behind it. Sounds weird, but I’ll go with it!

  3. Erin Lysher says

    I recently discovered Ana’s website and I love it! My husband is actually really good with wood and I’m trying to convince him to build me a rustic kitchen table.

  4. says

    There are so many things I’d love to build for my house! An entry area in my breezeway…to hang coats and store shoes and winter stuff (hats, gloves, scarves…). I’d also love to build some shelving for my basement and for my craft area…so many ideas!

  5. says

    I’ve always wanted real built-in bookshelves – which are totally uncommon in Germany – but I married a man similar to yours who does not think woodworking is his strongest suit! 😉 So I guess we girls need to step up!

  6. says

    I keep joking that I wish I had paid more attention in Home Ec and my tech classes back in the day. Why does wood working suddenly seem like so much more fun?

  7. Deanna says

    Oh my gosh, what isn’t on my list to build? lol Thanks to my amazing husband and Ana’s website, we’ve already built a few things!! My fave project we’ve done so far is the princess castle loft bed that I found on her site and had the hubby build for our little princess! Every time I look at her site, a few more projects get added to the wish list!! I would love love to win a copy of her book! Thank you!

  8. Megan W. says

    I would love to make a shallow display case for all of my son’s Lego Designs. He is now 15 yrs old and has refused, for years, to take apart some of his favorite designs from years ago. They are a pain to dust and live around. I thought it would be cool to display in the basement on a wall that is in the hallway down there. I would love it to be shallow and have some type of plexi glass insert on a glide to keep the dust away.

  9. Miranda says

    I have this book on my list for Christmas, would be nice to win it instead though. I have my eye on dresser plans. I also asked for some air tools to which my “I hate wood working” husband said “Really? You’re crazy woman.” The plans are so easy it really inspires me that I can do it.

  10. says

    My dad is a carpenter, so I’ve been very lucky. He built a beautiful entry table for me last year, and he recently built a shaker-style bedside table for me, too.

    I love Ana White’s X Console Table; I hope to build that with my dad soon!


  11. Karen says

    I totally would love to be more handy around the house. As it stands I live at home with my parents, with my 8 year old son and My mom is always saving me with the handy man stuff she knows. I would love to one day be just as good as she is! A little help, like this book would be awesome!

  12. Noel M says

    I would love this book! I’m in your same boat. I would love to learn to wood work, but hubby has no interest.

    I am desperate to build a coffee table for my family room. :)

  13. Sally says

    Lol. I’m the more home-improvement savvyy one in our marriage, since I grew up helping my dad, uncles. and granparents with all sorts of home-improvement projects. My husband can put together Ikea furniture pretty well though! I’d love to make a coffee table or entryway table.

  14. Marianne in Mo. says

    We need to build a toddler bed for the two littlest grandkids and a bedframe for the guest room. Hubs actually downloaded Dana’s pdf last night! Love her and the detailed info she gives! Would love this book to add to our reference library!

  15. Stephanie B. says

    I’m in the market for building a new dining room table and/or a new console table for my TV. This would be perfect!

  16. lisa thomas says

    My other half is responsible for fixing all the electronics. I am responsible for fixing the house and and everything else. It’s safer this way. Lol!

  17. Melanie says

    I would LOVE to build some built-in-shelves to cover an entire wall in our basement family room. My husband and I just bought our first house, and I feel like this book would be an awesome reference to have at home. We actually just built some shelves from an Ana White tutorial to put at the end of our hallway for a gallery wall!

  18. says

    Thanks for the giveaway. I desperately want to build a table for our entryway but am so indecisive and intimidated! I’m sure Ana White will help!

  19. Leanne Haken says

    I found Ana’s website months ago and wanted to build everything on her website from a new bed to a new dining room table!

  20. says

    I’m a young 20-something still crashing with my parents… so I’d probably make something for my room. I have a desk I never really use since I don’t like it’s size, so I think if I built anything it would probably be a desk!

  21. Barbara G. says

    Love your blog and would love to make my own furniture. I was really hoping to do something special for my girls rooms.

  22. Andrea Anderson says

    I would love to build a pantry for our house. My dad is pretty handy, so I think he’ll build it for me and my husband will help.

  23. Suzanna says

    I’d love to win this book. I’ve never taken any kind of woodworking class, but I am anxious to learn! The projects are endless!

  24. jessica says

    Aww! I love Ana’s blog. She has a diy on that I’ve been dying to try: Adding a chunky wood frame to a crappy Walmart, full-length mirror. Once I get a mitre saw, I’ll be tackling this one! xoxojess

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