Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Do It YourSelf

Compromising on Pooja Mandir is pretty Frustrating so, I decided to make one and now I am glad I did it. It is Pretty Straight forward and Simple with a little bit of Homework.Well, I took help and dragged Mahesh to get some help and he ended up doing most of it.:). 

So, I started of with little bit of homework and looked around for designs and I drew one. we ended up changing the measurements after we reached Home Depot. So, here is the final design with Measurements. 

Once, we have it we went to a nearby home depot and took some help of the sales associate (Brian) who was way more helpful than we expected. I posted some pictures of the parts and accessories that we used through out the blog.  

We picked 2 planks and 4 legs first and provided the measurements to Brian who cut the wood accordingly. Here are the measurements:
The Stair Legs are 28 Inches and they were cut into 23.5 and 4.5 (were used as the legs at the bottom).
One Plank was cut into 2 pieces each 24X20 (LXB)the other as 20X23.5 (LXH).
Decorative molding was cut into 4 pieces 26.5, 23,21,19 accordingly. 

Step 1: Drill 4 holes on Plank 1 (Bottom Plank ). Use Sandpaper 1 and Sand Paper 2 to smoothen the surface of the wooden surface. It took approximately around 30 min to smoothen each of them. 

Step 2: Drill holes to the 4 bottom legs and  use glue to stuck the wooden nails to it and after an hour stick 4 Bottom wooden Legs to the plank. Leave it for an hour.
Step 3:  In the meanwhile Stick the Decorative Molding using the Glue and let it untouched for an hour.
Step 4:  Drill 4 holes to the Wooden plan on the top plank  and Insert the TNuts to the Plank (You will need a Hammer for this. We also drilled some holes inside of the top plank so that we can screw in cup hooks and hang the bells. 

Step 5:  Once it is fixed screw in the legs (the stair legs comes with a screw).
Step 6: stick the stair legs to the lower part of the Mandir. Leave it for 2 hours. In the meanwhile you can stick the decorative molding and this is how it is going to look. Yes, it is going to be very messy because we are dealing with wood. We used a plastic sheet to save the carpet. 

Step 7: Once the whole structure is strong enough we can screw in the back plank. 

Step 8: Use the cloth to clean the wood before staining. We started staining it after testing the structure.  3 times using the mini wax poly shade giving 6 hours each time for it to dry. Used a smaller brush to stain the curves that we missed..( If you have pets keep them away from the structure. I have a cute parakeet which stayed away in the bedroom all along.)

Step 9: Once it is done I decorated it with bells I bought at Micheals and painted using color from Micheals. 
Here is the end result. 

Picture reference:


  1. Hi Lavanya,

    i really appreciate u. It is very good. How much u are spending on pooja mandhir.

  2. Hello,
    Thank you. It costed me $116.00.

  3. It's really awesome. I'm glad to know the other side of you!!!

  4. Very detailed explaination given, all i need to do is just copy it and implement it ;).

  5. Do post the pictures once you are done. Would be excited to see.

  6. hi
    my name is madhu
    liked ur mandap
    i was searching similar kind to make at home
    just few questions i didnt get how u fied 4 stair legs to both planks and why we need wooden nails for bottom legs can u please explain in detail

  7. hi
    waiting for ur replydo u have to have power screw drive rfor nailing

    and how u drilled holes to plank
    for the top plant after u put t nut how u fix the legs from down side

    can u just explain in more details


  8. Hello,
    We drilled the plank and the legs and used the wooden nails and used some wooden glue to stick them.

  9. hi
    one samll request
    should t nut screw size ans screw size of leg should be same how u find out can u guide me
    and lower part of long legs did u only stick or nailed too

  10. Check for the drill bit size approximately and the wooden nail too. that's wat we did..we just assumed the sizes and did it and it worked. We sticked the wooden nail to the upper leg, plank and lower leg using glue

  11. thanks
    for ur response
    it means u sticked wooden nail to lower part of main leg too before sticking to the lower plank
    and my qustion before was about the tnuts which used for upper plank
    and the stair legs screw which u have to insert in the t nut ar their measuerement ssame or just roughly u bought

    thanks in advance

  12. hello
    just last time am asking
    just clear my doubt
    did u drilles lower part of long legs to insert wooden nails too just clarify this


  13. How much does it cost you to complete?

  14. Hi,

    I was looking for ideas to build a diy pooja mandir and chanced upon your blog. I really like the design. Can you please clarify how are the mouldings stuck to the top plank? Are they stacked on top of each other? Can you please post a side view pic?


  15. Heylo.. yes, we stacked them on each other and I will upload a pic when possible.Happy DIY

  16. First of all Thanks to Laya and Mahesh.

    My first project was little bit deviated with following reasons.
    1. Thinner plywood sheets and long wood legs makes pooja mandir unstable and it is shaky.
    2. True wood stainer color never give end result no matter how many times you apply paint/stain.

    Hurray!! my second project is too good and very sturdy as I have corrected all my mistakes.

    Lessons learnt:
    Never use thinner sheets, use atleast 1 inch think plywood and choose heavy traditional wood legs.
    Choose dark color wood stainers like colonial maple, Red oak, English chestnut or some thing. Never choose Natural :)
    Never give up and never deviate from original working recipe :)

    KUDOS to Laya and Mahesh for doing such project on single shot and sharing each and every deatils in blog.