Hi everyone, I’m really excited to share details on my latest creation: another TIE Fighter shelf. My original TIE Fighter shelf tutorial is one of my most popular projects and it is also a personal favorite. This updated version sports the paint job from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. It’s slightly smaller than my first version and instead of storing books, this one will store acrylic craft paints. Continue reading for project details!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Tools and Supplies
The following items are some of the tools and supplies I gathered to build the TIE Fighter shelf.
- 1×12 – 24″
- 1×6 – 48″
- 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
- Wood glue
- Gray spray paint + primer
- Black spray paint + primer
- Gloss sealer
- Painters tape
- Contact paper or removable vinyl paper
How to build a TIE Fighter Shelf
Step 1: Cut the boards to length
- Cut the 1×6 board into two 20″ long pieces
- Cut the 1×12 into two 11 1/4″ pieces.
Step 2: Cut out a hexagon shape for the TIE Fighter wings
- Orient the 1×12 squares such that the grain is running up and down.
- Mark the midpoint on the left and right side.
- Mark 2″ from each corner.
- Draw a line connecting the midpoint to the 2″ marks.
- Cut along the lines with a jigsaw or circular saw.
You should have a hexagon shape. Refer to the image below.
Step 3: Drill pocket holes
I like using pocket hole joints. They are quick and easy to make.
- Drill 2 pocket holes on the ends of each 1×6 board.
- Drill 3 pocket holes on the side of one 1×6 board.
Step 4: Sand
Prep the surface of the boards for painting. Sand, sand and sand. I used paint with primer. If you are not using a paint that contains primer take a moment and prime the surface.
Step 5: Apply the base coat of paint
- Paint one face of each 1×6 board with gray paint
- Paint 1×12 boards black on all sides
Allow the paint to dry completely before continuing on to the next step.
Step 6: Paint the TIE Fighter wings
- With 1″ painter’s tape, tape off each side of the hexagon
- Tape off the diagonals
- Apply a piece of tape from the left side to the right side
- Paint the exposed area with gray paint
Repeat this 3 more times for each face on the hexagons.
Step 7: Paint the TIE Fighter cockpit
Painting the TIE Fighter cockpit is the most difficult (and possibly most frustrating) step in the whole project. I used a mixture of contact paper and tape to create a stencil for spray painting the cockpit. You may find it easier to hand paint the cockpit.
Here are the dimensions for the cockpit:
- The circle has a radius of 4 1/2″
- Each side of the octagon is 2″
- The line thickness is 1/2″
I cut out a semicircle and half an octagon from contact paper. Once that was in place, I taped a line from each point on the octagon to the semicircle. Refer to the picture below for details.
I did not have 1/2″ painters tape so I just cut my existing tape in half.
If you are painting the shelf before joining the boards, keep in mind the location of your pocket holes and remember one of the boards will be partially covered by the other.
Paint the entire board with black.
Step 8: Assemble the shelf
To assemble the shelf:
- Join the 2 – 1×6 boards together
- Join the shelf to one wing
- Join the shelf to the other wing
I used a scrap 1×4 board to help attach the shelf to the wings:
- Lay a TIE Fighter wing face down on a flat surface
- Align the 1×4 board to the bottom edge of the TIE Fighter wing
- Place the shelf on top of the wing. The bottom corner should touch the 1×4 board.
- Select an angle you like for shelf and pick some visual reference. (I aligned the shelf edge with one of the corners on a gray triangle.)
- Attach the shelf to the wing with pocket hole screws
- Align the 1×4 board to the bottom edge of the other wing
- Place the shelf on top of that wing such that the bottom corner is touching the 1×4 board
- Align shelf with the matching visual reference you selected on the other wing
- Attach the shelf to final wing with pocket hole screws
Step 9: Seal the shelf
Seal the shelf with a few coats of your favorite sealer and you’re done.