DIY Project: Closet shelves

I recently moved into a new apartment that has about half the shelf-space of my last place, and needed shelves in the closet.  At IKEA I spotted some cheap unfinished nightstands, and, remembering that I still had a lot of tinted wood stain left over from another DIY furniture project, snapped them up.

Most of my current stuff is solid colors.  I’ve got some nice colorful pieces, but I wanted an actual pattern, not just color-blocking.  But I’m not that experienced with wood, so I looked around for an easy way to make patterns and thought of masking tape.  The first layer went down before staining, and then I stained, did a second layer of stripes, and stained again.  Somewhat mixed results: the stain leached under the tape, which both made that difficult to peel off and resulted in feathered edges instead of the clean stripes I was hoping for.  But after staring at it for a while, I think I like the imperfect borders.  They make the plaid pattern more casual and fun.