Alaskan Mom Builds Lovely Tiny House and Is Offering the Plans for Free

Ana White wants to inspire others to start building things.

Tiny home builder Ana White shown inside a warm and inviting tiny home

Ana White

Building your own home or even your own furniture can be daunting, especially if you have little experience with power tools, and no foggy idea about selecting materials and how to put them together. So, free plans—and a bit of positive advice—can be a real godsend for newbies.

There are some great resources out there for plans, and for tiny houses and the furniture to go with them, Alaskan blogger, stay-at-home mom, and self-taught carpenter Ana White is an inspiration. In a remote part of Alaska White and her husband, Jacob, created the lovely tiny home featured here. Nicknamed Quartz, the home has some interesting design features, all of which can be built by anyone using the free plans.

Check out Ana's video tour:

Ana's story of how she started got building stuff herself is impressive. A while back, Ana began her journey into DIY by helping her husband build their home. "Out of simple necessity" (these are the remote parts of Alaska after all) that then expanded into building her first pieces of furniture, then starting a blog about her efforts, inspiring others to create their own furniture pieces and garnering a large online following in the years since. The blog, which has more than a thousand DIY projects, has since grown to the point that Ana can support her family with it, helping her publish a book and even landing a pilot show on television. But humbly, Ana insists on keeping her plans free for a simple reason:

I needed to be able to provide plans for free so women could look at it and it would create confidence in them that "I can build this." I knew that for me, as a mom with a single income, a really limited income, at home all day, it needed to be free because I myself couldn’t have afforded to pay $10 a plan.

About the Design

The Quartz is built on a 24-foot long and 8.5-foot wide PJ Super Wide Channel B6 trailer. It's a "dry" cabin, meaning there is no hookup for water, and as Ana explains it, it's a common thing in the extreme temperatures in Alaska, allowing for easier maintenance. Thus, there is no bathroom, and the home is not the family's primary residence but is to be used as a temporary place to live while they work on building another structure nearby. Nevertheless, Ana has alternative plans for a tiny house with these extra amenities.

The interior that Ana designed is purposely left uncluttered, painted with muted tones of gray and white. The main sitting area features this great trundle sofa-bed-storage combo that rolls out from under another bed on a platform. The rungs on the shelving double as a ladder going up to the loft.

The kitchen is simple but functional. The counter off to one side can be transformed into a full-size dining and work table by pulling it out—a brilliant idea. The cabinets cost about $200 to make and have wooden panels covering the double sink to give more counter space.

The Quartz has a simple, charming but very functional self-built design that has quite a few clever ideas on how to maximize space and comfort. Best of all, the free plans for the tiny house and the furniture inside mean that even the most reluctant of aspiring DIYers can benefit.