Finding new uses for old things! My husband called me from the dump one day and said there were three doors thrown away, and asked if I wanted them. Well yeah! (He actually left the dump weighing more than he went in weighing. One man's trash . . . ) I didn't yet have a plan for them, but the ideas eventually developed and this one has come to fruition. We now have a lovely coffee table made from an old door that also serves as a shadowbox for our military family history! It was a fun project, and we are still missing a few pictures and tokens, but it is otherwise done.
Step 1: Prepping the Door
This is the door that was chosen to be the table. It has three insets beneath the window that are good spots for putting more pictures and keepsakes in your "shadowbox" table. First, I took it outside on a lovely day and scrubbed it with a soft-bristled scrub brush and dish soap. I used a hose to rinse it down. I did not want to scrub the paint off, so I did not scrub vigorously. I just wanted to get off any major dirt. Cleaning it spic and span would ruin the look for me!
Step 2: Table Legs
The legs were made with 2x4's. They are 18" high, and are tapered starting about halfway down. They are put together at a 45 degree angle (like the corner of picture frames). Ultimately, you can make them however you want! You can use whatever scrap you have and devise your own design! After 6 legs were assembled, they were painted with chocolate brown paint.
Step 3: Leg Placement
The legs were placed in all four corners, and at the bottom of the window (the red marks on the picture shows the placement.) They were attached by making pocket holes in the legs and screwing them to the table.
Step 4: Searching for Pictures
There are family pictures in our table/shadowbox from the Civil War to Operation Iraqi Freedom. When copying pictures, you can scan and print them from your computer. I prefer to scan and upload them to the WalMart website and have them mailed to me to save my computer ink. If a picture was odd sized, I re-sized the image to a standard size, like 4" x 6" even though it may mean having white space on the picture. I was afraid if I uploaded an odd size to WalMart, the picture would become distorted when WalMart translated it to a standard sized picture. When I received the picture, I would just crop it. There are so many military folks in our family, we had to limit our range of family to include. We also put in items like hats, ribbons, spurs, grenade pins, patches, discharge papers, SOFA card, newspaper articles, copies of military identification cards, metal stars, and a John Wayne tin that says, "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." Anything that is flat enough to fit beneath the top glass is usable!
Step 5: Safety and Protection
Keep in mind that old doors can have lead paint on them, which is toxic. Also, this particular door had plate glass. We ordered 1/4" glass, polished on the sides, from a local glass business to cover the entire door. This protects the pictures and keepsakes inside, as well as keeping someone from dropping anything on the plate glass window. Here is a video that shows our finished table and how the inside was arranged. Sorry for the quality! I'm an amateur when it comes to videos! (So obvious I really didn't have to tell you! Pay no attention to the man behind the sheet! He's keeping the glare of the ceiling light off the table - try not to let it distract you!)