Introduction: Upcycled Cabinets to Children's Treasures

About: Hobbies: Sculpting (clay), up-cycle arts and crafts, electronics, woodcarving, sewing, gardening, learning and applying computer skills; such as various computer languages/codes (html, Python, Ruby, Ruby on Ra…

Being a thrifty and creative grandmother has it's quirks when winning over the hearts of one's grandchildren! This was the first project that I made for my very first grandchild. It may change it's looks over the following years, even paint, but within it shall hold a child's greatest treasures for a lifetime!

Step 1: Find a Discarded Cabinet

Most people throw discard cabinets when renovating their kitchens. You can find these on a curb, on your local Freecycle or Craigslist websites. TIP: sometimes individuals will give them to you to save them the cost of taking them to their local dump!

Step 2: Select Your Supplies

In my inventory I already had left-over paint used to make this project. I only had to purchase a quart of chalkboard paint. I also used an old shower curtain for the material used to make the cushion cover, and memory foam that I had left-over from a bed that I no longer had; trimming it to size.

THINK SAFETY FIRST when selecting the appropriate hinges. There are many to choose from.

You will need the following items:

  1. paint brushes
  2. sand paper
  3. paint for base color
  4. chalkboard paint
  5. paint for art (optional)
  6. stencils if you do not freehand images
  7. wood trim
  8. wood blocks for legs (you can either cut themselves or purchase premade bunt feet at your local hardware store)
  9. drill with appropriate size drill bits
  10. (2) toy box hinge of your choice

  11. keep two shelves from the inside to fill-in the gap on the left and right sides on the outside of box

Step 3: Sand and Paint

Sand all surface areas before painting.

Sand and paint the two shelves (saved from the inside of the cabinet) and four legs/feet before attaching.

Let dry for up to 72 hours before attaching them to the cabinet.

Step 4: Attach Legs, Hinges, and Shelves

Using a drill, first drill the appropriate hole into what will be the sides of the toy box/chest. Using a screw that will not stick out inside of the toy box, attach what was once the shelves onto each side. This will fill in a gap and help to transform the cabinet from looking like a cabinet and more like a toy box/chest.

Attach the painted legs in the same fashion by first drilling the appropriate size hole into the wood that would otherwise been used to attach the cabinet to a wall.

Step 5: Add Finishing Touches

Attach the hinges according to the instructions of whichever hinge that you purchase. Test before making it the final choice! Add your choice of art; freehand, using stencils, vinyl, etc. as well and wella!

Here, I used a second cabinet to convert to a child's bookshelf and painted a small chalkboard on each side of it followed by adding wood trim to outline and decorate it. You can use matching trim around the edge of your completed toy box also. Be sure to paint all trim before attaching it both. You will need to use small tacks or a nail gun to attach the trim work, along with a light coat of wood glue for added support.

Trash to Treasure

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Trash to Treasure