Our house doesn't has many cupboards, and not many walls either were you can place one, and I'm a person who keeps everything because you never know what comes in hand. My family sometimes calls me a hamster. Now do I hate hamsters but I like to hoard so it became time to get an other cupboard. Ordering one wasn't an option for my family made a special rule for me, which by the way is very reasonable otherwise we need a bigger home to store my trash. According to the rule: 'one in at least one out', I had to find a a way to make myself a cupboard with stuff we had. Luckily I kept all the paper of the removal the year before, I saved bottle caps and had some painters tape left but no boxes. Prayers to Aegir he made my hubby loves beer, so more often then normal I asked him: 'sweetie do you like an other beer?' All the way it still took me 3 months before I had enough boxes. The only thing I had to smuggle into the house was a lot of glue. If I didn't had to buy this, the cost of this cupboard was $0.00.
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Step 1: What You Need
Time, more time then I expected.
Boxes, the number of boxes depends on how big you like to make your cupboard, try to find sturdy not to big one. I used beer boxes but others are fine too.
Paper for paper mache, I used wrapping paper but you can also use newspapers.
Colored paper for finishing touch or paint if you like.
Plastic bottle caps for shims.
Wooden slats, from pallet or left overs from an other project.
Carton cylinder, sturdy one.
Painters tape and/or glue sticks (not pictured).
Glue, you can make your own with flour and water, there are several recipes on the internet but be sure it dries completely otherwise you get mildew. Because of the rainy season when it is hard to get things dried properly some times I choose for better save then sorry and bought white paper glue and diluted it 50/50 with water.
Quick drying clear enamel spray (not pictured).
Step 2: 15 Boxes, One Cupboard in Progress
I collected 15 boxes, 11 were needed for the cupboard itself and 4 boxes I used for leveling the shelfs. I used painters tape to stick the boxes together, fixed the holes in the bottom of the boxes with tape and make sure everything was flat. Making a cupboard from boxes gives you the opportunity to make a cupboard for almost every wall.
Step 3: Making the Cupboards Feet
I wanted the cupboard on feet so it is easier to clean and mop. For the feet I used 2 slats which I found in the garden and a cylinder carton, the one the use for posters, and cut it in 4 with a Stanley knife. Glued the cylinders on the slats and cover them with 4 layers of paper mache. For the paper mache I used the wrapping paper which I kept from the removal. For the glue I used white glue and diluted it with water 50/50. Tear the paper in rough strips then they will blend very smooth. If you use a scissor, you get sharp edges which give a rough result.
Step 4: Cover Frontside Cupboard With Paper Mache
When the feet were drying I started to cover the frontside of the cupboard with 2 layers of paper mache. This is really time consuming and also makes a mess with all the paper flying around. Before I could do the backside, it needed to dry. This took a day before I could go on. After drying I wanted more strength and decided to put some slats at the backside. There was just one little problem: I did have screws but no shims and without them de screw would go straight away through the carton. However, I did save bottle caps for a while because I want to make a fly curtain but bottle caps are good enough for shims too.
Step 5: Making the Shims
First of al I counted how many shims I needed and made some extra. I used 36 bottle caps, a horsetail and a hole puncher. I suggest you make them when you are angry. I guess whacking with a hammer goes quicker and easier then. The result was not bad and perfect for the job. Another positive point: they do not rust and they take the form of the screw too.
Step 6: The Backside and Finishing the Underground
Putting the slats on the backside with the glue gun is one, but as soon as I wanted to turn the screws in the glue it wasn't strong enough and the slates dropped off. Normally I find myself a solution but this cupboard used already just a lot of time so it was time for some help. With all my charms I asked my hubby: 'sweetie can you help me?' Off course he helped me, he always does, and while I kept the slats on their place he turned in the screws. We also put the feet under the cupboard and then I covered it with two layers of paper mache and let it dry. After drying the cupboard got 2 new layers and again it had to dry.
Step 7: Give It Some Color
At least I was finished with paper mache. All in all it took me some weeks, also because I couldn't work on it every day. Now came the fun part. I had to give it some color. Looking for paint I noticed that we didn't had much choice, just pastel yellow or pastel blue/green and I wanted some darker colors and didn't want to buy paint. So digging in my 'trash' I found some gift tissue paper in eggplant purple and turquoise, a nice combination. Working with gift tissue paper is a delicate work after working with wrapping paper. It took some time till I found out what was the best combination to get the paper on the cup board instead of the brush or my hands, if that happens you can't use it any longer because it becomes a kind of paper porridge. The best way was putting a lot of white glue on the cupboard and than, with a clean brush, to gently tap it in the glue. First it was my idea to bring on at least 2 layers to get a smooth color but after the first layer I like the effect and decided to keep just one layer. If you like more layers, just like paint, let every layer dry completely.
Step 8: Finishing With Enamel
I choose for a finishing with enamel because everything I make schould at least exists for 10 years. Beacause of a layer of enamel l can clean it easier without any damage. If you use a aerosol be sure to do it outside and use protection! The damp is hazardous and your lungs doesn't like it. Happy with the result I put in all my stuff. I use it now for a few months and it is still firm and keeps it's form.