So I’ve been busy lately. Growing kids ready for their own rooms inspired me to swap out my office space (which was multitasking as an office, sewing room, craft room and storage space for all the crafty/officy stuff) into a much needed extra bedroom.
My solution was to upcycle an armoire. Yay! My goals were to repurpose as much as I could and be waste free as possible. The idea was to also limit money waste as that is a very valuable resource.
So let’s begin at the thrift store where I found this very sturdy, all natural wood, what looks like hand made (in a good way), armoire with lots of personality. I love that rounded top!
First there was a fix needed for the bottom boards and it made sense to do it while she was on her side in the back of the truck. In its previous life, something heavy was placed in there and what was once flat became V shaped in the middle. Not to worry. A little hammer action and some bracer boards so that doesn’t happen again fixed it right up.
Now that the bottom was fixed, it was time to move my future office into the house so I could work on it continuously in
my underpants a temperature controlled environment. I love sturdily made furniture. Especially if it was perhaps hand crafted and made of real wood. But Merlin’s Beard! is it heavy and non standard sized to move!
Next came a close up look at the hardware. Normal hardware is politely screwed in and easy to remove. Not so much the story here. This hardware is attached by what I am calling ‘wood piercing’ methods. What your’e looking at here is super cool, heavy duty, iron hammered pulls and hinges attached to the wood by another thin piece of iron piercing past the openings and loops, through the wood, then opened up on the other side like a brad you might find in an office supply store~ but industrial.
Luckily the door hinges were pierced on one side and screwed to the frame of the armoire on the other. So the doors were removable. Yay!
A little elbow grease and the hinges were straightened and happy again. Of everything on this project, the hinges made me worry most as with the whole ‘piercing into the wood’ action going on, if the hinges failed, I was going to have a larger project on my hands than I had bargained for. Massively glad this aspect went well.
Next I learned how to remove stripped screws and was on my way. *I placed a piece of wide rubber band over the screw head and reversed them right on outa’ there.*
So I removed the doors and washed the entire armoire with Murphy Oil Soap. *The original kind* I did this twice as there were areas that were crying out for a second go over. Already it was looking so much nicer as I left my future office to dry overnight. The next day I grabbed my handy dandy gloves and a rag and applied a generous layer of Howard Feed-N-Wax. This stuff is amazing! Here are the things I like about it: 1. It smells like sunshine and happiness. 2. It’s an orange oil and bees wax wood treatment made right here in California. 3. It was affordable. 4. Local product = a win for me. 5. It does the two things I wanted: just moisturize and protect the woods loveliness without too much weirdness.
Now to replace those sad screws that were stripped and naughty to remove. So off to the screw store to look for black screws. They were surprisingly expensive. I wasn’t willing to buy a huge package either. How wasteful when I only needed 24. While looking around, a friendly hardware store employee tried to entice me to purchase screws with black painted ends. For a bazillion bucks. No thank you. However, I was pretty sure I was crafty enough to DIY this problem away. So I bought 24 plain ol screws in the correct size and way more wallet friendly (I brought one of the sad screws in for a size comparison) and headed home to watch the IBD Round Table Discussion where Frank Garufi Jr. of The Crohn’s Colitis Effect was interviewed by Sara Ringer of Inflamed and Untamed. Awesomeness ensued. I laughed and played along while…. painting screws with raven nail polish that I already owned. Black ended screws in no time flat! Multitasking Win!
Inflamed & Untamed – Crohn’s/Colitis Suppo
Things were really coming along and I was starting to get excited. However, I needed a functional shelf in addition to the wooden one wedged in there towards the top. Off to the hardware store to size up my options. I ended up with this ultra cool, very sturdy, gray wire shelf that was almost exactly the size I needed at a price I was willing to pay. Making it fit was loads of fun.
So did anyone notice the sad, sad hole that someone cut in the back of this beauty? It’s not even centered, poor thing. Upon brain storming with the The Hubby, one of us geniuses came up with the idea of wiring for electricity. Why not? And it would make use of the sad hole and make it a happy useful hole. Even better.
To go and buy a white board the size I wanted was going to frazzle my nerves. White boards are expensive, come in only a few sizes and often have calendars and what not on them, which for some may be helpful, but not what I was looking for nor willing to settle for. This Mark-R-Board Wainscot I found at Lowes for a wee over 10 bucks for a ginormous sheet would suit my needs perfectly. You grab your board, sweetly ask it to be cut by the nice folks that work there, (bring your measurements) pay for it at the counter, and you are on your way. With the exposed edges, I added some fabulous Duck Tape and it was ready to hang.
I have extra whiteboard for kiddo homework time, cool presents *Pretend to be surprised if you get white board for your birthday.* or donate to the kiddos teachers for those students who need to work out their maths visually. You’re welcome. 🙂
At this time I decided I wanted a magnet board. I looked around for a hardware store DIY but wasn’t all that crazy about the idea of bending over edges of sharp metal and things like that. My brains kept yelling at me, ‘Stitches!’ and ‘There are not enough heavy duty gloves to protect you from all that disaster.’ and of course, ‘Blood loss is NOT your friend.’ So I searched around my home with a magnet in hand for a repurposing solution and found this fun platter that fits the space as if it were meant to be. With cool handles perfect for hanging, it works great. Two cup holders to put it up, and Voila! Lovely. And zero blood loss.
Then came more office add ins. I started with a cork board I already owned and cut it to fit the inside of one of the upper doors with very little waste left over. I then wanted removable hanging storage cups for small supplies like staples, rubber bands, paperclips and the like. So I repurposed clear snap top lid containers that were once used as fruit cups in my kiddos lunches. I used stick on velcro and adhered them to thick card board. (I didn’t want to damage the wood with a bunch of velcro patches nor did I think the sticky aspect would adhere to an oiled and waxed surface.) I used regular tacks to secure to the inner aspect of the lower doors. *FYI: I learned the hard way that self sticking velcro works better than hot gluing on velcro strips, or super gluing, or gorilla gluing ~even though I followed the directions and sand papered to create a rough surface. Sharing is caring.)
So here I am done with an office I absolutely love. I got to upcycle a dried up, sad armoire and make it pretty and functional again. I got to use a bunch of power tools, be crafty, creative and think outside the box for clever solutions to waste less and save more. My kids have their own rooms now which has led to more harmony in our home. Plus my children were in on the process and will hopefully think about multiple ways the items around them can be repurposed.
Most of all it was fun.
So here’s the cost run down:
Armoire = Originally $300.00 I got it for $100.00
Orange Oil/Bees Wax = $10.00
Whiteboard = $10.50
Gray Shelf = $15.00
Electricity/Lamp = $30.00
Screws = $2.50
(inside drawer) = $1.75
Baskets = 0.0
Velcro Storage Cup Project = 0.0
Cork Board = 0.0
Magnet Board = 0.0
TOTAL = $169.25
Not too bad for an office. I’ll take it.