Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Castoff Becomes Shabby Chic Cabinet

One day, we saw an old cabinet thrown out beside the road.... a castaway put out for trash.  One door was totally off and broken so much that it was completely unusable. The back panels were loose or off. It was not in good shape. Since we really needed a cabinet at the time, and had no money for one, my husband consented to go to pick it up with our boys.

My husband was reluctant and was sure I wouldn't be able to do anything with it.... like I said, it was in pretty rough condition.  I regret that I don't have any pictures of it when we first brought it home.

I am quite creative and not afraid to take on a difficult project, but I was a bit overwhelmed with this one. The door (the left one as you are facing the cabinet), was in several pieces and we weren't even sure that all of the pieces were there.

A glue gun is such a wonderful invention, so I got that out... and a lot of long glue sticks.... also some paints and fabric.

First, we tried to piece the door together - one of my sons helped me with the project - he was probably about 12 or so at the time. After some trial and error, we realized that all of the major pieces of the door were there, BUT there would be areas where the damage was so big, that it would be pretty ugly, but we just put it together the best we could. The damage was ugly... Hmmm, what to do.....

I finally figured out that a cutout of the fabric would cover most of the damage, if I did it just right. So The bottom fabric section on the left door, covers some broken wood... and a LOT of hot glue. Then I made matching pieces for the other side....


The people who owned it before me, had apparently whitewashed it a bit... and then stenciled bright purple flowers.... and bright green leaves.... it was way too bright and gaudy for me.

  I experimented and finally used some white stencil paint to paint over the stencils a couple of times.... and was able to tone down the bright purple and green.


 The doors had purple and white gingham fabric that was faded and discolored, so after ripping it out, I replaced it with some floral upholstery fabric. I used hot glue to hold it in place and gathered it as I went.

I really loved the curve of the top of the cabinet... and of the doors... and felt this cabinet was worth trying to save.
 Here you can see one of the cracks in the door.... there were many. Some of the cracks were so bad and there was so much wood missing, that I filled it with wood skewers and filled in hot glue around them to hold it all together. My son and I laughed about all of the glue we put on/in that door. I don't know how many of those long glue sticks I used, but it was a lot of them. :)

You can also see some of the stencil that I toned down w/ white paint.
 The one crack came all the way from the top and went down the door... you can see a bit of it here.  The flower medallion is there to help hide the damage....
The back of the cabinet was off in places and that had to be nailed and screwed into place, which also helped to stabilize the cabinet.

 The inside didn't have shelves when we got it, so my husband cut a couple and later on we added another.

This cabinet was my sewing, craft, and more cabinet for years... and it was packed. It held a lot of stuff.... and made it look pretty. :) It was a "Shabby Chic" style, which fit well in our home.

By the way, one day I sold an item on Craigslist and listed it as "Shabby Chic". When a lady called about it, he asked her if she was interested in the Shabby Chick item. She laughed and laughed... and we all enjoyed the humor of it and my husband and I still laugh about it.... it was a new term for him at that time.  :)
 The amount of money I had to put out to repair/rebuild/re-do this cabinet was.............. zero!  I had the fabric, lots of glue sticks and paint already on hand. The wood for the shelves was from plywood we had saved in the garage, in case we needed it.
This project turned out so nicely.... and we were pleased with it... and even my husband liked to show it off when we had company.

The funny thing is that the fabric I used to cover up the problems... to hide the damage.... became a major part of the appeal of this cabinet.  The cabinet would not be nearly as nice without the fun design on it..... and it was only there because it needed to cover something up. The original plan for the cabinet worked for the people who had it before us, but needing to repair the damage led to a real beauty being allowed to shine from this cabinet. Also, the extremely damaged door became strong in the repair and worked well.

I am reminded that God does that with our lives... we have damage.... we need to be repaired.... we have been cast off by others, yet God sees a way to make us into something special.... and His plan is perfect. He can turn what would have been "ugly" into something beautiful... and we can trust Him... the question is.... will we?  His plan will lead to beauty in a life that we could never plan out by ourselves. He can work in our lives to create beauty.... and even strength.

"But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. " Job 23:10
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34 comments:

  1. What a wonderful piece and a wonderful repurposed piece... Just like the Father does in a willing life...and most of the times a life that seems to be cast aside by everyone else. The father sees hope...usefulness... and will repurpose our lives if we allow him. Isn't it wonderful how he wants us.... he sees the potential in us...he wants to pick us up and make something beautiful!!!!! Thanks for sharing this post.. Blessings!

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    1. I continue to be amazed at the work I see Him do in my life and in the lives of others... I'm afraid I would have given up on some people, but He doesn't and I am thankful. Thank you for visiting. :)

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  2. I think it looks very pretty!
    God bless.
    Chris
    So Much At Home

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    1. Thank you. :) Thank you also for the link up party. :)

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  3. I LOVE what you did with it! So pretty!

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  4. You did an awesome job on that cabinet. I love when people re-purpose cast offs that would other wise end in the land fills. I added you to my Google Circles.

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    1. Thank you... I do too.... so many things still have a lot of life left in them! :) Thank you for visiting.

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  5. Oh, Joy! This is SO beautiful! I just love what you did here....and the patience you took with it to take such pains to make it into something beautiful and useful. I loved the analogy about how God does that with us. He sees the hidden "beauty" in all of us, and He is willing to take the time needed to bring it out and make us shine. Have you ever heard the song, "The Broken Ones" by the Talley Trio? If not, it is worth your time to listen. This post made me think of it. I always love coming to your blog...it is refreshing and a blessing. God bless you!

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    1. Thank you so much, Cheryl...... What an encouraging comment! :) I had not heard the song, so I looked it up... and it is beautiful - thank you for leading me to it. I am so glad you visited. :)

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  6. I love the rags to riches story of this post :) Thank you for sharing last week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

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  7. Congratulations! This was the #1 most read post last week, and I featured it this week on link up #14 at somuchathome.blogspot.com
    God bless.

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    1. That's wonderful! Thank you so much for the feature... and the wonderful link up party. :)

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  8. What a great piece! My favorite projects are always the ones that no one else can see the potential in. You did a great job!

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    1. Thank you... I love that too.... so many things are tossed aside to make room for "new" things, but the old ones can be such treasures. :)

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  9. I think you did a really good job on this....and I know you love the extra storage it gives.

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    1. Thank you... and the extra storage was such a blessing. :)

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  10. You did a great job here, it looks amazing :)

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  11. Oh my goodness this is just gorgeous! Well done! I just love it.xx

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    1. Thank you so much! :) I'm glad you visited.

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  12. This is beautiful! You would never know it was once in disrepair!

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    1. Thank you... it took some serious thinking to cover the bad parts, but it was satisfying to finish that project and we enjoyed how it looked afterwards.

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  13. How rewarding to transform a castoff into a thing of beauty! Thanks for sharing @Vintage Charm--pinned to our Features & Favorites!

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    1. It really was... especially since my husband wondered WHY I would bother to bring home the parts to the broken door since it was just trash. He was really surprised to find it put back together... and in such a pretty way. :) Thank you for visiting.

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  14. Great job. Would have never known the door was broken.

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    1. Thank you... I was pleased that it was covered over so well and didn't show the damage any longer. :) Thank you for visiting.

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  15. I love this makeover. What a beautiful cabinet! So useful too! Have a great day!

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    1. Thank you... it was fun to get it done and find that it "worked". It was scary for a while wondering if I could really get that door fixed and what I would do if I couldn't. :)

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  16. The wardrobe looks very pretty. Although it's a bit worn, it's still useful and has a life and purpose in your home.

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    1. Yes, and it was something that quickly caught visitor's attention and admiration. Quite showy and the "damaged" areas never even showed. :) Thank you for visiting.

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