Monday, September 13, 2010

Out of No Where

Isn't it uncanny how a project can sneak into an already crowded schedule? Recently a friend invited me to do a walk through on a two-family he was planning to buy.  A couple pieces of furniture had been left behind and they were dumpster material to him.  Did I go with him thinking there was something there for me?   NO. Was I looking for something in particular? NO.  Did the thought of finding a new project ever cross my mind? NO!  But, see for yourself. 

Could you have passed this up?  It was sturdy (translates to a little heavy). There was nothing wrong with it.  It even had all the shelves and the pins that hold them in place.  And without the shelves it was not quite as heavy.  (Try telling me that as my friend and I are hauling it down a flight of stairs.) 

More shelving on the side made it even more practical.  I'm sure they could be used for something besides VHS tapes.

Here it is in my studio where I could do a complete assessment.  Looks like a good cleaning is all it needs.

Ok, how can we transform this into something useful?  Any ideas?

Actually I had an idea BEFORE I hauled it down that long flight of stairs.  Lots of practice has taught me not to haul everything I see home to clutter up my space for months before I put it out in the alley for someone else.  So, I had some black fabric I could recycle.

I cut it into long strips.  Then folded them in half and sewed up the sides leaving about an inch open at the top for a tension rod.

I hung this on the front of cabinet to cover the opening and measured for the hem.
Perfect.  Now for the other side.

This is going to become the front side so it will need a little help.  You can see I painted part of it green. (Not my best shot to show you that, I know.)

Another piece of fabric from a previous life as living room drapes.  Hemed and then stapled onto the cabinet.

Tie back trim from that same window treatment fit here nicely.

Another tension rod holds two panels and an attached valance.  Another piece of white and gold trim from my stockpile and we are almost there.  Some tiebacks for the panels and this part is finished.

Next part:  An 8x10 frame I had on hand was sprayed gold. 

Then I cut the template you see here and sprayed the back of the glass with a neutral paint I had on hand.

When that was dry, I covered up the painted parts and painted the rest with Krylon Looking Glass Paint.  It looks matt on this side but has a more reflective surface when you turn it over.

Now a slightly smaller frame and a copy of a Sesame Street book cover I copied from Amazon. (It's ok.  This is not for resale.  I have a Grandson on the way.)

I used velcro dots to hold the frame in place and added the vinyl letters to spell out TICKETS.  The punch bowl reflected in the glass is from the baby shower.  My idea is that the kids will see themselves reflected here as the ticket seller.

Below that I attached the smaller frame at an angle using the velcro dots again.  In hindsight this probably should have said NOW PLAYING but I really did not think it was a big enough deal to change it.

The tiebacks went on with velcro dots as well.

Completed Puppet Theater.  Of course this means the next project will have to be puppets but I have a little time before this tyke is old enough to play with this.  He's not due until December.  Remember, the front is now the back with lots of storage space for puppets and props.  I even thought of running a string of Christmas lights across the front of the stage.  It would be easy pull the cord through the openings below the stage and everything would be hidden.  Maybe we will leave that up to the Daddy.

In the meantime it will get broken in by other small frys.

At least I know it will be a hit!

I am linking to:


  1. Another amazing transformation. One lucky little boy on the way.

  2. Hi Tricia-

    This is soooooo cute, my daughter's would have loved it when they were growing up. All the detail you put into it show a labor of love. I especially like the ticket sign.

  3. Now this is one NIFTY THRIFTY idea...the makeover looks your idea!!!


  4. Really impressive Tricia! Love it! I found your blog through the BYW class, and had to check you out since you live in STL. I'm a interior designer down in Cape Girardeau!

  5. Hi! Hopped over here from BYW. What a fantastic makeover! So much better than the typical "let's paint it white" approach :) (though there's many a time and place for that approach, too).

  6. This is such a great idea! I transformed an old armoire into a nursery closet, but next time around, I may turn it into a puppet theater or play kitchen. I linked to your post here: