Homemade, Repurposed Gift Idea: Old Cabinet Doors

One of my favorite things to do is to re-purpose old stuff, or to use the more popular term, “upcycle”.   There is something positively delicious about rescuing a used, worn object and giving it new life.

(Perhaps it is because it mirrors the story of redemption written on my heart by the “Master Upcyler” who restored this used, tattered young woman and gave her new life…..and because we bear His image,  that creative heart of His beats in us.)

As we begin to think about Christmas gifts, and as that time of the year always necessitates our bravest creativity, we are rummaging around for some great gift ideas.

I found a bunch of these old cabinet doors that my father had collected over the years.  After finding a few ideas on line, we decided to recyle them into message/chalk boards for the kitchen.

One thing to note about me and homemade gifts:  I like it simple.  If it’s not pretty simple, I’ll grow impatient and lose interest.  Crafting ADD, I guess.

(Somehow the angle of the pictures I took created an illusion that makes the top pic look much wider???)

I did the first one, and Alexa, my 8 year old begged to do the rest and did a fantastic job!  We’re looking for some cool knobs to glue or screw across the bottom to hang aprons and such.

(Close-up of the dry brush effect.)

A few short steps:

  1. Tape around the inset that will be painted with chalk board paint and then paint it.
  2. After that dries (just an hour or less), tape over the edge of the painted inset and paint the rest of the door the desired color.
  3. We “distressed” the look by brushing over the wet paint with a dry brush.
  4. Glue or screw knobs across the bottom, tie on a piece of chalk (all optional) and you’re done

I am considering playing around with trying to make a plaque and painting a word or phrase inside.  Vinyl lettering would work great, but I’m also challenging myself to do the upcycle without spending any money.  Any ideas would be helpful!

Since posting, I found this very inspirational video with lots of different cabinet upcycling ideas!

While we had the chalk board paint out, I got happy and painted the top of the children’s table (well, THEY painted it because I temporarily lost my sanity wanted them to be involved too.)  Then we spray painted the rest John Deere green (it was the only color of spray paint we had, OK?)

The table is a hit!  And since our air conditioning is out and it’s 150 degrees inside, (well, 90, but I’m going with a heat index of 150) we’re spending a lot more time downstairs (which is where the table is) so the new distraction comes at a great time! I said “distraction” but I meant “teaching tool”, of course ;-)

21 Responses to “Homemade, Repurposed Gift Idea: Old Cabinet Doors”

  1. Kim M says:

    This is a GREAT idea! I need all the help I can get.

    Here is a link for another idea similar to what you were talking about with verses/phrases. You used the computer.

    http://www.cleanandclassic.com/?p=1747

  2. Amanda says:

    Fantastic idea!

  3. Sarah says:

    Cute post and great ideas…thank you!

    Sarah
    ***Visit my blog for a GIVEAWAY and new linking party!***
    http://bloggingwhilewaiting.blogspot.com/2010/08/new-wednesday-party-link-up-giveway-too.html

  4. Chelsey says:

    I love using cabinet doors! I few years ago I cut out paper that was the same size as the center, where you painted the chalkboard paint. I then let my kids color, paint, draw, etc on that paper. When the materpiece was complete I glued it onto the door and then sprayed with clear sealing spray. And….poof! Instant framed artwork ready to hang, after a picture hanging kit was added to the back. Just another idea for you.

  5. Linda says:

    You can use your computer to print out what you want in the font size and lettering you like. Then use tracing paper to trace them onto the board (or use charcoal pencils to color the back of the letters on your paper to trace and transfer) Then paint the letters you have traced/ transferred onto the cabinet with the color of craft paint you want the lettering. This also works great for putting words on your walls. For walls you need to go with landscape set up to print words side ways on the paper and go with a font of 150-200.

  6. Diane says:

    Wow Kelly… that is a really great idea! I love it. And I have a slew of cupboard doors just taking up space in my garage compliment of the former owner of the house. Thanks so much for the idea.

  7. Charity says:

    Neat idea!! (And your kiddos are SO stinkin’ CUTE! ;)

  8. Joanna says:

    I love the chalkboard table!

  9. kristen says:

    Great ideas. Someone gave me an old double hung window that’s a couple feet by a couple feet in dimension. It’s wood framed and paned. I repainted it, “distressed” it and then hung it by a ribbon and added some silk vines and flowers. It’s very “shabby chic”. The only problem is it’s terribly heavy, so I’ve had trouble finding a place to hang it.

  10. Gayle says:

    AAAAHHH! I *completely* forgot about chalkboard paint!! I was just telling the children today that I need something to write on because the dry erase board has seen it’s final day after 10 years of homeschooling. Now my wheels are turning…

    I really love your crafty idea with the cabinets, too. Maybe after we move and are settled, I’ll give that a try.

    And girl… I just feel for ya. It’s *so* hot here in Alabama. I hope you can get your unit fixed soon, friend.

  11. Alex says:

    Just wanted to mention magnetic primer for the walls. Paint with your favorite color and no nails needed. A whole space for magnets!

  12. Dellaina says:

    Wonderful ideas! I think I’ll poke around in the garage to see what I can repurpose. :)

    Oh, a wise friend of mine said today that, if it’s going to be as hot as an oven outside, then it should smell like brownies out there. HAA!

  13. I did this! Oh, it turned out soo cute. I was eyeing one at Canton (a big flea market town) and it was $55!! A few rows over was a place selling old cabinet doors for $3! I bought one, then bought some pretty trim at Lowe’s ($8), glue (89 cents at Walmart), and the chalk paint ($8, but still have most of the can so it can be used for many more projects). You can see it here:
    http://gratefulforgrace.com/2010/08/our-most-popular-rooms/
    What a great idea to do it for Christmas gifts! Wish I had thought of that when I could have bought more of the $3 doors. Will be on the look out though!
    Thanks!

  14. Oh! And I love the new look! Just noticed.

  15. Margaret says:

    Nice!!! Those are such great ideas. Now I wish my mom had saved all those cabinet doors she tore out of the kitchen.

  16. Kelly! Great ideas! Now I’m going to be scouring around for some cabinet doors!! Love it!
    Have you heard of chalk markers? They write on like markers, look like chalk when done, and don’t wipe off unless you use a wet rag! Perfect!
    Loved the video link, too! Thanks a bunch!

  17. [...] addition to the chalkboard memo boards I made from re-purposed cabinet doors, I did a few others I thought I’d share for your [...]

  18. I do consider all the ideas you have presented in your post. They’re really convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are very short for novices. May just you please prolong them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

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