So, I have been MIA for a while due to a crazy busy Fall and Winter, but now that everything has died down, I can get back to my DIY projects! Today I’m sharing a project I completed at the beginning of December, but didn’t have time to post. We are in the process of remodeling our home office, and with that, my desk space in the office no longer exists (Hubs works at home full time so it made more sense for it to become his office instead of a shared office). I’ll have a post about the remodel once it’s complete, so keep your eyes peeled! Now that my desk space is no longer, I needed an area for crafting, but my crafting area was going to have to be in the living room for now. I hope to have a She Shed someday, but until then, a craft space in the living room will have to do since that is currently the only room with enough space. So, I had to find a solution where my crafting space could be in the living room, without looking like a crafting space (since that would make my OCD-ish tendencies flare!) So, I searched Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for weeks until I found the perfect solution. I found an oak computer armoire that someone was selling for $60! I added some shelving for my vinyl sheets to the top shelf and I refinished it. Now, when the doors are closed, it blends in with the furniture and you can’t tell it contains crafting supplies. It is the perfect solution for my Cricut Craft Cabinet!
The Before Pics:
Here are some pics of the computer armoire at the time I brought it home. As you can see, it was that yellowish orangey-oak color, which is not at all the look I want for my new Cricut Craft Cabinet. But it is heavy, solid oak and a great buy for $60! (Although, right after I bought it, another one got listed online from another seller that was in even better shape for $40 – never fails! But if you are looking to create a craft cabinet, keep your eyes out for these armoires, you can get them for a bargain).
Step 1: The clean-up
The armoire was pretty dirty and had paint splatters on it (looked like it might have been in a kid’s room or stored in the garage for quite some time). First step was to remove all roll-out shelves, drawers, doors, and hardware. I removed the doors first by using a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the doors onto the hinges. I then again used the screwdriver to remove the screws attaching the hinges to the armoire and placed them into baggies to keep everything together.
Next, I pulled out the two roll-out shelves and all drawers (the two drawers on the bottom, and then the four small drawers in the top section).
Then, I removed all the drawer and shelving rails from the inside of the armoire. As I removed them, I used a sharpie and labeled what the rail went to (upper or lower pull-out shelf or upper or lower bottom drawer) and whether it was a right or left side rail.
Next, I cleaned the drawer slides that were on the sides of the pull-out shelves and drawers using a flathead screwdriver and a wet paper towel to get into the grooves of the slides.
Once I had cleaned all the shelf and drawer rails, I removed the rails on the pull-out shelves and labeled them. (I did not need to remove the rails on the drawers since I wasn’t painting the sides of the drawers). I also removed the drawer pulls from the front of the drawers and tossed those as I planned on replacing them with black, metal drawer pulls.
Since there was dry paint splatter gobs and what was possibly dried food, and maybe glue globs (couldn’t quite identify all the grossness), I had to use a chisel to remove some of the dried on “stuff”. I made sure to keep the chisel as flat as possible to scrape off whatever was stuck on there, but without scraping or damaging the wood.
I then wiped down the armoire and all shelves and drawers with a damp paper towel to remove any dirt and dust. I used a high grit sandpaper (220 grit) to lightly sand the entire armoire and all shelves and drawer fronts to remove any additional dirt that wasn’t removed by wiping down.
Step 2: Add shelving for vinyl sheets and painting
Once the armoire and all drawers and shelves were clean, I added some shelves to organize and store my vinyl sheets that I use for my Cricut projects. I used 3/4″ plywood for the shelving sides, 1/4″ plywood for the shelves and 1″x1/4″ trim pieces for the shelf supports.
First, I measured the depth of the top shelf of the armoire as well as the space between the top shelf and top of the armoire to determine how many shelves would fit (7 shelves fit on each side). Since my vinyl sheets are 12×12, I then used my table saw to cut a total of 14 shelves out of 1/4″ plywood, each measuring 12 1/4″ x 11 3/4″ (11 3/4″ is the depth of the top shelf). I used my miter saw to cut 28 1/4″x1″ trim pieces to 11 3/4″ in length each.
I sanded all the cut boards and then painted them using Heirloom Traditions Paint in Cobblestone. It is a perfect shade of a light to medium gray. This paint is awesome. I was able to apply with a 4″ paint roller with mini foam rollers and a chalk and wax paint brush and there were no streaks at all once the paint dried, just a flawless and smooth finish.
While those boards were drying, I cut two 3/4″ plywood boards to the height of the cabinet by the depth of the top shelf. I then sanded the two boards and then installed them vertically above the top shelf of the armoire, making sure they were placed about 1/16″ further from the side of the armoire that the 1/4″ thick shelving is (so just over 12 1/4″ from the side). I attached the boards using two 2″ wood nails from below the top shelf of the armoire and then two 2″ wood nails through the top of the armoire into the vertical shelf I was placing.
Next, I painted the two vertical boards and the entire top shelf area, including the roof of the armoire and the back wall above the top shelf. I used the mini-paint roller and the Heirloom grey paint.
I then began adding the shelves. First, I placed two of the 11 3/4″ length trim boards directly on top of the top armoire shelf and attached them to the armoire side and the vertical shelf that was installed using my Ryobi Airstrike nail gun and 3/4″ brad nails. On top of each set of trim boards, I placed a shelf board and used my nail gun to attach the shelf board to the trim board below. I continued this method until all 7 boards were installed on each side. I filled all holes with either wood filler or a combination of sawdust and wood glue, and then once dry, I painted the remainder of the interior of the armoire.
Once I completed the vinyl sheet shelving and painting the inside of the armoire, I used a paint roller with a foam roller and a chalk paint brush to paint the outside of the armoire.
Next, I laid out all the shelving, drawers, and doors I had removed and filled in any holes, dents, or imperfections with a mixture of sawdust and wood glue, and then once dry, I sanded and then painted those, again with a foam roller and chalk paint brush. I only painted the drawer fronts since the interior and drawer sides are usually not painted. I painted all sides of the shelves and doors.
While those were drying, I used black spray paint to paint the door hinges.
Step 3: Apply Weathered Wood Antiquing Gel
Once all coats of grey paint had been applied and dried completely, I decided to apply Heirloom Traditions Weathered Wood Antiquing Gel to the exterior of the armoire, which gave it a little more character and depth. This is super easy to apply, and if you don’t like the way it looks, you can remove it if it has been less than 12 hours since you applied it. And you can make it as dark or as light as you want, it’s pretty awesome stuff! I used a Waxing Polish Foam Sponge Applicator Pad to apply the antiquing gel.
I started off by applying the antiquing gel heavier than I wanted it to look, and then began using the sponge applicator to thin it out and lighten it. I found the best method was to slightly dampen the sponge and then lightly wipe the gel until it is the shade you would like. Be sure to wipe over all areas until the gel is blended and looks natural with the wood.
Once I had finished applying the weathered wood antiquing gel to the outside of the armoire, I also applied it to the front of the cabinet doors using the same method. Here is a pic of the antiquing in progress, you can see the final result in pics toward bottom of this post.
Step 4: Reassemble
Once all the paint and antiquing gel has completely dried, reassemble the armoire:
- Install the drawer rails for both the pull-out shelves and the drawers on the interior of the armoire
- Install the drawer rails on the sides of the pull-out shelves
- Attach new drawer pulls to the front of the small top drawers
- Slide the drawers and shelves onto the drawer rails attached to the armoire and make sure the drawers and shelves roll smoothly, also insert the four free (no drawer rails) drawers in the top section of the armoire
- Attach new handles to the doors (I used the same handles on doors as I used on the interior drawers)
- Reattach door hinges, followed by doors
Lastly, I added four heavy duty casters to the bottom of the armoire to make it much easier to move, since it is very heavy. This will also allow me to easily move it around the house if I ever need to.
I also added a LCD Monitor Desk Mount to save some space on my desk top. My monitor base took up a lot of space where I could store craft supplies, so I decided to add a monitor mount which both saved space, and made it so I could easily adjust the position of my monitor. I did have to drill a hole in the top of the desk to mount the monitor, but it was a big space saver! Here are some pics of the steps I took to drill the hole to install the monitor mount:
Step 5: Accessorize the Cricut Craft Cabinet!
Now for the really fun part! Here are the materials I purchased to make this a well-organized and useful craft cabinet:
- Light! (This cabinet is off to the corner of the living room, which is darker, and when weeding vinyl I need to see well, so I ordered this rechargeable, battery operated light that sticks to the inside top of the cabinet
- Pegboard and accessories for the inside of the doors (Pegboard was a pack of 2, and I ordered 2 of the 16x4x4 baskets, and 3 of the 15x5x7 baskets):
- Paper, pen, marker, paintbrush, and scissor storage and organization:
- Cricut Tool Organization and Storage
- Purely decorative 🙂
Final Pics of my Cricut Craft Cabinet!
And now, here is the reveal! I finished this Cricut craft cabinet in October and have used it several time. I used to have my Cricut on a rolling cart, but it didn’t provide a workspace to do anything other than cut vinyl. With this armoire, there are two roll-out shelves. The top roll-out shelf is a nice desk/work space, and then directly underneath is the keyboard tray. So I can do all my craft projects at the desk instead of having to find different spaces to cut vinyl with my Cricut Maker, to weed vinyl, to use my Cricut Easy Press, and for other general crafting.
If you need a craft space that you can hide away when not using, this is the perfect solution. I absolutely love my Cricut Craft Cabinet!It blends well with my other furniture, and gives me a compact space with plenty of room to do my Cricut crafting.