Over the summer, I found this card catalog in my parent’s shed. It had been sitting there for about two years after my sister’s friend left it and never came back to get it. I thought it would make a great project so I asked her if I could have it and she said yes!
I have never re-purposed furniture so this was a complete learning curve for me. I brainstormed lots of different things to do with this piece. Originally, I wanted it to be an entry way table, but I ran into the problem of finding legs that would be sturdy enough to hold such a heavy piece. I thought about making it a bench with a cushion on top, a coffee table with an opening top, or even a dining room hutch of sorts. Ultimately, I decided to make it into an accent piece for my living room, but it really could be used anywhere.
Being a novice wood worker, I could not have done this project without my father-in-law’s help! He was great at helping me cut the top, attach all the pieces, and make the drawers functional.
First, I removed all the handles and cleaned them using brass cleaner and a wire brush.
Then I started on the sanding. As you can see, I am missing one drawer so I began thinking of things I could do with that space. I thought about trying to track down an extra drawer somewhere, but I decided since this was going to be an accent piece, I liked the empty space and wanted to add some color there.
I wanted a tile for the empty spaces in the card catalog. I originally wanted a Spanish tile with a rustic wood appearance. However, I had two problems:
1. I could not find a Spanish tile that I liked and that would fit in the spaces.
2. Since I was adding a top and legs to this piece, I had to make three different pieces of wood match. Being new to this, the best way I knew how to match all the pieces was to stain it all the same color. This didn’t leave many options for “rustic.”
I set out on a search to find the perfect tile. I ended up choosing this mosaic tile because I knew it would be easy to pull apart and use the colors I wanted.
I tore the mosaic tile apart and cleaned the glue off the back of each piece.
Then we cut pieces of 1/4″ plywood to fit in the empty spaces on the card catalog and glued the tiles to the wood using contact glue. If there were any overhanging tiles, my father-in-law used his Dremel tool to cut it to size and then placed the finished pieces into the holes using contact cement.
After trying a “Weathered Oak” color that made the wood look gray, I ended up choosing a color called “English Chestnut” by Minwax and staining all of the pieces to match.
My father-in-law cut the top piece and routed the edges for me. Then he attached it using 1 1/2″ lag bolts and washers. He attached the two main pieces of the card catalog using 5/8″ bolts, nuts, and washers on the four corners. The end drawers have a cut out in the middle so they are able to slide over the bolts.
I ordered the table legs from Osbourne Wood Products, Inc. and stained them to match the other pieces. My father-in-law then attached the legs using dowel hanger bolts with lag on one side and machine on the other.
We are really happy with the final product. I am still missing one drawer handle because I haven’t been able to find one yet. If anyone knows where I can get one, please let me know!
Thank you for letting me share. This was a great learning experience and I can’t wait to re-purpose more treasures!
Letitia is a stay at home mom to two boys and she blogs about life at Sometimes I feel like a porcupine.
I love great repurposed furniture makeovers Letitia! Your card catalog turned out beautiful. I love how you solved the problem of the missing drawer. Thanks for sharing your card catalog turned accent piece with us today!