How to make repurposed window cabinets
Friends and family know I collect JUNK. People love to unload their unwanted items on me as much as I love getting random junky finds.
MDF is not my "go to" building material, but I wouldn't turn it down if offered to me. Nor would I throw it out.
I always have old windows in storage. Many times I even have matching windows as in this case. Since I was making two window cabinets, I wanted to use two windows that matched.
My friend Missy brought me all these spare bed parts from her mom to use on these window cabinets.
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After putting two coats of primer on the mdf wood, I got busy building a standard box to fit the size of the windows. I used Gorilla wood glue for a strong hold.
Using a countersink bit is useful for a project like this. It not only drills a pilot hole, but allows you to easily hide the screw heads.
Build a base for the repurposed cabinets
I clamped the glued pieces together and used the countersink bit to drill my pilot holes. After I built the box, I started putting together the “stand”.
How to attach legs to window cabinet
I cut the bedposts down to size. Drawing a circle around the leg on the top of the wood allows you to know where to drill the pilot holes
Here’s a tip: It’s difficult to hold the leg and the top together to get the screws in. I used very long screws to hold the board to the legs. In order to do that I first screwed a shorter screw through the pilot hole in the board just barely going into the leg.
Remember: Most bedposts are VERY hard wood. You MUST drill a pilot hole into the leg.
Work smarter not harder
After the short screw secured the leg (barely) I drilled the pilot hole through the original pilot hole into the leg. Then I inserted my long screw. I did this a second time, then I removed the original short screw, drilled the pilot hole into the leg and inserted one of my long screws.
You may think to yourself why not just use one of the long screws and not go all the way with it. The long screws were coarse (too big to do this without first drilling a pilot hole). The short screw I used was more of a fine thread and easily screwed into the leg enough to hold it temporarily. Another option is to shoot a brad nail through the base into the top of the leg to hold it until you can secure it with screws. I highly recommend using Gorilla wood glue for an extra strong hold.
I soap my screws, they go in much easier that way. Even then sometimes they squeeaal. If that happens to you, back it out slightly and push it in again. Sometimes you might have to do that twice.
Stand for window cabinet
This is the stand.
In this photo I'm testing the fit of the repurposed window box onto the stand base.
I took this picture to show you how I work! Working in the driveway is my best option.
You can see here that I have the crown molding on the first cabinet.
This is all I had left of the length of crown molding I used. I was a little stressed. There was NO room for error here.
Embellish window cabinet with molding
This is the basic design of the window cabinets.
I cleaned the windows and scraped all the years of paint off.
While removing MASSIVE amounts of putty on window #2 I had a little accident. OOOPS! I pressed a little too hard near one of the points and one of the panes cracked. You can see how to cut a new pane in my post How To Cut Glass
I taped the windows so I could paint them. You’ll see the second from the bottom pane is NOT taped. Well, it has a piece of tape on it to keep it from breaking completely. That’s the one I had to replace.
Here is one of the cabinets after 4-5 coats of primer and two coats of flat white paint. I added shelves that lined up with the panes of the glass. That really makes a big difference in the end product.
Window Cabinet Display Cases
I made the cabinets so they would open opposite. One is hinged on the right, the other is hinged on the left. Don't you love how the twin window cabinets turned out? I love that they stand on the floor instead of hanging on the wall.
If you love this project, you will not want to miss this roundup of window projects.
EDITED TO ADD: Missy emailed me some pictures she took with her phone of the twins in their new room. Her mom Mary dressed them really pretty, don’t you think?
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.