OK, I wanted to do something different, and I really LIKED the idea of turning a couch into a desk, but I couldn't fit one in my car! So, I went to the thrift store and looked and looked and looked, and came up with...turning these junky coolers and little wooden trinket box into a cool wall hanging with a secret compartment for my nephew! And, the price was right--coolers were $0.69 each and the box was also $0.69 so my total investment was $2.07.
After: and Before: .
It has a secret compartment, hidden in it, which is of course something designed for a boy to love:
How I made it:
1. Planning was easy. He likes lizards, so I went onto the Internet, downloaded and printed pictures of Chameleons, and then sketched on the coolers with water color pens.
2. Next I cut each part out using my hot knife (www.hotwirefoamfactory.com)--this is the tool I used the most on the project.
3. Now I started gluing. I got the glue from the same website, you need to make sure you use glue with foam that doesn't eat through the foam, and white glue never dries. You can use hot glue guns, though.
4. I let the glue dry overnight and then started carving--this is the fun part! I remove all the stuff I don't want. I use the freehand router because it lets me shape the blade and make cuts any way I want, so I can carve out the ribs and round out the edges. I love it because there is no mess.
5. Now I did the coating. I used Foam Coat, which is a hard cement coating. You just mix it up and paint it on. I wanted something really, really tough since it is going into a boy's room, and boys are hard on things. I needed it to be able to withstand being hit by a football or being knocked off the wall onto the floor!
6. I let the foam coat dry overnight. Final step was painting it. I just used acrylic paints. I just did it (the paint isn't really dry, but I took the pictures anyway to put this up!)
I spent about 5 hours total on this project--about 30 minutes at the thrift store, 30 minutes on the Internet, 2 hours cutting and gluing, 1 hour carving and shaping, 10 minutes coating and 50 minutes painting. (Well, I guess 6 hours because it took me an hour to write this and upload my pictures!) It cost me $2 at the thrift store, and maybe $1 worth of Foam Coat, and maybe $1 worth of paint, and my Hot Wire tools (but those were paid for a LONG time ago, I use them ALL the time!) so I would say the project cost about $4 total.