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Topic: Ugly foam cooler and box to cool chameleon wall hanging w/secret compartment!  (Read 14169 times)
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manycrafter
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« on: December 02, 2009 06:58:45 AM »

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.  Sad 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.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009 07:50:25 PM by manycrafter » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2009 07:24:11 AM »

excellent work, I love hidden compartments but this would've rocked even without that Cheesy
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hermioneknits
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2009 07:32:43 AM »

That is amazing.  Really, I would totally love one.  And a hidden compartment just makes it all the cooler!
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McJulie-O
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2009 08:10:26 AM »

I'm not familiar with your hot wire foam cutter tool... that looks pretty neat-o, and you've illustrated just how practical it can be.... what more can you recommend it for?
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009 08:18:18 AM »

Wow- that's really just so cool, and thanks for the in-progress shots- really interesting. So how much did your nephew love it!? The secret compartment is excellent.
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manycrafter
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2009 08:41:00 AM »

Dragronflywer--I haven't given it to my nephew yet--planning to for Christmas! Hope he likes it! I just finished it this morning!

McJulie-O--I use the Hot Wire Tools for all KINDS of projects...I do these really interesting no-sew quilts where I take a foam board and use the Hot Wire Engraver to create channels to press in the fabric, then I lay out the fabric and make it like a pieced quilt. They come out really beautiful and elaborate, people love them. I'll post one when I get time. I also am doing a big bass-relief mural with foam using the tools. I've used them to make furniture that I coat with layers of the cement mixture and then use mosaic tile on...gosh, so many things it's hard to think of all of them!
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McJulie-O
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2009 10:44:20 AM »

Dragronflywer--I haven't given it to my nephew yet--planning to for Christmas! Hope he likes it! I just finished it this morning!

McJulie-O--I use the Hot Wire Tools for all KINDS of projects...I do these really interesting no-sew quilts where I take a foam board and use the Hot Wire Engraver to create channels to press in the fabric, then I lay out the fabric and make it like a pieced quilt. They come out really beautiful and elaborate, people love them. I'll post one when I get time. I also am doing a big bass-relief mural with foam using the tools. I've used them to make furniture that I coat with layers of the cement mixture and then use mosaic tile on...gosh, so many things it's hard to think of all of them!

Thanks! I look forward to seeing more!
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2009 11:05:51 AM »

This is totally neat-o. I really like the secret compartment.
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2009 11:41:22 AM »

Do you work for the Hot Wire Foam Factory, lol? Just kidding.

Your lizard came out wonderful! Good job.
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Asheri
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2009 02:58:47 PM »

Wow! That is sooo cool--! Excellent work!
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notanotherxerox
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2009 04:26:30 PM »

You have no idea how bad I wish I was your nephew, haha:) Awesome job!
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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2009 04:41:27 PM »

notanotherxerox--how kind of you to say that!  Roll Eyes Maybe I can make you a gekko or something for a swap!

LiveLongandCraft--You haven't heard me plug for all my OTHER favs yet! I LOVE my electric kiln but mostly because I ABSOLUTELY ADORE my Barlett Kiln Controller, it lets me set the time and the cone setting and then just lets me know when it is done! (But this project didn't involve ceramics, so oops, shouldn't plug this here!) Or my sewing machine...ok, not here, either! I'll just tell you about my other fav tools when I use them on a project!

This was my first challenge entry and the "teacher" side of me popped out--I want to tell everyone how to do it if they want to make one, too!
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skylarC
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2009 04:56:44 PM »

This is really awesome. I have a little brother who would adore having a place to store his little boy-trinkets.

Great work!

--Skylar
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2009 09:25:44 PM »

Wow! I love when people can look at something useless and see amazing potential. I rarely have that skill. You- totally got it! This rocks!
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« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2009 06:40:02 AM »

cool chameleon! very labour intensive project, but you definitly too it from ugly to awesome. well done!
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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2009 07:35:52 PM »

This is WAY cool! I have a little boy that would LOVE something like this. Too bad I suck at sculpting Wink
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nolazombie
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2009 08:23:33 PM »

Do you work for the Hot Wire Foam Factory, lol? Just kidding.

I was thinking that too!  Grin

But I'm really glad you gave as much info as you did- I had no idea these crafty tools even existed. I really love how your project turned out, and the next time I have some extra money and time to play with a new craft, I'm going to investigate the products you plugged further!
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santacruzsugar
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2009 09:15:42 PM »

I HATE styrofoam, so I think this is the most amazing transformation ever! good job!
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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2009 10:01:14 AM »

You've got my vote! This is very cool! Nice paint job! I couldn't even tell it came apart in sections!!  Cheesy
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« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2009 05:13:56 PM »

This is excellent!!!
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grenouille78
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2010 03:49:08 PM »

Wow!! Never in a million years would it have occurred to me to do this! Very cool transformation.
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