I was at the Rebuilding Center the week after Christmas last year. The Rebuilding Center is this great place in Portland that sells salvaged building materials, including wood, cabinets, lighting, you name it. The inventory changes constantly so there are always cool things to check out whenever you go. I don’t think I was looking for anything in particular that day, I just like to wonder around, see what I uncover and maybe find a hidden treasure or two. On this day I came across a vintage set of cabinet doors complete with the original hardware in place. Someone was even kind enough and put the original screws in a baggy taped to the door. I thought, these definitely need a home. That’s when the inspiration hit to build a cabinet from reclaimed materials.
I’ve got tons of ideas, but I wouldn’t call myself a builder. I used to build things with my brother when I was younger, a rabbit cage, a fence, doll house furniture, etc. I acted as more of an assistant and he got things put together, so you could say I have some VERY basic knowhow on the subject. I’ve never had a chance to build a cabinet from reclaimed materials, but, I saw these doors and I said, “I gotta build.”
On the same trip, I also came across two drawers. They caught my eye even before I found the doors with their cute blue flowery drawer liners. It just so happened they were the perfect width to use above or below the doors. This was a cabinet in the making. And for a total of $14 bucks for the lot ($2 per drawer and $5 per door, including the hardware), I couldn’t pass these babies up.
Finding the Materials
With the drawers and doors set aside, I went to the wood section where they sell reclaimed lumber, flooring, molding, and everything else fun in the sun. I unearthed a few previously painted fir boards that were relatively wide and long. The drawers I found were only a foot deep, so I knew my cabinet-to-be wouldn’t be very deep and the boards were wider then their depth—they could make the sides, top or bottom of the cabinet. And that was it, the start to a project and one that I wasn’t even quite sure how to build. It was something I didn’t necessarily need, but something that called to me. I couldn’t wait to build a cabinet from all reclaimed materials. I’d discover its purpose and placement in the house later, but for now, the drawers, doors and wood came home with me that day with a vision of what they would become.
To learn more about how I created this cabinet from reclaimed materials, be sure to stay tuned for my next post in the series, Build a cabinet from reclaimed materials: Step 2, where I share my next steps on this reclaimed journey!
Have you done any building from reclaimed materials? What inspired your project?