Friday, August 26, 2016

Turn File Cabinets into a Desk!

One of the many challenges with moving to a new house is figuring out how to fit furniture in ways that are functional and aesthetically pleasing!  It's sort of like Tetris.  But with prettier colors and shapes.

We have a large, yet weirdly shaped open living room.  Our only furniture configuration leaves an empty corner in which I've placed a wingback chair that had no other place.  I wanted a functional, yet pretty spot to use as a mini home office/homework spot.  For cheap.  BUT.  I want it be pretty.  I want, I want, I want, I want.. Yikes!  Now we come to the WHOLE point of this post:

I found matching two-drawer file cabinets at Goodwill for $6 each! The price range for brand new file cabinets is $40-$150. That alone was a deal!  (Goodwill can be overpriced at times, but sometimes you get 'lucky'!) 

I bought six 1x4's (6 feet in length) from Lowe's and cut them 5 feet in length.  After lightly sanding down them edges and corners, I stained the planks with Minwax stain.  I used two light coats of the Classic Gray color, and then one light coat of the Honey color.  The mixture of the two stains gives an aged look instead of just stained.  Had I not spilled about 7/8ths of the Honey colored stain, this project literally would used a teeny tiny bit of stain!  I COULD have sealed them with wax or polyurethane, but we will NOT be using this surface for food so I left off that step!

Next, I already had 8x1-1/4" screws and 1x1-1/2" wood pieces that are cut in 17 inch lengths.  I pre-drilled the holes so the 1x1-1/2" wood wouldn't split and attached the connector pieces to the 1x4's.  I attached the connector pieces 24-3/4" apart.  I didn't use 1x1/2" cut to the actual depth of the table because I didn't want to be able to see the connector pieces poking out when you look at the front of the desk.

I did NOT attach the table to the file cabinets.  I placed the table portion on top of the cabinets with the connector pieces lying on the inside of the side of the cabinet.  For now, this works perfectly!  The table is heavy enough that it doesn't shift or shake.  

And there you have my easy, frugal solution to an empty corner of my living room!  My oldest is excited to have a special desk to use for homework, and I'm happy to have another surface and area to decorate! 

Here's the breakdown of the materials and cost:

2 Two-drawer file cabinets = $12
6 1x4's (6 feet each) - 6 x $3.72 each = $22.32
Sandpaper (already had it!) = $0
Stain (already had the Honey color) = $7.77
10 8x1-1/4" Screws (already had them!) = $0
1x1-1/2's cut into 17 in. (already had it!) = $0
Total = $42.09

Considering one of the purchases (the stain) will provide MANY more uses, this is a GREAT deal for a customized piece of furniture!

Thanks for reading, friends!!


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