My wife and I agreed to not spend more than $50 on our anniversary gifts to each other this year. The catch was that we had to make the gift! Perfect! I can make almost anything out of wood so I figured it would give me an excuse to start another project.
After a few conversations with Karen, I determined a medicine cabinet for her oils was the ticket. She’s been using essential oils instead of medicine on our whole family for the last month for every ailment you can imagine. She’s built quite a cache of bottles and they have nowhere to live. Off to the thrift shop I went to look for a cabinet and this is what I found:
The price was right at $10 and the cabinet was put together well enough to modify and paint without building one from scratch.
I took the entire thing apart in about 2 minutes with a hammer. Thankfully, none of the boards were glued together. I was able to take 5 inches off of the depth with very little effort and nail it back together to see what I had.
I liked it much better this way. Now the oils won’t be lost in darkness. Even with a new, shallow depth I felt that light would need to get through somehow. Since I had the piece pretty much where I wanted it, I needed to draw up a couple versions to see what she would like best. I thought the drawing below had the most “Karen” appeal.
You can read the fabulous commentary on the sides of the sketch, but this is generally what I was going for.
I found a few cabinets on Pinterest and I know Karen liked her friend Jessica’s cabinet, so I got some pics and put them all together on a Pinterest board. Yeah, that’s right, a Pinterest board. I can keep all my ideas in one spot and hide them by making a “secret” board. Moooohoooohahahahahaha! (BTW: you can click on the pictures to blow them up)
I did not like the flat piece on top so I made a change. Using some plastic bowls we received as wedding gifts, I traced out the contoured lines that I wanted using two different sized bowls. Then, I cut them out with a jig saw. Also, you can see that I trimmed the sides in half to prevent bottles from being lost or hard to find.
The top piece was made from extra wood I had laying around. At this point, I’ve still only spent $10!
I started to realize that I needed Karen’s input on the shelf height. It was going to be a surprise, but I decided that the element of surprise would have been ruined if I decided to paint it purple and gold with the wrong sized shelves. She picked out some mint green paint and gave me her shelf heights. Here is the unit with the first coat of paint:
The doors were going to be completely rebuilt. The left door would be a frame door with a 1/4 inch screen mesh (chicken wire). The wire would allow light in and keep oils from falling to the floor. The right door would be a frame door with a chalk board so mamma could keep track of what to order next. Or, she could tell me how much she loves me every morning! My budget now has been blown, but only by $5. I’m at $55 total.
For the finishing touches, Karen wanted a pretty cover over the back of the cabinet. I found this cabinet liner at Wal Mart and hot glued it to the backboard.
Done! Here it is, the $50 medicine cabinet: (Photo by: Karen Lodato Photography)