Caroline’s Closet

Well, the journey continues as I try to reorganize this little house of mine.  Thanks for all of the input from my last post on this topic.   I think, after hours of walking around with a tape measurer, calculating every square inch ( no, I am not exaggerating)  that I am going to try and fit her in my room after all.   We have two smallish closets in our bedroom, and I am planning on emptying one of them if I can, and letting the boys keep their space for now.  But more on that later.

If I am going to try and fit her in my room, I wanted to find a piece of furniture to keep all of her things in.  I looked at different kinds of shelving options and dressers, but what I have always really wanted was an old fashioned armoire.  I love the look of a nice armoire, neatly organized inside, with room both for shelves and a hanging bar for dresses.  Problem is, I hate spending money on furniture, and everything that I liked was way out of my price range and way too big for my space.  That sent me to Craigs List, where the notice

“Old armoire for anyone in need of a Pinterest project”

caught my eye.  The pictures were terrible, and it was hard to tell exactly what I was looking at, but the price was definitely in my range- 25 bucks.  I thought it was worth a gander.

When I got to the ladies house, her garage was a sight to behold.  It was packed, floor to ceiling, with old furniture.  She assured me again and again that she was not a hoarder, and told me, as she dug the armoire out, that three old aunties and a grandmother had died in the last few years and left all of their stuff with her.

When I finally saw the piece, I wasn’t overly impressed.  The doors were half off, some of the wood on the sides was buckling, and the ugly blue paint covering it was all gloppy and peeling off.  But it had character, it was the right size, and I figured I was only out 25 dollars if it didn’t work out.  She loaded it up.

Now the hubby and I have differing views (ahem) on what constitutes a worthwhile project.  He took one look at my decrepit armoire as he helped me unload it, and just gave me one of his looks.  Some of you know those looks.  Let’s just say there are serious eyebrows involved.  But I am afraid the look only stiffened my resolve to make something of it, and I told him I would do all the work myself.  He never said a word.

The first thing to do was to get the awful paint off and see what we were dealing with.  Thankfully, the boys were more than willing to help with this job and had great fun peeling big long strips of blue paint off the old wood.  There were several layers, but they came off quite easily.  At my son’s birthday party, some of his friends even joined in the fun.

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See the character emerging?

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But the deeper we got, the more worried I became. The side and back panels were flimsier than I realized and there was a lot of water damage.  Some of the wood started peeling off with the paint, and the back was totally warped.

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I almost gave up, but I told myself to keep going since the frame was still nice and sturdy.  I removed the doors, which were worth keeping, got a hammer and just started tearing out all the flimsy warped wood.  I was left with an armoire skeleton and a big splintery mess.

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The skeleton needed some patch work as well, but nothing that a little wood glue and filler couldn’t fix.  But I was puzzled what to do next since I was very determined not to spend more money on this project, and I didn’t want to ask the hubby to go buy me new wood panels and cut and install them.  I guess I’m stubborn that way, or I am more intimidated by his eyebrows than I care to admit.  So I took my SOS to Pinterest and found one last idea that I thought might work.

I found an old gift certificate I had forgotten about (don’t you hate it when that happens) and placed an order.  Then I found half a can of old paint and started painting since the wood was not really worth refinishing.

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A few days later, my order arrived- A nice sturdy, brightly flowered fabric.  I just prayed the idea would work.

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Since I had pulled out all the old paneling, there were nice little grooves all around the edges of the armoire frame.

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I started with the back panel.  I cut the fabric with some extra length, so I could fold it over several times and sew it into a nice thick edge.  Then I took my putty knife and wedged the thick edge tightly into the grooves.

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It worked!  The fabric was nice and taut, and gave a very nice, smooth look when it was all tucked in.

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Emboldened, I did the side panels as well, making it double sided so the fabric showed inside and out.

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I love the overall effect!  Even the hubby was impressed.  The sides may not be terribly sturdy, but the frame is solid, and the fabric isn’t going anywhere.

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All that was left was to reattach the doors and bring it inside.

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Oh, and get some clothes to put in it!

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