Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Record cabinet DIY - turning a record cabinet into a toy chest!

This project is exciting for a few reasons. For starts, I have always loved the look of old record cabinets, but never had any need for one in my house. We already have a record player to begin with, and even if we didn't, I find them really huge and bulky for something that wouldn't be used too often. So I am very excited to have finally come up with a way to use one of these old things!

The second reason this project is exciting is that it finally gives me an excuse to announce that... I'm pregnant! My husband and I are expecting our first child, a girl, in February.

So, how does that relate to an old record player?

Well a few weeks ago, I spotted this monstrosity on it's way to the trash.

I somehow managed to convince my husband that we needed to save it, so a few hours later, we loaded it into our truck and took it home.

Since I have babies on the brain lately, I knew that I wanted to use it as a piece in our nursery. I hemmed and hawed over a few different uses, and finally decided that it would make a perfect toy chest (which for the first while, could just be storage for the huge amount of baby supplies that will soon overtake our lives.)

We began by prying the record player apart, and emptying out the insides.

(You'll have to excuse my husbands arms here.. he doesn't seem to comprehend the idea of taking photos for a blog post when there's work that can be done.)

This part was surprisingly straight forward. Even though the cabinet was full to the brim with cables, wires, and electronics (a tape deck, record player, radio) it was basically as simple as just unscrewing things and pulling them out.  

Once this was done, I brought the cabinet outside, and primed it with a stain blocking primer. 

In hindsight.. a second coat would not have been a bad idea. But, I left it at one (this just meant I needed several coats of my paint instead.)

After it dried overnight, I came at it with a nice buttercream yellow. I haven't thought of a real "color story" for the nursery yet. All I know is that I want a mix of furniture colors/textures, including wood and paint. So, I just went to the paint store and chose what spoke to me, not worrying about the other pieces to come.

Those mickey mouse holes where the speakers used to be just needed to be covered up with some fabric. I had some leftover floral, which went pretty nicely with the yellow, so I just used a staple gun to throw that on. I spray painted the grates white, then painted the rest of the piece yellow (many, many times.)

And at that.. the exterior is done!

Here's a few comparison shots:

And some more of the exterior:

Once we bring it inside, I'll get some better brighter photos (for now, the nursery is missing some walls. We're putting a laundry room in next to it!) I also have to consider how to arrange the inside - shelves or compartments, or just open as it is now. 

Has anyone else come up with a use for one of these old record cabinets?

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