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Cabinet Made From Old Window

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I've been dying to make something cool out of a window for several years now but just never did. I've painted on windows, did a mosaic once, and even with the window in this project, I created a typography style art of all of the names/references of Jesus. I created the window art as a potential item to sell but it has just sat in my basement for nearly 2 years until now. I decided to make it into a coffee cabinet and I'm pleased as punch at the result!
Time: 3-4 Hours Cost: $50 Difficulty: Advanced
SUPPLIES:
-1x4x8 common board (2 pieces)
-old window
-plywood (1/4 2x4)
-1-1/2" hinges
-knob
Not Pictured:
-Kreg jig kit and screws
-drill
-clamps (optional but highly recommended!)
-palm sander and rough grit sandpaper (optional)
-fine grit sandpaper
-measuring tape
-pencil
-Weathered Grey stain
-Behr Cozy Cottage acrylic paint
-paint brush
-rags
-chop saw
-table saw
-staple gun
-3/4” (18 ga.) staples
STEP 1: Cut boards for box and shelves
First, I cut the common board to create my cabinet box. The cuts were as follows:
2 pieces - 32 7/16 (these will be your long sides—left and right)
2 pieces - 15 1/16 (these will be your short sides—top and bottom)
*Note: Your measurements will vary depending on what size window you use. Regardless of the size of your window, add ¼” to the width and height to the window itself—this will allow clearance when you open and close the “door”.
For the shelves, Rob “ripped” the boards using a table saw (as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I have a fear of the table saw and refuse to use it—haha!). The shelf measurements are 13½” x 67/16”.
I took a piece of fine grit sandpaper to knock off any rough edges of my boards once they were cut.
STEP 2: Drill holes in long board using Kreg jig
Next, I drilled holes using my Kreg jig—I lined the jig up on the left side of the top of each of my long boards and drilled a hole, then repeated on the right side, then the center of the board. I did this step for both the top and bottom ends of my long boards. Using a Kreg jig is optional, however, it gives the overall piece a nice, clean look where you don’t see nails or screws from the outside.
STEP 3: Add finish to cabinet box boards
For the overall look of my cabinet, I wanted it to be shabby chic/rustic farm-style/French cottage (I know, that’s a lot of descriptions but you get my drift). To get the look I wanted, I took a dry paint brush and did a white wash with my Cozy Cottage paint—the white wash method is just using light strokes, doesn’t have to be perfect, and the wood doesn’t need to be saturated with paint. Just a quick coat. Once the paint was dry, I took my Weathered Grey stain and brushed on a few streaks—again, you don’t have to go crazy making sure the wood it fully coated. Next, I took a rag and rubbed the stain in, I tried using long strides so you couldn’t see where I started and ended. I wiped the stain until all the excess was gone. I laid my window on the plywood and marked about where I thought it would be cut off (this way I could use any excess plywood for another project down the road).
STEP 4: Create cabinet box
Finally, it was time to start assembling the wood to make my cabinet! I would recommend an extra set of hands for this step—thankfully Rob was willing to be my assistant.
First, I glued the very edge of one of my long boards and sat it on the end of one of my short boards. To make sure there wasn’t going to be any movement when I was drilling, Rob clamped a random piece of wood to my worktable as well as the short board, then I used 1-1/4” Kreg screws to connect the long board and short board together. I repeated this step for the other long board on the other end of the same short board, then connected the 2nd short board to the other end of the long board. You should now have a box.
***NOTE: Make sure to keep a damp rag on hand to wipe off any glue that seeps through!
STEP 5: Measure and cut plywood
Next, it was time to make the back of my cabinet. I used a T-square to get accurate measurements—Rob recommended that I take my pencil line all the way to the edges so that’s what I did. My plywood measurement was 337/8” x 15”. Then, using a table saw, he cut the wood.
STEP 6: Attach back of cabinet
Now that I had my cabinet backing, I attached it using ¾” staples. Rob helped me at first, get my alignment right, because you have to be super careful not to staple too far down and blow through the back of your cabinet. Staple about every 2” all the way down each side of the back of your cabinet.
STEP 7: Mark shelving measurements
Ok, I know this is a time consuming project but we’re on the home stretch! I was finally able to deal with my shelves. From top to bottom of the INSIDE of my cabinet, it measured 327/16”, I knew I wanted three (3) shelves and the shelves themselves were ¾” thick. Once it was all said and done (including my not-perfect drilling skills), the spaces between my shelves ended up being 6¾”, 7¾”, 7¾”, and 87/16”. I was cool with the slight variations because we have several Yetis that we use everyday and are taller than the rest of our normal coffee mugs we use at home, so our Yetis now have a new resting place. :)
STEP 8: Drill holes in shelves
Next, it was time to create shelves—Rob cut them when he cut the boards for the cabinet box but then I had to finish them. Just like I did for my long boards in STEP 2, I used a Kreg jig to drill holes in my shelves; however, instead of lining the jig up to the edge and drilling the outside hole, I drilled the INSIDE hole—this will just save you from not having enough “meat” when you attach the shelves to the inside of your cabinet. Repeat this for the left and right on both ends of each of your shelves (*NOTE: only on ONE SIDE of your shelves though!!)
STEP 9: Install shelves
To install my shelves, I lined the bottom of my shelf up with my pencil marks from STEP 7, then clamped a piece of wood to the inside of my cabinet, on top of my shelf. This allowed me to work while keeping my shelf still so I could drill. Using 1¼” Kreg screws, I attached my shelf. I did this on both ends of each of all of my shelves. (*NOTE: Make sure your holes are on the underside of your shelves!)
STEP 10: Install knob and hinges
After my shelves were installed, I pre-drilled holes for my knob and hinges and installed them using the hardware provided in the packaging.
STEP 11: Sand door (optional)
Even after making sure I added ¼” to my initial cabinet measurements, I experienced some rubbing when I closed the door to my cabinet—I believe this may have been from adding the hinges and the door settling while it was sitting upright. Regardless, it was a quick fix by using a palm sander (or you can just use a piece of sandpaper) with rough grit sandpaper to knock down the door a bit.
So here she is! I was a little leery of painting/staining my cabinet a different color than what I had painted my window previously, but I love the two-tone. I wish we had had room in our bathroom for this but I’m totally digging the idea of a little café cabinet in our kitchen.

Materials I used for this project:

  • 1x4x8 common board (2 pieces)   (Home Depot)
  • Old window   (on hand)
  • Plywood (1/4 2x4)   (Home Depot)
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