Upcycle Part of File Cabinet Into a Memory

4 Materials
2 Hours

While cleaning out my (Vicki) garage, I had to make a lot of decisions about what to do with all the stuff. Much of it went into the trash, some was set on the curb with hopes someone would pick it up, many trips were made to donate some of it and better quality things were sold on Craigslist or in a yard sale.

There was some stuff I just couldn't get rid of. One such object was a small 2-drawer file cabinet. Before my parents gave up full time RVing, during which they made my house home base, the little file cabinet sat in the workspace my dad carved out of a corner of my garage. Seeing the cabinet evoked strong, pleasant memories of the time he had his shop in my garage. When they moved to South Florida, he took almost all his stuff. This little file cabinet was left behind.

Seeing that I wanted to keep the cabinet, Steph came up with a great idea to use part of it, but trash the bulk of it. Read or take a look at the video to see what we did.

Take a look at the video--it's short but informative!

This was the old file cabinet. It was pretty rusty as well as weather worn from being outside.

So much stuff to get rid of! I'm proud to say that we were able to get rid of probably 80% of the the stuff that filled my garage. We are well on our way into making it a fully functioning workshop!

We started by cutting off the part we wanted to save. We used a Maikta subcompact reciprocating saw with Diablo metal cutting blade. This tool works like the full-size version, but is lighter and easier for me to handle.

Once removed, steph used a Dremel multi-tool to cut off the excess metal and then hammered the sharp edges down.

A little WD-40 and a Scotch Brite pad were used to clean up the front and to help protect it from further rust damage.

I was really impressed with how clean the label holder got. I was able to removed almost all the rust. The handle was replaced and it was ready to be hung in the garage.

Finished and hanging in place. There's no fancy hanging hardware on back. It is simply resting on two screws we put into the wall!

We used a couple of tiny wrenches to hold our pics in place. The one on the right is my dad in his little workspace in my garage and the one on the left is him in his workspace in his home.

Such a sweet little memento to have in my new garage workspace. Post in the comments something you've had a hard time getting rid of. Have you done anything creative with sentimental objects? Share with the community!

Suggested materials:

  • WD-40   (Amazon)
  • Makita Sub-compact reciprocating saw   (Amazon)
  • Dremel Multi-max   (Amazon)
See all materials
Mother Daughter Projects
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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