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My kids are slobs… They really are but I also can fully admit that I was not a tidy child by any means. Knowing that things need to be fun for any kid to want to participate in something, I needed to make a way for them to enjoy organizing. Behold the DIY laundry hamper!
About 6 years ago I bought this old cabinet. We used it as a liquor cabinet. It has a light in it that looks really nice through the glass pane. Surprisingly, it can hold a ton of bottles so I knew it would hold a lot of dirty clothes.
Being a huge fan of chalk paint, of course, I painted it! I loved the yellow that I saw in the hardware store when I went to scope out paint colors. I also antiqued it at the time. Personally, I love that look and all my bedroom furniture is done the same.
Now that we have moved into our new house, the liquor cabinet doesn’t fit anywhere. I have literally had it all over the house in an attempt to make it work. I decided that I needed to change the color, maybe that would solve the problem.
Last summer I did a huge kitchen reno. I repainted the whole house at the same time, so maybe it just didn’t match anymore…
Once I got really looking at it, I couldn’t decide what to do…
As I began to inspect the piece to see which color would help it somehow work with my new home feel, my mind wondered and I knew exactly what I was going to do!
My brain works in this illogical fashion that I think is often referred to as a creative mind. I can stare at something and play around with what I can do with it in my mind.
From there, most of my ideas have come to life. Well, that and Pinterest!
Seriously, if you are in any way interested in DIY or baking for that matter, Pinterest is where you need to look for ideas.
So I began. Anthony walked by at the moment that I had the cabinet fully emptied of the liquor and turned over on its side ready for its first cut. I laughed to myself as he just kept on walking by as normal.
In our home, this scene is completely normal! lol
It made me thankful for a home and husband that allows me to express myself in whatever way I feel. Being able to build, create and in this case, temporarily destroying makes me so happy.
The final DIY project is the reward that makes me feel accomplished and successful and I think we all need that in our lives. That being said, I do value the skill and creativity that DIY home projects bring me.
The moment I am expected to do something (which does happen) it sucks all the fun and joy out of it for me.
Tools You Will Need
As always I try to list everything that I used down to which screws. Being an avid DIY’er I have followed my fair share of tutorials or posts only to find a key piece missing. Of course, for the most part, you can alter what you need as needed.
DIY is more like cooking than baking. With baking, you have to be exact or things fail big time. However, like cooking, if you are off a bit, we have trusty caulking and plaster for that!
Here are the tools that I used:
- Skill saw
- Saw Saul
- Drywall screws
- Paster of Paris
- Warm Water
- Stir stick for paint
- Palm sander
If you are just starting out with DIY, I have a list of the top 10 must have tools for DIY that you can check out!
How to Build A DIY Laundry Hamper
Unfortunately, I got way too excited and completely forgot to take a picture of the cabinet before I started.
Here is the best one that I have… It is upside down but you get the gist. I will go through all my old photos because I am certain I would have taken pictures of it when I got it and painted it. Once I find them, I will be sure to add them so you get a better visual.
I started by turning the cabinet upside down. I love being able to just go at a project versus measuring and re-measuring until it is just right. Again, I am more a baker than a cook! lol…
I pulled out my Sawzall and started cutting it right down the middle. My Sawzall is one of my favorite tools!
Parts of the cabinet were super easy to cut through like the back but the rest is Oak so it was harder being a strong hardwood.
I simply continued to flip the cabinet until it was cut all way around. I removed the half that I didn’t need right away and set it aside.
Turing the half that I needed onto its side, you can see how each end is a different style. Being someone obsessed with symmetry, I needed to fix this… lol (Don’t worry, I put my shoes back on before I started any tools again)
I decided that I prefer the end that wasn’t as thick because it would be the easiest to modify since it was already finished. The opposite end sat on the ground so it was open underneath. It would have needed to be closed and that would have been much more difficult to do. Plus, I didn’t want it to consume a lot of space since it would be going across from my washer and dryer in the upstairs hallway.
You can see in the picture above that I removed the end from the half I set aside so that I could use it in the new DIY laundry hamper in the works!
Love when it really starts to come together!
Before I could continue to the next step, I had to remove a bit of excess from the piece I was working with, I used the skill saw for that. I like the skill saw for when things don’t need a crazy clean-cut (although I have learned a technique to make one heck of a straight cut, I must admit) and if I need a bit more strength.
Next, I used 4 drywall screws to attach the end I removed onto the new piece so that it would look like one solid piece. I really like drywall screws, mostly because they are black and it gives a cool look to a piece.
Since I am big on symmetry, I added 4 drywall screws to the other side as well. They don’t do anything other than looking nice and match.
As you can see, the cabinet had two doors on it. These are the tops for the new laundry hampers.
Note, I said hampers! I have allotted one side per child! I have 2 laundry hampers in one now. At the end of the day, each kiddo will put their dirty clothes into their own hamper. Then, at the end of the week, they are responsible for doing their hamper of laundry!
The hinges were on the wrong side for my DIY laundry hamper to actual work. Since the piece is oak, which is a hardwood, I had to predrill holes first on the opposite side so that the doors would open the other way.
Sanding was the next step. I used my palm sander with 60 grit sandpaper. My palm sander was inexpensive and does exactly what I need. You don’t always have to pay a lot for tools.
Next, was painting. As I mentioned the yellow no longer fits in with our home. I have the whole house painted in various shades of grey. That will be a whole other post. Picking the perfect shade of grey was way harder than I thought it would be…
Finally, I decided to paint the new piece Repose Grey, which is my favorite of the many I have now tried. I followed my usual chalk paint recipe and applied two coats. Leave an hour or two between coats. I find it doesn’t need very long to dry but don’t rush it.
After the second coat is completely dry I put a coat of polyurethane onto my DIY laundry hamper.
You can see how the 2 sections are going to be perfect for all those dirty clothes. The best part is that all of those dirty clothes won’t be noticeable because the lids will close!
Love the look of the old hinges and hardware! It gives so much character to the piece and adds a warm feel to our home.
Our washer and dryer are upstairs. I have the new laundry hamper across from them in the hallway. It fits perfectly! The kids love that they have a designated space that isn’t a typical hamper.
You can do so much with an old piece of furniture. Don’t always go out and buy something new. Take a step back and see what doesn’t feel right in your home or bring you happiness anymore; make something new out of it!
Often, it is just getting started that is the hardest part. If you don’t have a Pinterest account, get one now. You will find have thousands of amazing ideas with step by step instructions on what you can build. You can get so much inspiration for all the things that you can do in your own home.
Creating and building give you time to not think about all of the other stressful stuff in life. If you have kids you can teach them how as well and they can help you by holding parts or painting!
I would love to see your latest project. Feel free to leave a comment and even a picture!