Monday, 6 August 2012

Free-cycled storage boxes ... ...

There's a lot to be said for free-cycling, and indeed buying from charity shops, especially at the moment, seems the whole planet is skint, so we were pleased to be offered a load of wooden storage boxes.

Now it has to be said they weren't perfect,but they are a good size, they had been drawn on with felt tip pens, and other assorted pen types, but apart from that they were in good order, so how to get a load of pen marks of wood.

Here's one of the boxes before I attacked it -

Lots of pen to deal with.

Apart from the pen and the colour of the panels all 6 (yes there are six of them) were in good shape, just in need of some sprucing up.

From another angle - 

We've changed the coloured panels as well.

There was some pen on the sides of the boxes as well, but after a sand with a belt sander, the lids (which had the bulk of the pen on) looked as good as new.

After a good sanding - 

Lid looks as good as new now.

The next thing to do after sanding the lids was to take the boxes apart, well it was more a case of round all the parts up, as there are six I had to take them apart to get them into to my bike trailer, and it would appear I should have been a little more careful when riding home as I lost two bits, but luckily after retracing my steps I found both missing bits, and after sanding those parts as well it was on to varnishing and painting.

Some of the parts already sanded and varnished, just drying in the sun - 

I just used a clear varnish for the wooden parts.

Now onto the panels, the kids weren't keen on the red and yellow, so we painted each panel a colour that matched their rooms, we used emulsion on each side and then gave each panel a coat of pva on each side as well, this will make the panels washable, which is good as mucky hand prints can get everywhere.

Painting in progress - 

A small gloss roller works well for this type of job, and gives a nice finish.

I had to give each panel two coats of paint on each side to cover up the original colours, I very nearly got sick of painting, and after the paint was dried I just applied a thin coat f pva glue with a brush, you can buy a 5 litre tub of pva from B&Q for about ten quid, and you can use it for loads of other stuff as well, kids crafts, gluing wood together and just about anything else you can think of in terms of uses for glue.

And that as they say is that, for the price of, well nothing as we had the paint and the glue, just cost a bike ride or two, we now have 6 pretty sturdy storage boxes for the kids to put some of their endless supply of toys in.

The finished boxes - 

Three pink for my daughter.

And the other three for my sons room - 

Just need to decorate his room to match the boxes now.

I'm not sure how much these boxes would have cost brand new, but I'm betting it wouldn't have been as cheap as we got them for.

So if you get felt tip on wood you may not have to throw it away, try giving it a sand first, I wouldn't recommend trying to clean it off with anything that might make the wood wet as the pen will just soak in more, and if it won't sand out try painting it, saves having to throw it out and it'll save money.

Thanks for reading.

Me and My Shadow


  1. This is genius!!

    They look so amazing, so much classier and more expensive than before. And all for free!

    Had to chuckle at you dropping bits on the way though! Sorry.

    1. My wife thought it was funny as well, next time I'll have to make sure I tie all the bits down properly.

      Thanks for reading.

  2. Those are brilliant! They look like they are great quality as well. Well done putting so much effort into them, I bet you feel really proud whenever you see them!

    1. They are sturdy boxes, which is good with my kids, I'm pleased with how they turned out, and the kids seem to like them as well.

      Thanks for reading.