I got quite inspired after seeing The PLAN TOY REFRIGERATOR last fall, but KNEW it would always be way outside of my budget range. Instead, I used that fridge as my inspiration, and got started on my own plan.
Looking back, I’m not really sure why I thought I could pull off a project like this. I mean, it involves wood. And cutting, and measuring, and power tools (some of which I’ve only used one time before, and not great at that). I guess I’ll attribute that tenacity to a little craziness on my part, and the knowledge that if I get myself in over head at any point, Steven will no doubt be there to happily bail me out. He’s a good one for that! So, Ahem…I proceeded on….
In February I primed the stereo cabinet in my dark basement. And there it sat for the next four months untouched, until now. Steven helped me purchase one huge sheet of plywood at Lowe’s for $13.56. We had Lowe’s cut it into fourths for us, so we could get it into the car (one piece below is pictured against the fence).
Then I got out an array of power tools to use…. It’s truly amazing HOW MANY different tools you find useful for just one project. I kept running back into the house for “one more thing.” I mainly used all you see here: 18volt power drill with drill bits, measuring tape, safety glasses, hammer, pencil, screwdriver, paper, and circular saw (and a kid shoe thrown in).
I first cut one piece to cover the whole back side of the cabinet, nailing it in place. Then I cut two doors for the front. One smaller, for the freezer above, and one larger for the fridge part below.
I cut and added two shelves on the inside and kept them in place by also cutting mounting strips for along the sides. I didn’t want Nathan to be able to remove them at any point, posing a hazard to his safety.
I bought two sets of brackets in different sizes at Ace to mount the fridge doors on with. Due to the inside lip of the stereo cabinet, I had quite a struggle placing these fridge doors on. The wood cutting was a breeze for me, compared to mounting these hinges. Sigh. Like 7 tries later, I finally got it.
I really wanted Nathan to have some “crisper” drawers at the bottom, and so I made up my own dimentions to two drawers. They didn’t come out flush, or perfect by any means, but some intense sanding later made them just right and usable. Not too shabby for my first project.
At Steven’s recommendation, I used wood glue on each edge of the crisper drawers, and held the pieces in place with nails in my power shot staple gun.
Here is one assembled drawer and one to be cut and built:
And a “rough shell” of my fridge building attempt after day one.
Priming day happened about a week later, and because Nathan begged me to help him once he saw the paint (and kept saying “paint, paint”!), I decided to have him help me. I’m glad I did. It was hilarious! We got covered in water-based primer, ruined a set of play clothes, and smothered the fridge in paint, but it was so much fun!!! Little guy just LOVED it! He painted the whole thing, inside and out, in just 15 minutes. And, to my surprise, did a pretty good job too!
And N wanted to help prime it again…for the next three days straight! : )
After the primer was dry, I added a few layers (by myself 🙂 ) of Rustoleum magnetic paint.