cabinet square

Curious About Cabinets: Buy or DIY?

kitchen curioCurio Cabinets

Curio cabinets have developed into a joy in themselves as they highlight your favorite items and mementos to friends and family, keep all your beloved pieces in one place to enjoy them in wonderment every day, while also protecting your expanding collection.

Curio cabinets began as places to keep curios – defined in the dictionary as curious or unusual objects of art or knickknacks and whatnots that are perhaps worthy of collecting because of their oddity. This explanation could, of course, include silver spoons from Alaska, all assortments of wedding and christening favors, crystals, face masks from Africa and possibly even shrunken heads from the Amazons of Ecuador and Peru.

Use of Curio Cabinets

These days, nevertheless, you can use curio cabinets for anything:

– Display your family’s sporting interests by presenting your son’s baseball trophies next to your husbands autographed baseballs.

– House your priceless family treasures – such as great grandma’s turquoise and silver comb, grandpa’s golden pen, mum’s old sapphire brooch which you wore on your wedding day and your son’s first baby photo.

– Or perhaps, guard against dust and grime the brass alto saxophone that you know you’ll learn to play one day in your retirement years.

But how do you choose the curio cabinet that’s just right for you? Ask yourself the subsequent questions below and find out how.

Tips on How to Select a Curio Cabinet

1. The initial question you should ask when buying a curio cabinet is: What kind of curios will I put in it? If it is a tall brass alto saxophone, then you need to get a tall, traditional curio cabinet with fitted glass doors to keep the dust out and with removable glass shelves to make room for your favorite musical instrument.

2. How much light is there at the spot where you are going to put your curio cabinet? Is it in the sunroom with plenty of natural light or is it in a dark corner of the house? If it is the latter, then you need a lighted cabinet to brighten the corner as well as offer accent lighting to your displays.

3. How large of a space do you have for your curio cabinet?

– Is the space amply high and wide? Then you might want to get a traditional, dark cherry curio cabinet with generous measurements of 44W x 17D x 79H inches.

– If narrower, then a more contemporary curio cabinet with practical urban living measurements of 24W x 12D x 76H inches may be better.

– If low and wide such as in a family room or den, then a golden oak console curio cabinet measuring 56W x 13D x 30H inches is probably what you need.

– And if angled in a corner, you may want a curio cabinet that can be conveniently placed in a corner and most likely measuring around 28W x 16D x 72H inches.

4. The other question to ask is – Do you want to match the look of your curio cabinet with the other furniture in the room?

– If you want to preserve a traditional look, then you might want to select from grand old-fashioned designs with bevelling, hand-carved details, and dark timber finishes.

– If the room is contemporary, then you might want the clean lines and lighter timber finishes of a more urbanized curio cabinet with lots of mirror and glass.

5. What type of wood or non-wood appeals to you?

– If cost is a consideration and you do not mind the look of MDF or engineered wood, then you might choose a curio cabinet made of strengthened pressed particle board and topped with timber veneer or laminate.

– If you feel that a solid wood curio cabinet sounds like a good investment, then you should get a curio cabinet made from the more common oak or maple – hardwoods that can only gain character and charm as they age.

6. And last but not least, what is your budget?

– Are you prepared to bite the bullet on a Louis XV-inspired Pulaski curio cabinet selling for $2000 so that you can have a stunning accent piece that can enhance your entire living room experience?

– Or do you just want a simple wall curio cabinet – one that you can get for $20 from eBay to put your dog figurine collection in?

plywood sheetsBuilding Your Own Woodcraft Cabinet

Rather than me telling you what it feels like to build something with your own two hands, let’s experience it together.  Building beautiful, unique, hand-built wooden furniture and cabinetry is easier than you probably can imagine. Let’s begin your woodcrafting with some very simple, but functional, woodcraft cabinets.

We need to get started with a straightforward design.  This way you’ll be less likely to get frustrated at your blunders and possibilities are that you’ll make a handful. The primary thing you should do before beginning your woodcraft cabinets is to find a work area which is well lit and that can get coated in sawdust.

The Materials List

When you’ve found your location, you can create your woodcraft cabinets material list. For the purposes of this project, they will include:

One 4’ x 7’ plywood sheet

Two 3’x 7’ plywood sheets

Two 3’x5’ plywood sheets, and

Three 2.5’ x 7’ plywood sheets

Four hinges and two door handles, with wood screws

A hammer and nails,

Sandpaper, paint, and varnish

Just from examining this list of materials you most likely have established a fairly precise picture of the woodcraft cabinets we will be building.

Before you begin on your woodcraft cabinets you’ll have to measure the location in which you intend them to be placed; the dimensions of their location will, obviously, determine the dimensions of the woodcraft cabinets. If you are just building a training woodcraft cabinet without regard for where it will be used, stick with the plywood sheets on the list. Otherwise, you can have plywood sheets cut to size at your home supply store.

Building Your Woodcraft Cabinets

Your largest sheet of plywood will operate as the woodcraft cabinets’ backboard, to which you will perpendicularly nail the two 3’x7” sheets using between four and eight nails along each edge.

Two of the three 3’x5’ plywood sheets will next be nailed to the top and bottom of your woodcraft cabinet with a sufficient number of nails. The third 3’X5” sheet is the woodcraft cabinet’s divider and should be nailed into it at the suitable height for a shelf.

Your two remaining sheets of plywood, the ones measuring 2.5”x7”, are supposed to supply your woodcraft cabinet’s doors. Attach each of them with two of your four hinges to opposite sides of the cabinet’s opening. They’ll have wood screws included when you buy them.

Then add your door handles, again with wood screws, and you’ll have finished a functional, yet simple, woodcraft cabinet with a shelf and working doors! You can even paint it to give it a cozy look.

Granted that the woodcraft cabinets you will produce from this plan are incredibly simple, but they will be practical and also give you an idea of what woodcrafting is about. You can build on what you have learned, and before long, be creating your own sophisticated, well-constructed woodcraft cabinets which will make your home the envy of the neighborhood!

About the Author Joyce

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