art · DIY · Home Decor

How to Make a Display cabinet on the CHEAP – $28.00 total

I promise you, this display cabinet only cost us $28.00 from start to finish. Les Gains, my husband, makes things. Lots and lots of little things. If he does not have a guitar in his hands, then you will find him in his studio creating fabulous little treasures.

resin figures sculpted by Les gains

Above is a crowd of funny little guys that Les made with resin. He first sculpts figures out of modeling clay, then he makes molds, then pours resin into the molds. When the resin has set up, Les unmolds them and then paints each figure.   THEN he assembles his elements into really cool little sculptures. As much as I am fascinated by his work, a lot of little things spread all over the house drives me nuts. I like to group small things together to form a larger display unit.

IKEA cabinet

Several years ago, I bought two of these cabinets from IKEA. The photo on the left shows the cabinet with the clear glass door open. Sporting adjustable shelves, it is perfect for small collectibles. Generally, Les works small. Most of his items range in height from 1″ to 9″.
As prolific as he is, the IKEA cabinets were full in no time at all. I needed a larger display shelf that would compliment the style of the old cabinet and our eclectic home decor.
So, off we went on yet another mission. Seeking cheap building materials, Les and I scoured junk yards and thrift stores. We finally found exactly what we needed at Khules, a salvage store in Prescott.
From the salvage yard, we bought a large galvanized utility box. Probably some type of electrical junction box? After finding the box, the rest was easy to assemble.

Knock-off IKEA cabinet


This photo shows the larger, finished box and a close up on the right so that you can see the side detail. It’s easy to make – just follow our step-by-steps listed here.

  1.  (after a thorough cleaning) Drill holes into the sides of the box. You will need two sets of holes on each side of the box for each shelf.
  2. Cut 2 rods for each shelf that extend past the sides of the box. Thread them into the holes cross ways.
  3. Cut plastic shelves to fit inside the cabinet. I also bound the edges with copper tape and used an antiquing solution to age the tape.
  4. Finally, we got little caps to finish off the raw edges of the rods that stuck out of the cabinet sides. The whole assembly only cost only $28.00

Les Gains' art figures
altered art sculptures from Les Gains
altered art by Les Gains

Here are a few of Les’ sculptures. He solders, shapes wire, polymer clay, resin and found objects to make wonderfully detailed figures.

art · Dollhouse miniatures · Travels

Debbie Gill’s Miniature Room-boxes

Since the pain of the long, hot drive to Tucson a couple months ago had faded, we decided that we needed to drive down to take another look at the Mini Time Machine. The special exhibit featuring Debbie Gill’s miniatures is what really interested us this time. Absolutely everything that she uses to make her mini masterworks are from items that are slated for the trash bin (or was found already in the trash bin). Recycled and up-cycled art is one of our favorites- both to do and to view.

The-Mini-Time-Machine
So lets step into a cool (as in air conditioned and out of this Tucson summer heat) amazing world of miniatures.

 

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Debbie makes everything herself – no store bought minis for her. If you look closely you will see what I mean. For instance, those aren’t store-bought mini scissors. Those are tiny bits of wire and paint crafted to look like the real thing. I love the crumpled up candy wrappers in the trash bin. I can sure relate to that!

 

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The shabby chic rooms were adorable. Especially since Debbie decorated them for Christmas- it’s one of my favorite holidays. Check out her floral arrangements too  They’re so CUTE!

 

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I could live in this little living room. The relaxing colors are right in with my decorating style. And the dried cotton ball stalks in the glass vase! How cute are they?! I can’t wait for my dollhouse build to be done so that I can start decorating. In the meantime, I’m collecting a ton of ideas and knowledge.

Debbie-Gill's-mini-bedroom
The shabby bedroom had so many cool little details like jewelry and cosmetics. Notice the tiny bill-fold next to the purse. Too cute!

There were a lot of other rooms created by Debbie too. She had 60s, a BoHo room, a man-cave, a music rehearsal space in a garage- just on and on. The skill, detail and variety was so fun to see. If you want to check out more of Debbie’s work click here.  This link will take you to Debbie’s Facebook page. Debbie does not seem to have a regular web site, but her Facebook page shows a lot of posts with her techniques detailed out in photos.

Debbie-Gills-Techniques

The photo above is from the Mini Time Machine’s web site. You can click on the photo and it will take you to the museum’s site telling you about the special exhibits as well as the regular exhibits.

museum-purchases.jpgFinally, here are my purchases for the weekend. The hand blown glass vases were from the museum store and the tiny little bag is what they packed them in. I love it! The framed miniature painting is from an e-bay auction that was waiting in our mailbox when we got back from Tucson.

We also went to two different Bookman’s while in town. That yielded a big haul of new/old books to peruse. So much fun.

Thanks for joining me on our Tucson miniature adventure. 😎

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