Monday, January 16, 2012

Trash to Treasure --
A room divider DIY using salvaged side lights

Pretty room divider, eh? You'd never guess it cost less than $20 and is almost 100% recycled! This project is perfect for those that are familiar with power tools and basic construction. A great way to stylishly divide a room but still see what's beyond the divider. Maybe even frost the windows for a different,  more hidden effect. See the tutorial below for full instructions!

I picked up these "junk" sidelights from my friend, Trent. From a local residential home, side lights are stationary windows adjacent to a door. When Trent was building the runway for my fashion show, I spotted these in his lumber yard. I asked him what he was going to do with them, my mind wandering and wishing they were mine. He said, "Oh, those are trash." I squealed and asked if I could have them and I'm pretty sure Trent thought I was nuts.

I decided right away that I'd make a room divider with them. 

For this project, you will need:
  • sidelights or something similar
  • sandpaper
  • wood filler
  • six hinges (and screws)
  • one piece of wood, I used a 1" x 12" x 72", for center board
  • paint
  • painter's tape (optional)
  • razor blade
  • paint brush
  • tape measure
  • power drill
  • drill bit and phillips head bit

Step one. Sand down sidelights and center board. Fill all holes with wood filler, sand again.

Allow wood filler to dry and paint all boards. I planned on using the painter's tape, but it was too time consuming so I opted to just use a razor blade after painting to remove excess paint. This is a personal preference, and you can choose which you'd rather do. Tape off before or scrap after.

Maybe I'm too impatient, but I thought it was easier to scrape the paint off with a razor blade, above. Do this on all of the windows and clean them well with windex. 

Equally space the three sets of hinges on the first side light. Ex. the height of my divider is 72". Subract 9" for the total height of all three hinges, 61", divide that by four, about 15". So measure 15" from the top, mark one hinge. 15" will be the distance between each hinge. To install hinges, mark the holes, predrill with drill bit, and screw in with phillips head bit.

Once your hinges are on one side light, attach middle piece of wood. Now attach the second side light to the wood using the same technique as before. Sweep up your mess, and you are done!

Voila! A new room divider for your home! You can add cork board to the middle piece of wood to make it functional, frost the windows for a sexy divider to change behind, paint them all different colors and even paint something pretty on the middle board. There are so many different ways to dress this project up into something very fun for your home.

Questions? Comments!

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  1. Awesome Sally. I can't wait to show you my suitcase cat bed. My part is done, now my honey's gotta do the sewing.

  2. Very very well done and so creative!! I love how your mind works :) So resourceful! And I love the color you chose!! I'm thinking of exploring a conservation that supports the reuse of building materials. This is definitely inspiration!! <3