Thinking Out of The Box

Last year Paul and I bought a pair of ergonomic armchairs, and we decided we needed to stop tripping over the piles of books, craft materials and magazines on the floor and get some side tables and a magazine rack. We headed to a local furniture store thinking we’d get something to match the wood colour of the chairs… and were rather amused to find that a simple, old-fashioned magazine rack would cost us $400.

We could have looked for something cheaper, or second hand – or Paul could have made one (he was declaring that he would as we left the shop) – but I had a little ‘brainwave’. There’s a liquor store near us that sells the wooden boxes that some wines and whisky come in. I’d seen bookcases made out of fabric-lined packing cases in InsideOut magazine, but these boxes were much nicer.

So we bought a couple and, with me doing the painting and varnishing and Paul doing the woodwork, we ended up with this:


Which cost 2 x $10 per box, plus varnish and some wood scraps we had lying around. We liked it so much, that we put together this to replace the old three-baskets-on-wheels plastic thing I was using for a side table and to hold my current wips:


Which, admittedly, took us several months to put together, as there was a holiday between the start and finish. Some of the boxes are painted, some are lined with wrapping paper. I particularly like the box with the sliding lid, that I turned into a ‘cupboard’ and painted red inside as a nice surprise when you open it. And the narrow box on top holds knitting needles and other tools.

We’re still working on these:


Which I’ve varnished, and just need to line with fabric and stick felt to the bottom. They’re going to hold Paul’s vinyl albums.

After that? Well, there’s room for a small bookcase against one wall. We have a couple of leftover larger style boxes (like we used for the magazine rack) and some of the narrow single bottle ones with sliding perspex lids. And I have some wonderful, though well crinkled, 50s/60s era newspaper pages that had been used to wrap something in storage, which will make great lining.

2 thoughts on “Thinking Out of The Box

  1. Love this idea! I know our local Liquor Stores only have cardboard boxes, no wood. But the Wine Stores… that’s a different story. Just hope they don’t want top dollar for them.

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