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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cardboard cabinet.... another update

I worked some more on my cardboard cabinet. I finished the rest of the construction. Then I finished covering all the edges with paper tape. I had tried using masking tape but that didn't work. It wouldn't stay stuck to the cardboard.

Next I started putting the tissue paper coating on it.

The tissue paper coating smooths out the rough edges of the paper tape and any nicks or dings in the cardboard. A smoother finish means it will look less like cardboard and more like wood when it's painted. Did you notice one dawer has a different color? I tried a different type of paper coating. I'm going to remove that drawer front and make a new one before I do the painting.

I decided not to use the holes in the four corners. I didn't like the look I was getting. I'll cover the holes with some type of decorative accent.

I was discussing this cabinet with one of my customers a few days ago. I explained that constructing cardboard furniture wasn't exactly cheap. Even though cardboard can be found just about anywhere for free; the cost of the other materials to make something can be expensive if you are on a limited income. She asked me why I went to the trouble of constructing something out of cardboard when I could easily find what I need at a thrift store or at Ikea.

I've thought about this question ever since our conversation. I guess I like cardboard because I like it's flexibility. Cardboard (and paper) can be manipulated in many different ways to create unique art pieces. The fact that it creates something functional at the same time appeals to me as well.

Her question is sort of like asking a quilter.... why make a quilt when you can go to the store and buy a blanket? It's the thrill of the creation that's really the appeal.

The initial expense of gathering tools and materials for constructing cardboard furniture is like that of any other hobby. Before anyone can get really good at a hobby they must first have the proper tools and gadgets. Beginner quilters will start buying cutting mats, rotary tools, templates, books, and lots of fabrics for making quilts. Before long they have had some practice so they are becoming good at making quilts.

When a quilter decides to redecorate they will gather just the right pattern and fabrics for their idea of the perfect quilted items to go in their space. When I create a piece of furniture out of cardboard I'm also choosing the design that will fit perfectly in the space and with the perfect function. Even though the cost of constructing a cardboard piece can be initially expensive.... it's by far cheaper than paying for a custom designed and made piece of wood furniture. It's also uniquely my art, not someone else's idea of how I should decorate my space.

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