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Saving Furry Friends

Saving Furry Friends

Lindsay Cummings is not just a ReStore shopper, she is a ReStore celebrity! In 2011, as the first winner of our annual ReDesign by ReStore contest, Lindsay painted and reupholstered an old $5 chair that she found in the ReStore, transforming it into a beautiful contemporary masterpiece. The Habitat for Humanity Marketing Committee loved it and awarded her a two minute Supermarket Sweep style shopping spree in the ReStore. Lindsay was the first person to run through the store like a beheaded chicken grappling gratis gutters, fighting free furniture, and clutching complimentary cabinets. This is now a tradition we look forward to every fall. ReStore customers send us pictures of their recycled, reused and repurposed projects and we celebrate our creative community.

I approached Lindsay about working on a DIY article for the ReStore and she happily agreed to help. We discussed several options for good projects, but they all seemed a bit overdone on Pinterest Boards. We both loved the popular idea of turning an entertainment stand (an item often donated to the ReStore) into a play kitchen, but Lindsay wanted something more unique.

One evening while contemplating the project, Lindsay watched her youngest daughter, Auggie, lovingly care for her “patients.” Her little fluffy stuffed animals were getting top-notch medical care for the injuries they had sustained during play time. Peacocks were having their necks cast, bandages were going on frog heads, and bunny rabbits with injured ears were being gently sutured (strangely, no chickens showed up with minor decapitation issues). Like a blow to the head, Lindsay had her idea. She was going to turn a used entertainment stand into a veterinarian hospital.

Here’s how you can do it too!

  1. Find a used entertainment stand at the ReStore that fits your size requirements (or use the one in your basement) and envision a design. Lindsay says, “Preferably not the 600 pound behemoth I choose.”
  2. Remove all unwanted shelves and doors.
  3. If your entertainment stand is wood, get busy sanding. If your stand is laminate, skip the sanding and go straight to the priming.
  4. It is important to prime your piece to make sure your paint adheres properly. If your child is anything like little “Augzilla,” you’re going to need a strong bond. Lindsay used foam rollers because they were easy, cheap and provided great coverage.
  5. As a special touch, Lindsay created an examination table that appeared to be made of stainless steel. She was trapped indoors and couldn’t use spray paint. Contact paper had bubbles and didn’t stick effectively. She finally settled on silver craft paint. It took an entire day to dry, and the painter’s tape protecting the edges had to be cut away, but it provided a great finish that cleans up easily.
  6. After all the painting was done and dry, Lindsay used a wax sealant. You could also use polyurethane.
  7. Lindsay used a grate from a toaster oven she found at the ReStore to create a kennel, but grills, pet cages and Closetmaid shelving works fine too. Secure the grate with hinges on the left and a hasp on the right.
  8. Add a few necessary amenities like hooks for the doctor’s coats, secured containers for tools and supplies, and clips for viewing x-rays. Lindsay found all these extras at the dollar store and the cute lil’ lab coat on Amazon.
  9. Last by not least, name your animal clinic and give it a decorative plaque. The street name of Lindsay’s home created a nice pun for her “Fir Street Animal Clinic.”

Lindsay is quick to point out that this project can be transformed into almost anything that compliments your family’s interests: a science lab, doctor’s office, blacksmith’s shop. Your kid’s imagination is the limit. “My kids inspire me every day to see beyond the surface and I’m so glad they do,” says Lindsay. Combining Lindsay’s DIY hobby with her kid’s interests provided a winter of entertainment for the whole family.

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