I like to rescue old pieces of furniture from local thrift stores, online (or even the Curb!) and then upcycle them in creative and artistic ways. After a recent visit to Wizarding World at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, I was inspired to create a toy cabinet that was “magical”. Look below for the “How-to” photos, then check out the video for a walk-through of how the Magic works!

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AFTER – The False Front of the toy cabinet!

BEFORE – The original cabinet (I think it was for CDs)

Inside. I got it online from kijiji for $5

It was in rough shape, so Step 1 was filling all the scratches and dents.

After wood-filling.

Some of the hardware for the cabinet. The metal scrollwork was from a decorative cage from the dollar store!

I thought this light timer (from a thrift store for $1) would make a lovely Combination Lock effect (with SOUND).

I had to chisel out a trap door in the bottom of the cabinet so I could hide a treasure box holding the access key to the cabinet.

Closeup of the top of the cabinet – finished.

Here are some of the gears and wheels I put on the front. It has a Steampunk aesthetic, and most of the gears & wheels actually turn. There are 3 padlocks with keys, but – of course! – once they’re opened, you STILL can’t get into the box (because there’s a SECRET way to access the inside …)

This nondescript bit of wire hanging on the front is actually the KEY to the trap door at the back of the cabinet!

I painted wooden letters and glued them to the top of the cabinet, and then painted the Gringotts “G” in the middle.

The REAL secret? The BACK of the cabinet is actually the FRONT. I added a cast-iron keyhole cover with a cast-iron key to use to open the cabinet.

Closeup of the keyhole. I used a large drill bit to create the top hole, and then a smaller bit to drill out the bottom sections.

The trap door to access the secret compartment & treasure box.

Once you open the trap door with the wire key, you reach in and pull out the Treasure Box with the skeleton key to open the cabinet!

Inside the cabinet, I antiqued and collaged pages from The Deathly Hallows book (the chapter on Gringotts). I bought a HP calendar, which I used to paste images inside the cabinet door.

Here’s the video I made to explain how the Magic works!