TikToker has created framed paintings that double as storage for $30

  • A woman has created a gallery wall in her home that doubles as hidden cabinetry.
  • She chronicled the DIY project in two viral TikTok videos.
  • Insider told her about the $30 project, which received praise on social media.

One woman’s idea of ​​creating a gallery wall with hidden storage space behind each portrait has impressed the internet.

TikTok users first noticed Sarahli Wilcox’s picture frame cabinets in August 2022 when she uploaded a video showing off the DIY build she did that month. Wilcox, creator of the Hauz & Co. social media accounts, skillfully built three cabinets with restored picture frames as doors that month in the video.

In January, she revealed to her more than 327,500 followers that she had added a fourth picture frame cabinet in a second video.

Wilcox’s videos have amassed nearly two million views, with many users calling the project “genius”. Insider spoke to Wilcox about the step-by-step process, which was inspired by a version of the cabinets she previously owned that had chalkboard instead of art.

“I hadn’t had this wardrobe in years, but it occurred to me that I had all these frames and that’s where the idea came from,” she said. .

Wilcox said each picture frame cabinet costs around $30 to build, and she starts the DIY project with “thrift hunting.”

Wilcox told Insider that the first step to recreating the storage hack is finding the perfect setting, which usually leads her to thrift stores like Goodwill. The whole process takes about two days, Wilcox said.

“I love recycling, so I collect frames just to have around the house or for displays,” Wilcox told Insider, adding that she usually gets yellow pine frames.

Sarahli Wilcox making picture frame cabinets

Sarahli Wilcox’s frame cabinet videos have gained nearly two million views on TikTok.

Sarahli Wilcox/TikTok

She used CitrisStrip to remove any paint or varnish from the wooden frame, then let it sit with Saran Wrap on the frame for 30 minutes to an hour.

“The Saran Wrap helps keep it from drying out and continues to activate the liquid to loosen the existing stain. After an hour I rub the stain out, but you can also scrub dry with a scraper,” she said.

Wood putty can help hide nail holes and gaps, so Wilcox advised letting the frame sit overnight if using the product. Next, she suggested sanding the wood before building the cabinets to help the stain apply better, then sealing in the stain with a sealer.

Framed cabinets Sarahli Wilcox

Sarahli Wilcox saves her picture frames.

Sarahli Wilcox/TikTok

“You don’t even need a lot of stain — just a little,” Wilcox said. “Early American stain is a perfect shade of a neutral brown, so neither too light nor too dark. You can always add a double coat if you like a little darker.”

She added: “For people looking for easier steps, just paint the frame, don’t stain it. That way you’ll have a try and then you can just add a sealer on top.”

Wilcox said to let the stain dry before building the cabinet and shelves afterward. The cabinet is a backless wooden box with three shelves inside, which Wilcox assembled using a nail gun.

Framed cabinets Sarahli Wilcox

Wilcox used a Brad nailer to assemble his picture frame box, but a drill and nails will work too.

Sarahli Wilcox/TikTok

Wilcox then turned to building the cabinet and shelves. The cabinet is a backless wooden box with three shelves inside, which Wilcox assembled using a nail gun.

“You can use regular screws and a drill, but I love the power of a brad nailer,” Wilcox said. “You just press it and it does the work for you.”

Wilcox said the final steps were to combine the picture frame with the cabinet and add hinges.

Sarahli Wilcox Picture Frame Cabinet

Adding hinges to the picture frame box is one of the final steps, according to Wilcox.

Sarahli Wilcox/TikTok

“Before screwing in the hinges, I try to look at the depth of the nails and always pre-drill the holes. This is to avoid cracking your wood,” she said. “Then I drill the nails into the wood pieces. From there I just measure with a simple ruler or tape measure down to where the hinges will go.”

Wilcox said incorporating a door magnet may be an improved touch.

TikTok users discussed different ways to use the extra storage, including secret spice racks and medicine cabinets

While framed cabinets have many uses, Wilcox said she uses her four cabinets for medicine, essential oils, and to hide her doorbell box. On TikTok, users speculated on how they would use the extra storage space, with some pointing to secret spice racks and medicine cabinets.

Framed cabinets Sarahli Wilcox

It costs about $30 to create the framed cabinets.

Sarahli Wilcox/TikTok

“I’m dying to have to order someone to get something, ‘yeah Tylenol is behind the pastoral in the hallway’,” one person wrote.

A user imitated Wilcox’s video to create whimsical fairy cabinet doors.

But overall, people applauded framed cabinets as a nifty way to declutter their homes, calling the hack “genius.”

“I’m so excited that people are finding DIY useful,” Wilcox said. “I’m glad people are trying it, and I’m excited to see how people are using it.”

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