Thank you to to Eclectic Products, makers of Unicorn Spit and Glaze Coat sponsoring this post!
Since adopting a pair of sweet rabbits, my husband Jai and I have become experts in bunny-proofing. Our bunnies Keeli and Kooper are house rabbits, which means that precaution must be taken to avoid any accidents, such as the buns eating something toxic or chewing up our cords. One of the ways we keep the rabbits safe is by having baby gates blocking off sections of the house that aren’t bun-friendly. We’ve been using standard step-over baby gates, and it’s been a bit of a hassle. I can’t count the number of times I’ve hit my ankle or juggled my groceries awkwardly trying to get through. Since Jai loves woodworking and is always coming up with creative solutions around the house, he decided to make custom, handmade cafe doors to replace the baby old baby gate with. Since I’m the color queen of the family, the rooms that we were planning to put the cafe-style pet gate in are painted red and black checkerboard and light pink and purple, respectively. So to make sure the new cafe doors matched the house, we finished them using Unicorn Spit!
Wait, what?! Unicorn Spit?! No, I didn’t invite a unicorn over to my house to decorate these doors (although that is something I would totally do.) And no, this isn’t related to the unicorn bridesmaid dresses that my bridal party wore at my wedding, either! Unicorn Spit is a fabulous new one-of-a-kind gel stain and glaze. This colorful finish can be used on a plethora of DIY projects, from woodworking to jewelry, and pairs perfectly with Glaze Coat. As the name suggests, Unicorn Spit comes in a plethora of magical colors, so I couldn’t wait to create this colorful masterpiece! It turned out so fabulous, I just had to share the tutorial for anyone else in need of a better baby/pet gate!
Lumber – we used recovered wood from an old futon
Cafe door pivots
Table saw (jigsaw can work also)
You’ll want to start off by measuring the doorframe where your cafe doors will hang so that you can size them correctly.
Cut the wood to fit your measurements using a table saw – we used reclaimed wood from an old futon frame along with some spare plywood. You can get creative and use whatever reclaimed wood you like!
Put the pieces in place and drill pilot holes, followed by the screws. You can use a spade bit to countersink the screws if they don’t reach. Once the frame is built, you’ll want to test the with your cafe swivel – you’ll need to do some trimming to get the right fit.
Using a router with a rabbet bit, carve a groove in the center of the frame for the plywood centerpiece to fit.
Cut the plywood sheet to fit inside the frame. Since the router rounds the corners on the inside, you’ll need to sand the center plywood sheet after you cut it so that it will be able to slide into the frame.
Once the plywood center has been slid into the frame, get all the joints sealed with wood glue and screw it back into place.
Repeat this process to create a second cafe door. Once both doors are complete, it’s time to have some fun with color!
Using a disposable cup, squeeze the Unicorn Spit into the cup one color at a time, creating a layer of several different colors.
Once you’ve built up several layers of different colors, pour the Unicorn Spit onto the center of each door. Pick up each side and gently tilt it to distribute the colors – this will create a cool marbled effect.
Let each side dry thoroughly, then flip the door over and repeat on the other side. We used different colors on each side in order to go with our color scheme, because the rooms that these cafe doors are connecting are red and black on one side, and purple and pink on the other!
You can tape up the sides to leave the border natural wood, or you can stain it with leftover Unicorn Spit from the cups. We split the difference, staining the darker side with the Unicorn Spit and leaving natural wood on the lighter side.
After the Unicorn Spit has completely dried, tape up the frame and cover the center panel with a layer of Glaze Coat. To do this, you’ll want to follow the instructions in the package and pour each part of the glaze coat into two disposable cups, so that you can control the amount and make sure you have equal parts. Then pour both parts into one cup to combine, stirring very thoroughly. Pour the glaze coat over the center panel.
Once the surface is covered, run a heat gun over the surface to pop any bubbles, and allow the glaze to set completely.
Once the glaze has completely hardened, remove the tape and sand the frame. If you stained the frame with Unicorn Spit, it will create a distressed wood look.
Once you’re finished sanding, all that’s left is to hang them in your doorway and install the latch – and hey presto! Your very own, miniature cafe doors!
For a visual demonstration, watch our fun how-to video on YouTube:
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