Building a tramp art cupboard with a stained glass door.


Tramp art cupboard Sometimes a project takes a while to reach its final form. That is the case with this cupboard.  It started when we found a really cool stained glass window from England. We got it at Great Stuff by Paul in Frederick Md. 

It laid in my shop for months until we decided to make a bathroom cupboard with it.  I made a small pie safe sort of primitive cupboard that was painted a distressed green and white.  We used the cupboard for a few years until we remodeled the bathroom (more on that another time). 

This was about the time I was becoming a lot more interested in making tramp art and making a tramp art cupboard seemed like a good project to try. Why start small right?

Beginning of stained glass tramp art cupboard

The main thing that we wanted to do with this cupboard was to incorporate the stained glass design into the body of the cupboard.  It was a nice simple design with a green leaf in a mostly geometric background.  We traced out the design and reduced it to fit the sides and front of the cupboard.

I then started cutting out the parts and notching the edges of each piece.  At the time I was using a power jig to make the V-notches so the work moved along pretty fast. Since then I have decided that I do not like the look of the power cut V notches and cut nearly all V's by hand.

Side of tramp art cupboard before painting


You can see here where we worked the stained glass design into the tramp art layers.  Sorry about the fuzzy pictures. I have a better camera now.

Cutting the layers sanding and glueing took a couple of weeks of evenings and weekends. One of the reasons I have gotten away from power cutting notches most of the time is because you end up having to sand fuzzy edges off of every notch, which is mind numbing. I am not convinced you save any time over hand carving the notches on anything other than small projects.

Tramp art cupboard with stained glass door.

So there is the finished piece.  We now use it in our living room to hold photo albums.  I plan on adding some better photographs later on. If you have any questions about this cupboard or are thinking of making one yourself drop me a note and we can talk.

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