Now You See It, Now You Don’t

I like pretty things. I like colors and patterns and happy pictures. I do not like ugly things messing up the vibe in my condo.

For example, the icky red fire alarms in every room- though very important for safety- were super ugly until I gave them a fresh coat of glossy white paint. Our coats were also piling up in an unattractive way- but we were able to conceal them in a hidden cabinet.

The latest ugly-but-necessary element of the condo that I wanted to hide was the electric panel box. It is huge and in the middle of a wall that you can directly see from the living room.

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

I considered painting the box, or perhaps using some sort of magnets to embrace it. However, when we dug out my old poster frames for this kitchen art project, I got totally inspired. I found this old frame (which previously held my partial shrine to my idol, Elle Woods) and behind the poster, there was an awesome collage matte.

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

Totally inspired, I started to fill it up. I had lots of print laying around from the heart gallery wall and the pictures around the string art in the bedroom, so all I had to get printed was three 5″x7″s. I used small pieces of clear tape to attach them to the frame.

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

Then came time to attach it to the wall. While we could have totally just hung it over the breaker, I wanted to make sure the box was very accessible in case of an emergency. So, Sean used four small hinges to hang it. They are from Lowes and came in 2-packs. He replaced the included screws with shorter ones that we already had, so they didn’t poke thru the frame.

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

First, screw the hinges into the frame. Make sure they are facing the right way. Not that we did it wrong the first time…

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

Then, just hold it up to the wall and screw in place. Sean did the top and bottom hinges first and then it was able to hold itself up. I recommend having it open the same direction as your box.

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

Eek! How exciting! However, the hinge on the breaker was just thick enough that it kept pushing the frame off the wall on the right side. So, we secured it using small magnets.

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

We just used command strips to attach the magnets to the frame and to the wall. If you are anti-magnet (I understand that children can eat them and destroy their insides… Y-I-K-E-S) you could also get strips of velcro. I liked magnets because they give about an extra inch of depth to make up for that hinge.

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

Now it holds close to the wall perfectly!

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

You can see the hinges on the side, but I don’t mind- I want to brag about it! Lowes also sold black hinges but they were sold out in this size the day I went.

If you get any scratches on the wall installing the hinges, try a magic eraser (I get the big packs at the dollar store). Works like a charm!

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

Hang a Frame on Hinges to Conceal an Electric Box - Charleston Crafted

How to Hide a Fuse Box By Hanging a Frame on Hinges - Charleston Crafted

Have you concealed anything ugly lately?

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13 thoughts on “Now You See It, Now You Don’t

  1. Thanks so much for such a great idea! I’ve been trying to think of a way to hide ours in our entryway, but I never came up with anything. This is *exactly* what I’ve been looking for!

  2. Very cool! Hinges and magnets and all…

    I’ve been wanting to hang a decorative rug over mine using a rod, but I’m a little worried about hitting any wiring when putting in screws for the rod brackets. Did y’all have to take that into consideration at all?
    (I’m a novice at all things home DIY *sigh*)

    • As long as your screws aren’t that long (which they shouldn’t need to be for just a rug, which isnt too heavy) then you should be fine. You could always use a stud finder tool (or just knock and listen to hear where there are studs in the wall) and be sure to put your screws there. Studs are pieces of wood behind the wall so you know it’s safe to screw into them. Hope that helps!

  3. Great idea! I usually don’t post a lot, but when I do, its for things like this! (hope you got that reference!) I was thinking of somethng similar but it never ocurred to me to just buy some small hinges and use an existing frame…which I have! Thanks for the idea!

  4. Great idea! We just hung a slightly heavy mirror over our fuse box (ours wasn’t as big as yours), and we too have the problem of it not laying close enough to the wall when closed. Because it’s heavy, we don’t think a light weight magnet will have enough pull to keep it closed. If its a heavier magnet, it will pull off the wall if we tape it. Any other suggestions? Thanks again for the great idea!

    • You are of course entitled to feel that way! I suggest the smallest possible profile hinges in a color that matches your frame (or even painting them to match the walls!) I think that ours were barely visible and looked a lot less “ghetto” than having a huge electrical box in our living room.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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