Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Paper-Covered File Cabinet

A while ago I walked into Jo-Ann Fabric Store to get some craft supplies. For the record, I go to Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann's at least once or twice a week. Because I have coupons and I need stuff, people! Since I make Craft Kits for Kids, (SHA-BAM! Did you see that sweet plug?) I need a lot of craft supplies like pom-poms and wiggly eyes and chenille stems and blah, blah, blah ... you get the idea.

Since my basement craft area has a budget of about zero dollars and zero cents, I pretty much use what I already have to organize and beautify. Here's my craft area:

The brown shelf in the middle of the wall was my big splurge: a bathroom storage cabinet I found on sale for $14 at Target. The storage containers on either side are from my old classroom when I taught elementary school. They are backed with extra fabric from my daughter's curtains.The ribbon rolls underneath are on dowels that I painted white and hung with more ribbon. Seriously, you make do, right?

See the "table"? I took an old white cabinet door and stapled fabric to it and then glued on some brown ribbon. It's being propped up (underneath the blue fabric) with plastic storage bins filled with my craft supplies. It was a mess under there and it was hard to figure out what I have and what I need. It was hideous. Hideous!

But then I walked into Jo-Ann's and I saw this by the door:

And they were selling it! For ONLY $25!!! Cue Angels singing. And you see the drawer dividers? My craft supply storage problem could be solved with this sexy beast.

I wanted to wrap my body around it and hug it and love it and call it George.
I bought it immediately, muscled it (with some help from the old ladies at Jo-Ann's - thanks old ladies!) into my Blazer and drove home illegally with it hanging out the back of my car about a foot.

Then I spent the next week trying to figure out how to beautify it. And this is what I did!

Filing Cabinet
Scrapbook paper (make sure to wait until it's on sale, because you'll need a lot!)
Mod Podge
Craft Knife (like an X-Acto)
Sand Paper - fine grit (optional)
1/4" Ribbon
1" Ribbon
Tacky Glue

Measure and cut pieces of scrapbook paper to fit the front of the drawers. Mod Podge them on, using the brayer to smooth out any air bubbles. Don't worry about measuring the drawer handles, you are going to cut them open with your craft knife after the Mod Podge has dried. Cut little strips of paper for the edges and Mod Podge those on, too.

Cut out the handles with a craft knife. They don't need to be pretty because you'll be covering them with the ribbon later.

I'm kind of a freak and I wanted my paper to fit perfectly across the sides of my cabinet. I didn't want, say, 2 whole sheets of paper and then 4 inches of another sheet. So I measured my cabinet and figured out how much I needed to trim the pieces of paper to make sure they fit. You can still see the seams of the paper, but I chose a print that's continuous, so it still looks nice. Also, I overlapped the corners of the file cabinet with the paper a little to give them a nice rounded look.

Apply two or three more coats of Mod Podge and let dry. Wet-sand if you want to make it extra-smooth and beautiful.

Measure and cut pieces of scrapbook paper to fit inside your handles and Mod Podge them in.

Cut your ribbon to size and glue it on with the Tacky Glue. Hot Dang! You are done!

Oh, and those coordinating magazine holders? I TOTALLY DID NOT cut out those FREE flat-rate cardboard boxes that you can get at the post office. And then Modge Podge on pretty paper and then glue on matching brown ribbon. You know why I didn't? Because that would be illegal. So don't do it! I'm glad I didn't do it. Whew!

And look! I feel so organized! I'm not ashamed to admit that I spent two hours and two glasses of red wine happily organizing all my stuff. It was like a date night with myself. It just makes me happy!

Ahhh.... How I love organization!


Sara Bonds said...

Oooo, I am jealous. I adore crafty furniture. You are so talented! :o)

kbloems27 said...

I am so jealous!! That is AWESOME! I would love something like that. I need to get my craft area organized!

PS I usually visit Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's once a week too......I too need stuff!!

sassypackrat said...

What a fantastic find! Lucky, lucky you! I love how you covered it with paper. I have several mismatched file cabinets in my studio and now thanks to you I know how to make them pretty!

Dirt. said...

i love it! it's fanfreakintastic... what a great revamp!

Design Knit Fun said...

That;s so great - huge improvement and very well written.

Sara at Soap Rehab said...

You are so cute, I love the story telling. AND your cabinet project is fabulous! :)

Clemencia said...

wow! you did a super job here, it looks so different :) lovely :)

Suzy357 said...

LOL! You are hilarious Darcy! :) you gave me some great laffs with this post...and I have to thak you SO much for this blog post because now I know exactly what to do with the ugly old file cabinet I just picked up through freecycle!! Woot, free is even better and now knowing what I can do to it!! Thank you, thank you> I had been trying to figure out how to make it not ugly anymore :D
Suzanne B

SugarBooger said...

ohhhhhhhh pretty! What a great idea!!!!

fawnda said...

This is so cool!

I gave your blog and Awe-summm award on my blog: www.firefliesandjellybeans.com

fawnda said...

oops Wrong link! www.firefliesandjellybeans.blogspot.com


capecodjewel said...


and Funny! :)

Candace said...

OMGOODNESS, this is so totally awesome...."We're not worthy, We're not worthy!" you go girl with your crafty self. I am so impressed....can you come to ETexas and help me with my disorganization?

Candace said...

Oh, And I am going to follow your advice and not go straight to my post office tomorrow, and not get four flat rate boxes, and not cut and cover them with scrapbook paper to store my many Martha Stewart Kids Magazines. Why, because it would be illegal.

DeAnna said...

I love it - going to do it -thanks sooo much. I love your blog too!

LadyBug said...

I love just how totally amazing that cabinet looks!!!! I might have to steal my HUsbands Unloved filing cabinet and do the same :)

Grandmother Wren said...

This is great! I think the ribbon trim makes this project look very "finished". Great job.

I hate to admit it, but if it was me - I'd snatch up that cabinet just like you did. But then I'd shove it under the fabric cover of the table. I'd be a bit too lazy to do your creative restoration project.

apple said...

If the boxes for the magazines are free, how is it illegal to use them?

Lisa said...

That is the best ever! And I cracked up the whole time whole time I read it - and when I read parts to my hubby, he was laughing at how much you sound like me!

Thanks for the crafty inspiration!

1CardCreator said...

Wow! Lucky you! I am totally jealous, I love organization and that is perfect. You did a great job of beautifying it! Thanks for sharing.

Rachel R. said...

Oh, gorgeous! I have some ugly Freecycled filing cabinets I have been trying to figure out how to beautify. Now I know. :)

And what an awesome idea for those flat-rate boxes - once someone has sent them to you in the mail and you really don't want them to go to the landfill but you are afraid that if you try to wrap them with plain paper and reuse them, the police will come and haul you away for using them improperly.

Dani B said...

That is one awesome cabinet! I never though of covering the cabinet with paper! I have 5 of the 4 rawer cabinets in my office for work. I try color coding the drawers so it's easier for my and my assistant to find things, but the kids always shuffle the colors. (Thanks, kids!) The paper is a great idea! I wonder how many people have rushed to their Jo-Ann's to try to buy their cabinets!

Danielle (Life with the Hewitt Family) said...

That looks amazing! I just love this idea. You are so creative!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Ok Girl you blow me away! you flippin rock! Now to find the time to do all these amazing things. Wow ... still shaking my head :)

Abi said...

Your article was posted @ THC this week.

Thanks. Abi

Marf said...

I think I cried a little when I saw your beautiful cabinet! I have had this butt ugly pattern cabinet in my craft room forever, I can't live without it but it is an eyesore. I can't wait to fix it up! Inspirational!

keiki gifts said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful project on my Crafts Carnival!

Kathy said...

I have one of those! And it sits in the garage doing nothing useful. I LOVE your idea - I need to look into copying you.
And the mag boxes - brilliant! I was going to use cereal boxes for that but your boxes would be stronger.

mscrafty said...

I love, love,love this. Thanks for posting your filing cabinet find and re-do. I have a filing cabinet that is in desperate need of a makeover and this is exactly the kind of thing I have been looking for. You are soooo awesome and yes...I think you should call it "George". LOL


Carmie, the Single Nester said...

How gorgeous! I need one of these.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Amazing! You did such a beautiful job!!


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