Thursday, March 13, 2014

File Cabinet Makeover

Ugly, Dented and Old sums it up.  My black file cabinet which doubles as a iron pad. You may be thinking that it doesn't look that bad. It was! Really!  It has dents and scrapes and years of wear and tear.   I was hunting for the perfect replacement, but not wanting to spend much and I quickly realized that file cabinets aren't super cheap, and this one still works fine.   Maybe a MAKEOVER?!!!
I got out my nifty bottle of Mod Podge, which has been through some fun times with me and my light switch coverplates.....
Auditioned some fabrics....(meaning pictures sent to my mom via text) ;)
Then I cut fabric pieces a 1/2" larger on each side and marked the place for the handle hole.
Similar to doing lightswitch covers, I cut the hole leaving a 1/4 inch inside the marked lines and clipped the corners so the 1/4" flap would fold to the inside.
Press the fabric to the inside.
Next... I did a little test run using masking tape to hold the fabric in place.   I can admit that I cut my first piece weird and the hole was off-center.  It's also good to test before gluing things down :)  I know that one from experience too. haha!

Time to Mod Podge!  I did this on the back on one of my old cutting mats, it has a very slick surface which the mod podge can be cleaned off easily.  I wouldn't do this on your nice kitchen table without something underneath to protect it....Just sayin!
 A nice even coat.  Being generous with the podge won't hurt a thing here.

Ready?  Slap it on!
 I used this handy scraper tool to smooth all of the air bubbles out, but anything flat would do fine.

I folded the corners carefully to be sure they would lay tidy and flat, using more mod podge to really get it saturated and stuck down.

Next~ Another coat of the podge!  I made sure to brushstroke in the same direction. (Ignore the eild brushstrokes in the picture below, lol) Mod podge drys clear, but it has a textured finish and if you go all crazy it can sometimes show a little.

Luckily, it has a super fast dry time, so while it finished drying, my hubby Kenny helped me tackle my awful purple iron pads.  A piece of wood, some batting, lovely green fabric, and a staple gun!


It's so bright and pretty now!  

Thanks for looking!  Please check my sidebar for my favorite linky parties.



  1. Nice Pampered Chef scraper! hahahaha, I'll have to remember that use at the next party I do. And cool idea for refurbishing your file cabinet, mine is that nasty light brown color with paint chipping off all over it, I've been thinking of painting it, but perhaps I could follow your lead. Have a great day!

    1. haha! It worked so well! Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. This is so bright and cheerful. I love it!

    1. Thank you Jasmine! I love when {somewhat} experiments work out! lol I've had plenty of mishaps along the way

  3. What a great makeover! Nothing old or ugly about it now.

  4. oh my gosh, I LOVE this! I don't have any file cabinets at home that need this treatment, but I'm a teacher, and my ones at school are atrocious! those might just be getting a makeover!

    Thanks for linking to Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

    1. Thanks! Be careful though! Mod Podge can take over your brain and you'll want to do everything! I think I am even going to do my dresser and night tables! lol

  5. That looks really nice! I have some file cabinets I need to do this to. Thanks for sharing!

    1. haha! Thanks for looking and commenting!

  6. Hi Kelly, found your blog via Sew Many Ways. I love your bright and cheerful revamp! Good idea for the pressing pad on top, too!

  7. I'm glad I clicked on your picture in the link party. I'm planning to convert an old dresser into an ironing board but didn't know yet what to do with the side made of old beige melamine. I think you just offered me the solution. I'll have to test the mod podge on melamine, though. Have you ever tried it on that material? Thank you for your post.

    1. I haven't tried it on Melamine that I know of. The good thing about mod podge is that it is easy to test. I would do a small spot and let it dry. Everything that I have used it on has been a slick surface and the fabric peeled of easily when it was dry. It's great because I can change my mind a 100 times :)

      I'm interested to know how your project works out. I want to do the top of my dresser, my son's juice left some ugly water damage...

  8. Thank you. I may not get to that project before summer. I'll let you know out it turned out. :-)

  9. What a fun way to dress up a filing cabinet! Thanks for the tutorial!

    Thank you for linking up to Fabric Frenzy Friday!
    Fabric Frenzy Friday

  10. What a neat idea and I love the fabrics. I have one of those old file cabinets (I think I got it free at the land fill). Thanks for the idea and pictures. Lynn

  11. I'm browsing for ways to redecorate my file cabinet, and this has to be the only one I've found which used fabric. And it is definitely growing on me! I have tons of extra fabric which are still good for use from old art projects, so hopefully I could put them to work again for this project. Thanks for the lovely idea!

    Ruby @ Williams Data Management

  12. Wow! I love how the new cabinet looks now. You made the filing cabinet come back to life with your choice of fabric. I just think it looks really whimsical and magical. If I own that, I would love to open it every single time. Haha!
    Orlando Nunez @ Office & Ergonomic Solutions Office Furniture


I really appreciate that you have taken the time to comment. I am so inspired by this community, thank you for that as well. If you have questions {even some suggestions}, I'll be sure to get back to you.

Go sew already! :)