Friday, October 28, 2011

Fanciful file cabinets

File cabinets are a utilitarian item that can sometimes be a real drag.  There are a few options out there that look more furniture-like, but for the most part, chic file cabinets just don't exist.  In the mean time, people have taken the issue into their own hands and transformed boring metal file cabinets into something much more exciting.  Here are a few examples:

This one was spray painted green, and vinyl adhesive wallpaper was affixed to the drawers.

This one was neglected and rusty before it was rescued, cleaned up, and painted.  Isn't the vine pattern lovely?

This black cabinet was purchased on Craigslist on the cheap.  Mod Podged wallpaper on the drawers and some new cup pulls gave it a new look.

This is another example of how wallpaper and new handles can turn a file cabinet from blah to beautiful.

Taking it a step further, this cabinet was covered all-over with fabric and Mod Podge.  That's a lot of work!

And for a bit of fun, I thought I'd throw in this Super Mario version.  Sweet!

All the cabinets above are vertical, with flat-front drawers and hardware that can be removed.  Lateral file cabinets can be a little trickier, depending on how the drawers are opened and whether the pulls are integrated into the metal or not.

This one is covered with wallpaper or heavy wrapping paper, and attached with spray adhesive.

This cabinet's factory paint job was stripped and sanded to create an industrial vibe.

Designer Mary McDonald even DIY'd this large lateral file with a giant photocopy of a favorite wallpaper as a camouflage.

DIYs are great and all, but most times we DIY to save money.  In this case, we're DIYing because the product doesn't exist in the marketplace.  Hmm ... anybody got some money to invest in a new company?



  1. Those are all so pretty! The Mario one is my favorite though.

  2. These are all great looking cabinets. I would love to have one of these in my room. I love the 4th cabinet. The wallpaper used really gave a new beauty to the cabinet. By the way, if the wallpaper used doesn't have a built in adhesive, then it is essential to use the appropriate adhesives. If it's wood, then you need to use wood adhesives and if it's metal, then you have to use metal adhesives. In any case you can find an adhesive that can be used for both, then that would be perfect.

  3. Hi!! i just wanted to let you know I love the filing cabinets!!! I added it to my pinterest- which links it to your blog!! I came across your blog randomly, and am so glad I did. I love it! Thanks for sharing these great ideas! I am quite the procrastinator as well, and your blog has been inspiring and insightful!! Thank you for the great ideas and I love the projects you've done!

  4. I love love love all of this! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. I have been looking for a decorative, but functional cabinet for my real estate files and could find nothing! Your designs are EXACTLY what I'm looking for! I especially like the vine pattern and the industrial one. Can't wait to get started on mine! Thanks. Glad I found your site!

  6. These are amazing. My wife likes to scrapbook so I bought a file cabinet from this local place called, OSI (they have some on clearance actually-- and I think I am going to surprise her with this project. Thanks for the idea.


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