You know that I love nothing but to snoop around someone's house and save something old to give it a new life. So when I noticed an old beige two-drawer file in a client's basement, I suggested dressing it to use it in the bedroom of the teenage daughter.
I think a lot of people have unused files in their basements these days, as sad remains of a time before the convenience of cloud storage. (I own files and file scanners, but not a real metal file … and yet … to my card bookman's sorrow, those things are expensive.)
I knew I could paint it all to make it look nicer – it certainly could not remain beige for office years – but I wanted to try a new treatment using the fabric on the drawer fronts. There were so many nice options, but I opted for a fun donut print ($ 9 for two fat quarters).
I pulled out the plastic handles and glued the fabric to the front of each drawer, cutting it to fit it and wrapping it around the edges to secure it. Then I decided it had to be stiffer, more like paint, so I touched three or four hands of Mod Podge. This also helped the fabric adhere to the polished metal of the drawers.
Now, this would not be a good solution for the drawers that open several times at the moment, because the fabric wrapped around the edges makes the drawers a little slower to open. But it's okay for a use like this, where the drawers will not have to be opened frequently.
The only problem was that one of the drawers had a small raised hole, and there was no clear way to remove the lock. Instead of joking, I covered the back with a small felt rosette that matched the fabric. In case of doubt, disguise with a trade!
It did not take long to cut the fabric from each hole in the handle and fold the excess, gluing it into the drawer. Then I just hung up the plastic handles. (I had been prepared for a battle, but those things were surprisingly easy to take and leave).
I could paint the outside of the soft pink wardrobe (like the walls) or cream (like the desk with which it slid under) or even a pale mint green (like bed linen), but the gold seemed to me more fun. I'm a bad spray painter, and so I got my handy husband to spray two gold hands outside the filing cabinet. I used my go-to gold that always looks fantastic: Krylon ColorMaster in Metallic Gold.
The updated filing cabinet looks fantastic under the new desk. It costs only $ 17 to redo with paint and fabric, which is cheaper than buying a set of plastic drawers that would serve the same purpose.
How do you store an inexpensive do-it-yourself idea?