Fabric Covered Filing Cabinet Makeover


Fabric Covered Filing Cabinet Makeover

I've been MIA for the past few weeks.  I feel like I have been doing tons of projects, making tons of dinners, i.e. things in the food, fashion, home realm, but not posting updates.  I seem to have caught an early spring fever.  Now it's time to catch up, starting with this great looking filing cabinet makeover.

Metal filing cabinets are pretty ugly.  They belong in an office building, not so much in a home.  There are filing cabinets that are made for the home like this or this, but they cost a good amount of money.   Instead, I figured out a way to take one of those old school metal cabinets and warm it up for you own home office storage needs.

With a few yards of fabric and some glue, you can make this filing cabinet your own with a few steps and some time.
  • Clean the cabinet with an alcohol / water mixture; make sure it is completely dry.
  • Iron the fabric.  The wrinkles will not go away when gluing. 
  • Measure and trim the fabric from the top all the way over both sides in one solid piece. Make sure there is an overhang of about a ½ inch to the front, sides, back and bottom. 
  • Start at one of the top corners and spread a thin layer of Mod Podge using a foam brush.  If your fabric has lines line mine did, you will want to line up the fabric to make sure the over hang and fabric is straight.

Mod Podge - An indispensable DIY supply
  • Continue spreading the Mod Podge on the top and rubbing the fabric so it is straight and flat. Make sure the fabric sticks so that there aren't any air bubbles.
  • In sections, spread a layer of glue and then press the fabric.  Do this all the way around the top and sides. 
  • Depending on your cabinet, you will need to trim the fabric to fit around the corners in the front. I used a technique similar to folding a present for the corners.  
  • Spread a layer of Mod Podge as a topcoat on the fabric to finish the project.

  • Spread the glue evenly.  You don’t want any glue stripes on the top layer of the fabric.
  • Stay away from super dark fabric.  The black fabric looks great in the photo, but I was not a big fan of how it turned out in person.  There were some flaws in the metal of the cabinet, which show through on the flat black.
  • Mod Podge comes in a variety of finishes.  I used the glossy finish.  
  • Instead of using fabric you can also use wrapping paper.
  • Use thinner fabric that isn't stretchy.
  • Add wheels if your cabinet allows.  Casters were added that we bought at our local hardware store and screwed on with nuts and washers.  They usually run for about $4- $5 each, but worth it if you plan on moving the heavy cabinet around. 

A great way to keep track of our race numbers for a future possibly project
Cost Breakdown:
  • 3 yards of fabric cost a total amount of approximately $15 on sale, purchased at Hobby Lobby.  
  • Large bottle of Mod Podge - $7.99; only about half of it was used.
  • Filing cabinet was bought used from the Restore Store for $25 with 25% off which came to grand total of $19.50. 
Overall, I’m loving this project!  It took a few short hours to complete and the filing cabinet has been completely transformed for under $40.  You can literally choose any pattern, bold or neutral and make it one of a kind.

<3 mk

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