Friday, October 8, 2010

New Life To Metal Filing Cabinets

Today I decided I could not stand to look at the ugly metal cabinets in my office any longer.  So I hopped in my blue Saturn Ion and drove 6 miles to the nearest WalMart where I purchased 2 rolls of Con-Tact paper (and a bunch of other stuff that maybe I really didn't need).  The name of the color I picked out is Granite Rose, but I didn't know that until just now, when I grabbed one of the packages.  When I got home I ripped the clear plastic off one roll and measured it against an open drawer for length and cut across the contact paper following the lines on the backing.  Made it real easy to cut a straight line.  Then I checked the height of the drawer front and found that I could get two drawers out of the 18" wide paper.  Cool.  I folded the 18" X 26" piece in half lengthwise and cut along the fold.  I peeled the backing away from the 9" edge for about 5", held everything up to an open drawer, aligned the contact paper and static pulled it to the drawer front.  I could easily peel it away if the alignment was not right.  When I was happy with the alignment, I carefully pulled the back paper from underneath the contact paper, pressing the contact paper against the metal drawer front.  Once applied I made sure there were no bubbles by smoothing the contact paper, making sure not to stretch the paper.  I wrapped the contact paper around all the edges of the drawer.  It clung beautifully.  I used sharp scissors to cut a hole where the drawer handles were and cut a rectangle out of the paper, cut diagonal slits to each corner, then pressed the contact paper inwards.  After 2 drawers I could see that the cabinets were going to look terrific when finished.

While I didn't have to prep the surface for the contact paper, I found that dark colors would show through so I had to scrape off the dark blue stickers that were still on the cabinets from their original home at Joann's (I bought 6 of them from a Joann's that was closing at $20 a pop...thanks to my brother who picked them up in his truck).  I also made sure to remove any tape or stickers that were prominent, but I didn't bother removing the sticky residue figuring it wouldn't show and might help the contact paper hold.   As I got going each drawer took 5 minutes to complete.

I printed labels for each drawer from my computer onto parchment colored paper and since I don't have a laminating machine, I covered the front of my labels with clear packing tape. more ugly filing cabinets. 

Okay, so I still need to organize all the stuff on top of the cabinets...maybe that will be tomorrow's project.

Here are the cabinets a week later all cleared off and organized.

As usually, Happy Crafting from Cathy (and Trinity) at Captive Illusions!


  1. I agree, and Trinity looks like Vanna White displaying the finished product.

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