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vintage metal cabinet rescue : show and tell.

I live in a small apartment and continually struggle with organization of sewing and craft supplies...creative nature? Possibly. Craft supply hoarder? Most definitely.  Anyway, when you find yourself in my predicament, closed system storage is the way to go. So, I found an old metal storage cabinet on the cheap-cheap and knew I could put it to good use. I used to have one very similar and in a fit of crazy, I "gave" it away, along with many other things during a change of residence. I have regretted letting it go many times but was stoked to have re-found this little treasure.

The cabinet was in need of some TLC, but the most I was willing to manage was putting a bandage of sorts over the nastiness of the shelves. I removed the old shelf-liner and cleaned each shelf as best I could, but not wanting to spend tons of time on this with paint, sanding and scraping: I opted for a band-aid. I used Con-Tact paper in a wood-grain pattern to cover over the rusted and scuffed metal hidden under the decades-old shelf-liner that was in the cabinet when I bought it. 

I measured the dimensions of each shelf and cut the contact paper to size, using my cutting mat and rotary cutter (gasp) that I use for my sewing and quilting projects. I added a couple of inches at the front so that it would wrap around the lip of each shelf (notice the notch in the corners). 

I peeled the backing from the Con-Tact paper, beginning in the left corner and then started smoothing it down (pictured above is how it looks when you get to the far right). I worked left to right until it was all stuck down. 

I had a wee-bit of an issue getting the Con-Tact paper to adhere properly to some areas of the shelves, likely a result of the condition of the paint surface I was trying to stick it to. I remedied that situation with my trusty Mod Podge, applying it directly to the shelf and front lip of the shelf then smoothing the paper over it with my fingers for a nice finish. Worked like a freaking charm. I'm so glad I spent the hour or so making this cabinet functional for my purposes. 
I think it looks great and it's hiding a multitude of craft hoard sins (said sins not necessarily pictured in this post).

You may notice on the second shelf from the bottom where I hadn't used the Mod-Podge to secure the shelf-paper under the lip. It made a big difference in this little project. I'm thrilled with how this turned cost just dollars to do, very little mess and totally made the inside of this cabinet useable. Score. 

Thanks for stopping by! 



Anna Lucy said...

I love the look of your living area, the metal cabinet looks perfect in that space. I am obsessed with school charts and yours is particularly cool!

modernamishplain said...

I now have metal cabinet envy. I never thought I'd say it cause I have metal cabinets, but I never knew these vintage ones were out there. On the hunt now. Love the rounded corners and the handles. Great choice of using the woodgrain shelf liner. its perf!

Joanne Huffman said...

Well done! Your metal cabinet looks very spiffy - and quite tidy for hiding supplies.

Kels said...

It is so cute! And I love that all of the items inside are a cute mint :)

Unknown said...

Looks great! I recently purchased something similar for storing my quilting fabric, but am already feeling like I'm running out of space. Do you have any tips for storing/organizing fabric?

gale said...

Looks great! I have the exact same cabinet and it's even the same color. lol. It was an ugly green when I bought it for cheap at a yard sale, and dh spray painted it off white for me. I use it to store fabric and it is stuffed totally full.

Unknown said...


Kathleen said...

This cabinet looks great. My mom has one of these and my daughter has been eyeing it up. I don't think hers has that lovely rounded look that yours has though. I think her's is more on the angular side. Love old stuff!!

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