Sunday, April 21, 2013

File Cabinet Upgrade

Like so many teachers, I have some pretty hideous file cabinets - one in particular is especially cringe-worthy. While it has been on my list all year to work on this issue, there are obviously a lot of other things that were much more important to take care of first. However, last week I just couldn't take it anymore!!! So I dealt with the most hideous one. Sadly I didn't take a pure before photo, but did think to take one about halfway through (and next to it is a mostly-obscured photo of it I took last May upon my first visit to the classroom):


Gah! Told you it was hideous! There are of course about 79 different ways to updo your file cabinets currently dancing around Pinterest, here's how I did mine. Note: I only had the time to cover the drawers, didn't touch the rest of it. If I were making over the entire thing at the same time, I would take the drawers out, which would make it much easier.

Gift wrap, clear contact paper, shipping tape, screwdriver, bucket, dishrag, Dawn dish soap

1. Removed all hardware from drawer.

2. Scrubbed down front and back of face, sides, and underneath front of drawer with dish water; let dry.

3. Cut out rectangle of gift wrap slightly larger than front of drawer:

4. Marked where drawer handle screws should go:

5. Cut out a piece of clear contact paper about an inch longer than gift wrap on all sides, taped it upside down to a table:

6. Removed paper backing, centered gift wrap with design down on sticky side, cut out corners of contact paper:

7. Applied to front of drawer, pulling lengthwise until tight and securing edges with tape:

8. Cut slits in contact paper where necessary to attach, taped down the rest of the sides:

9. Folded in corners of top and bottom, then folded over top and bottom edges and taped:

10. Placed clear hole reinforcers around the dots where the screws belong:


11. Poked through the holes, reattached handles. The end!

Obviously I did it the quick and sloppy way, but I had it done within two days and it has made a HUGE difference. Eventually I will repaint the outside of the cabinet and the handles as well, but this will do for now.

And yes, I do plan to do something about all of the ridiculous stencils on the wall! Summer is six weeks away...


  1. It looks awesome! That was my first thought with the final picture. Second thought: oh my... what is going on with those tiles. What were people thinking?!? Good luck. That school is blessed to have you!