Monday, March 25, 2013

China Cabinet Makeover

So, I don't really have a china cabinet. What I do have is a hand-me-down glass-front legal bookcase that acts as our china cabinet for now. It works for what I need it to, but it isn't very exciting. 

I've been itching to do something to it to make it stand out a little more, but I'm not ready to commit to painting or refinishing it just yet. I wanted it to have some character, but it's still a temporary piece of furniture in a temporary living situation. So I decided on an easy touch-up: lining the backs of the shelves with something decorative. Here's what I did:

I started with some dollar store foam board. I measured and marked the board down to the height of the shelf...

And then cut it down with a utility knife.

The foam board was actually one inch shorter than the shelf was long, so I used some of the excess I cut off the top to add to the sides.

I taped the extra inch on, and then used plain Elmer's glue and some cardboard scraps to reinforce the joint (the cardboard pieces are on the backs). 

I found this great dusty blue and white fabric on sale at JoAnn's, so I got enough to do the whole cabinet (with a little bit leftover), for about $7.50. It's the same color blue as the chairs in our living room, and the white pattern looks nice with my white china. I cut four pieces big enough to cover each foam board, and then ironed out the wrinkles.

Now, here's where I made a really rookie mistake: I only measured one shelf and assumed all four were the same height. They weren't. The top shelf is one inch taller than all the rest, and has funny little brackets across the top corners that I had to go back and cut around:

Luckily, I cut all the pieces too tall and not the other way around. So I had to go back and cut another inch off the top of my other three boards, but at least I wasn't trying to add another inch in the other direction! I used spray craft adhesive (also Elmer's) to fix the fabric to the foam board, and then I just pushed the boards into the backs of the shelves. They fit snugly enough that I didn't have to use anything to keep them back there. And I'm really happy with the result:

There is no natural light in this corner, so I'm afraid these aren't fantastic pictures (despite our fancy new camera), but I think this was a fun way to add some character to a very plain piece of furniture in a nice, temporary way! Now, it just needs some new hardware. 


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