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A Prettier Filing Cabinet

It’s the little things in life that add up to big things.  This is true for the happy moments, like a perfect cup of coffee on your porch, as well as the not-so-happy ones. Like when you encounter a small annoyance over and over again, which saps your energy and raises your blood pressure a little at a time, until you want to throw something.

Such was the case with our filing drawer. Filing’s not a big deal, right? I mean, you pay bills once a month, stuff them in the drawer and go on with life. Problem was, too much stuffing into the drawer, and not enough cleaning out after the required 7 year holding period, or whatever it is for paper stuff like that.A-Prettier-Filing-Cabinet

I thought it was just me getting frustrated because I had to make a little extra effort to get one piece of paper into a file. You know, when the folders get so tight you have to stick your whole hand in there, jiggle it around to make room, and then quickly stuff the paper in without turning it into something that looks like it was spit out of a dysfunctional copy machine? Well, I realized it wasn’t just me when I heard someone rummaging around in the drawer the other day and after a few minutes, my normally calm husband emerged looking like he’d just spent a lunch hour at the MVD. “Why can’t we just have stuff that works?!” He fumed.

See, part of the problem was that our filing drawer was just that – a drawer. It was one of those little plastic file drawers that we just stuck inside a cabinet in our computer nook. That worked fine for a while, but as our family grew it became pretty ridiculous to try to keep records of everything we need in one little drawer.

This sounds like a problem that can be solved with a trip to the thrift store! (But then, can’t they all?)Filing-Cabinet-Before

I found this nondescript, wood veneer 2-drawer filing cabinet at our local Goodwill. This piece didn’t look like something I’d want to have on display in my house, so I spruced it up with a little paint and new drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby.

With the visual problem solved, I turned to a functional problem that I noticed when I got home. One drawer was missing one of the little rods that the hanging folders slide on, but I figured I could fix that easily. Filing-Cabinet-Missing-BarI found some flat steel bar at Home Depot, which the guy assured me could be cut easily with a hacksaw. Several curse words later, and some elbow grease from my husband, and it was done. Don’t believe everything the guys at the hardware store tell you. But in the end I (we) triumphed, and made the filing cabinet functional and pretty for less than $20!Filing-Cabinet-Works

Here’s how it breaks down, in case you’re curious:

  • Cabinet: $9.99
  • Drawer Pulls: $3.98
  • New bar for hanging folders: $3.48
  • Paint and supplies on hand: $0
  • Total Makeover: $17.45

Filing-Cabinet-After-LogoNow here’s my question to you, dear readers. Do you think it needs a little more…I don’t know…something special? Here are your options:

  1. Leave it as is. Simple is best.
  2. Stencil it with a geometrics, such as a trellis pattern.
  3. Do a painted ikat treatment.

Leave me a comment below with your vote, and don’t forget to check back and see how I use this pretty little cabinet in my upcoming home office makeover!



Friday 30th of October 2015

Oh my! It really was in need of some love! You took this little filing cabinet to a whole other level! So pretty now! Thank you for sharing at Making Broken Beautiful this week! You do lovely work! Smiles! Terry


Wednesday 4th of November 2015

Thank you Terry! I love the title of your party because that's exactly the fun of a challenge like this, to make something that was broken useful and beautiful again.

Carol Paulus-Kalis

Thursday 6th of August 2015

I think the first option would be the best. The cabinet looks great. Plain, simple and clean...what more could one ask for?

Carol Paulus-Kalis


Tuesday 11th of August 2015

Thanks Carol, that's what I think too!

Weekend Retreat Link Party #131 - Play.Party.Pin

Thursday 6th of August 2015

[…] A Prettier Filling Cabinet  on The Palette Muse | Grilled Peaches and Cream Cake on I Dig Pinterest […]

Christine | Where The Smiles Have Been

Saturday 1st of August 2015

Ahhhh, such another lovely makeover by you! It's on my project list (that seems to keep on growing) to find an old filing cabinet and bring it back to life, and your transformation here is giving me LOTS of inspiration! I'll be featuring you at this week's Merry Monday which starts tomorrow night....thank you so much for sharing this with us and we hope you'll join us again! :)


Monday 3rd of August 2015

Thank you Christine, that's so sweet of you! I have to admit, this was a really fun and easy project. I hope you get to give it a try. Thanks so much for featuring me on Merry Monday, heading over now to the party...

Jeri Walker (@JeriWB)

Tuesday 28th of July 2015

Paint is amazing! I say get wild with some stencils ;)


Thursday 30th of July 2015

I knew I could count on you for a little adventure Jeri!


Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook