Monday, January 16, 2012

Adventures in Thrifting: Map Cabinet Fabulousness

I have created my favorite piece of furniture ever and just had to share.....TAAADAAA!

But it didn't start out this awesome.  With all the new creating, I needed a storage solution that could hide all of my supplies attractively.  Cabinets are bloody expensive, so I knew I needed to thrift and find a new piece of "stray dog furniture" to upcycle.  I found this little guy on Craig's List for $20.

After a good scrub down and shoo-ing Tallulah out of it, I got to work with my new favorite medium:  Modge Podge!  I bought 6 National Geographic maps circa the 1950s from a vintage seller on etsy and got to work.

Modge Podge works like this....smear on a coat of the glueyish substance with a foam brush and then place the decorative covering of your choice (wall paper, scrapbook paper, fabric, stamps, etc) on top.  Smooth out the wrinkles and let it sit for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, smear on another coat to seal.  Done and done.  It really is the best stuff ever and it's quite idiot proof.  Check out their blog that has a TON of awesome ideas.

I would recommend using a much thicker coat....if you don't put enough down, you'll get mad bubbles all over your piece.  And if you mess up, just gently pull up your covering and place it down again.  What I learned is that smaller pieces of paper are MUCH easier to get smooth than the larger pieces.  As a result, my awesome cabinet is not perfect.  It has some wrinkles and some bubbles, but on the whole, it's pretty awesome.  I did the door first and decided that the insets needed to be framed out, so I mixed it up with some strips of pretty scrapbook paper from my business card supply stash.  Then, I slathered the whole piece down with a good two coats of Modge Podge.  I chose traditional Modge Podge in gloss (I used one whole big bottle for this cabinet that measures 54" high and 21" wide) and I very much like the finish it gave me.

I had to replace the knob...the old one was this awful ceramic apple.  Aaaahhh, that's much better.

If it looks messy when you're done, just let it dry.  The wrinkles became much less pronounced and the finish is really quite impressive.  I assure you, you cannot screw this up.  My cost grand total?

Cabinet from Craig's List (take a buddy to pick up anything you buy from an unknown seller):  $20
Maps from Etsy:  $12
1 Bottle of Modge Podge:  $6
Foam Brush Pack:  $2
New and cute knob:  $4
GRAND TOTAL:  $44...not bad at all.


  1. Looooove! You did a great job, I love your cabinet!

  2. Thanks Sarah! Three weeks later, I'm still totally in love with it. Don't you just get so tickled when that happens?