All of the papers!

If you’re anything like us (alive, human, semi-adult-like), you’re inundated with paperwork. Some important, some you have no idea what to do with, and some you’d rather toss, but aren’t sure if you can. (Hello, Taxes from 2005…?) In the past, I took these papers, put them in a box so aptly labeled “important papers”, and occasionally went through said box to throw things away. BUT NO MORE! No more, I say.

Reaction GIF: no, José Mourinho

Filing Cabinet HowTo_HouseofGold

When our good friends up and left us for Colorado (RUDE), they sold us their old filing cabinet for a hefty $10. It looked a little sad, for sure. He was missing handles. And was metal. And sad.   Filing Cabinet Before_HouseofGold

So one day, I thought to my self: “Self. Let’s add some pizazz to this thing.” Alls I needed was some liquid nails (or so I thought), wood (fence pickets), and clamps. Oh, and a saw or two.

Spoiler alert: liquid nails doesn’t do the trick. SWITCHHHH. Gorilla glue does.

So first, I cut a few pieces of fence pickets to size that would cover both the left and right sides. (I used fence pickets because they’re cheap and we had a bunch of them hanging around in our garage.)

After they’re all cut to size, I globbed on the liquid nails. Liquid Nails_HouseofGoldOnce they were all adequately glued, I clamped them all tight and left them to set up for a couple hours. Clamp_HouseofGoldWhile the sides were setting up, I went ahead and cut all the other pieces to size- back, top, and front.

Then I glued the back on (let it set up).

Then the top (let it set up… this is the only reason this project took a bit of time).

Then the front. Oh, I wanted to get crazy with the front. So I did. I ripped a few long strips to the same width- 1-5/8″, and then cut them all down to the same size – 4″ long. Then started playing around with the pattern. In the picture below, they’ve just been placed on the drawer, so I could get an idea of the cuts I needed to make. Glue Cuts_HouseofGold

Then I glued all of those pieces down (using gorilla glue this time, since the Liquid Nails didn’t seem to work out so well).

Then I gave everything a quick sand with some 60-grit paper and a foamy sanding block. (Which took care of that whole glue-expansion thing, as pictured below.)

Wood Texture_HouseofGoldSecond spoiler alert: gorilla glue could hypothetically expand so much to glue the drawers to the frame. Hypothetically. Not to worry! Nothing a rubber mallet and more sanding won’t fix. (#Truth)

Too Much_HouseofGoldTo get handles on, I used our oh-so-clever cabinet pull measuring device and marked where I needed to drill the holes (so that the pull would be in the same spot for both drawers). See?Adding Handle_HouseofGoldDrilled the holes, screwed the pulls in, and bada-bam, bada-bing!

A beauuuutiful filing cabinet that can hang out just about anywhere. All for a total of about $24. It would have been cheaper, but I bought the Liquid Nails. Liquid Nails lied. Gorilla Glue does not lie. It wins. Filing Cabinet Complete_HouseofGoldFiling Cabinet Complete2_HouseofGold


Linking up with: Twirling and Taking a bow! The Makers Link Party! Remodelaholic. Carrie this home!


33 thoughts on “All of the papers!

  1. WOW! You put a lot of work into this and it definitely paid off! I would have no idea it was a filing cabinet to begin with! I’d love it if you shared this at The Makers link party going on at my blog right now. Hope to see you there!

  2. ok..seriously, best idea ever! I soooo love this project! pinning 🙂 ox Thanks for linking up a Twirl and Take a Bow!

  3. This is awesome! I have an old file cabinet I’m going to revamp, but I don’t know if I could pull off what you did! It looks amazing! (Stopping by from the Makers Link Party).

  4. Wow, I’ve never heard of Gorilla Glue. I wonder if it’s available in Australia, and under what name? Do you happen to know the active ingredient(s) in it, especially compared to liquid nails?

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  6. This is seriously the coolest thing I have ever seen done to a filing cabinet. I’ll definitely be adding this to my to-do book (nope, not a list, that’d be too short)

  7. Looks fantastic!! I’m just finishing up a herringbone wood side table with hairpin legs. I wish I had a table saw to get everything completely straight. The old jigsaw isn’t cutting it!

      • Yep, I used my miter saw for the little cuts but the table is about 22″x24″ and its not up to the job. Good thing I have a friend who’s generous with his tools! Hope to have a post up about it soon! 🙂

  8. Wow, what a great transformation this is and makes those blah file cabinets so chic… love how you did this… am pinning it for future reference….

  9. I love this project! such a cool idea! I would never have thought this started out as an old filing cabinet…. that’s the beauty of a good DIY, I guess 🙂 So happy I found your blog today!

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  11. How is this holding up so far? I’m thinking about covering the front of a filing cabinet with wood, but it will be used A LOT, so I’m wondering about the front being held by gorilla glue. Thanks!

    • Hey! Sorry for the (very delayed) response! It’s holding up great for us! But we don’t use it heavily. It’s just for our important papers at our house, so we open it occasionally. I’d totally do it again, though…

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