Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016

8.17.2007

Elegant DIY II



Images above, Melanie Acevedo for Domino, January/February 2006.

Some feel that DIY projects usually yield less than stellar results, but I think Mary McDonald's paper-covered file cabinet is a brilliant exception. The idea is to photocopy a favorite fabric or wallpaper, then use the enlarged image to cover a cabinet. For readers who are working on a new dorm room, or home office, I'm re-posting the helpful suggestions Mary sent me below:

"O.K. guys I see you need some instruction on the filing cabinet thing. First of all you must get an exact size of your filing cabinet and go to Kinkos to use the oversize copy machine. It is best to flirt with someone to help you before you make 75 copies the wrong size! Start with an image similar in ratio -- long and thin, then you can cut the weird edges off. If you just cannot be art school neat about it, make another different trim for the border to frame it. Use mounting spray, exacto knives and then lacquer it. You can use decoupage supplies too -- very self explanatory with directions. Try again!"

Mary McDonald

15 comments:

Brilliant Asylum said...

My husband and I made a fun table for our "media room" (his words--not mine) inspired by your original post using a 1950's comic book page blown up at Kinkos. The key was to use an epoxy sealer over the image to give it a clean finish.

style court said...

Brilliant,

Very cool!

katiedid said...

I just love this idea! Thanks again for the post.

style court said...

Katie,

You're welcome!

robyn said...

How cute is that dresser? We have a girl going back to the dorms in a few weeks, I'll show this to her, she'll love the idea. Thanks Courtney!

J's Crew said...

I am so doing this in my office!!!!

beachbungalow8 said...

i loved this idea. how cute that you had her input!

style court said...

Robyn, J'S Crew,

Hope it works out!

Paige said...

It's so funny that you put this up. I've been obsessing over this project for a couple of weeks now, and just myself tracked down the orignal one, too. I am about to cover a hideous melamine double file in grasscloth left over from wallpapering our den....wish me luck. I do usually lack art school precision, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out...but after rehabbing some wicker bathroom accessories (they look SO MUCH BETTER in my powder room now that they're black lacquered instead of insipid natural) I'm ready to take my chances.

Love your blog, btw, and read it incessantly.

drey said...

Hi Stylecourt... I'm not sure if you read this way back, but friend and great blogger Pink from Casapinka did something similar with her filing cabinet!

http://casapinka.typepad.com/casapinka/2007/03/butterfly_filin.html

style court said...

Paige,

Thanks! Your powder room furniture sounds great. Good luck!

girl meets glamour said...

This is one DIY project that I've actually thought: "umh, maybe I should try this on something." So glad you could get us a lil help from the master herself. Great post Courtney!

~Kate

purple said...

Great blog and a lot of great ideas.

style court said...

thanks purple!

patriciagrayinc.com said...

I have always admired that file cabinet of Mary's. Thanks for posting the DIY instructions. Now I just need to find some time.