I was so inspired by this before and after, that I decided to tackle my own file cabinet. Finding some sort of replacement for this black scar in my otherwise serene office has been floating around the end of my to-do list since I moved in, and this was just the inspiration I was looking for. I would decoupage wrapping paper onto it!
I couldn't find any thick paper in town (and I now that I knew what I wanted to do, I couldn't wait to get started!), so I went ahead and tried it with a thinner wrapping paper from Target, in spite of the alarm bells going off in my own head and the advice of those who had come before me. So... it's not perfect. But I'm OK with that. I know it's hard to see in the picture, but the paper is a pale blue with tiny white print on it. It's actually a wedding print, but I really don't think that's noticeable unless you are really examining it. It's subtle like that (and no, it doesn't have any words on it).
My first attempt, I didn't pre-cut the pieces of paper, thinking that I could cover 3 sides with one sheet, and that I could just trim it afterward. That was less than successful. I ended up sliding it all over the place and tearing it. Boo! So... I had to remove that layer. I peeled most if it off, and then removed the rest by rubbing with a wet cloth until I got it all off. Yay!
Scraping/washing wasn't fun, so I decided to be more careful. I pre-cut pieces for each side this time, and it went much more smoothly! I also let the modge podge dry a little before applying the wrapping paper. This made it almost impossible to reposition once I started applying the paper, but it also kept the paper from soaking through and getting thin and wrinkly (a decidedly good thing). I probably should have gone back and redone the drawer with the lock, cutting out a place for the lock before gluing (because trying to precisely cut wet paper does not end well), but I wanted to be done... so I just covered it with a label. Maybe one day I'll go back and fix it (but that's unlikely).
Finally, I replaced the old drawer pulls with ribbon. This was another move born of laziness. I couldn't very well put black handles on my pretty blue cabinet. Painting the handles just sounded like too much effort. I tired buying cabinetry handles, but the holes didn't line up. So, ribbon!
(I promise, it really doesn't say "impotent stuff" - that's just the low quality of the picture!)