I found this cute little cupboard in the gutter.
Needless to say within a few minutes it had magically teleported itself to the back of my car.
I knew that with a little love someone would eventually prefer this little guy inside their home so got to work painting the body in rich ebony before distressing and sealing it.
Well, that was the easy part though because here’s the main reason I imagine it was on the curb to begin with….
Someone had been waaay too zealous with an electric sander.
Not only is there chipboard showing through the veneer, those lines you can probably make out are actually deep ridges!
Sure I coulda just filled, sanded and painted the whole top though I wanted to make a bit more of a statement than that.
Enter….my good friend gift wrap.
I adore gorgeous paper and for some reason have always been drawn to vintage maps – which I thought would be just perfect for this project.
The sheet of gift wrap I bought wasn’t quite big enough to cover the whole top of the cabinet so I took it to my local printer who scanned, enlarged and printed a new copy for just $20.
I created an accurate template using baking paper which I could use as a guide when cutting it out.
Once cut to size, I gave the map a few light coats of clear matte spray.
This just helps protect the ink and stops it from running if the paper becomes too damp during the gluing or final sealing process. It also helps to stiffen the paper and avoid bubbling.
To attach the paper I applied a pretty thick coat of slightly diluted PVA to the cabinet (you could use Mod Podge – I just didn’t have any) then smoodged (hey, it’s a word) my map into place.
I then applied about five coats of satin clear sealer using a paint brush making sure to cover all of the edges really well.
To tie-in with the map theme I also created these cute little compass knobs using basic DIY decals. Anyone with a printer and standard copy paper can do this at home! You can check out my full tutorial here (or read-on below for a summary).
Simply paint a plain timber knob any colour you like then find or create a design on your computer and print it out onto normal paper.
Here’s my compass design if anyone wants to use it. Just re-scale it to the size you need.
The process of attaching it to the knob is basically the same as that I used for adhering my map to the cabinet top.
Give your image a few light coats of clear matte spray, cut around it closely and then glue and smoodge it into place on your knob. Finish with a few coats of satin sealer to protect it and voila!
Making these was easy and the possibilities are practically endless – you could use letters, numbers, symbols, little clock faces, nursery rhyme characters for a kids room, sweet little birds…anything!
Anyways, a few final before and afters just for comparisons sake….
I hope you enjoyed this little project.
I know it can be tempting just to scroll down and check out all the photos though if you have time give it a read too cause I tried packing it with a few handy hints.