Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A "How To", A "How Not To", And A Find That Knocked My Socks Off...


That's a lot to fit into one post...I know!

But I can't wait to show you what I found...


and it's all related, so it all has to go together. But let's start at the beginning...

I don't know if you've ever noticed, but I never take photos of our kitchen to post on here. It's not that it's a horrible kitchen or anything. It's just not "us".
You know?

It's one of the last places in the house that needs to have some work done to it. I'm not talking major remodel (although, you know we already have plans for that in the future!), but just easy, little fixes that can be done to make it more ours...and not so reminiscent of the people that lived here before us.

Right before Christmas we decided to make a small change. We have a bank of cabinets that looks like this...

A big, closed wall of Oak.

Secretly, my real reason for wanting the change was to get a new look, but I needed to appeal to Will from a different angle. So I went with functionality. The builder got it wrong when they planned out these cabinets. The cabinet to the right of the microwave opened from the right side, not the left. Weird. The cabinets over the counter opened from the center, but because of the angle of the counter when you stand in front of it it was a long reach to get anything out of it. Luckily, I'm tall, so it wasn't a huge issue, but honestly, it just didn't make sense.

With that, I was able to convince Will that it was better to have no cabinet doors, rather than one's that weren't working for us. We also flipped the cabinet door to the right of the microwave so that it would open on the left side. A simple fix that we should have done a long time ago.

And...down came the cabinet doors on the end.

I wanted a background color or pattern for the now exposed back of the cabinet, but nothing permanent. I wanted to be able to change it as often as I like.

Gift wrap was the obvious choice and because it was Christmas time, I had a ton of options for what I could choose. The boys chose the red with the snowflakes, so I put it up...


It was easy enough.

Ok really, it was kind of a pain, but if you have the time to put into it and enough patience, then you end up getting a lot of bang for your buck!


Fast forward to three days ago...

I told myself when I put up the snowflake paper in December that I would be able to leave it up through the winter. The reality is that I am craving Spring (maybe even Summer) like nobody's business!

It had to go.

So I bought a vibrant turquoise wrapping paper to add a big dose of summery color into our kitchen.



Ok, pay attention...

here comes the "How To" and "How NOT To" all wrapped up in one...

(Ha! No pun intended.)


I carefully took the snowflake paper off the back of the cabinets to use as the template for cutting my new paper. I figured it would save me a step in not having to measure the cabinets again...

The *moment* that I unrolled it I knew I had a big problem. The paper was thin - too thin to be used in this kind of application, and it had rolled out into a long stretch of wavy paper. And, on top of that, the paper was shiny and what I really needed was a paper that had a more matte finish so that it wouldn't show all of the flaws that would occur when I was hanging it, taping it up, and fitting it into place.

It's just like with paint. If you want to disguise the flaws in your walls you use flat paint, not shiny...otherwise your flaws scream "look at me!"

Not what I was going for.


But I was not willing to give up on the project, so I came up with what I hoped would be a solution.

I decided to paint the solid colored paper with a random pattern of my liking.

I got out the can of paint that I used in our Living Room, a dinner plate and a big, souffle dish.


The dinner plate would hold a thin layer of paint...


and the souffle dish, dipped upside-down into the paint would act as my stamp for my pattern...


I taped down the four corners of the paper onto my kitchen table and got to work.

This part was fun and easy. Because I wanted the pattern to be random, I didn't have to worry about exactly where to place the circle.

Once I felt like it was good, I stepped back and...I didn't love it.


It needed something else. A little variety.

I introduced a drinking glass into the pattern...


How did it turn out?

Better.

Keeping in mind that there would be two shelves with dishes and glasses in front of it, I decided that it would be good...


I set up a fan at the back of the table to make sure it was good and dry before I tried to hang it up...


And once it was ready, I taped it up to the back of the cabinet.



I liked it!

I thought it looked good...


The kids liked it.Will liked it too.

It was good!


Until the next morning, when daylight hit the shiny, ripply paper and...

well, just see for yourself:


Bad.


Bad.


Bad.

I had put up the plain blue paper in our glass cabinets to give it a pop of color, as well.

It was bad too.

Ughh!

I should have gone with my gut in the beginning.


Lesson learned:

Thin, shiny paper is NOT good for using as a background in open cabinets.


The problem is that you can't always tell what you're going to get from a roll of wrapping paper at the store.

Bummer.


It all had to come down!

It did not look good and no amount of trying to convince myself that it was ok was going to change that. The goal was to make the kitchen look good. Even great! Not worse.


So I did the only thing I could think of.

I went to Hallmark.


I know they have good paper. Thick and pretty.


What I did not know was that they had THIS...


Seriously!

(Insert the image of clouds parting and the sound of angels singing - here!)

It was like it was all meant to be.

Adhesive backed paper meant that I wouldn't have to worry about getting the paper on the wall just right to line up with the tape and make sure it was flat and laid out as perfect as it could be.

I was so excited to get it home and try it out!


I was a little worried when I opened it up because it turned out to be shiny paper. Yikes. Shiny paper gave me horrible results last time. But knowing that the entire piece would be sticking to the back of my cabinet, instead of only the spots that had been taped up, gave me hope.


In typical Hallmark fashion, the paper had cut lines on the back, so it was so easy to cut out the paper to the exact size that I needed it to be...


I stood on the chair, got on my knees up on the counter and pressed it into place.

Now, I don't want you to think that I'm yelling at you, except that I have to tell you...


IT WAS SO EASY!!



So easy.

It is perfectly flat, except where there are flaws in our cabinetry. But you would have to look closely to really see them. I see them only because I am now intimately familiar with the inside of our cabinets.


I put the shelves back in place, and all of the dishes back in and Viola, a whole new look...


I think it looks beautiful.



I put it up inside of our glass cabinets too...




Here you can see just how shiny the paper is, but turns out we actually like it. The shiny, reflective quality makes the kitchen feel lighter and brighter.

Bonus!



I wish you could see the back of the cabinet more when the doors are closed...


Would you believe me if I told you that this morning we were actually trying to figure out where else we could take doors off of cabinets?

We like it that much.




So there you have it:

A "How To" paint gift wrap to make your own custom paper.

(I will be doing this again. But this time to use as gift wrap. I think making unique paper for your friends and family would make gifts that much more special.)


A "How NOT To" hang cheap, thin, shiny gift wrap in your open cabinets.

(Whatever you do, do not try this at home! Thin gift wrap is barely good for wrapping gifts, much less wrapping cabinets.)


And a brand new find that knocked my socks off!

(I wish you could all see it in person! It's just so pretty!)


The adhesive paper turned a project that was kind of a pain to get right, into something easy enough that I would let my 8 year old do it. He'd do a good job too!


So? Are you feeling inspired? Gonna go get some Adhesive Gift Wrap of your own and make the back of your cabinets prettier than you ever thought they could be?

If you do, I want to see.

And good luck!

Although, you won't need it...

so simple, I tell you!




P.S. I am posting this at:

Transformation Thursday, Strut Your Stuff Thursday, Fireflies and Jellybeans,

92 comments:

McCarty and Company said...

THANK.YOU!!!! That is the greatest paper I have ever seen. LOL When first opening your blog to read this post....my eyes literally about popped out at the site of the paper behind your dishes. BEFORE I even read your post, I was in love with that paper. OK sorry to be a copy cat, BUT I am so going to Hallmark to get that EXACT same paper. It will not be in my kitchen, but in my living room. I have an antique secretariate *not in perfect condition, it was my parents*. I have been searching for paper to go behind the shelves, have even purchased some scrapbook paper, but really could not find the look I wanted. THANK YOU, you did my leg work for me. I am "SLOWLY" changing my living room over, and that powdery turquoise is my accent color. :-D I LOVE your blog and your ideas, have told so many family and friends about your blog. Have a great week.

AngieDphotography said...

I think you should have everyone over to see it! An open house for people to come and be inspired! Ü

gail@myrepurposedlife.blogspot.com said...

wow! great post!
I love the new look! thanks for sharing "how not to" lol
I'm so not perfect, and I sometimes get myself into a mess... nice to know I'm not alone!
gail

Meredith Travels said...

I love it! Hopefully there are other great self-adhesive options at hallmark for when you want a change?

trish said...

Are you kidding me! That is gorgeous paper!! I have yet to line any of my cabinets, because I am stumped as to what I need to do. :o) Thanks for opening a door!! :o)
-Trish

Audra said...

I did not know that Hallmark had this type of paper. I am going to check it out tomorrow at lunch to see if they have what I am looking for to line my cabinet in my office.

Thanks for sharing.

Kirsty said...

What a fantastic idea! I love it. I was thinking about doing beadboard wallpaper on the back of mine....now I'm debating.....you've got me thinking girl!

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

It is gorgeous - I love the colors, makes me crave some warmer weather.

Tina said...

WOW!! That paper looks stunning as do the cupboards with the doors removed! I hope you feel better with your kitchen now you have put more of your own stamp on it - it looks FABULOUS! Thanks so much for sharing. Have a lovely day- Tina

Lauren said...

I love posts like this because knowing me, if I had just read the "how to" section, I probably would've run into the snags you did by cutting corners, using the wrong kind of paper, etc. Thanks, can't wait to try this on something asap! Maybe some bookshelves...

Photographing Mom said...

Absolutely gorgeous, as always!!

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

It looks beautiful and I like it better than the first more mod option. Nicely done!

duchess said...

You are the second brilliant girl I've seen use wrapping paper this week. The other great mind was Wendy at The Shabby Nest. I see a trend starting in blogland.
Great job.

Miki said...

You are a life-saver! I was going to line a dresser with wallpaper (knowing it would be a mess) but now Im going to Hallmark tomorrow! Thanks so much!

Leanne said...

Funny post (for us, not for you). The new paper looks beautiful and who new they had adhesive wrapping paper. Thanks for sharing this great idea. Everyone's going to have paper backed cabinets now.

All things nice... said...

Oh how beautiful, what a great idea and it looks really expensive and elegant- love the colours too :)Wouldn't be look lovely inside a wardrobe too in the bottom of drawers

All things nice...

Sara said...

I really like it. Could taking doors off some of our cabinets be in our future? Hmmmm.

Michelle said...

That is awesome love it!! I lined the back of my hutches with card stock and a glue gun. That looks really good as well and was really easy.

Julie said...

Love it!! Thanks for the idea and info. You saved us a lot of time by trying the thin paper. Now we know not to use it. lol.

Melanie said...

That project of absolutely stunning. You did a wonderful job. You girls online are so talented!

Jenny @ Anything Pretty said...

What a amazing find! I was trying to find a pretty paper to put on my laundry room counter top under plexiglass and this would have been perfect. But sadly I already started painting it because I could not find anything I loved. If the painting does not work I am so going to go to Hallmark. Thanks for the tip!

Megan said...

Look at the ROCKIN' conclusion ... and all the time and energy looks FABULOUS!

Thanks for sharing!

Karli @ RockyBella said...

Wow, that looks great! I recently painted the inside of my closed off cabinets. I never thought of putting paper up. What a genius idea.

suzanne said...

What an improvement! I love the end result. It's always disappointing when a DIY project/idea doesn't come out how you had planned, but often times you find an even better solution! The adhesive paper looks perfect.

Michelle@Fromhousetohome said...

You did a beautiful job, I think it looks fantastic! That was the perfect paper for your cabinets. I love it! I just went to Target today to pick up some wrapping paper. I wanted to tape it up on my walls so I could see if I want wallpaper in the kitchen. It was more expensive than I thought it was but after reading this post, I think it may be worth the expense to be sure I'm happy with the wallpaper I end up choosing!
~Michelle

My Notting Hill said...

It looks terrific. Thanks for sharing all the details and "insider info" on your project. Love the happy ending.

Annesphamily said...

You are one talented lady! You did a fantastic job and that paper is absolutely fabulous! I wish I had the time & the talent! Thanks for sharing!

Treasia Stepp said...

I love this idea. The Hallmark paper turned out gorgeous for this project. The colors and pattern are awesome as well. Great job.

cait said...

Oh my goodness! I LOVE this! I am already trying to decide where to take our cabinet doors down. :) this is the best thrifty decor ideas I've seen! Thanks so much for sharing!

Maya said...

So pretty! I have a glass cabinet that looks a little empty now since I moved stuff, this could be perfect! Of course I need something coastal..., I go check Hallmark.

I posted your awesome cubby organizer today along with some other great shadow box examples..., also there will be another giveaway tomorrow, come check it out.

So long.

Maya said...

Oh, sorry about that..., profile doesn't work.

That was me from Completely Coastal

Arlene said...

As soon as I saw the picture I said "That's my paper." I bought that very paper at Hallmark last month. The funny thing was I didn't pay attention and didn't realize it was self adhesive until I wrapper a wedding gift. I think it's actually harder to wrap gifts with self adhesive that regular paper. I may have to use my paper on a home decor project instead!!

BrEZe said...

i LOVE this idea!! how did you cover up the holes where you took off the doors? i looked carefully on the picture, but didn't see any trace of the old doors.. awesome! and i think the paper you ended up with is PERFECT! good job good job!

Sandra said...

Ok. I love your blog.. I've been a regular reader for quite some time now but just haven't commented. This is sooooooo chic... I'm in love. Thank you so much for sharing! I've been contemplating taking the cabinet doors off in certain areas in my kitchen but have wondered how it would look inside {not so great...} and now I know just what to do! Yay~~~

The Little Red Shop said...

I love the pattern you chose....it's so pretty!

: )

Julie M.

Sonja @ Craft-Werk said...

The papered backs have made such a difference to the shelving. Love it. And I adore your idea for designing the blue paper with the white circles. It looks a bit like light reflections in a swimming pool... Love it!!!

Southern Aspirations said...

YES! I will absolutely use this- thank you so much!! It looks great.

Lori E said...

I like the Hallmark one so much more than the blue one. So much more.

Michelle said...

Beautiful!!

Kathy said...

It looks beautiful!! I love the paper....Kathy

Michelle said...

Wow...that looks great. I love how it looks opened up like that.

And that circle art that you did with the dishes. Oh my goodness...I am so going to try that--perfect wall art for a kids' bedroom! Thanks for the inspiration.

Lynda @ SportsMadGirl said...

It looks fantastic! It's the first thing in noticed in the first picture. I love the fact that it is shiny. The shininess makes the paper look like silver leaf in the pictures!

Ruthie's Renewed Treasures said...

Gorgeous paper and the cabinets turned out beautiful on the second try.

Ruthie

Steph @ somewhatsimple said...

I love this and will be featuring it!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog said...

How sad that the diy paper had to go down, it looked great! I do love what you ended up going with though, I'll have to check out that paper for some of my projects :).

Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage said...

That turned out gorgeous!!!! :)

inadvertent farmer said...

Just discovered your lovely blog and can't wait to go peek around...great re-do! Kim

Pretty Little Things for Home & Life said...

That looks great! How knew Hallmark had adhesive paper! What a pretty paper too! I might have to re-cover my filing cabinet!

Barbara said...

Thank you for introducing me to Adhesive wrapping paper! I have several ideas where to use this!

About how much does a roll cost and how much paper do you get?

You rock!
___
Barbara
http://ifididnthaveasenseofhumor.blogspot.com

emptynest4two said...

I LOVE IT! Would write more but I have to go to Halmark, right now!

The DIY Show Off said...

Beautiful! I love the final (for now) choice. It looks amazing!

Roeshel

Tonya said...

I have seen a lot of UK blogs do something similar with wallpaper. You can get ready made wallpaper adhesive in a tube for small jobs like this. I love how it turned out and hope to find a glass cabinet for my living room so I can do the same :)

bec4 said...

I hate lessons learned the hard way--but they are learned. the mistake led to you finding some really beautiful paper--Love it. thanks so much for linking up!

Meghann said...

I was just thinking last night that I need to put paper as liners in my dresser drawers. Been looking at wallpaper but really dreading doing that. Love that you found adhesive paper at hallmark and so much prettier then just regular "contact" paper. I am so going out to get this now.. YEAH.. Im now totally excited about this project!

fawnda said...

Your cabnets look amazing with this paper on the back! I love it! : )

doverhome said...

This is a fantastic idea and that paper is beautiful. I think I will try that on some open bookshelves in our new house.

queenbee said...

Beautiful! Thanks for posting your kitchen. I have the same oak cabinets that I had planned to paint white, put I have a project list a mile long and its way down on the list. Using your kitchen as inspiration I will be painting it the woodlawn blue color and possible a little board and batten treatment. Thanks for the inspiration.

Comeca Jones said...

I adore this idea we will move soon and I am always grace n ur page for the best ideas.Thanks.

vignette design said...

You really transformed your kitchen! I love the paper as back drop to your dishes.

Hootin' Anni said...

Well, I'll be!! What a transformation! [I think I like the red snowflakes best tho. LOL]

My show n tell is all about Valentine stuff this week.

HERE

Shannon said...

Looks great! I'm featuring you at Life on Purpose today for Feature Friday... Stop by and check it out! Don't forget to grab my featured button to wear proudly on your blog :o)

Melissa said...

Love it!! I started doing this in my kitchen last night after seeing this post. I hit a snag though..... I always hit a snag!!
Did you have a vertical piece down the center of the cabinet (where the 2 doors met when closed), and how did you remove it? I CANNOT get mine out!!!

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Oh my goodness, it's gorgeous!! The final result, I mean, the rest is funny! :) Did you use the circle wrap for a gift?

KolentynePoppy said...

It's wonderful, truly wonderful! I smiled and felt a tickle inside when I opened your blog this morning!

I'm going to Hallmark to buy the same kind of paper! Is that mean? to copy you? I have too! Even though I have 75,489 other things to do today. I'm doing it anyway! Eeek!

Just started blogging. When I get this done I'll post a pic and give you ALL THE CREDIT, OK?

Have a great day, walking by your cabinets and smiling!
~Kolein

Crafty Niche said...

WOW! I love that. I have a cabinet that we took the door off and I am thinking of using some of the Hallmark gift wrap and adhesive for that project. Thanks for the inspiration!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Love your title, so, of course, I had to come see! : ) I love the paper you wound up using! It looks really good. I'd really like to put glass in a couple of our cabinet doors.

Pinkie said...

I think the paper looks beautiful, too. And I had no idea Hallmark had that stuff, either. I think now I have to make a trip to Hallmark. Great work!

Ms. Bake-it said...

Love it, just love it! I had been thinking about removing some of the cabinet doors in my kitchen so I can show off some of my pretties and now I know it is something I will be doing in the near future.

Thank you for sharing the how to and how not to with us!

~ Tracy

christine said...

I actually don't like open cabinets. I think it makes the kitchen look cluttered.

Joy said...

Wow that turned out awesome looking! Now you can display all your goodies.

Debbie said...

What a tutorial, such a great one!!~ I love the new paper, so much, I would look for new places as well. It looks soft and vntage like! Great job!

kelly said...

i just found your site and LOVE IT! when i am not a renter i want my house to look just like yours. we live in hawaii and i love the beachy look but it is not over the top. my daughter is getting married this summer with a beach theme and i am already thinking some of your ideas like the vintage shadow box would be awesome. thanks for sharing your beautiful home and ideas!!

KerryLee said...

Ok, this has nothing to do with the cupboards (but, I do think they look great!).

I do not like blue walls. I just have this thing about blue.

BUT oh my goodness I LOVE the color of your walls! It's like a pale Tiffany blue. Do you know the color that was used?

InMyOwnStyle.com said...

Like the title of your blog- It's the little things that make a house a home. Even though your cabinet transfornmation is a small in the realm of your kitchen, it has a dramatic impact and is getting you a bit closer to the kitchen that you imagine. Being a creative type it is always refreshing to here stories of projects that didn't turn out as planned, I have a ton of them. I think it was Thomas Edison who said something that if we stopped after our failures we would never know how close we were to success - your open cabinet looks divine.
Diane @ InMyOwnStyle

Kate said...

Wow! I didn't know that Hallmark paper existed. I may have to check that out for myself!

I have similar sets of open kitchen cabinets; one is the original cabinet that was part of our 1850 farmhouse and the others are newer upgrades.

Anyway, my husband is a contractor. He cut me perfect cuts of plywood to fit the backs of each of the cabinets. When I feel like changing the paper, I just wrap up the plywood. I used $5 remnant pieces of wallpaper from a local wallpaper store and it worked beautifully.

Rather than cutting and trimming inside each high cabinet, the plywood pieces seemed to be a more efficient and easy way to get the same effect.

If you plan on changing out the paper more often, you may want to consider plywood!


Great post!
Kate
(The Jersey Happy Housewife)
http://therealjerseyhappyhousewife.blogspot.com/

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

I love the paper you created! It looks gorgeous behind those dishes. Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

Stephanie B said...

That looks so wonderful! I love it. It is great when creative ideas work out so perfectly (trial and error are necessary evil)!

Marianne@Songbird said...

Great project, but even better paper. We have this sticky paper here, usually used to put on the shelves. But it is usually in a very ugly and old fashined pattern. Yours looks fab!

pk @ Room Remix said...

I love the paper that you ended up with - so pretty! The cabinets look great! I actually saw the adhesive wrap at Hallmark a while back and thought it was pretty cool. Unfortunately they didn't have a pattern/color that would work for me so I guess I'll just have to keep my eye out for other options. Great job!

Katie said...

Awesome! I did not know adhesive wrapping paper existed. And there is a Hallmark just down the street. *cooking up a plan*

heart_of_luv said...

i just had to comment when i saw this from One Pretty Thing becauuuuse...it looks almost identical to my open cabinets!! hallmark also sells a similar wrapping paper (same colors, different pattern)that doesn't have adhesive backing. one roll took care of the job. great makeover for a little over 4 bucks. i love the look. shiny and all. good job!

alabby said...

You inspired me. I am totally doing this....I am in the process now and will blog about it! I already LOVE the way it looks. On the hunt for just the right paper! Thank you for the inspiration. LOVE YOUR BLOG!!

Elizabeth said...

I had NO idea they had adhesive gift wrap!! Just wondering- if you want to change it out how hard will it be to remove?

Tara said...

ohhh nooo, I am all over this adhesive gift wrap..I love this idea, I have been wanting to add glass to our cabinets in our kitchen, but wanted some pop, and girl you just answered my ?...now i wonder if that paper would work for lining drawers too?! :)

Jennie said...

Oh, my, goodness. You have SO inspired me! I have these awful cabinets in my (rental) kitchen. They were built in the fifties and the doors are low and SOOOO WIDE. One of them is over a bar-style cupboard so if you open the cupboard and something is on the counter it is going to get knocked overboard. Drives me nuts. I'm taking those doors off and using your trick on the inside! Now to figure out how to camoflage the screw holes on the cabinet so I can put the doors back on when I move. . . .

Anywho, I just love your blog, I'm following you! I've always said that home is in the details, your blog is just right up my alley! Thank you!

The Halbert Home said...

Found you on WFMW...great idea. I've bought that paper before but I never thought of using it for that!

alabby said...

Loved the idea!! Just finished it over the weekend. I blogged about it over at www.ourfabulesslife.blogspot.com
and gave you some big shout outs!!

Thanks, I LOVE HOW IT LOOKS!!!

alabby said...

Karla,
Of course, YES!!! I would be so honored. Thank you so much for checking it out!!
Take good care and thanks again!!!!

Peggy of Plush Nest said...

how brilliant!
I've been wanting to line the back of out medicine cab, but wasn't thrilled with my options. this is really smart!

Retro Vintage Interior Decor said...

Incredible! You've made something so simple yet making it look so fantastic! You are a genius! :)

Steph @ somewhatsimple said...

I'll be featuring this how to on Crazy Domestic on Tuesday, November 30th. Thanks for the fun idea!

Maria Elena said...

Just love this idea!! i just reorganized my pantry and side closet and wanted to give it a pop of color as well. I called my 2 local hallmark stores and i was told the adhesive wrap was discontinued a while ago ;-( have you found any similar products?? Thanks!!