How to Upcycle Old Kitchen Cabinets For Any Room

We just pulled some really old, 1970s kitchen cabinets from our garage. They had probably been the original kitchen in our house, but were then relegated to garage storage about 15 years ago. As you can see, they were dark wood formica, square and simple type of design. Unfortunately because they’d been in the garage, they’d become stained, chipped and the laminate was peeling. Despite all of this, I decided they were probably salvageable.

I peeled off the peeling layers of laminate and underneath I found 40 year old, decaying and yellowing glue. This had to be cleaned off, if I had any chance of saving these from landfill. Cream cleaner didn’t shift it, so it ended up being a tough job with a Stanley blade scraper. Even then, they didn’t come up clean and I knew I wouldn’t be able to paint over that combination of laminate and old glue successful.

Cue- Fablon! Remember that sticky-backed plastic from Blue Peter, that seemed to be in every make?! Well, it turned out to be a fabulous, cheap fix for my vintage cupboard. I bought 1 roll of white wood effect and 2 rolls of this beautiful, contour rose, pink lace patterned for the inside. It definitely sticks better to the smooth laminate surface, but it’s done a good enough job at sticking over the rough gluey surface and making the cupboard look passable again. Just make sure that you measure twice and cut once! I also purchased a Coral smoothing tool and it was definitely worthwhile. It can also be used to smooth wallpaper, should I ever get around to anymore decorating.

As you’ll notice, I removed the doors and discarded them – I wanted that modern, open shelving look. These may not be perfect, but I was looking for good enough. Plus, you’re not going to see much of them, once they’re up and filled with books and knick-knacks. I have 2 more kicking about in the garage and I’m very tempted to upcycle the rest. After all, I’ve only had to pay for the Fablon, approx £20 and new cupboards would have been a hell of a lot more.

After this success, I can see myself attempting a whole range of projects with Fablon. It gives a really professional finish, if you take the time to do good preparation. It has utterly transformed this cabinet and I can see myself doing simple tasks too, like covering books or other pieces of furniture to match.

Over to you – have you ever tried Fablon? There are a huge range of colours and patterns available.

Making a Vintage 1970s Maxi Skirt From An Original Pattern

I mentioned yesterday that I’m learning to sew- here is my finished Vintage 1970s Maxi Skirt and I absolutely love it! I found this floral print corduroy after much searching in local fabric shops (apparently printed corduroy isn’t in fashion, but I will always love it). I pickup up with pattern in a charity shop somewhere for 99p and it was un-used.

It was a Very Easy Vogue pattern- the skirt was cut in just 3 pieces- front panel, back panel and waistband. I had to add a couple of inches on to the pattern all over because a vintage 14 is a bit small on me. My sewing teacher helped me to do this and to hem it. As it’s a full circle skirt, the hem was a bit tricker than I imagined. I added some red bias trim to the pockets because I thought it would show them off a bit and voila! I will definitely be making this skirt again. I still have the blouse to try if I want to as well. I’m pairing it with a vintage pair of bright red court shoes that I found in a charity shop for 99p – I think they’re 80s, but they were brand new with tags and a perfect match! The jumper I’ve had for absolutely years (originally bought new), but it’s a good fit with lots of things. I also found an M&S cashmere, belted cardigan for £4 in a charity shop that I’m hoping will match this and a vintage Laura Ashley maroon velvet quilted jacket for £5.50. More photos to follow!