Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Inexpensive Temorary Kitchen Re-do: a tutorial

I absolutely love the house we rent, but the kitchen is a little on the blah/boring side.  The house was built in 1950, so it has tons of built ins, which is my favorite feature!  In wanting to add color to the kitchen, but not paint anything, or spend lots of money, I decided to go with this, and the great part is that it's temporary:

Here's what you'll need:

Fabric Scissors
Measuring Tape
Liquid Clothing Starch
Old Bucket
Fabric, or an old sheet
A bowl scraper, metal spatula, or anything you have with a flat edge (not pictured)

I wanted to do this as cheaply as possible, since I don't really have much, if any budget for decorating my house.  I went to the thrift store and looked through their old sheets, I originally wanted something blue, but thought this would be nice for fall.

Start by wiping down the shelf you're going to use, you want it clean.

Get your fabric, the sheet was $2.50, and 25% off!  Much better than buying new fabric, also, since it was used, it was pre-shrunk, so I didn't have to account for shrinkage.

You'll want to measure the shelf area, width by height, of each shelf.  Mine were all 36.5 inches wide, with the bottom shelf being 16 inches high, the next was 14, and the top two were 8 inches high.  

Measure your fabric, and use a pencil to mark your fabric.

Using your scissors cut your fabric.  The benefit of the striped fabric, was that I was able to use the stripes as a guide for cutting.  

Pour enough liquid starch into the bucket to cover the bottom by about an inch.

Completely soak the strip of fabric in the liquid starch, making sure to get it well soaked.  Wring it out so it's not dripping, but you still want it pretty saturated.

Using you bowl scraper, or whatever tool you have, press the fabric while pulling your tool across the back of the cabinet.  Once it's on the wall, let it dry for a bit, and wipe off the excess starch that has dripped down unto the shelf.  

Place whatever items you want on back on the shelf, and admire the beautiful thing you just did.  If you want to change it for the season, just peal off the fabric, wipe the cabinet down with a damp towel, and start again with a different fabric!!

This would also be a really fun idea for a wedding, use an old bookshelf, and put a fun vintage fabric in the back of it!

I'm linking up with:


  1. That is so clever, love the colour too!! x

  2. Wow! What a pop that adds to the room and you made it look very easy. Love the happy yellow.

    I am a new follower from the Show and Tell Blog Hop. If you have a moment stop by www.messforless.net and say hi!

  3. I really like the visual appeal that the fabric adds to that corner! And I love how resourceful you were for that project--using things you already had. Such out-of-the-box thinking! Great job, and thanks for sharing!

    Stephanie from Make Home Make Sense

  4. Anna, you showed liquid starch in the first photo but said fabric softener in the others...which should be used?

  5. thank you for making me aware, Alyson. You want to use the liquid starch. I fixed the post, thanks so much!!!