DIY Filing Cabinet Makeover

3 Materials
2 Hours

I’m working on a budget. I got these filing cabinets from Habitat for Humanity ReStore for a couple bucks and wanted to repurpose them to make my desk. I knew I wanted to use card pull label holders because not only do I love the way they look on furniture, I also love being organized!
I took my measurements and picked up craft board from Lowe's.

The first thing I had to do was remove the existing pulls to create a flat work surface. I failed to get a picture of that, but I do have it on the YouTube tutorial. It was fairly easy, they just popped right out. Here’s what the filing cabinet looked like after the handles were out.
I cut them to the length needed
Using wood glue and clamps, I adhered the wood pieces to the front of the filing cabinet how I wanted them to look. *EDIT* I would suggest sanding down the filing cabinet first and use Loctite Heavy Duty Epoxy Glue instead of wood glue. This will ensure a more secure grip.
Using wood clamps to ensure to slipping while the glue dries... (You can use a shim for a separation between the slats of wood, if needed.)
I painted my filing cabinet with spray paint
Then I measured and marked where I wanted the cabinet pulls to go. I used a drill bit to drill thru only the craft board. The screws that come with the label pulls are short enough that it only needs to go through the craft board.
Then I simply screwed in my label pulls.
I am so happy with how it turned out.
I spray painted just a light dust of gold metallic spray paint on the label pulls so that they would show up better against the dark paint.
Then I labeled the pulls accordingly
Please watch my video for more details. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the bell to be notified of new videos. I post several DIY projects on there weekly.

Suggested materials:

  • Wood clamps  (
  • Label pulls  (
  • Craft board  (

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Laci Jane

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 31 questions
  • Glennacr
    on Feb 23, 2018

    I want to do this in my camper are the pulls strong enough without going through the metal to use on a regular basis once your drawers are full of things? With those lightweight lable pulls I was afraid they would just pull off.

    • Brenda Winter
      on Mar 4, 2018

      Yo could drill and screw some short pinhead or sheet metal screws from the drawer inside into the wood on the front to help secure the wood to the drawers. Then use appropriate sized longer bolts to go through to the drawer inside and attach either acorn nuts, like a cap, or the nuts lined with nylon centers on the end of the bolts. Some handles have it built in to screw the bolts from inside the drawer through into the handle itself.

  • C
    on Mar 4, 2018

    Very inspired and will try it. I'm thinking of covering the entire 2-drawer cabinet with the wood and use them for end/couch tables. Do you have any further how-to recommendations for this plan? Thank you!

  • Paula Russell Knight
    on Mar 5, 2018

    Where did you get the cabinet pulls?

    • Norma Thornton Elliott
      on Mar 5, 2018

      They are not the original pulls.

      If you’ll look at the list of “Materials Used” you will see the cabinet pulls listed there AND a link to the website.

      uxcell Office Chest File Cabinet 59x31mm Label Pull Frame Handle Black 8pcs

      She also states that you can see what the original pulls were on her YouTube Tutorial

Join the conversation

2 of 131 comments
  • Lyna
    on Nov 3, 2018

    Awesome idea.thx

  • Annie
    on Mar 10, 2020

    Love this! One question- how does the cabinet lock? My center pulls have a latch that open the drawers. The top cabinet has a lock.

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