Introduction: African Restyled Cupboard

There once was a fine Ikea cupboard, that felt a bit bland. So to build its character I added some things. Here are a few ideas to restyle a plain cupboard in an African style.

Step 1: Change Shape

Like this mosque in Mali I added tilts on the corners. Three pieces of 6 mm MDF are glued together and placed on the cupboard with double-sided tape

Step 2: Divide Panes

Add glazing beads to create square windows. The wood-strips are glued on the glass with double-sided adhesive tape.

Step 3: Decorate Windows

I decorated the windows on the inside with paper patterns. I used black paper and "Josh" paper bought in an Asian shop ( for 65 eurocent). These papers are used for offerings. The half of the packet has orange stripes. I only used the blank ones.
Make the paper ( josh and black) square. Cut out triangles in a rim round the gold on the josh paper. Mark out the josh square on the black paper and make a similar rim of triangular holes.
Cover the holes in both papers paper with brown tape. Turn both over and glue the josh paper to the black square. The sticky side of the tape is now pointed upward. With these sticky parts the paper is stuck on the inside of the glass doors. 

Step 4: Paint

I covered everything with a skin tone acrylic paint. One layer does not cover all black but that's fine. Next I used a transparent ebony acrylic paint. I imitated the woodgrain by pushing the brush upward in the direction of the hairs ( stabbing), almost removing the black paint that I just stroked on. This created thin and unequal lines.

Step 5: Replace Handles

Remove the existing handles. Look for two nice pieces of tree branch. Remove the bark. Drill two holes in each handle and put some iron wire through. Cover the wire with some raffia. Thread the wire through the drawer and bent outward on the inside. Cover pointy ends with some (Duct-) tape

Step 6: Add Bulk on Top

May be too much for you, but it adds to the atmosphere. I bought some hessian like cotton an made big squares. About 1.40x1.40 metres. As the fabric was only a bit fringy I made no hem. Three plastic containers are covered with the fabric squares with a big knot on top.Place them diagonally in the middle and follow the instructions on the photo.
knotting tip
First knot corner 1 and 3, then 2 and 4 over that again 1 and 3 , followed by 2 and 4

Step 7: You Like?

All steps of this instructable could be applied to any other cupboard. The glass decoration could be glued on as decoupage.
And if you don't like the African feel, collect pictures of your favored style and think of shape, color, decoration, handles and accessories. I am sure you to can personalize a plain cupboard into something stylish fitting your own choice.
Enjoy! 

And if you like blank better.....

Comments

author
foobear (author)2013-09-09

Nice transformation. Are you an interior decorator?

author

Not really. I'm a arts and crafts, and woodworking teacher at a school for mentally disabled. And sometimes part time artist. See www.ruudvankoningsbrugge.nl

author
flyingpuppy (author)2013-07-24

Where do you hail from? That sure is a lot of African stuff you have. On the cupboard, I love the cornice idea, though you can hardly see them in the intro picture.
That's a brilliant transformation.

author

Thanks. I "hail" from Holland with hardly any African connection. I just love the way in witch everything seems to be simple and close to nature. I know, its the same fairy tale as everybody walking on wooden shoes here.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Technics/ arts and crafts teacher at a school for mentally disordered young adults.
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