A different creative project each week…from children's parties to sewing curtains

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Orla Kiely Vintage Style Cabinet

My husband, Liam, has kindly let me have a tiny room (cupboard!) in our home to use as my art space. I am delighted! I am slowly turning it into a wonderful space for all my projects and I love having a place dedicated to being creative, and one that I can retreat to without my little children wanting to 'help' me with what I am doing. 

With very little money to get any storage, I fancied having a go at renovating an old piece of furniture, which I have no experience at all. 

I found this old wooden cabinet at a second-hand shop for a few pounds, and was reluctantly set to sand it down before priming it and then finally painting it a fabulous colour. I say reluctantly for two reasons. Firstly the time it would take, and secondly the cost for primer and paint. 

I consider myself a lazy crafter and so imagine my utter joy when I discovered this paint.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is a revelation, I bought this small jar at Sharland and Lewis in Nailsworth for £5 and it did the job. It is the easiest paint I have ever used, and even on this dark, shiny wood I only needed one coat of paint. I didn't sand or prime the wood and the paint has done a wonderful, even job.

I can not more highly recommend this paint, so much so that I am tempted to paint all our kitchen cabinets in one of the delightful colours in their range.

I used the Duck Egg Blue to paint my cabinet inside and out, but in an attempt to save money I did not paint the doors because I wanted to add something special to the design.

To complete the painting took half an hour.

Before I picked the paint I had already eyed up some Orla Kiely wrapping paper. I am a big fan of Orla Kiely's designs, but I am not a fan of the hefty price tags, and so I was thrilled to find this paper in a local shop for only a couple of pounds. It might seem a lot for a sheet of wrapping paper, but I really wanted something eye catching and for me this was it.

Alternatively you could use wall paper.

This cabinet was perfect to glue a strip of paper to the doors, but if you find you just want to add some colour or design to a bookshelf the why not add your paper to back of the shelves.

By this stage I was far too excited to see the finished piece than to allow the fact that I didn't have the right glue stop me. I wrongly used PVA glue, and I think it was to my detriment. I applied the glue straight onto the paper and then stuck it up. I trimmed off the extra paper with a sharp pen knife. The glue has done it's job but the paper did bubble a little. If I had been more patient I should have used a spray on glue.

Anyway, I am so thrilled that I have created an Orla Kiely Vintage Style Cabinet in less than an hour (plus drying time) for such little money, and I would strongly encourage you to find a tired piece of furniture and find time to breath new life into it with these simple techniques!


  1. Amazing! I shall be doing this! Well done katy! Xx

  2. Would you be able to tell me the name of the shop where you bought the wrapping paper? I have been looking online and can only find rolls of orla kiely wrap and the paper is too thin for me to use. Many thanks.

  3. I bought the paper from Moonflower in Stroud. It was a wrapping paper but quite thick. I hope this helps!