15 Upcycled File Cabinet Projects to Make and Sell

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There has always been a market for file cabinets as people want to organize their offices and homes and keep valuable documents safe. The demand for unique filing cabinets has skyrocketed over the past two years as the home office became a mainstay in the modern workplace. File cabinets are no longer purely functional, but a creative example of personal style in the home.

Old, rusty filing cabinets are a dime a dozen because the structures are built to last, often much longer than their function. Upcycling old file cabinets continues to be a trend in the DIY market, and crafty makers have expanded their repurposing hobbies into thriving small businesses.

With consumers seeking functional storage to match their home design, upcycled filing cabinets continue to fill a niche in the market. Repurposing filing cabinets doesn’t stop with giving them a makeover either, as the structures can be converted into a variety of other functions and designs.

What can you do with an old filing cabinet?

Are you ready to start a small business selling upcycled filing cabinets? At flea markets and in the garage, you can find a vintage file cabinet for virtually no investment, or you can buy new file cabinets for little money from many major retailers that sell office storage furniture.

Once you’ve got craft materials like paint and glue, you can start reusing and upcycling your file cabinet inventory. You can then sell your finished projects in local craft malls and online marketplaces once you learn how to start a small business on Etsy and how to sell on Amazon Handmade.

Looking for inspiration for your upcycled file cabinet projects? You can breathe new life into an old metal file cabinet with a unique design, or you can transform old office furniture into new structures such as tables, desks and alternative storage solutions, perfect for any office space.

Ideas for upcycled metal file cabinets

Ready to sell repurposed office furniture? Used metal file cabinets are durable and plentiful, and they can be turned into many creative projects. The following ideas for upcycled metal file cabinets can get you started:

1. Upcycle file cabinet to end table with storage space

image: House Beautiful

An old metal cabinet can do much more than store and organize papers. In this example, House Beautiful shows you how to turn a metal filing cabinet into a stylish side table with storage space. Upcycling projects like these are easy to complete, even for amateur crafters, and repurposed office furniture can be sold for a healthy profit, especially if you know where to sell handmade items locally.

2. Repurpose an old file cabinet as a coffee table

image: Oh Louise Designs

Old metal filing cabinets can be reused in a variety of ways by simply flipping the structure on its side. In the example above from Oh Louise Designs, a metal filing cabinet was transformed into a coffee table with little effort. When the old metal cabinet needs a makeover to prepare it for its new life as a piece of furniture, a fresh coat of paint can work wonders.

3. Repurpose File Cabinets For Kids Playhouses

image: Pinterest

Want to create a fun space for kids to play while mom or dad work from their home office? With a few metal filing cabinets and a curtain, parents can create a safe yet unique playhouse for the kids. The structure also doubles as a functional storage space for the playroom. A simple coat of paint ensures the repurposed filing cabinets match any decorative scheme.

4. Reuse a file cabinet as a sink

image: Prodigal Pieces

Old metal filing cabinets can be reused to perform various alternative functions by removing their drawers. In this example from Prodigal Pieces, the drawers of a metal filing cabinet were replaced with laundry baskets and an attractive design was stencilled and painted on the side. The end result is a unique bathroom storage box that makes a perfect housewarming gift.

5. Upcycle a metal file cabinet with a fresh paint job

image: Cassie Fairy

Upcycling a metal file cabinet doesn’t have to mean changing its purpose. There is a lot of market for simple file cabinets that are decorated to match the decor of the home and office. You can breathe new life into an old metal filing cabinet by giving it a fresh coat of paint and selling your stylish filing cabinet makeover to consumers looking for unique office furniture.

6. Repurpose a metal file cabinet for kitchen storage

image: A few cents

You might be amazed at what can be made from disassembled filing cabinets. In the example above from A Few Pennies, the artist uses parts of a metal filing cabinet to create a designer kitchen organizer. The small kitchen cabinet was stenciled and painted to coordinate with any kind of kitchen style.

7. Repurpose a file cabinet as stylish bar storage

Image: Home Conversation

File cabinets can hold so much more than paperwork. For a creative twist on a repurposed metal filing cabinet, try converting the structure to store other household items. In the example above, Home Talk describes how to turn a metal filing cabinet into handy and stylish bar storage.

8. Upcycle metal file cabinet as storage bench

image: Confluence Architecture

How do you store more stuff in recycled filing cabinets? Attach multiple metal filing cabinets together to create a convenient storage bench for indoor or outdoor use. By removing the drawers and attaching a single lid to the top of the filing cabinets, Confluence Architecture has repurposed rusty old filing cabinets in a way that is sure to sell on Etsy or any local craft retailer.

9. Repurpose a filing cabinet into a planter

image: Hobby farms

Just about any container can be reused as a planter, including an old filing cabinet. By removing the drawers and filling the cabinet with dirt, a filing cabinet can be the perfect home for garden plants and flowers. Give the filing cabinet a makeover with a fresh coat of paint, and the repurposed planter will complement any kind of indoor or outdoor decor.

10. Fix up a file cabinet with wrapping paper

image: Thistledown Domestic Creations

You can upcycle a file cabinet with more than a fresh coat of paint. Add beautiful designs to an old filing cabinet makeover by covering the drawers with colorful wrapping paper. With the right craft supplies, the paper will change the look of the filing cabinet, creating a unique design that is sure to be a top seller.

Upcycle file cabinet products made of wood

One of the most popular ways to give a file cabinet makeover is to add wood components and accents to give an old file cabinet a new look or a whole new purpose. Transform a metal utensil into stylish wooden furniture with shelves and frames, or add a wooden shelf across multiple filing cabinets to create a unique table. Repurposed furniture continues to trend in the furniture market and you are sure to sell your designs in local stores or online marketplaces.

11. Upcycle Metal File Cabinet As Faux Wood Storage

image: While they snooze

By attaching wooden picture frames to the front of metal file cabinet doors, you can not only give the file cabinet a makeover, but also transform it into stylish wooden furniture with built-in storage. No one will ever guess that your beautiful creation started life as a pile of metal.

12. Use File Cabinets As A Craft Counter

image: Small Gray Table

File cabinets can be used to make entire furniture, as in this example from Little Gray Table. Craftsmen aligned several filing cabinets, gave them a new paint job and attached a single large shelf to the top, creating a useful and attractive craft table.

13. Upcycle Metal File Cabinet With Stencils And Wood

image: H2O Bungalow

A rusty old file cabinet can take on a new lease of life as attractive office furniture by adding some wood accents and stenciling stylish designs. In the example above from H2O Bungalow, a simple metal filing cabinet got a major makeover with basic necessities.

14. Transform a filing cabinet with wood

image: Brepurposed

Who would have thought that the beautiful wooden cabinet in the example above started its life as an old metal filing cabinet? The Brepurposed team gave the filing cabinet a makeover by covering it with small strips of wood, completely transforming the repurposed creation.

15. Give a file cabinet an antique look

Image: Scavenger Chic

Want to sell repurposed furniture that looks like classic antiques? Even an old filing cabinet can be turned into a check masterpiece by adding the right wood accents. In the Scavenger Chic example above, the creator has upcycled an old filing cabinet into stylish furniture that would suit any home.

Starting a file cabinet makeover for profit

Upcycled and repurposed furniture is so popular that it’s not hard to dream of selling it for a profit. File cabinet makeover designs are only limited by your imagination, but to get started you need inventory. Start collecting old filing cabinets from local flea markets, thrift stores, and garage sales. You also want to invest in supplies such as basic tools, craft glue, and paint.

When you start selling file cabinet makeovers for profit, you can support your business with your early sales, buying more inventory with the profit from your first sales. As you start your small business, you can expand your inventory and increase your profits.

Where to sell upcycled filing cabinets?

It’s one thing to give file cabinets a makeover and reuse them in stylish furniture, but that doesn’t sell them. Where will you sell your upcycled filing cabinets? Do you sell them locally, or do you look for buyers online and ship the goods? Sure, you can open your own store with a showroom full of upcycled filing cabinets, but most people start on a smaller scale, including:

Online marketplaces such as Etsy, a popular e-commerce platform where people buy and sell crafts and handmade items. Amazon Handmade, a community within the e-commerce giant’s platform where artists and craftsmen sell their unique and unique creations. Local at flea markets, second-hand furniture stores and consignment shops, but also at craft fairs and festivals. Other online marketplaces such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace.

Image: Depositphotos


This post 15 Upcycled File Cabinet Projects to Make and Sell was original published at “https://smallbiztrends.com/2022/03/upcycle-filing-cabinet.html”

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