Update a cabinet missing a door by creating a covering for it out of upcycled materials or simple craft supplies such as wood strips, chicken wire or rice paper. Homemade fabric hangings, thrift-store artwork or your own painted art canvases can be used to cover those naked cabinets, customized to the theme of the room.
Cover a cabinet opening with perfectly useful materials left over from other products, such as coffee or rice sacks or colorful portions of old vinyl banners or billboards. Cut the material so it is 1/2 to 1 inch larger in all dimensions than the cabinet opening. Staple a thin wood strip along the top of the cabinet, catching the repurposed material beneath it, for a curtain-style covering. Or, create a pocket at the top and bottom of each piece of material to hold a dowel rod, hanging it like a vertical banner from cafe curtain-rod holders on either side of the cabinet opening.
Turn an artist's canvas or a framed poster or painting into an art piece with a purpose by using it to cover an open cabinet. Add small hooks at either side of the cabinet near the top to hang the art from picture wire, or install hinges along one side of the back of the art piece, securing the other side of each hinge to the same side of the cabinet for a makeshift door. A mirror may be used in place of artwork; make sure the hooks or hinges are designed to hold the weight of the piece before installation.
Fun With Framework
Build a simple wooden frame structure to create your own custom cabinet covers using materials such as chicken wire, hardware cloth or rice paper. Form the frame so it rests neatly atop the cabinet opening, much like a door. Attach chicken wire, window screen or hardware cloth using sturdy staples. Glue rice paper or fabric around the inside perimeter of the frame for another look. Back delicate materials such as paper with a sheet of poster board if you're concerned about damaging the piece. Secure the homemade frame to the cabinet with hinges to give it door-like functionality, or add hooks to the cabinet and picture wire to the back of the frame to hang it like a painting.
To cover an open cabinet in a child's room, epoxy thin plastic interlocking play bricks around the perimeter of the cabinet opening, so more bricks may be attached to it easily. Large, thin brick "plates" cover the opening and may be used as a play surface emulating streets, scenery or even a moon surface. The kids can change out the scene any time they like by building with the bricks, then tearing down their structures and starting again.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.