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My Crazy Junk Art Kitchen Cabinets

Updated on April 26, 2016

Creative, Cheap & Free Cabinet Remodel Ideas

My kitchen cabinets were old and ugly! Now they're cool and funky! Find out how I used junk to add funk to my newly artsy kitchen!

Replacing our cabinet doors was too expensive. We tried entering Martha Stewart's kitchen makeover contest, but someone else won. Personally, I thought we had it in the bag.. oh well, I digress...

One day I couldn't take it anymore. I was determined to cover that ugly old wood and the chipping paint we had tried previously. Somehow. Some way.

This is the story of my funky, artsy-junky, and totally unique kitchen cabinet re-do. Though it is still a work in progress, I am gradually changing my kitchen into a work of altered art, scrap art or junk art. Whatever you might call it, my cabinets are a lesson in recycling, re-use, and creativity.

My style may be a bit wacky for some, but if you are an artsy person looking for a cheap alternative to conventional remodeling, this page might give you some interesting ideas. Also find junk-art books, ideas and resources.

I hope you enjoy seeing my crazy kitchen!

All photos on this page copyright 2008 - 2015, Janienne Jennrich
(no use, no how, without permission)

This Was My First Artsy Cabinet Door.

This Was My First Artsy Cabinet Door.
This Was My First Artsy Cabinet Door.

I Worked on this Door Slowly, Over a Few Weeks

(You can't rush genius)

I got bored with my mis-matched ugly oak cabinets and one day just started gluing stuff to them and still haven't stopped! Actually, I sanded and painted a base coat of yellow and green on this door first, but I didn't care for the results.

My kitchen is a work in progress. I go through a LOT of glue - mostly Elmer's white glue (the "school" glue is too thin).

Trash to Treasure

Most of my junk is actually junk, but I did buy the little fork from a scrap-booking store because it was so cute and cheap. The heart is a piece of broken jewelry.

Garage sales, thrift shops, and friends are great resources for interesting "junk." Now I look at junk mail differently, searching for interesting art, colors, and words to cut out for free. I also hoard teeny free trinkets, keys, stickers, scrapbook paper, playing cards, broken jewelry, game pieces and all kinds of stuff.

Half a Cuppa Tea, Anyone??

Broken dishes are an exciting opportunity!

Our cat broke one of my favorite teacups, so it ended up on this cabinet door, as well.

I stuck the broken edges into a piece of styrofoam with tons of white glue and kept building stuff around it to keep it secure. Once dry, I glued the back of the foam to the cabinet.

It's always easier to work flat, when gluing heavier things. If you want to try something like this, unscrew the doors from the cabinets and set them down on a table until glue and paint are completely dry.

Poll Question - Are You an Artist?

I never really thought of myself as an artist until I started playing with designs on my kitchen cabinets. I have done a lot of crafting, but never anything very complex. Re-doing the cabinets helped make me start to think more creatively.

See more ideas on this page!

Do you consider yourself an artist?

See results

My Blocks Cabinet

My Blocks Cabinet - Decorated with strange little domino-like blocks, which were a yard sale find.

This was the second cabinet I did. I glued the blocks on one by one (without a plan) and added a metal scrapbooking charm that says "create."

I use lots of things to apply paint to cabinets-- Sometimes even BRUSHES! - It's fun to experiment with various items to get different textures and designs.

Alternatives to Paint Brushes:

Folded paper, old toothbrushes, cotton swabs, cut-up old t-shirts, paper towels, a plastic spatula, a comb, your fingers, feathers, tissues or tissue paper, wadded-up newspaper, leaves, or just about anything else you have laying around. Expect the item to get covered with paint, of course.

Trash Art "Metro Cafe" Cabinet

My "Metropolis Cafe" cabinet. I like the partial cat face on this one. This is decorated with mostly ripped paper, glue and beads. It helps to put a few 3-dimensional objects on, for interest, I think.

You Can Make A Funky Free Sign Like the One Above

I came upon this cool site and I love making goodies to print for my junk art.

The site is

I can never have enough


A Gallon of Elmer's Glue... Junk Art Happiness in a Bottle! - I use this for most of my cabinet art.

But the most fun

is finding the art

in free found stuff!

One Last View of My Free Kitchen Cabinet Doors

One Last View of My Free Kitchen Cabinet Doors
One Last View of My Free Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Whatcha Think? - Thanks for Visiting

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    • profile image

      ShelbyLinMarie 4 years ago

      This is very cool! I rent but I have ideas for decoration cork boards and other things to express myself. If they won't let me paint the walls I will just have to attach my art to it! Hahaha Thanks for the creative and informative lens.

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 4 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I have done something similar with my bathroom wall. I love it. It is quite the conversation piece when I have guests.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      @JJNW: Best answer ever lol

    • profile image

      webscribbler 4 years ago

      @JJNW: Truly laughing out loud now!

      Love the idea. Might not be so great for resale value but hey it's your castle and why not have fun in it.

      What a great way to also feature children's artwork. You could assign a door to each child and it could be up to them what goes up, stays up or is rotated off.

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 4 years ago from USA

      @TanoCalvenoa: When the cabinet door falls off... ; )

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      How do you know when to STOP adding stuff?

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 5 years ago from USA

      @anonymous: It does help to have a big white wall in my kitchen! Ha ha.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Too much clutter for me. But it did give me ideas so thanks

    • beaworkathomemom profile image

      beaworkathomemom 5 years ago

      They're fun and unique.

    • mysweetjane lm profile image

      mysweetjane lm 5 years ago

      love it - they are like collage cabinets!

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 5 years ago from USA

      @Scarlettohairy: ROFL - Well, if I was, I woulda had to buy the cabinets after all that glue! lol.

    • SharpLee profile image

      SharpLee 5 years ago

      Thanks for showing us your fun cabinets!

    • KateHonebrink profile image

      KateHonebrink 5 years ago

      Love these one-of-a-kind kitchen cabinets! Great job on this lens and congratulations on making the upcycling monsterboard!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I love it! GOOD FOR YOU! I think more people should make their homes truly their own! (I hope you're not renting.)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I LOVE this freewheeling way to design. What a wild & wonderful kitchen you must have! Thanks for a great lens!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I think you are super creative. I love the broken china cup add-on especially. I too use Elmer Glue for all my "decoupage" projects. It's low fumes, easy to use, dries clear and is inexpensive.

    • Timewarp profile image

      Paul 5 years ago from Montreal

      fun idea!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Sounds like fun!!

    • profile image

      BestLaminateInc1 6 years ago

      Great way to get creative!

    • semas profile image

      semas 6 years ago

      Very creative way to give a new look to your kitchen!

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Creative and fun way to add some funk to kitchen cabinet doors! :)

    • totallyclever profile image

      totallyclever 6 years ago

      There are some great ideas here. Thanks for that.

    • LiquidGranite1 profile image

      LiquidGranite1 6 years ago

      I love the idea! One thumbs up.

    • Lisa-Marie-Mary profile image

      Lisa-Marie-Mary 6 years ago

      I absolutely love it! What a great idea!

    • dotpattern profile image

      Pat Moire 6 years ago from West Village, New York City

      Anything broken can become art - super cool ! There's a hot glue gun around here somewhere...

    • profile image

      tech02 6 years ago

      Great artistic cabinets! Definitely inspiring!

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 7 years ago

      What a great, fun idea. I have a laminated kitchen cabinet that I hate. I might just look into this idea. I don't think I can make it look worse than it already does. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      What a wonderful selection of ideas for altered art. This page is a great resource.

    • Craftyville profile image

      Craftyville 8 years ago

      Love the cabinets.

    • profile image

      SCM 9 years ago

      This is awesome... I love reading your pages, Janienne!

    • profile image

      grannysage 9 years ago

      What a cool idea. It takes The art of collaging to a new level. I've actually got one started but I didn't think of it as "junk art." I have some dolphin earrings I can't wear , some beads, fake money. Gonna have to look at it with a new eye. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      How fun! Now I want to got look through all my junk!! Thanks for the artsy inspiration!