My husband and I both had stupidly busy weeks this week, as a result of which, we had to steal off for a 20-minute getaway at the grocery to have some time alone.  Somewhere between gazing into each other’s eyes and scouring eight separate aisles for a misting spray bottle (the better to make my own cooking spray), I happened to notice some adorable shelf paper.  ADORABLE.  Shelf paper.  I cast longing looks at it, and after my husband disappeared around a corner, I confess I even grabbed a roll.  Since you know I like to live with art, however, you might be able to see where this is going. What if we could all have adorable shelf and drawer liners, COVERED WITH ART?!

To pursue this mission, I decided to skip the expensive shelf paper.  Instead, I procured some industrial floor tiles from the hardware store for a whopping $0.62 cents a piece.  (I’m so splurge.)

Original Tiles

They aren’t pretty, but that’s where you come in!

To make these work in your kitchen (or desk) drawers, do some measuring first – and do it well!  The great thing about industrial floor tiles is that you can simply score them with your X Acto knife, then bend and release!  The unwanted tile all but falls away.

Score and Fold

Scored Tile

Once your tiles are cut, grab your gesso and go.  Unless you’ve gone all superhuman on me, gesso will pool and gather on the edges, so wipe those with a rag before you start painting; otherwise, you may inadvertently redecorate your hands / clothes / life.

Once the tile is dry and prepped, the sky is the limit!  Paint whatever you feel!  Here’s what I did:

Initial Coats

Background Evolving



I routinely cook with my teenage son, which means that at some point during the dinner-making process, we spar. The reassuring text I wrote here says: “1 can tomatoes. 2 cups of beans. 3 big potatos. 4 quarts of spleen. 5 cups of water. 6 cups of wine. Add some love. It will all be fine.”

Once I finished the painting, I sprayed a couple of coats of Krylon and laid the tile in the drawer.
In Drawer Straight Down

In Drawer

After you fill the drawer back up, you won’t be able to see your delightful masterpiece as clearly, I admit – or at least, not every day.

Full Drawer

In the middle of making Thanksgiving dinner, however, when every measuring cup for six blocks has been used, your Cousin Alma will lean over and say, “What is that in your drawer?!”  You will smile and remember this sentence.  And I will congratulate you on living with art!




Ann D'Angelo is a dedicated drinker of diet Coke who has never spotted a thrift store she didn't want to visit or an item she didn't want to alter. Check out Ann's shop.


denthe · August 1, 2014 at 3:56 am

Fabulous idea, I love it! Even if you don't see it, just catching glimpses of it when you open a drawer is enough. I love little artsy touches like that 🙂

    AnnDAngelo · August 1, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Thank you so much, my dear denthe! I totally agree with you: Just seeing a glimpse is all it takes! This is already one of my favorite projects!

Aunt Banana · August 1, 2014 at 1:02 pm

LOVE it! I envision these on the inside of cabinets, too – the back side – the more plates, cups, bowls you use between dishwasher runs, the more art you see! And on the back wall of a pantry? Holy cool cow…

    AnnDAngelo · August 1, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Aunt Banana, we are of exactly the same mind! I started imagining art on the back walls of cabinets, and the pantry, and maybe the island doors! Someone stop me before there is no space left!

    (And thank you so much for commenting! 😀 )

Cheri Quigley Hayward · August 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm

I am seriously in love with this! Seriously.

    AnnDAngelo · August 1, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Whee! I am seriously happy that you are! 😀

sarah · August 2, 2014 at 1:51 pm

I love this SO MUCH. Such a brilliant idea!!

    AnnDAngelo · August 2, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Yay! Thank you, cheri! 😀

Ruth Hinman · August 3, 2014 at 11:16 am

This is an awesome idea for the bottoms of my organizers as well, since some of them are cheap plastic bins I got in the dollar section of the Target and it's the flexible bottoms that make them such a bummer to try to gather together!

And, just an option… wax backed deli paper loves paint and lays in on shelves… I have a roll here that I keep thinking needs to line my shelves and drawers downstairs in completely inappropriate subject matter and color. LOL 😀

Your mind is awesome, Ann! Thank you for this new idea whirring around in my brain to get me motivated to claim my space!

    AnnDAngelo · August 3, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Yes! Absolutely, Ruth- this would be a great stabilizing element in bins with flex bottoms!

    And wax-backed deli paper is a fabulous idea! You should so go for the inappropriate illustrations and colors! We support that fully here at wonderstrange! 😀

    Thanks so much for the great comment! <3

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