Pages from a Horticulture Guidebook and Découpage Glue Completely Transformed This Tired, Chipped Wardrobe

A side-of-the-road find was made new again thanks to this inventive DIY project.

wardrobe decoupage botanical prints
Photo: Frank Frances

Papering over problems isn't exactly Living photo director Ryan Mesina's style. But when he spotted a worse-for-wear 1930s mahogany wardrobe on the side of the road, he knew some découpage could disguise its scratches and pockmarks. Our man with a DIY plan pulled his favorite photographs from a 1921 horticultural guidebook, Wildflowers of New York, by Homer D. House; arranged them in a grid over the doors; and adhered them with Mod Podge. The result stores barware, and speaks volumes about Ryan's love of gardening and unerring eye for upcycling potential. Learn how to recreate the ingenious look below.


Dab a cleaner and degreaser hybrid, such as Spray Nine ($5.28,, onto a sponge and scrub the wood thoroughly to remove dirt and wax. Wipe with a wet rag; let dry. On surfaces that won't be découpaged, apply a scratch cover, like Old English ($5.38,


Remove the handles. Measure the dimensions of the doors and determine how many pages will be needed to cover them. With a ruler and craft knife, trim the pages to fit.


Starting at the top left corner, brush découpage glue, such as Mod Podge, onto the door and the back of a page. Carefully position paper. Continue gluing pages, working in horizontal rows. Let dry.


Brush a thin coat of découpage glue over the paper. Once it dries, poke a small hole where the doorknobs screw in, and reattach the hardware.

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