before & after: modified display cabinet

I’ve been eager to play around with large rubber bands lately, so this display cabinet project from Krisztina Wein could not have landed in my lap at a better time. Using a long, thin rubber band, Krisztina cleverly modified the open cubby portion of the cabinet with an easily moveable and extremely eye-catching banded screen. The stitching looks lovely from the side and adds such wonderful dimension and character to this little piece. I love the subdued two-tone palette and the pretty embroidery-inspired painted pattern up the front, as well; the little handcrafted details really make this piece stand out. Nice work, Krisztina! — Kate

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Read the full post after the jump!

Time: 5–6 hours

Cost: $35

Basic Steps: I removed the glass from the front, and I painted the piece grey. After the paint dried, I painted the sides white and drilled holes for the flexible rubber band. Next, I laced the rubber band back and forth through the holes, creating the screen in front. When that was finished, I painted on the design, which is an original Hungarian style, called “Kalocsai.” My advice is to use the rubber band’s colour for the paint so it’s a unified look. You could also use buttons to fix the band’s end. Lastly, don’t strain the band too much so that it’s fairly easy to put things in and out. Good luck! — Krisztina

Kelly Marshall

Where would one find a rubber band of a length appropriate for this project? What a clever idea!


Incredibly imaginative and well done. Please just tell me this wasn’t a Heywood-Wakefield piece!


Nice work, beautiful! Silly question: where do you find that type of rubber band?


Very lovely! I’d normally prefer the genuine wooden look, but in this case the result is simply perfect. Congratulations!


i wish the bands for installed on an inset door so that it could retain its functionality. stretching the bands to move things in and out of that space just seems weird to me.


I’m not getting this one. Why would you replace easy-to-access and original glass doors for rubber bands?


The band idea is very cool, but I wish it were executed on a much more neglected piece of furniture. The before piece is so awesome it makes me sad that it wasn’t loved enough to be left alone.


Usually I lean towards wood peices, but I actually like this grey and white combo a lot! I am not completely sure about the rubber bands, as in whether I would ever do that myself, but what an innovative idea! It looks really cool, and works quite well in keeping the look from being too cluttered.


I loved this piece before, it was breathtaking. The artistry is appreciated but I prefer the before in this case.


I absolutely love GRACE and DESIGNSPONGE…the information I learn and the places that the items lead me to is priceless. I also want to thank Alix because I have seen the pieces on this order but never knew the name or maker…WHEW!, the site is a research Haven…Love YA Grace!


looks really funky, but it’d drive me nuts using it. I much prefer the before piece.


This is one of the best Before and Afters I have seen. Seriously? Large Rubber bands? Genius!


Love the painted product. The beauty of this project looks like if she ever tires of the bands then the glass could be replaced, and still have lovely stitching on the side – no?


I agree, this is very creative. I can see this design used by parents with small children to keep them off the small, yet expensive electronics like a wii or other video game consoles. Should work since the bar used to communicate with the remote can be placed on top of a t.v. This was done beautifully. Nice work!


What an amazing piece of wood cabinetry. I would have preferred to see it refinished than to be painted in such a ‘cute’ way. These types of designs don’t stand the test of time and make the piece rather disposable. I’ve done several over the years and learned that the ones I tampered with became dated and the wood pieces I left alone are still my favourites and can fit into any decor. But I appreciate the creativity shown here.


This looks lovely! I think I’ll do it!! Just keep in mind, the stretched rubber bands will dry rot relatively quickly and will have to be replaced in a few months.


i absolutely love this, but have you thought of painting the inside white or grey so that the things inside pop out more ? i think the wood makes it look a little dark inside.


I’m seduced by this subtle re-working of an already very beautiful cabinet. I love the soft tones and would simply have preferred to
a) see only the ‘stitching’ to the sides which really give the cabinet a special ‘je ne sais quoi’ and thus have kept the practical and very OKish glass doors
b) see the interiour of the shelves painted either white or the same subtle gray
I too couldn’t see myself fishing stuff out through the rubber bands which in any case will brake sooner or later in the heat, cold, dry….
Wonderful work and VERY creative and imaginative!


To my eye it looks like the designer is storing seldom-accessed items in there – I see some electronics and a couple of too-big-for-shelves books, so there’s little concern that one would need to be dipping in amongst the banding very often at all. That’s also an argument for keeping the interior dark, since the items are mainly utilitarian and not for visual pleasure.

It also looks like an industrial product which probably lasts longer than office supply rubber bands so wouldn’t become cracked and brittle.

I love it! So pretty.


This is gorgeous, and we’re now eyeing an ugly free bookshelf that could use some rubber band bondage. Where did she get the long length bands/elastics? I’ve been searching around and can’t find anything.


I think it’s super cool and creative. For some reason it feels like it’s home should be in a nursery!


Also like the glass better, the rubber bands don’t seem practical and more beautiful to me. Do like the paint job.

Krisztina Wein

Here, in Hungary we can buy this rubber band in meters. I bought 20 meters for this display cabinet. Are there any shop in your country where you can buy this rubber band?