Update Your Fridge Facade

Give your refrigerator a faux leather facelift with this project that updates its exterior.

Materials and Tools:

4 yards of faux leather
decorative handles (towel bars)
decorative magnet clips
tape measure
paper and pencil
scissors
ruler or straight edge
no-sew tape
iron
drill and drill bits
screws for towel bars
spray adhesive
goggles
face mask
gloves

Steps:

1. Measure the exposed surfaces of your fridge that will receive the custom panels.

2. Keep in mind you're creating decorative panels, not wrapping the fridge. So, having a consistent border of exposed fridge as a "frame" for the fabric panel is preferred.

3. Measure the length of the existing handles on your fridge. Measure the distance from the edge of the refrigerator door to the outside edge of the existing handles. Your new handle's base cannot be thicker than that measurement.

4. At your local fabric store, review your faux leather or vinyl fabric options. There are many options available that look and feel like real leather. Helpful hint: Keep in mind design elements already existing in your kitchen. These fabric panels should work with and unify what's already present in your space.

5. Purchase enough fabric to create your panels, plus one extra yard.

6. At your local home or hardware store, review your towel bar selections. Keep in mind the existing metal tones in your kitchen. This is a great way to unify an existing look or create added interest.

7. Purchase screws that fit your selected towel bars.

8. Create your fabric panels. Cut out panels of fabric 1/4" to 1/2" larger on each side of the panel.

9. Make a hem on each side of the panel using no-sew tape and your iron. Tip: Use another piece of fabric or scrap of towel in between your iron and the faux leather. It keeps your iron clean of adhesive, and protects the faux leather from the iron's heat.

10. Remove your existing refrigerator handles.

11. Review how well your panels fit the designated areas of your fridge. Are your hems straight? Were your cuts accurate? Always double-check before you install.

12. Clean all exposed surfaces of your fridge. The cleaner the surface, the stronger the spray adhesive sticks.

13. Spray the back of your fabric panels, according to manufacturer's instructions. Do this in a well-ventilated place. Make sure you wear goggles, a mask and gloves when working with spray adhesive.

14. Attach the fabric panels to the fridge one panel at a time, working from the top down. Tip: A second pair of hands is useful at this stage to properly smooth the fabric in place.

15. Allow for drying time before installing your new decorative fridge handles.

16. When installing new handles on your fridge, keep these tips in mind: As long as you drill within the same location on the doorframe as your previous handles, you're safe. You can double-check with your refrigerator manufacturer as well.

17. Mark and pre-drill the new handle locations right over the fabric panels.

18. Drill new handles in place.

19. Put your new decorative magnets and pictures in place, step back and enjoy.

Variations: Do you like this idea, but want to use a different fabric or material? Check out wallpaper options that work well with your kitchen. Be sure to "hem" the panels for a crisp look, and use a sealing spray or polyurethane to seal the paper.

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