Colorful DIY Kitchen Cabinet Liner

When it comes to making your house truly your home – every little decorating detail matters.

I have pretty much transformed every surface in my house over the 5 years since we moved to the lake. I still had one small detail to update though. It was not a big deal in the grand scheme of updating and decorating a house, but for me getting this last detail updated by adding my own style was a very big deal.

It is the last part of the house where the previous owner’s tastes still exists and it has taken me 5 years to get it done…. talk about procrastination!!!

Before gearing up to decorate the house for fall, I thought I would finally get this detail updated.

Old vinyl Contact brand shell motif adhesive shelf liner.

I am 5’5″ tall and only see the bottom shelf when I open my kitchen cabinets above the stove where the previous owner had blue and white shell motif Contact Brand adhesive shelf liner. Shell motifs were a thing in the house – both bathrooms also had shells as a decorating theme. :-)

Before image showing spice cabinet with old ripped adhesive shelf lining paper.

When I made over the kitchen, I tried ripping up the adhesive Contact shelf lining paper, but only got a small section removed as it was not going to budge. At the time, I figured I would cover it eventually. 5 years is a very long eventually. :-)

There is never a time like the present to get something done, especially now that I am spending more time at home.

To get the cabinet’s bottom shelf covered in something more to my liking, I went to my gift wrap stash and found the black and white plaid that I used to line the drawers earlier this year. That gift wrap also seemed like the right solution to line the cabinets.

Spice cabinet in kitchen with black and white plaid cut to fit non adhesive shelf paper.

It took all of 10 minutes. :-)

This gift wrap is not like ordinary paper gift wrap. It has a vinyl component to it which makes it wipeable.

You can find wipeable gift wrap at HomeGoods, TJMaxx, and Marshalls in many different patterns and colors. In my previous house, I used it to make a runner for my kitchen table.

Close up of black and white plaid gift wrap repurposed into shelf liner in kitchen cabinet.

So nice now to see color and pattern that fits my personal decorating style.

How to Line Cabinet Shelves with Gift Wrap

supplies needed:

  • Wipeable gift wrap or any decorative paper – sold at HomeGoods, Marshalls, and TJMaxx
  • Iron-On vinyl or Clear Contact paper if using regular gift wrap or paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Optional: glue stick
Cutting wipeable gift wrap with scissors.
  1. Use a tape measure to figure out the depth and length of the cabinet interior.
  2. Cut the gift wrap to size with scissors.
  3. Place gift wrap into cabinet.
  4. If you want the gift wrap to stick, after placing it in the cabinet, lift the corners and add a few swipes of a glue stick on the underside of the paper.
Open kitchen cabinet showing gift wrap made into kitchen shelf liner. Black and white plaid design.

When I painted the kitchen cabinets, I didn’t paint the insides or the inner lip where the cabinet doors sit when they are closed. Keeping the lip paint free allows the doors to close all the way, with ease.

Don’t Have Wipeable Gift Wrap?

  • If you can’t find wipeable gift wrap or a color or pattern you like to line your cabinets, then the next best thing to use is any gift wrap you like which can be covered with clear Contact paper or iron-on vinyl as I did when I lined my kitchen drawers.
  • Or line your cabinets using the real thing – shelf-lining paper. Here are a few stylish options:

Stylish Shelf Liner Options

5 different colors, patterns and types of cabinet shelf and drawer liners and papers. Text overlay says Stylish Options Shelf & Drawer Liners
  1. Black and White Plaid Gift Wrap (similar to mine)
  2. Gripping Shelf Liner Non-Adhesive
  3. Contact Brand Cork Self-Adhesive Liner
  4. Wood Grain Shelf Liner
  5. Clear Contact Brand Shelf Liner

Lining cabinet shelves is a small detail that may not seem worth the time, but adding your own style to even the smallest detail in your home does contribute to making a cohesive look throughout a room and entire home, even when behind closed doors.

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  1. I loved your idea and ended up going to Hobby Lobby for paper.. I too chose black and white checked paper to line my shelves..They look Amazing!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Janice – Isn’t it a nice treat for your eyes every time you open the cabinets or stack things on the shelves. A little color therapy when you least expect to see it. :-)

  2. Perfect timing! Our over the range microwave/ range hood died( fan still works). Hoping to borrow as I want built in when we remodel. I current have a double oven and while the cupboard above is high for 5’2 me , that could work with a step stool.
    For “ shelf liner” I’ve used colorful vinyl tablecloths from Walmart and just cut to size !

  3. Lisa Anderson says:

    Such a wonderful post We are almost done with remodeling our house and yesterday I was looking at all of my new kitchen and bathroom cabinets with awe at how beautiful they are. Then the dreaded thought of doing all of the new shelf and drawer lining hit me but now after finding and reading your post has made me look at it with anticipation
    Just another step in making this truly our home :)

    Thanks again, Lisa

  4. Stephanie says:

    Could you use vinyl fabric?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Stephanie – Yes you can use vinyl as long as it is not too thick.

  5. Great idea, I need a speckled patter paper to hide all of the spice spills lining my cabinet. The spice cabinet is the one thing I can never keep clean in my kitchen.

  6. New liner paper – is always something that I do early in a move in. There’s something about it being ‘yours’ that makes everything feel cleaner.
    That said, measuring/cutting liner paper is a major undertaking for me. It seems like cabinets should (more or less) be able the same size. Someone should come up with precut pieces for folks like me.

    I have tried measuring, creating templates, using multiple pieces (so I don’t have to wrangle such a large piece)…. it turns out ok, but almost always- it’s too short or too long or too wide or too narrow.

    I’ve learned to start at the front middle – so at least most of the mistakes are hidden towards the back, but argh!! It makes me insane.
    Yours, as expected, looks beautiful. Well done!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kat – I understand your frustration as cabinets and drawers even though they seem to be the same size, can differ. You have the right approach going from front middle to back to get the surface covered. :-)

  7. I use wallpaper that has a vinyl coating to line my cupboards. From leftovers of previous projects or purchased at a garage sale, it’s a good but inexpensive way to do it. Shelf liners I learned can be expensive. I’m not as precise in measuring, but still works for me.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – Great idea and perfect way to use up leftover wallpaper. Since you have it – no new expense and coordinating decor. :-)

  8. Susanne Marie Luchetti says:

    Love the pattern! I want to share something I learned recently. I purchased an old dresser that I repainted and it had ugly blue contact paper in the drawers. I wanted to remove it vs contact over it so I took a blow dryer, high heat setting and held it in one corner which loosens the old glue and it easily comes up pulling the corner! I was amazed at how easy it was to remove! Then I replaced it with my contact paper choice.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Susanne – What a smart idea, thanks for taking the time to share it with me and other readers, I will have to try using a blow dryer to remove the old Contact paper.

  9. Anne-Marie says:

    Hi there! This post is like a dream come true! I’m currently in escrow for my first house (Yay!!) and I’m planning on having the brown oak kitchen cabinets painted white. Your post has given me a lot of great tips. Thanks!

  10. I love the black & white. I’m also interested in the herbed sea salt!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Holly – The Herbamare Sea Salt is my favorite seasoning. You can buy it at most health food stores, larger chain grocery stores and on Amazon —>

      It is sea salt with herbs – just the right amount. The other container with the orange red label – Spicy Sea Salt used to be called Trocomare. It is made by the same company and is harder to find. It has a little kick to it. Both are always stocked in my kitchen.

  11. I lined my newborns dresser with the gift wrap from her baby shower. It lasted about 20 yrs then she decided to take it out. But I always loved to open it and had beautiful memories.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mary – What a great idea – so creative and meaningful, plus good for the environment. I will add this to a few of my drawer lining posts as I think many others will love the idea that may not read the comments. Thanks for taking time to share the idea.

  12. It’s it funny how something so simple can make you smile? I lined some drawers recently and kept opening them just to see the happy pattern. :)

    I’ve lined drawers and cabinets with just regular gift wrap or the decorative paper sheets from World Market. Depending on the use a cabinet gets they hold up just fine even with an occasional light wipe.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI Jen – I smiled when I read your comment about about the fact you kept opening the drawers after lining them with a color and pattern. I like to refer to this as a place to add some unexpected color that adds a little color therapy to your day. :-)

      I love the papers at World Market. They are so nice and have a little more weight to them. I agree that some regular paper are fine to use just as is. I use them in my clothes drawers. :-)