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Good Idea #11: DIY Dresser Makeover

Update:  July 6, 2011

Thanks for visiting These Good Ideas!  My husband and I recently bought a house and I've since transferred most of my writing energy over to our new joint home-owning blog.  If you want to see more of my designs, DIY projects and good ideas check out the new blog:  www.twoseekhome.blogspot.com

Thanks for reading!

Original Post:

This dresser makeover has been a long time coming.  The dresser is a thrift store find, and while it is in good condition, it's not the highest quality construction.  Over the three years that I have owned it, the bottom of the top drawer has warped and broken free of the rest of the drawer, leaving my delicates free to wander out into the depths of the back of the dresser.  Our attempts at fixing this problem include both packing tape and slightly more successful gorilla tape, and finally some drawer organizers that simply kept small items contained rather than wandering free in the still sagging drawer.

Recently, however, a few things happened that moved my dresser makeover along a little bit.  First, the second drawer of the dresser broke completely.  The back of the drawer fell clear off, leaving no support for the flimsy bottom or the clothes contained therein.  Then I came across an old DIY tutorial on Design Sponge describing how to construct drawer dividers out of cardboard (click here to see the article).  While I was not in need of dividers, I was inspired by the suggestion to cover the bottom of the drawer with wrapping paper.  This was just the motivation I needed to pull those drawers out and get fixing.  Furthermore, I recently inherited some jewelry from my grandmother who moved out of her home a few months ago.  This left the top of my dresser in disarray and in need of organization, so I figured I might as well find a fix for that too.

Keep reading to see my full dresser fix-up and clean-up project and for some helpful tips.

When I began this project my dresser consisted of two broken drawers, a basket full of homeless clothes and a mess of jewelry and other collected debris:

I tackled the completely broken drawer first.  I chose my favorite black and brown wrapping paper from Ikea to paper the bottom of the drawer.  It is really beautiful and it matches my dresser and the rest of my bedroom color palette of black, white and neutral colors:

Since the bottom of my drawer was broken anyway, I chose to wrap the paper around the edges for a more security, but if you wanted to do this to an in-tact drawer, you could simply cut the paper to the size of the bottom and secure it with double-stick tape:

I glued the back of the drawer on using E6000 Multi-Purpose Adhesive.  I thought I might have to use some screws in addition, but it turns out the adhesive was plenty strong.  Impressive stuff; I have a big tube of it now which will definitely not go to waste.  It takes a while to dry, but this makes it much easier to use than something like superglue, since you have plenty of time to work with it:

Orchid took the rare opportunity to explore the depths of the dresser:

And the finished product!

I took the top drawer apart and did the same thing.  I would have happily made the cardboard dividers described in the Design Sponge article, but I already have these handy drawer organizers that cost just a few dollars from Ikea:

With my dresser functioning again, I tackled the organizational problem that was looming above.  Here are my tips for jewelry organization (which I am now proudly following):

Step 1:  Clean out the clutter.  Get rid of all that old stuff you don't wear.  Old, broken, mismatched jewelry does not belong mingling with the rest of your jewelry.  Anything that you don't want to toss out (for sentimental reasons, future craft uses, or in case that other earring turns up) should be tucked away somewhere safe and out of the way.

Step 2:  Dust and Polish.  Who wants to wear dusty, dirty, tarnished jewelry?  Clean it up and you might actually get some use out of it.  In the meantime it will look much nicer.

Step 3.  Keep the jewelry that you wear regularly (or want to wear regularly) in view.  One solution is to hang earrings, necklaces and bracelets out either on something intended for that purpose or something hand made.  I already had a jewelry tree, but it wasn't cutting it.  So with the addition of a simple cork board I can now see much more of my jewelry.  I happen to have a lot of jewelry with green and yellow tones, so I opted to give the board a uniform look with jewelry in similar shades:

Step 4:  Store jewelry beautifully.  There are many beautiful jewelry options out there that may be worth an investment, but you don't have to spend a lot of money to display your jewelry in a beautiful way.  Beautiful bowls, trays, and baskets that you have around the house or pick up at a thrift store are a great way to put something old to a new use and keep the top of your dresser neat and lovely.  I have necklaces in a glass container that once held a candle, bangle bracelets in a small glass bowl and cuff bracelets in a small basket.

My jewelry box was a gift from my husband the first Christmas after we were married.  It was custom made by Duncan Woods in Vancouver, Washington:  www.duncanswoods.com.  I don't have much of a ring collection, so I use the ring bars across the top to hold small hoop and post earrings.

My jewelry tree is from ModCloth.  They have this and many other jewelry storage solutions in their apartment shop:  www.modcloth.com/store/ModCloth/Apartment.  The basket holding the bracelets is handmade from a fair trade store; it was a gift from my best friend, an avid fair trade shopper.  The drawing about the dresser is by my good friend Jackie.  Check out her Etsy Shop:  www.etsy.com/shop/jackiepeppermint.

This DIY project was a little time consuming, especially with all the time waiting for the glue to dry, but it was highly satisfying.  I'm thrilled to once again have a dresser that is not only functional but beautiful!

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog. If I can be of any assistance to others, I will be pleased to help by way of what I have discovered from here.thanks for sharing.


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