Re-Styled Dresser

Here I am again with another before/after. This dresser is one of the first pieces of furniture. I purchased when we first moved to Ohio in 2007. The place we were renting was short on storage, and we needed some furniture, STAT. I found this dresser and it’s larger sibling at a yard sale. They have survived lots of repurposing despite my not liking their appearance. I recently removed this smaller dresser from my daughter’s room since she didn’t need it anymore. I decided it should go in my craft space/living room/oversize foyer. It wasn’t going in there looking like it was though!

I dove right into repainting, since it would be relatively easy. I wasn’t even going to blog it, since it was just going to be yet another chalk paint redo, and hey, you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all. Of course as soon as I had that thought, inspiration reared its head, and I immediately regretted not taking a good before photo. Once I realized this would get blogged after all, I dove for my camera and captured what wasn’t already painted, bowl and all:


As you can see it has that hideous faux wood/formica finish. I was just going to paint the whole thing white and be done with it. Then I thought it might be nice to do something interesting with the recessed fronts of the dresser drawers. I decided to decoupage the hell out the top and the drawer fronts.

I headed to Tar-Jay for some swanky wrapping paper. I was not that impressed with what I found. Ditto for the drawer liners. I almost caved in and got the uber-trendy damask printed contact paper, but I decided against it. I also didn’t want to use contact paper because it’s only a matter of time before it would start to peel off, and I didn’t want that. I roamed the aisles of Tar-Jay for the next 20 minutes, till my eyes landed on these gorgeously bold graphic plastic placemats. And I love me some bold ethnic prints!


My first inclination was to cover the table top (as a way of protecting the surface) and the fronts with the placemats. I wasn’t quite sure how this would happen, since plastic just laughs off Mod Podge. I wasn’t sure hot glue would be the way to go either, but after hemming and hawing a few more minutes, I left the store armed with 3 placemats @ $1.99 a piece. Once I got home and started cutting up the placements, I realized how easy it would be to do the fronts. Since the fronts have a recessed panel, all I had to do was slide the plastic pieces in there. No glue required, and Voila!


As you can see, I decided to forgo doing the tops of the dresser, since it might be overkiill.

Thanks to chalk paint + pearly paint top coat and some plastic placemats, I have miraculously transformed the dresser into something that adds interest to my front room. Here it is in its new home in my craft room/living room/oversized foyer: 


The moral of the story? There is inspiration everywhere. If you love something enough, don’t be afraid to take risks and find use it in a way it wasn’t originally meant to be used. 



So what do you think? Have you used something for other than its intended purpose? I’d love to hear about it.

one less to-do, plus a {sewing} tip

So remember that I had promised my in-laws some placemats? Finally got it done! I owe this accomplishment to my big craft supply purge of a few days ago. Getting rid of my stash of useless fabric cleared my mind (and space) of old baggage, literally. As promised, I will no longer be stashing fabric just because it’s cute. I will only purchase what’s needed for each project. This goes for all aspects of life, really.

Here are my placemats. How’d I do?


I used the instructions from Amy Butler’s book, “In Stitches.” The instructions called for a brand of interfacing called “Timtex.” I have never successfully found Timtex in my local stores, but guess what? I found out I already had something on hand that substituted beautifully. While I was in store looking for a substitute for the Timtex, I realized that I already had a very similar material used for something totally different.

About 2 weeks ago I had picked up a roll of Wall liner from my favorite thrift. Wall liner is applied to walls and used to smooth out imperfect wall surfaces like wall paneling and such, before wall-papering.   Go here to see how it is typically used. I’m a sucker for rolls of paper(and other paper-like materials), and couldn’t resist the roll off wall liner. (That was before I decided to stop hoarding materials, thank goodness).


image courtesy of

Wall liner feels almost like cloth or rag paper, and is very stiff, just like Timtex. I washed a piece of it first to make sure it was washable. This is what I used to give my placemat the stiffness. I’m not sure how much a typical roll costs in comparison to Timtex, but I paid about a buck for an 11 yard roll, so that was a cost savings to me. This is one time that buying a bargain item without necessarily knowing what I’d use it for paid off for me.

The beauty of being creative is the ability to draw out relationships between seemingly disparate things. What creative uses have you found? Please share your ideas!