July 21, 2010


Nope, not talking undies here; I mean drawers from dressers and cabinetry. I picked up some solid wood dresser drawers off the curb one day, not knowing what I'd do with them, but figuring it's free so why not- they're solid wood so I should be able to do SOMETHING, right? Well, here's what I did.

I took the old drawers apart, removing the front piece of wood entirely, and then the hardware (I'll use those later for something, I'm sure). That left a couple of holes in the wood so I filled the holes with wood filler, let them dry, then sanded the whole piece and cleaned it off.

The Old Drawer front (hereinafter known as OD) looked like this:

Needs a little sump'n sump'n, huh? I picked out some cute scrap-booking paper (you might think I'm a scrap-booker given that I use the paper so much, but I haven't delved into that particular money pit YET!). I found a piece that has lots of great words on it such as Create, Giggle, Dream, Smile Often, Live It Up, Reach for your Dreams, Dance Under the Stars, etc.

(we'll just ignore my big ol' shadow in the pic, mmkay?)

I really like these happy sentiments so I cut that piece of paper into 3 long strips. They weren't quite long enough to cover the whole center of the OD so I cut a couple small pieces to flank the ends of the Happy Thoughts nicely.

I almost always manage to forget to take a pic until after I've begun a subsequent step. sigh. I used ModPodge for all of this, by the way, in case the glob of it on the wood, or the bottle sitting next to my strategically placed coffee mugs wasn't an adequate indication. 

I suppose you could use an X-acto knife to trim the edges of your papers as you go along, but since I pre-flunked right out of surgical school, I decided guesstimation and scissors were the way to go for me. It's a little difficult to tell in the pix, but the ODs are quite thick and have two "levels," the top level being the one on which I put the Happy Thoughts. :-)

Wrapping the edges wasn't difficult at all. Because in design we don't like halvsies (remember your rule of THIRDS, my friends!), I wanted the paper edges to be of two pieces, 2/3 and 1/3 the length of the OD. In the pic above you can see one edge strip is about 2/3 the length of the OD and hanging well off the edge (guesstimation is really not super precise, peeps, but that's what scissors are for). For the thickness of my particular ODs I cut my edge strips 1 3/4" wide and whatever long because I wanted it to wrap to the back enough to be a little more secure. I butted the long strips right up against the bottom of the first level so I knew it would be straight and glued it down.

I saved the shorter ends/edges for last so that I could wrap them like a present to make nice clean corners. Once the long strips had a few minutes to dry, I just trimmed them a bit so the part sticking off the ends was a little more manageable, then folded down the short edge papers just like wrapping a present.

It left a pretty smooth back all the way around, great for covering with one single piece of paper bag or craft paper or whatever you have handy. Since the scrap-booking papers are only 12" square, a single sheet would not cover the whole back, AND I think it would be a bit wasteful to use pretty papers for the back of it. Kraft paper is JUST FINE for this.

Between the levels (are you with me? I don't know the proper name for describing the "levels," so I'm just going with it), of course is wood and this wood surrounding the message area was screaming for attention so I pulled out my trusty paints and decided this little Happy Thoughts Plaque would be the "blue" Happy Thoughts Plaque and I'd have to make a little set. You can see in the following picture further evidence of my pre-flunked-out-of-surgical-school paper trimming skills. I kept thinking, "hmmm, just a WEEEE bit off here... now here... ok one more time..."

You probably wouldn't believe how long it took me to take this picture, peeps. Since I have MAN HANDS, I don't like my hands to show in pictures so I moved my hand around and around and around, tried all sorts of unnatural angles and arrangements trying to make my hand look not quite so big but still able to see the chalk fairly clearly. Finally just decided NO FEAR will rule the day and I would allow my MAN HANDS to be in the pic anyway. Besides, it's not about the MAN HANDS, it's about the project. Although now I'm sure you're noticing my MAN HANDS way more than you would have if I'd not said anything about it at all. But I digress...

Once the paper was positioned correctly and I was finished obsessing over whether I chose the right papers for every single little area  satisfied with that, a little traumatizing distressing was in order. I took my handy dandy ColorBox Fluid Chalk Inkpad (Dark Brown color, see MAN HANDS pic above) and began lightly brushing it over the edges of the Happy Thoughts area. Next I dry-brushed paint all over the papers for just a LITTLE bit more punch and to coordinate everything. ModPodge over top of all to seal it. and VOILA!

Here's the SET:

Each of them shows a different area of the paper with Happy Thoughts on it. I will hang them in the following order: blue, green, then red because "live it up" shows up fairly noticeably in both the blue and red so I'll separate them when hanging vertically. I think these would be really cute in a craft studio, kids' play area, rec room, or a child's bedroom, hung by a single large bow. Maybe I'll even post a pic when I get them hung with said pretty ribbon. :-)

Do you have some Old Drawers you don't know what to do with? Make Happiness with your Old Drawers!! 


  1. These are so neat!! Love it! And you do NOT have MAN HANDS!!! ;) I could never be this creative. So awesome!


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