Monday, March 30, 2009

DIY: Transform An IKEA Mini-Chest


Here's the finished project! I love the way this turned out. I was winging it, so I didn't take pictures for a proper tutorial, but here is the how to. Gather these supplies:
IKEA Fira nine-drawer cabinet
Mod Podge (I used matte finish)
Craft paint (one small bottle should be enough)
Water-based clear varnish (I used CeramCoat)
Some fancy paper
Covered button blanks and covering kit
Some little fabric scraps for the drawer pulls
Little wooden cubes for mounting the drawer pulls
1. Start with the Fira mini-chest. It comes unassembled, so lightly sand all the pieces and then put it together with wood glue. This works better than trying to use the little nails that come with it. BEFORE you assemble, be sure to trace one of the drawer fronts (indicated by the black arrow) onto a piece of heavy cardstock or cardboard to make a template for your drawer front covers.

2. Gather your other supplies. I used nine different patterns of Heather Bailey Freshcut and Pop Garden scrapbook paper, and scraps from three coordinating Freshcut fabrics for the drawer pulls. Heavier, textured cardstock or paper works better than flimsier scrapbook paper. But both will work.


You'll also need Mod Podge. I used matte, but you could also use the lustre finish if you prefer. I used Gorilla Glue to attach the drawer pulls, but you could use whatever adhesive you choose. I painted the chest with FolkArt craft glue by Plaid in "Baby Pink," and I sealed everything with a top coat of Delta Ceramcoat Matter Interior Varnish (it's water-based and not noxious). I got all of my supplies at Michael's (but any craft store should have them).



3. Paint the exterior of the chest (interior, too, if you want . . . I did!) and the sides of each drawer. I used three coats of craft paint, followed by one coat of Mod Podge and one coat of varnish. Be sure to let every coat dry thoroughly before applying the next. I also lightly sanded between the painting and Mod Podge stages.


4. Using your drawer front template, trace nine drawer fronts on your paper and cut them out. Don't worry if they aren't perfect. Spread a thin coat of Mod Podge on the drawer front and lay your paper cutout on top, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles, as indicated by No. 1 below. The thinner paper is more susceptible to bubbling I found. Anyway, once the paper has dried, you can set the drawer, paper side down, on a self healing cutting mat and use an exacto knife to cut away any paper that overhangs. After the paper is secured to the drawer front, you can begin applying coat after coat of Mod Podge over the paper until you get the look you're after. I used six coats of Mod Podge, followed by a coat of varnish. After the first couple coats of Mod Podge, I sanded all around the edges of the drawer front to remove any last vestiges of overhanging paper and give it a slightly shabby look.



5. To make the drawer pulls (shown as No. 2 above), get nine cover button blanks and remove the little metal shanks from the back with small pliers. I used size 45 (1 1/8 in.) Dritz buttons, which you can get at JoAnn or other sewing stores, as well as online and from lots of Etsy sellers. Cover buttons with coordinating fabric. There are tons of tutorials on the internet showing how to do this, but really it's super easy (and fun and addicting but that's another story). Attach a small piece of wood to the back of the button with Gorilla Glue. I used these little cubes I found at Michael's in the unfinished wood section. Let dry completely. Attach buttons to drawer fronts with Gorilla Glue or other adhesive and let dry completely.



6. Once everything is dry, you can put the drawers in and start using your fancy new chest. This is one of those projects that end up looking like something that cost $100 at a shabby chic type store, but actually cost around $25-$30 to make. It's time consuming, but something you can work on for a bit, go do something else, and come back. I hope you enjoy this tutorial.

31 comments:

Misha said...

Ash, stop being so damn amazing. You're making me look bad.

Kelly and Jake said...

Love it...Love it...Love it!!! Ashlee...thanks for motivating me!!

Lisa, wife to Bryan, mommy to Andrew said...

This is amazing. Just beautiful. You inspire me. xoxo

Kaden Weis said...

Wow! That is amazing! I love it.

Katie said...

I love how your drawers came out, I stood and looked at these for a long time last night! I wanted to do exactly what you did with them, but to be honest I don't really have anywhere to put them so they stayed at the store. Love the patterns you picked out.

Amber said...

It's gorgeous! And you make it seem so achievable, and yet I'd rather ask you to make one for me ;)

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Oh I love it and your directions are great! I'll be linking.

Sarah said...

Oooh! Very very cute!

Julie said...

Okay, I am going to do this soon. I love it.

Veronica said...

You are so awesome!!! I'm amazed!

Kristin said...

Adorable! I even have that mini-chest, but haven't gotten around to doing anything with it. You have motivated me!

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

This is awesome!!

wendyp said...

So pretty! i have 2 of those drawer sets that I still haven't gotten around to decorating. I think I know how I want to decorate it now! Thanks for sharing!

Kim said...

That's amazing- I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!

amybluestar said...

WOW - Love this! I did the 6-drawer one . . I should totally post it on my own Mod Podge blog :D

Emily said...

I Love this so much!!! I put a link to it from my blog: www.notsoidlehands,blogspot.com Thanks!!

Patti said...

I use a matching drop-leaf table for my cutting table in my sewing room. This would be entirely too cute to add to the room.

The Graves' House said...

just stumbled across your blog and so glad i did! this is too cute. i've been wanting something to keep all my little sewing and crafting supplies in and this would be perfect. i'll be coming back soon:)

Lanie said...

I linked to this in my Friday Favorites!

amybluestar said...

Posted today! I really love your blog. It's so fun. I keep up with it regularly! Thanks for letting me post this. . .

Amy
World of Mod Podge
http://www.modpodgerocks.blogspot.com

How-To Gal said...

Love this! Posted it on my blog- www.thehowtogal.blogspot.com. Thanks for the inspiration!

Miranda said...

Hi! I came over from One Crafty Place. I just love all your projects! I've not dabbled in Modge Podge, but looking at all of your pretty items makes me want to give it a try.

Miranda

Struggler said...

Thanks for this wonderful posting. I have linked to it in a round up of great craft projects!

Myztic said...

wow this looks great.. i REALLY want to try making this.. i hope i can make it even half as good as your one came out :) it looks like a lot of fun!!

LollyChops said...

Ikea is 50 miles from my house and takes some hard core inspiration to get me to head over there (there are so many awesome craft projects you can do with their stuff!!). I think this little project did the trick! This is totally and completely awesome!!

JannaK said...

I am not what most would call a "crafty" person, but I am following your blog and a couple others that encourage me to be more creative. I have to tell you...I LOVE this idea! This is a project that I would love to make for my daughters room. When I do, I'll send you a link with photos :) Thanks for sharing such a great idea.

Jodi said...

Thanks for this amazing tutorial. I referenced it several times when attempting to spruce up mine! Yours came out so beautiful!

Rowena Maxwell said...

Hi
Lovely to stumble across your blog. You inspired me to do this project as I found the same type of box at a garage sale not long after seeing this post. I have also added you to my blog roll. Hope that is ok.
Regards
Rowena

generic viagra said...

the idea is to decorate the magnificent Miniature .. Change is great when it is already decorated!

Melissa said...

I can't find this chest on Ikea. I have been looking for a project like this for my daughter, Ashleigh, to store her bracelets, and other jewelry. This is perfect for what I want to do. Love your blog.

Hopping Along said...

I saw your post last year and was disheartened to find out that Ikea no longer makes these:-( But yesterday a friend of mine just gave me SIX Fira boxes still in the packaging!! He had them just sitting around for like 5 years. I can't wait to transform them into something beautiful like yours!!