John and I shared the same New Year’s resolution to work harder on making our house feel more like our home. To this point, we haven’t done a lot of renovations besides painting to give it that feeling. It still feels like someone else’s house sometimes, especially with the rather grotesque yellow walls in the family room.
In the spring we are repainting that room a light gray, painting all the dark brown doors black, and installing skylights to give it more natural light. In the meantime, we have been doing smaller things to make our furniture flow with our style and color schemes.
We inherited this green dresser from John’s family that we used as Perrin’s changing station when he was a baby. Since then it’s been in my office as a storage unit for knitting supplies.
I decided to move it to our bedroom and realized that it didn’t really match our plum colored walls and dark gray comforter, so John and I in our ongoing obsession with pinterest, found a great picture of a shiny black dresser with decoupaged book pages on it. We were sold!
Step One: We scrubbed the hell out it, of course, and then primed it like a good boy and girl should.
Step Two: Broke off into two teams to console the boy child who had become bored and emotional waiting to play a video game with us.
We wanted it to be smooth and shiny; however, for some reason the foam roller created a quadrillion tiny bubbles all over the surface of the dresser. I googled that mess and discovered that you really need to use a brush to get a smooth surface, leading us to step four.
Step Four: Argue a little bit about whether to proceed with the roller or send one of us in the freezing cold to Home Depot to get a brush.
Step Five: Proceed with roller primarily due to tiredness and frustration. Not too shabby. It ended up being really pretty even though it doesn’t have that slick Pottery Barn feel to it.
Step Six: THE FUN PART!! I have had this old book since childhood that had half Grimm’s Fairy Tales and half Anderson’s. It’s crazy old and kind of falling apart, and both John and I went bananas over the illustrations and slightly discolored pages which would give the drawers an antiquey feel to them. So I ripped out all the illustrations and my favorite lines from various stories. I’m a Grimm girl myself, so I made sure to grab all the Red Riding Hood and Snow White delights to be the forefront of the pieces.
I am a book lover, so I know that this might seem like a massacre, but I believe that if a books its on a shelf for 20 years and will fall apart if you try to read it, transforming it into art is a beautiful resurrection for it.
Step Seven: Once I had all the pieces I wanted to be front and center, I went around the edges with the straight edged pages and, using Mod Podge and a foam brush, started gluing and tucking. This was the most challenging part of the process and took quite awhile to get it lined up perfectly on all the corners. My OCD loved it! This part took about 40 minutes per drawer.
Once the corners were all slapped on and tightened up to perfection, I slathered on another thin layer of Mod Podge to the corners and the areas where the pages overlapped.
Step Eight: I took all those fabulous illustrations and quotes and tore around the ages and played with their placement until I was happy. I wanted each drawer to have at least three pictures along with a section of the story it belonged with. Using a thick sponge, I smoothed another layer of Mod Podge over the entire surface of the dresser and proceeded to the next one. Once they were all dry, I rubbed another layer over the top to give it added strength and prevent the torn edges from rolling up at all.
Step Nine: We let it all dry overnight, put the knobs back on and HUZZAH! A dresser is reborn!
It is now beside my bed and is the new home of my cherished hand knit sweaters. Every day I will get to read about what big eyes the wolf has, how Snow White is the fairest of them all, and Hansel and Gretel tricked the witch. A little bit of me, a little bit of John, and a whole lot of character. We love it!