Sunday, April 4, 2010

Polka Dot Drawers

No, not those kind of drawers.

These kind.

About 2 years ago, SweetP and I went "antiquing" for the day and came home with this dresser for our (then) nursery. As you can see, in this house, it's hanging out here in Bedroom 4. I liked the tone of the wood and the traditional style - not really an antique - probably from the 40s or 50s. Sometimes a little old-fashioned-grandma in a room makes it feel homier, don't you think? Just a little. Anyway, when we bought it, I had plans to fix the bottom drawer, which had a significant split in the bottom. I finally got around to doing that a few weeks ago :)

I knew I didn't want to glue anything to the drawer itself. It may not be in the best shape, but it's still sturdy and I hope to have this dresser for a while. I want this to be the dresser that the girls remember having in their childhood bedrooms when they get older :) I remember mine. It was ivory with gilt edges and I had a matching canopy bed with a bright yellow canopy. So, no glue and no sticky contact paper or modge podgey stuff, either. I wanted fabric for the softness, the feel, and the relatively easy option of changing it out in the future.

Here's what we decided to do...

Sam cut some thin plywood sheeting to fit closely on top of the bottom of the drawer. Like an insert.

I bought some plain, cotton, quilting fabric from JoAnn's. I washed it, ironed it, and cut it to allow about a 2-3" edge all the way around the perimeter of the plywood insert. Then, beginning in the middle, I used a good ol' needle and thread (double-threaded with quilting thread for strength) and pulled opposite ends together for tension. I did this toward each end of the plywood, too.

After I had the fabric pulled taut in one direction, I folded the end edges in and used a running stitch in the corners. I pulled the length of thread to the opposite corner, and ran a running stitch through that corner until I could get a good pull - all the while keeping the fabric to the shape of the board.

Once the fabric was nice and snug all the way around and all the edges were secure, we just flipped the board over, and set it down into the drawer. Sam's cuts were really close - a perfect fit.

By the way, if you're going to buy a house and do all kinds of random DIY projects, I highly recommend a Sam.

Your own, of course, not mine.

Have you been wondering why I persist in calling the bedrooms by numbers instead of, oh I don't know, by the name of the person sleeping there? At first, I was calling this SweetP's room, like normal people do. I was also calling Bedroom 3 "Shug and Punkin's room". It's kind of a long story, with lots of mundane details having to do with little boys moving into big beds and big girls being lonely by themselves in big beds, but the long and short of it is that Shug is now sleeping here in Bedroom 4 with her sister, SweetP. Punkin and Little Dude are in Bedroom 3... theoretically. Actually, since we're painting in there, they're in Bedroom 2 for a little while, but then they'll be in Bedroom 3 until they get too old to be in the same room. See why numbers are easier right now?

Shug and SweetP love the polka dot drawers :)The fabric is so cheery and fun! They had a good time putting all of their jammies and clothes in when we were finished. Poor things - they have the most beat-up looking bedroom by far right now, and we're probably going to get to their bedroom last because its closet will be a big deal to remodel. (I guess I could at least try to paint over those swatches this summer.) Oh well! They have a new window, pretty white curtains, and now they have polka dot drawers, too.

And they have each other. It's fun to have them sharing the same room again :)


Stephen and Larissa said...

I've missed "talking" to you too! I'm so glad you're back! I love the new header you made. It's perfect!

That's a great way to put down something inside drawers. I would have never thought of doing it like that but like you, I'm hesitant to do something as permanent as mod podge to the inside of drawers. Great solution!

Grace said...

I love the polka-dots. I think wrapping the boards is a great way to cover the bottom of the drawers without glueing the fabric right in. Would it have been easier to glue the fabric to the board insert rather than sewing it - not sure about that, as it is hard to glue fabric and keep it taught. I love the final product.

Neighmond said...

Nice looking bureau! Might be a little older than the 40's?

I am looking at its baby sister here, and I can tell you mine was a replacement for one that burned in a house fire in 1912. They had the new house done in 1914, and I guess it was sometime in there they bought it.

Jacci said...

Not sure, Neighmond. My father-in-law makes furniture and he seemed to think it was made around the middle of the 20th century, but in a style that made it look older than that. He didn't take a terribly good look at it, though. You may have noticed the dovetailing in the photo w/ SweetP's arms in it - I had thought that meant it was older (?). At any rate, I didn't pay too much for it, and I like it a lot :) Thanks for the comment!

Grace, by not using any glue, I can change the fabric fairly easily without messing around w/ cutting the wood again - I think repeatedly ripping glued fabric off would probably make the board gunky. I also would've had to put the glue on the underside of the board, where the board touches the drawer if I wanted the edges to wrap around (which I did). I didn't want any glue in contact w/ the actual dresser. Does that make sense? :)


Renae said...

Love the new banner!! Gonna have to try to do something like that on mine.

Drawer liners are great! Nice work.

Anonymous said...

I was so worried when you said polka-dot drawers - and showed a photo of that great dresser. I imagined all kinds of crackle paint horrors!

But It was refreshing to see your drawer inserts! Hurray!


Love your new header - very chic! You have great photography skills. My own need much improvement. Also love the dresser fabric and how you covered up the crack. At first I thought you'd explain how to fix a crack in the wood; my old twin bed rails have cracks in them, though they are still solid and I'm still hoping to keep them.

Jacci said...

Well, I am so glad you all liked the drawer project! :) It's not one of those "this is so easy you'll be done in 10 minutes" DIY's, but it really didn't take *that* long. I think we spent one Saturday morning on it.

Eric - you cracked me up. "Crackle paint horrors", lol. I think it's refreshing, too, that I'm not the only one that likes my gramma dresser :)

And thanks for the compliments on the header, too, guys! It makes me smile.


Laura Lynn said...

Love the new header - it looks great. The dresser is cool. It's always nice to add pieces that are collected over time. I have a few pieces like that but one NEEDS to be painted. Luckily, it was cheap, cheap!