DIY Decoupaged Dresser Makeover
This decoupaged dresser makeover idea came to me after I created my decoupaged quilt squares pumpkin a few weeks ago.
I have tons of quilt squares and I’ve been looking for fun ways to use them. When this idea popped into my head at first I thought it was crazy.
But, honestly, that has never stopped me from doing a project before… so why should this be any different.
Actually, a crazy idea encourages me rather than discourages me. I love bringing crazy ideas to life.
Have you heard of crazy quilts? Well I’m calling this my crazy dresser.
Although I don’t think it’s quite as crazy as a crazy quilt, but I’ll let you be the judge.
Sponsored: Decoupage product provided by DecoArt. This project idea, choice of product used, and all opinions are 100% my own. See full Disclosure Policy here.
I gave my dresser this funky toile makeover a few years ago.
It was showing some wear and the paper was starting to peel in some areas.
So it was over due for another makeover.
You can see that the painted top of the dresser has some wear.
I removed the toile paper a while ago because it was loose in spots and was bugging me.
It was so easy to peel off because I applied it just like regular wallpaper.
Underneath was this very 1980s look. The dresser is made out of some kind of compressed board.
It’s super heavy.
I got out my lot of thrifted quilt squares and put them in piles.
Honestly, I’m having so much fun playing with these squares.
In this pic there’s one pile of 4 inch squares, two piles of 3 inch squares, and four piles of 2 inch squares.
These quilt squares have so many different patterns and colors.
They are so much fun to create with, and I’ll be using all three sizes for this dresser makeover.
Decoupaging quilt squares to top of dresser
For the top of the dresser I decided to use the large 4×4 inch squares, and I divided them up by colors.
Because the colors in the bedroom are mostly greens, pinks, and cream/yellows, that’s what I pulled from the 4 inch pile… with a few blues in case I needed them.
I mixed and matched the patterns and colors just by winging it really.
There’s no right or wrong here.
It’s just about creating a look that you love.
Once I was happy with my dry fit it was time to decoupage those squares onto my dresser.
For this I used DecoArt Fabric Decoupage Medium, a 4 inch foam brush, and an aluminum meat pan pie.
I kept my squares in their pattern, just moving them slightly aside as I worked my way across the dresser top.
I applied the decoupage medium to the underside of each square, brushed it on the dresser, and then lay each square down in place.
Then I used my fingers smooth each square down as best I could.
I also made sure to get the decoupage medium on the pieces that were extending over the edge.
This makes the edges so much easier to trim once the excess fabric is nice and stiff
Then I left my dresser top to dry. You can see that I cut a few of the pieces hanging over the edge.
I used those pieces for the small filler spots along the back of the dresser.
Decoupaging quilt squares to dresser doors.
Now that the top was done it was time to move onto the front of the dresser.
First the two doors, which I’m doing with 3 inch squares.
I removed the dresser doors so it would be easier to apply the squares.
It would be pretty impossible to deal with the hinged edge of the doors with them still attached to the dresser.
Again, just like with the dresser top squares I pulled 3 inch squares in the pinks, greens and cream/yellows.
I glued them down with the decoupage medium the same way I did the dresser top, smoothing with my fingers as I went.
Then after the doors got the breyer treatment I applied a coat of the medium on top.
I cut off excess fabric to use to fill the small parts of the pattern.
Once the top coat was dry and the fabric was stiff I trimmed off the excess with an xacto knife with a very sharp blade.
I did the same to the dresser top.
Decoupaging quilt square to dresser drawers.
For the three dresser drawers I’m using the 2 inch squares.
Now you may be asking yourself: why didn’t she use the same sized squares for the entire dresser?
Honestly, it’s just because I couldn’t.
There simply wasn’t enough squares of the same size in the colors that I wanted to use to cover the whole dresser.
And I really wanted to do the whole dresser.
I had to use what squares I had, and I figured out a way to make it work for me.
When applying the squares to the drawers I removed the pulls, kept the drawers in place, and just winged the pattern as I went.
This seemed to take a lot less time than figuring out the pattern, like I did with the top and the doors.
When you wing it you can still make small adjustments as you go, but you don’t have time to second guess and change your mind as much.
It was easy to find my center on the drawers because of the handle placement, but on the top, doors, and sides I had to measure ti figure out my center.
And here’s my three drawers done, applying the squares using the same method as the top and the doors.
After doing a top coat I pulled the drawers out to dry.
And here are the drawers all trimmed out.
After I trimmed the excess fabric from the doors I put them back in place.
I let the whole thing dry and cure for 24 hours.
Then I did a light sanding with a fine grit sanding block, but a fine grit sandpaper could be used too. I just find a sanding block easier to use.
The sanding is necessary to get rid of any raised fibers in the fabrics.
I want as smooth a finish as I can get, but it may not be perfectly smooth everywhere because I’m working with fabric pieces and that’s ok with me.
When sanding decoupaged fabric you don’t need to apply much pressure at all, a light touch is all you need.
When I was done sanding another coat of the decoupage medium went over the whole thing.
DIY Decoupaged Dresser Makeover with Quilt Squares
To create the holes for the handles I poked the xacto knife through the fabric so I could put them back in place.
I kept them the raspberry red to go with the trim of the dresser top because I like the way the red goes with the new look.
It’s not a true red, but more of a raspberry deep pinky red.
After I put the handles on I decided to do the sides of the dresser with quilt squares as well.
They just looked kinda bare to me and at this point I thought, well, the more the merrier.
For this I really had to wing it because I didn’t have enough in any size squares so I used all three sizes, and created a pattern as I went.
And then I followed that same pattern on the other side, with whatever squares I had available to me.
I was starting to get pretty low on the colors that I wanted to use, so there are a lot of darker greens on this side.
Thrifters can’t be choosers. I use what I have.
This side won’t be seen when the dresser is back in place, but I wanted to do it just in case I move the dresser in the future and it will be seen.
Here’s my decoupaged dresser back in place and I have to say that I absolutely love it.
This idea would work great with paper squares too, but for that you would use a paper decoupage medium.
So here’s the before again, after I removed the toile wallpaper.
And the after.
It took some time and patience, but it really wasn’t that hard to do.
I did it over a couple of weekends, and it probably took about 10 hours not including drying time.
While I was adding the squares I watched some of those Hallmark Christmas movies on TV, and the time just flew by.
Not sure how many squares I used, but I’m guessing it’s somewhere around 400. I think I might have to count them sometime when I have nothing better to do.
I used up most of the greens, pinks, yellow and creams, but I have a bunch of squares still left for other projects in other color combos.
Once my dresser was back in place I did two coats of a stays clear poly just on the top, lightly sanding between coats.
There’s nothing worse than doing a project that you love and then have it yellow over time. Unless that’s what you’re going for.
I love and always use Benjamin Moore’s Stays Clear because it does just what it says, it stays clear.
Supplies needed for decoupaged dresser makeover
- DecoArt Fabric decoupage medium
- foam brushes
- fabric quilt squares
- fine grit sanding block or paper
- xacto knife
This decoupaged dresser makeover was really a labor of love for me, and it will be around for a long, long time.
If some squares are ever damaged or start to wear, I’ll just replace them with some new squares.
I love creating unique one of a kind pieces like this, and then sharing what’s possible when we let what we think is a crazy idea actually become a reality.
Thanks so much for reading, and until next time…