My $20 DIY upgrade to two IKEA dressers for the baby's room
I've had my hands in a few non-food related projects lately, as we get closer to the arrival of The Kid. Earlier this week, I spent an afternoon upgrading two cheap IKEA dressers into something a little more modern, pictured above, for our baby's changing table.
(After the jump, instructions on how to customize these dressers. I know, it's a departure from my usual food-related song-and-dance.)
Above: our cheap storage solution of two IKEA dressers side-by-side were kind of blah, especially because you could see the contents through the front of each drawer
Since we know we're only temporary residents here, the hubby and I have been debating for several months about how much furniture we really want to buy for our kid's nursery, since we'll be returning to a much smaller condo after our time in KL is up. Finally, two weeks ago, I half-heartedly agreed with the hubby that we buy these dressers as a quick, inexpensive fix to our dire need for storage for the kid's stuff, which, thanks to the generosity of our friends and family, had already ballooned to fill several large boxes scattered throughout our house. On the plus side, we knew that we could break them apart and put them in separate locations in our condo once we return, or, if we need to, get rid of them altogether before we move home.
Unfortunately, once assembled, the translucent drawer fronts revealed what I feared the most: everything. The baby's things, crammed into every corner of each drawer, was glaringly evident. I didn't like the way it looked, so I decided to cover the front of each dresser with a fabric panel.
Here's how I did it:
1. Using the cardboard packaging from the dressers, I measured out 6 rectangular panels, marking where to cut each panel with masking tape.
2. With an X-acto knife, I sandwiched the cardboard between two cutting boards. The bottom cutting board would protect our beautiful hardwood floors from getting scratched, and the top cutting board served as a second guide (in addition to the tape) for where I needed to cut each panel. I stuck each panel in front of the translucent dresser front to make sure it would fit. The translucent parts of the drawers aren't flush with the frame holding them, so a cardboard insert would make each drawer front flush with its frame as I cut the panels exactly right. Luckily, I had, which was nothing short of a miracle. My belly made it hard to find a comfortable working position, so I spent a good half-hour of my time rolling around on the floor, splayed in various not-so-ladylike positions, trying to get the X-acto blade in exactly the right place for cutting the panels.
3. Using two yards of fabric I purchased online, I cut out six pieces of fabric just slightly (less than 1/2 an inch) larger than each of my panels and used hot glue to secure each fabric piece to the cardboard. To make sure that the fabric stayed in place, I used packing tape over each glued side.
4. With some heavy-duty double-sided tape (think carpet tape), I secured each panel to a dresser front.
The whole project cost me less than $20 and only took an afternoon, even with my 30-minute belly adjustment period. I'm not sure how many IKEA-bound readers I have (it seems that most of you are barracuda eaters and recipe testers like myself), but, just in case you are, I hope this inspires you to tackle a home-improvement project of your own.
And, if not, then just imagine me, sitting on the floor of an apartment in KL, rolling around, waving an X-acto knife and a glue gun and trying to work around my belly. Now that should be an entertaining mental image, no?