Shabby chic catalogue drawers

As my collection of crafting bits and bobs increases I keep looking for ways to store them. On one of my many trips to the local antique centre at Battlesbridge I came across this multi-drawer piece of furniture. The drawers are quite long and deep, so they can store plenty of buttons, beads and other paraphernalia. Perfect!

drawers-before

The unit is made from mdf in the style of these vintage catalogue drawers and although I love these original pieces, they often command a very high price, that is well over my budget. This piece was well within budget and also gave me a blank canvas that I could put my own stamp on.

I painted over the main unit using a home-made chalk paint recipe (a mixture of paint, water and plaster of paris), and dabbed over the wet paint with scrunched up kitchen roll to give it some texture.

chalk-paint-texture

I then bought a book of scrapbook papers that had some lovely weathered textures and pattern prints that I thought would look great on the drawers.

scrapbook-papers

I decided the shape of the front of the drawer would be too tricky to cut out of the paper, so I turned the drawers around and used the back as it was a simple rectangle. I then chose five of the paper prints from my scrapbook that were complimentary but provided a contrast.

five-samples

I measured the drawer fronts and cut out 4 or 5 rectangles from each pattern (I had a total of 24 drawers). I then used a small amount of PVA glue to stick them down and brushed over each one with a mix of PVA and water to give them a protective seal.

Having turned the drawers around meant that I no longer had the little cut outs to open the drawers (obvious once I’d closed some of the drawers!) and I would need to add some handles. I’d bought a set of six drawer knobs from a market (many moons ago) that I’d never used, so they got me started. I’d also seen a selection of ceramic drawer knobs in a local shop that I really liked, and bought some of these. Finally, to keep the cost down, I bought some small and medium-sized wooden handles from a local ironmongers that were very cheap, which I decorated and I completed the set by making a few drawer knobs from polymer clay.

drawer-knobs

I drilled small holes into the centre of each drawer and attached the handles.

This is the finished piece (before and after)!

shabby-chic-drawers

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