The $35 unfinished pine dresser from IKEA is a blank slate for your creativity. To show how it can be customized to match any decor style—no matter if your signature look is understated or over-the-top—we hacked this dresser two ways. Keep it simple with some paint and a bit of patterned gift wrap, or embrace elaborate bohemian details with bone-inlay stenciling. Either way, you're going to get extra storage with serious style.
RAST Hack Take 1: Happy Modern Paint & Pattern Upgrades
What You'll Need
- RAST dresser, $35 from IKEA
- Furniture paint, such as Martha Stewart Vintage Decor Paint in Sailor Blue
- Patterned gift wrap
- Spray adhesive
- 2-by-1-inch strip of wood, cut to width of dresser (about 24 inches long)
- 4 Parsons-style furniture legs, such as these from Home Depot
- Wood glue
- For optional leather handles: One sheet of leather and 1 1/2-inch brass screws
- 4 heavy-duty top plates, such as these from Home Depot
- 1-inch wood screws
- 24-by-11 1/2-inch piece of wood (if replacing top drawer with a shelf)
1. Assemble the RAST dresser and remove the top drawer. Either discard the piece or save it for another project.
2. Cut the gift wrap to fit the backboard of the dresser. Spray the back of the paper with adhesive and place on the backboard, smoothing out any air bubbles. Let dry.
3. To create a track for the top shelf to sit on, drill two wood screws 1/2-inch into one side of the dresser, slightly above where the top drawer slides in (as shown, above). Repeat with two screws on the other side of the dresser. Slide in the board so that it rests on top of the screws.
4. Pull out the two remaining drawers, remove the knobs, and paint the drawer fronts. Let dry completely.
5. If you plan to add furniture legs to the dresser, start by attaching a support beam across the bottom of the dresser. Begin by drilling pilot holes, and then secure the beam with wood screws and wood glue. Let dry completely.
6. Secure the metal furniture plates to each corner by first drilling pilot holes and then attaching the plates with the provided screws. Screw on each furniture leg.
7. To add leather drawer pulls, cut four 2-by-6-inch rectangles from the leather sheet. Fold each in half, drill a hole near the top of the loop, and attach to the drawer fronts with brass screws.
RAST Dresser Take 2: Bone Inlay Inspired Stenciling
Coveting gorgeous bone-inlay dressers (feast your eyes on this one from Anthropologie), but not wanting to spend more than a grand on one piece of furniture, we decided to imitate the look using a stencil and some paint. A few hours later, our elaborate statement piece was ready to turn heads (and store sweaters).
What You'll Need
- RAST Dresser, $35 from IKEA
- Furniture paint, such as Martha Stewart Vintage Decor Paint in Sailor Blue and Linen
- Indian Inlay Stencil Kit by Kim Myles, $35, from Cutting Edge Stencils
- White chalk pencil
- Painter's tape
- Stencil brush, such as this one from Cutting Edge Stencils
1. Assemble the dresser. If you'd like to add furniture legs, follow steps 5 and 6, above.
2. Paint the dresser, drawer fronts and knobs. Let dry completely.
3. Plan out your pattern, using the stencils and chalk pencil. Draw out the pattern in chalk, making sure you will have enough room to complete the design and borders on each surface of the dresser.
4. Once the pattern is planned out, place the stencil on the dresser, starting in the center of the design. Tape the stencil in place and fill in with paint using a stencil brush. Dab off excess paint before applying paint to the dresser. Let dry slightly, then move the stencil to continue filling in the design.