Before & After: Forgotten IKEA Drawers Get a Vintage-Inspired Makeover

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Our good pal Claire took an old IKEA standby, unfinished drawers, and turned them into a bright and charming accent piece. Drawing inspiration from her love of travel, she gave the piece an antique-inspired, worldly makeover.

From Claire: When you buy something in unfinished wood from IKEA the idea is you finish it at home to suit your decor. Well this IKEA mini drawers set had been sitting in the back of my craft cupboard for 10 years waiting to be finished.

Only when I decided that this handy little storage unit needed to be out in the living room did I finally get round to finishing it.

A simple paint job wasn’t going to be enough. As we are a family that loves to travel, I went for a wanderlust theme. Antiquing the wood, decoupaging a vintage map to the front and finishing it off with leather pulls.

The first thing I did was cover the whole unit with a dark wood wax to give it an antique feel and to seal the wood.

To achieve that wanderlust look I decoupaged some vintage world map gift wrap to the drawer fronts. Finally, to add a bit of style I made some leather drawer pulls out of an old leather strap.

I am so pleased with how this IKEA mini dresser has turned out. It looks fantastic in my living room and my teenage son is now eying it up for his travel themed bedroom.

From being hidden away in a cupboard unloved, this has become one of my favorite pieces of furniture in my home. Every time I look at it, I think about all the far flung places I’d love to visit.

Thank you so much, Claire! Readers, you can see this project and many others on Claire’s blog, Pillar Box Blue.

If you’re itching to try out an IKEA hack of your own, Nancy has some great suggestions.