the nesting instinct is real: diy dresser upgrade

 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?


  1. Viv says

    Ikea hacker is pretty entertaining. And you can pretty much toss out your Frankenstein creations away when you move (considering the cheap costs of some of the hacks), or easily take them with you since all you need is an allen wrench. That website even has a baby room with Ikea hacks!

  2. Melanie says

    biscuitwheels-This looks so amazing. If I had more room and need for drawers, I would definitely be trying this. For some reason I love furniture before/afters. You should submit it to the IKEA Hacks blog.

  3. says

    Thanks, guys! I’ve seen IKEA Hacks and wonder if this is enough to qualify for a true hack, since it was just a pretty added decoration. But I’m really happy with the result!

  4. says

    Caryn: I’m not sure about that. The Aneboda comes with legs, which we didn’t install because I didn’t like the way they looked. I think if you wanted to install the legs as well, you definitely can’t stack two dressers on top of each other. I’d also be concerned with the stability of stacking 2 dressers without some sort of anchoring or support. Also, 2 dressers is pretty high. I’m not sure how you’d access the top drawers (I am 5’3″ and just one of the dressers comes up to above my stomach). Good luck!