DIY

Who thought adding Dollar Store dinosaurs to an Ikea dresser would make the perfect little boy bedroom piece?! This DIY will have you racing to the dollar store to make your dresser pull switch!

It seems like I’ve been doing a lot of dresser DIYs lately but this one might be my favorite so far! It’s cheap, easy, and adds so much personality with little effort. You’ll need very little and if you have a dresser with handles, it’ll be even easier!

For reference, this is the dresser we have. It’s simple and sturdy (& under $80). Since it doesn’t have any handles so we had to do just a few extra steps for the cute Dollar Store dinosaurs. Note: The plastic is softer and very forgiving if you end up needing to take a few tries to get the hole drilled out.

Note: We bought 4 inch but only needed 3 inch Round Head combos

Materials

Tools

  • Drill and drill bit 3/16-inch

Steps

Label each drawer (1, 2, 3) 

Layout the plastic toys and line them up how you want them appear on the dresser.

Determine which will be the backside of your knob and place a mark where you plan to drill the hole.

Note: If you are drilling holes in the dresser make sure to measure twice! We always make a notch drill mark first for both the dresser and plastic toy to help the drill stay on track.

With the drill bit, slowly drill into the piece.

After drilling the hole spray paint your pieces.

 Add a good amount of glue to the end of the bolt and begin to thread it into the piece.

Let the knob dry completely before attaching it to the drawer.

Hold the knob in place with a washer and nut.

Let dry and put the dresser back together! Let me know what you would put on your dresser and stay tuned because I might need to do a Christmas themed one!

xx

Emily

If you follow along on my Instagram page, you know that I am a sucker for DIYs, especially ones for your home! So when I found an antique dresser with good bones, I snagged it with intentions of giving it a coastal makeover. Turned out it needed more than just a makeover. So follow along to see how I refinished two antique dressers!

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After
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Before

Before sharing the how-to of refinishing an antique dresser there is something you need to keep in mind. When it comes to decorating with antique furniture, you can change the finish, but you can not change the structure of it. For example, if you don’t like the legs on a piece, or the shape of it, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to fix that. So don’t settle for an antique that doesn’t have all the qualities you are looking for. We learned this the hard way. The top piece of our first dresser (pictured above) was a bit of a disaster but I loved the structure of it, and it was solid wood. When we started sanding away, the top kept chipping away. Turns out they had a fake wood top that they glued on! So we had to whip out the big guns litterally, to get it to a point worth saving. So I had to pivot and decided we would paint it instead. But I was still longing for a coastal antique looking dresser so I searched for a second one and found one! I am so happy with how it turned out. Below is the finished second dresser!

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After
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Before

Now that you’ve seen the before and afters, let me give you the steps and tools you need to get both looks! Just remember it takes time and hard work, but in the end I think it’s worth it.

Tools

Dewalt 20 volt brushless cordless orbital sander with bag

Sandpaper for powertools (80, 120, 220)

Klean Strip Kwik Paint and Varnish Stripper

Utility brush

Brass utility brush

Annie Sloan’s clear wax  (optional)

If painting:

Granite Peak Sherwin Williams Paint (I promise its is the only blue/grey you’ll ever need in your decor)

Paint Roller and Brush

Heat Gun and Hammer and Chisel *only for taking off any fake wood finishes that you might run into when purchasing an antique. You will know if you need this if the layer can be picked off or separated from the genuine wood.

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Sanding/Coastal Look

When I found dresser number two, I knew she was the one and I knew exactly what to look for. So off came the mismatched handles and out came the sander. Dewalt are the only tools we use in our house. They are the best and worth the investment. I started with a 80 grit sandpaper and with a bit of elbow grease it started to reveal that beautiful original wood tone.

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For the detailed parts that I did not want to run a sander over, running the risk of chipping it, I stripped it first, then used the sand brush to get into the small spots.

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Then to give it that butter-smooth finish so it feels like it’s been professionally refinish, you give it a light sanding with a 220-grit sandpaper. You can run your hand over the area you had just sanded, and after you use the 200-grit sandpaper it feels silky-smooth, compared to the rest of it.

Once I was finished sanding the dresser, I took a clean rag and wiped down the entire piece, to ensure there was no dust or residue still on it from the sanding process. I loved the color of the unfinished wood. Next you can add a clear wax such as  Annie Sloan’s clear wax to seal it in, so it would stay like that. But you don’t have to!

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There are two things to remember when applying wax. First, it’s going to look wet, but don’t worry as it dries it cures to the piece, and that “wet” look go away. And second, you only need a little bit of wax, and apply it in small areas. It should be dry to the touch right afterwards, and that’s how you know you rubbed it in enough.

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Painting

Once we stripped the fake wood off the top of dresser number one, we went through the same process. Took all the hardware off and sanded, thats when we noticed the wood splitting. We noticed there was a fake wood glued to the top of the dresser and front of the two bottom draws. So we used the hot gun and chisel to peel off those layers. Then back to sanding and then painted. But the first paint color I chose, I ended up hating! Salty dog’s tone is way too bright for me. So I went back to Sherwin Williams and after looking at 20 different swatches and looking them up online (I find online photos give a better visual) I decided on Granite Peak. We applied two coats with a simple paint roller and brush and I LOVE this color! It’s the perfect tone.

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Hardware

There are so many great options when looking for hardware! Don’t forget to check out Homegoods’ storage section for handles. That’s where I found these BINO Brass Finish Knobs.

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For the second dresser I chose these classic pull knobs. They look great with my current decor and give it a Restoration Hardware look.

So there you go! There is everything we used to get these dressers into blog worthy shape. And even though it took a lot of work, I am already planning my next on! Let me know your thoughts on what I should do next!

xx

Emily

I’m not sure you know this about me yet, but I LOVE Halloween! This craft brings my love for halloween, crafting, and sustainability all together! Best part is, you can do this for free too! I’m sure you have a doll house kicking around your house you want to do this to as well, so follow the easy instructions below.

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Fisher Price Doll House

When you look at a doll house you don’t see how structurally gothic they are, but slap some black spray paint on them and BOOM, it’s like you purchased a Vamparina’s play set! So when I was looking at some of the Haunted Houses for sale at my local home store, I thought to myself I could just make that with the doll house no one has touched in years (sound familiar moms?!). I am so glad I did and the kids love the way it turned out, so much so they’ve been playing with it for hours.

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emily.fee

We decorated it with a few items from Michaels, all Halloween items are 40% off right now. If your kids are a little older you could make a cemetery in front of it, or even put ghosts looking out from the windows! The possibilities are endless. If you do this project make sure to tag me in it so I can see and share yours!

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DIY Halloween Doll House

Materials:

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Doll House

Halloween Miniatures

Spray Paint

Steps:

-Make sure to clean the doll house then get all of the stickers off. We use goo gone for any project like this!

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-Set up a station for spraying. Make sure you’re wearing your work/crafting clothes.

-Start spraying! This Rust-Oleum is fast drying and has a nice finish.

-Once it’s dry you can start adding details. I decided to super glue one of the spiders to the front of the doll house to give it an extra spooky finish.

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OYSTER SHELL DIY


These oyster shells would look so in any home or on any place setting, when I saw them at Anthropologie I knew I had to try and make them for myself. When we were home for mother’s day, we walked along Cove Island and picked the best shells for this project. It’s so simple and easy that I wanted to share it with you as well. Follow below for all the easy step by step directions.

emily fee


What you’ll need:

gloss Mod Podge and two soft brushes
printed napkins, tissue or regular copy paper to print your favorite designs ( You can download our free designs at the end!) See Step 1 for pros and cons of each option
gold acrylic paint to paint the edges, white acrylic paint to cover darker spots in shells.
Step 1:

Make sure your oyster shells are clean. I use half bleach and half water solution to soak the shells overnight. If your shells have darker spots on the interior surface, give them a coat of white acrylic paint, especially if you are using napkins or tissue paper later for this project. Let the paint dry before the next step.


Step 2:

Pick your design. There are tons of graphic designs that you can choose from. My favorites are canva or creativemarket (some you will have to pay for) or you can sign up at apieceofrainbow.com for the pattern you see here.

Step 3:

Print your design. After selecting your design, simply print it out on paper or if you have paper napkins with design you like (you will have to peel off the back layer) use those! Cut your design to fit just a bit larger than your shell.


Step 4:

Brush a coat of Mod Podge on the inside surface of an oyster shell. Brush a coat of Mod Podge on the back of the printed paper or napkin. Starting from one spot on the inside shell surface , lay the paper or napkin on the spot, and gently press the paper down little by little until it covers the entire surface. Gently tap the paper to the inside surface of the shell.


Step 5:

Carefully tear off the excess paper around the edges. You can use a nail file to smooth out the edges but since we’re painting the edges it is not totally necessary.


Step 6:

Add another coat of Mod Podge over the entire decoupaged surface. This will create a water resistant surface.

Step 7:

Take some gold acrylic paint and dab along the edges all the way around.

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Head to my Instagram Highlights to see the whole tutorial video! If you have any questions feel free to message me.

xx

Emily