Nightstand Makeover: Fabric Decoupage

I’ve got a full week of total freedom, since the last exam finished and till the new semester begins. It took me a few days of staring at the wall, watching Doctor Who and eating cookies to get back into crafty DIY mode. The apartment has seen no improvements since school began so now it’s time to prettify it a little.

First stop: this piece of salvaged furniture a neighbor threw out, which I’ve been using as a nightstand.

nightstand makeover before_1

There wasn’t much to do with the sunken top, but a few drops of carpenters glue helped strengthen the corners.

And then – the make over. All it took was paint (left over from a school assignment – yay for fully exploiting existing resources!), Mod Podge (Gloss-Lustre) and cotton fabric for the drawers.

nightstand make over after_1

This was the first time I did decoupage with fabric and I used many tips from this tutorial from Lolie’s Abode.

The steps for decoupage were as follows:

1. I traced around the drawer tops and cut the fabric with a few cm extra on every side. I made sure the placement was alright for the three drawers.

2. I found it especially helpful to spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on the cut fabric and letting it dry before gluing it to the drawers. The Mod Podge stiffens the fabric and makes it easier to work with. I also made sure I chose a thick non-transparent fabric to begin with so I wouldn’t have issues with the wood showing beneath it. It didn’t bubble at all which was a relief. On the contrary, the Mod Podge made all the creases and lines disappear and I didn’t have to feel guilty about not ironing the fabric first.

3. I used Mod Podge to glue the fabric onto the top of the drawer first and let it dry, then cut around the excess fabric to leave only a thin border, just enough to go over the edges.

4. I glued around the corners and the back one side after the other, folding the corners as neatly as possible. As a first project, I would recommend you don’t do as I did, and pick a rectangular surface with straight lines. The curved part of the drawer was tricky. I let go of any hope of the fabric looking nice and neat on the inside. I clipped the fabric so it would stretch better, and used my fingers a lot to pull and stretch it over the curve. I think all in all I did nicely but it was the trickiest part of an otherwise easy project.

5. I spread another layer of Mod Podge over the fabric front and edges (over the corner folds especially) to seal it. As I said my fabric didn’t bubble at all so I didn’t need any extra layers to smooth it out and once was enough. I also didn’t sand it afterwards. I’m very pleased with the finish. I think the fabric choice is crucial here so if you use a sturdy cotton fabric you’d be okay.

I only wish I’d dealt with the sunken top but otherwise I’m very happy. It was a poorly built little piece of furniture to begin with, one of those things people throw out and you just collect for your student apartment, but now it’s brighter and happier and it’s something I made, so I’m very fond of it.

I hope to get some more DIY done before the end of the week. And next week – new semester, new classes! I’m excited. Mostly because we’re going to have an embroidery class and I’m very much into embroidery and already have all the materials and tools. So watch this space for more school madness. Remember to sign up for updates via email or RSS down here at the bottom of the page or follow me on Pinterest!

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5 thoughts on “Nightstand Makeover: Fabric Decoupage

  1. Pingback: Day 54 | 365 Waves

  2. Pingback: 19 Decoupage Furniture Ideas - Guru Koala

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