May 19, 2014

Lion's Head Dresser

I've been perusing Pinterest lately, putting together what I would want the boys' nursery to look like. It has to be several things: bright, clean/white, some fun colors, zero trademarked things, original art, geometric, mini-man feel, and lastly some wood and leather is a must. When this room will physically come together, only God knows at this point, because we have just signed the lease for our second year in the one bedroom apartment. We all four are in one bedroom right now, but it's cozy and it works well. However, I have started diy-ing and collecting some pieces that will eventually make their way into a chic little room for my boys.

For starters I saw this pin and the dresser immediately caught my eye. I actually like the whole feel of the "Rock Me, mama" room, but the dresser stood out. Could I buy a similar dresser?  No, not on our budget. Could I diy one? Yes! So we went to Ikea and picked up two Rast dressers. I tell you, these dressers have seen so many different hacks. They are perfectly raw and could be painted, stained, covered in fabric, etc, etc. Just do an "Ikea Rast dresser hack" search online and so many different diy's will pop up.
They were the right size and price (34.99 each) for my project, so we bought them.

I really wanted it to look like a campaign dresser, but the campaign pulls that I found online were between $12 to $30 per. So I decided to add a bit of whimsy to these dressers and buy lions head pulls for $3.21 each instead. These dressers would live as nightstands for the time being, right next to our heads, so Naaman and I wanted to make sure we wouldn't be breathing in all sorts of chemicals from the stain while we slept. So we searched for and found a superb sealant. It is very low voc, non-toxic, odorless when it dries and it seals in any chemical off-gassing, everything we were looking for.

I lined the bottoms of each shelf will this great wood grain wrapping paper. I had almost passed it by during the holidays at HomeGoods. I walked by it once, held it and put it back, and then went back to get it. It was unusual because the roll was heavier than the other wrapping paper rolls standing next to it. Upon closer examination I found that this wrapping paper was made of STONE! How cool! I had to buy it. It feels smoother than paper and has a colder feel to it, and it feels creamy when you cut it with scissors. How they can make stone into wrapping paper I don't know, but it looks great.

 This is really one of the simplest diys but not exactly cheap. It ended up costing under $170 but hey that's for two adorable dressers, and real campaign furniture is so much more costly for just one dresser. This is what I used:

Ikea Rast Dresser $34.99 x2
Cabot High Gloss Wood Stain & Sealant in Georgia Clay ($12.87)
AFM Safecoat Hard Seal ($19.70 + $11.44 s/h from Amazon)
Lions Head Pulls ($3.21 each) x12
Brass Corners ($2.47 per package of four) x6
                                                                                      Total Cost $167.33

Step One : STAIN
It would be best to stain the wood before assembling the dressers. I needed the storage space and it took us a bit to buy all of the supplies, so we had assembled these dressers before we stained them, but I do think that it'd be easier to stain them first and then assemble them.

Step Two: SEAL
The sealant that we used is really close to water consistency, so you need just a bit on your brush. Paint it on and let it dry completely before adding additional coats. I did three coats of sealant.

Align the brasd corners as close as you can to the outside corners of each drawer. Drill holes just a bit smaller than the screws, in the right position. Screw in the screws.

Ikea is the master at creating furniture that assembles easily. It doesn't take very long. Do not attach the knobs that the dressers come with.

Figure out if the holes in the drawer fronts are big enough for your pulls. I had to make them a bit bigger for the lions head pulls to fit. Screw them in. You will also need some washers to help them from twisting around.

Put your dressers where you want and adorn them with accessories and lamps. You are done!

I really like the way mine turned out. They're not campaign like, but they'll work for my boys. Also they could work somewhere else later on because they are not childish looking. It's feels great to have done a successful DIY. I hope this brings some inspiration to you this Monday evening. xo, Yana.

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