Sunday, September 1, 2013

$12 furniture makeover

dresser, before
My sewing things are in the kid's playroom, and I recently walked in to find my 16 month old happily sitting on top of my sewing desk throwing pins across the room. No bueno. :(

I'd been looking for an armoire desk, but was at a standstill, because we didn't want to pay what a good quality one costs, but really didn't want to spend $120 on a cheaper made one either.

Enter my happy day when I found this one at an online yardsale for $10:
this beauty is $120 at walmart 

It was so cheap for two reasons: It had been sitting in their garage for months, and it swayed wildly from side to side. Maybe you all haven't suffered from swaying cheap furniture before, but it's something that we've dealt with a lot in our family. I always thought it meant my plywood stuff was in it's death throes. One day, my wonderful husband educated me that that super flimsy cardboard that is tacked to the back is actually SUPER important. Maybe I'm an idiot, but I always thought that was just a way to finish the look off, so you didn't see wall like the desk above, so I'd just pull it off if it started coming off.  Turns out, that flimsy piece in the back is what keeps the furniture from rocking from side to side. Since learning this, new life has been breathed into all sorts of doomed furniture...dressers, bookcases, and now this desk.

Now you know.

So to start out with, I touched up the scratched paint with some black acrylic paint we had lying around. Next, I cut a piece of cardboard from a wardrobe box to cover the back, wrapped it in high quality gift paper (this one from Hobby Lobby) and the nailed it to the back with tons of tiny nails:

Next, I cut a small hole with an exacto knife for cords:

Then I painted one side of the door with chalkboard paint ($3) just following the directions on the back. Although I think I need to go back and add a third coat, since the 1st had a bit of a hard time sticking to the laminate coating.

I also bought a small roll of cork from H.L. ($4) cut it to fit the space, hot glued a piece of burlap around it, and then hot glued it to the door. I'm thinking of gluing "peals" around the edges for a more finished look.

That was it! About $12 of renovations for this final product:

No more baby playing darts with his mama's sewing needles!


  1. You did an awesome job renovating that cabinet, I love it!

  2. thank you! I am happy with out it turned out! Not all my projects have such a happy ending, lol!

  3. Who knew that cardboard meant more than keeping things from sliding off the back!! Happy to know the newly learned fact. :)

    You did a nice job revamping! And nope, playing w/pins is not a mama approved child activity. ;)

    Thanks for linking to Super Sunday Sync!