When I was brainstorming ideas for our Ikea Rast dresser hack, I knew I wanted to do something fun with the inside drawer bottoms. They come as brown fiberboard, which is fine, but boring. I considered fun patterned paper + Mod Podge, but was worried about the paper tearing with repeated use. So I decided to use fabric.
A visit to my local Hancock Fabric led me to this chevron cotton fabric and this colorful cotton fabric, both of which were thick (and hopefully durable) fabrics. They happened to be having a sale when I was there, so I was able to save 50% on the chevron pattern and then use a 50% off coupon on the other (non-sale) pattern. Score!
I ironed the fabrics to get out any wrinkles and then laid the drawer bottoms onto the fabric and measured 1/2" longer on all sides so I would have room to wrap the fabric over the edges so the insides of the drawers would have a nice clean look (and no chance of fabric fraying in the drawer). I used the drawer bottom as a straight edge when cutting.
I proceeded to cover all 6 drawer bottoms with fabric using Mod Podge and a laminate roller to get out air bubbles (a rolling pin or soup can would work too).
After the tops dried, I flipped the boards over and used a generous amount of Mod Podge and binder clips to secure the sides, pulling tightly so the fabric wouldn't bunch up as it dried.
Here's where it got
Before I decided to wrap the edges, I cut a test strip of fabric and wrapped it on both sides of a drawer bottom and fit it into the pre-cut grooves in the drawer sides to make sure it would fit. It did, with some light hammering, so I figured all was good. Flash forward to all the drawer bottoms being dry, but none of them sliding into the drawer fronts enough so that the drawer backs could attach correctly. I guess the extra glue and the fact that not all of the grooves aligned perfectly were to blame here.
I asked hubs to run the drawer backs (not yet attached) through the table saw to make the groove about 1/16" bigger to allow for the extra fabric so the drawer bottoms would slip right in with no problems. But...this didn't work either. I felt like the Ikea assembly illustrated man was laughing at me. I was so frustrated I didn't even think to take pictures of these steps.
Now the drawer bottoms were getting stuck in the grooves on the drawer fronts, not allowing the plastic pegs that attach the drawer backs to line up properly. And since I had glued all of the wood dowels when I put the drawers together, there was no way to get them apart without some major damage (so the table saw option was out).
Hubs once again saved my project by carefully chiseling out the groove so it was a little wider. A few hammer taps and the bottoms slid in. They are never coming out, so I hope we never get tired of the fabric!
So the takeaway after all of this: if you plan to wrap your drawer bottoms in fabric, run all 4 drawer pieces through the table saw BEFORE YOU ASSEMBLE THE DRAWERS to make the grooves about 1/8" to 1/16" wider (not deeper). You'll save yourself a lot of trouble later!
I initially wanted to buy some oil rubbed bronze drawer ring pulls for these, but couldn't find any I absolutely loved for under $30 (since we needed 12, I couldn't justify spending more on the pulls than the dresser cost in the first place). So after a failed attempt at hand painting the wooden knobs that came with the dressers, I ended up spray painting them with Rustoleum Stops Rust Hammered Spray in Dark Bronze, which we had from a previous house project.
The hammered look is nice-it gives some dimension and reflects the light, so at first glance you'd never know these were solid pine knobs.
If I ever come across some beautiful ORB knobs on a crazy sale, I may have to indulge and swap them out. Until then, here are these beautiful hacked Ikea Rasts!
You can read more about how I added the trim pieces to the drawers, added birch plywood tops, and used baseboards for the bottoms in Part 1 here.