February 16, 2014

Ikea Rast Hack Part 2 - The Finishing Touches

Check out Part 1 here, where I describe how I hacked our Ikea Rast dressers by adding drawer detail, a new top, baseboards, paint and stain for a grown-up look to our master bedroom.

Ikea Rast hack - finished shot | A Crafty Wife
Finished Ikea Rast hack used as bedside tables | A Crafty Wife

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 fun frustrating. 

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!

Fabric covered drawer bottoms for Ikea Rast Hack | A Crafty Wife

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.

Spray paint Ikea wooden knobs with Rustoleum hammered finish | A Crafty Wife

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.

Closeup of Rustoleum hammered finish on Ikea pine knobs | A Crafty Wife

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!

Adding fabric to drawer bottoms and stained wood top to Ikea Rast hack for bedside tables | A Crafty Wife
Adding fabric to drawer bottoms adds personality and style to an Ikea Rast hack | A Crafty Wife

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.

Finished Ikea Rast hack used as bedside tables | A Crafty Wife

Ikea Rast Hack Part 1

Sneak peek at the finished dressers! Check out Part 2 of our Rast hack here where I go into detail about the fabric covered drawer bottoms and cost effective update for the knobs.

Ikea Rast hack for bedside tables - finished shot | A Crafty Wife

Our master bedroom is a mess. According to my husband, we "live like teenagers" because none of our furniture matches and the room is always a mess. One of the big things we are lacking is matching bedside tables. We had a hand-me-down set that we ended up selling on Craigslist last fall (mainly because they needed some major love and I was not in love with them). So our current setup is an old wooden chair and a small 3-drawer chest that also needs some major TLC. As you can see, not ideal.

Master bedroom before we hacked Ikea Rast dressers for bedside tables | A Crafty Wife

We've contemplated getting a full bedroom furniture set since we got married (ahem, almost 4 years ago), but we're both hesitant to pull the trigger because of the cost and our bedroom doesn't have a ton of space. So somehow I convinced hubs to let me get 2 Ikea Rast dressers and hack them into something useable and not eyesore-y, like this or this or this (the last one was really my inspiration and very similar to what I did). And after coming across O'verlays decorative panels specifically made for Ikea hacks, I really wanted to use these on my hack (look how beautiful they look!) but hubs vetoed that look. I'm saving this idea for a future project!

Full disclosure: this project took over a month to complete, since I could only work during baby's naptimes/bedtime, and required power tools and a good dose of hubby input/feedback/help. It's a little more involved than a weekend craft project, but totally doable.

As soon as we got the boxes home, I was itching to get started so I assembled one of them, adding wood glue to the dowels to make sure they would stay in place...which made it slightly more complicated to prime and paint. I left the second Rast unassembled and laid all the pieces out in the garage for priming and painting. 

Before I could prime and paint the drawer fronts, I added the decorative lattice strips. I chose to join these with 45-degree angles, meaning I would need 61" total for each drawer so the strips would line up at the outside corners. Calculating that out and adding for insurance/bad cuts meant I needed about 32 feet for 6 drawers. I used this pine lattice molding from Home Depot. At $.62 a foot, it worked out to around $20 of molding. Shout out to the nice employee at Home Depot who helped me saw these down (by hand!) to fit in my car.

Once home, I took some careful measurements before cutting. I used hubs' miter saw to cut each strip to length first and then to add the 45 degree angles to each side.

Miter saw to cut lattice strips for Ikea Rast hack | A Crafty Wife

I dry fitted the 4 pieces for each drawer together as a group, trimmed as needed to get a snug fit, and labeled each piece (group 1 top, bottom, left, right, etc) so if they got mixed up I would know which ones went together. After cutting, I used wood glue and a nail gun to attach the lattice to the drawer fronts. 

Wood glue and nail gun to secure lattice strips for Ikea Rast hack | A Crafty Wife

I hit the tops and edges with a palm sander to make sure the joints where the lattice met up were smooth.
Sanding lattice strips on Ikea Rast hack | A Crafty Wife

Then I filled the nail holes and joints with Elmer's wood filler. This took several coats of filling, sanding, filling, and sanding again until I was happy with it. In the pic below, the drawer on the left has filler and the one on the right does not. See how the filler makes the nail holes almost disappear?

Use wood filler to fill nail holes for Ikea Rast hack | A Crafty Wife

Then all of the pieces got 2 coats of Kilz 2 latex primer and 2 coats of Behr semi-gloss white trim paint (we had both on hand from previous house projects) mixed with a little Floetrol to minimize brush strokes and help it cure since I was working on this during Snowmaggedon 2014 (so it was pretty cold, even in the garage). Assembly of the second dresser was pretty quick after everything dried.

Prime and paint all the wood pieces from Ikea Rast | A Crafty Wife

Let's talk about the tops now. The Rast assembly illustrations from Ikea show the top board as being flush with the tops of the side panels, but without drilling new holes in the side panels, there is no way to make this happen during assembly - you get about an 1/8" gap from the top of the top panel to the top of the side panel, which you can see if you zoom in on the picture on Ikea's site

I knew I wanted a dark stained wood top, and whatever we did would have to cover this gap. Hubs had some 3/4" thick birch plywood on hand (I have no idea from what. If you don't have random pieces of finished plywood in your garage, HD carries something similar to what we used). Hubs cut it down so that it was 1/2" longer on the front and 2 sides of the assembled Rast (the back was flush). 

To get the top pieces to attach cleanly to the cabinets and cover the gap, hubs routed a channel in the underside of the birch to match the length, width and depth of the side pieces of the Rast. This allowed the birch tops just slide onto the top of the Rast and cover up the gap.

Route a channel in underside of top piece to attach to top of Ikea Rast | A Crafty Wife

Since we used birch plywood, the edges were layered (not the look I wanted!). A little research led us to this edge banding, which we got from our local woodworking supply shop for about $15. 

Birch edge banding for Ikea Rast hack | A Crafty Wife

You cut it to length, iron it on (no water - the steam will ruin the wood), then use a laminate roller or heavy even pressure to seal it. Be sure the corners get a good seal, since that's where you'll see it. Hubs used a router with a 1/2" trim bit to trim the excess off the edges. You could also use a Xacto blade if you have a really steady hand. Looks like a solid piece of birch!

Before and after of applying edge banding for Ikea Rast hack | A Crafty Wife

I prepped the wood with Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner according to the can directions. I followed up with 3 coats of Minwax Jacobean stain - I wanted something nice and dark and this was the darkest stain we already had. I let the stain soak up for 10 minutes each time before wiping it down.

Stain and seal top for Ikea Rast hack | A Crafty Wife

Then came the polyurethane. There are low VOC options out there, but we already had an almost-full can of Minwax Quick Drying Polyurethane, so that's what I used. Oh, did I mention it was under 40 degrees out the entire time I was painting/staining? The Floetrol helped the paint, but I couldn't add anything to the poly. I used a foam brush and put on (what I thought were) nice even coats, sanding lightly by hand with 220 grit sandpaper in between coats. After 8 coats over 3 days, my tops were kind of shiny looking but there were a bunch of ridges in the clear coat. No bueno. 

I called in the hubs to help, since he's done several projects with polyurathene that have turned out beautifully. Turns out I needed to be using about 1000% MORE poly on each coat than I had used. He *very carefully* sanded the tops with his palm sander (I couldn't watch - I didn't want to see in case it went through the stain coat and down to the wood, which would have meant the tops were ruined). He did the next 3 coats of poly over 2 days, sanding lightly by hand in between each coat. So after 11 coats of polyurethane, our tops were finally done. We attached each top with 4 1" screws from underneath the top Ikea piece. Aren't they beautiful? I love the wood grain and the color.

Attach stained top from underside of Rast  | A Crafty Wife
Beautiful stained top with Minwax Jacobean stain and Minwax Polyurethane | A Crafty Wife

Then came the bottoms. I knew I wanted to add baseboards to the bottom for a beefier, more polished look. I found this baseboard at our local Home Depot and bought enough to cover the fronts and both sides of the 2 cabinets. Hubs helped me with this too - since these were critical angles and he 100% has more experience cutting and attaching baseboards than I do, so I let him take the lead here. 

We added a scrap piece of wood to the toe kick portion of the Rast to build it out enough where the baseboard could nail into something. Only the top front edge of this will be seen, so it doesn't have to be the prettiest piece of wood. A little wood glue and a few nails from the nail gun held it in place just fine.

Shimming out Ikea Rast toe kick to add base molding | A Crafty Wife
Decorative baseboards adds a polished look to Ikea Rast hack base | A Crafty Wife

After the baseboard pieces were attached, I filled all of the nail holes and seams with Elmer's wood filler. The seams required a few coats to make sure they were good and filled. When everything was dry, I primed the added piece of wood and then painted that and the baseboards with the same Behr semi-gloss trim paint as the rest of the piece.  

Then we just had to add the knobs and put the drawers in. Check out Part 2 of our Rast hack here where I go into detail about the fabric covered drawer bottoms and cost effective update for the knobs.

Overall, I'm thrilled with the result, even if it did take way longer than expected! Not too bad for a $35 dresser.

Turn a $35 Ikea Rast dresser into a nice bedside table | A Crafty Wife
Closeup of Ikea Rast hack - birch plywood top | A Crafty Wife
Use Rustoleum hammered spray paint on Ikea Rast knobs | A Crafty Wife
Add fabric to drawer bottoms of Ikea Rast hack for a personalized touch | A Crafty Wife

Anybody else getting their Ikea hack on? Has anyone used O'verlays? I'd love to hear about how easy/difficult they are to work with. Happy hacking...

February 6, 2014

Valentine Heart Garland

I made this cute little Valentine heart garland a few years ago, and every February I break it out and hang it in the big window in our kitchen. It's very simple to make, and with Valentine's Day only a week away, something you can do tonight to add a little charm to your home.

Valentine's Day heart garland made from sheet music and scrapbook paper | A Crafty Wife

I used copies of the sheet music from our wedding to add a little sentimental value to them. You could also use copies of books, poems, handwritten notes (does anyone still do that?), or even pretty patterned scrapbook paper to make your hearts. I made a simple template with a piece of cardboard, traced it on the paper, and then cut out all the hearts. It's okay if they're not all exactly the same. 

Use favorite songs wedding songs for sheet music | A Crafty Wife

I wanted random lengths of the finished garland, so I grouped the hearts in piles with different numbers of hearts (my smallest pile had 10 and the largest had 17). I mixed each song up amongst all the piles and then added some hearts from scrapbook paper. 

Then, it's time for the sewing machine. Yes, we are going to sew on paper. It works, trust me, you just have to work slowly. Using a straight stitch (it looks like this if your machine has stitch selection buttons), slowly stitch down the center of the first heart. When you get to the bottom point of the heart, let it go one or two cycles of the needle going up and down before you start the next heart (sorry, I don't know the technical term for this). Work slowly and you won't tear up your paper. When you get to the end of the first garland, run your stitch backward just once to knot it off. When you cut the thread, leave three to six inches of string and bobbin thread so you can tie a charm to the bottom by hand. I used these 'Love' heart charms I found at Michaels. The charms help weigh down the garland once you hang it in the window so it doesn't get tangled up. 

Pretty patterned scrapbook paper and a heart charm keep the Valentine garland in place | A Crafty Wife

And voila! Handmade DIY Valentine's heart garland! I made 9 strands, but you could do any number depending on the area you want to cover. You can even go super crazy and sew some of them upside down. I sometimes leave these hanging until our anniversary in April since they do double duty as decorations. They look so nice when the heat comes on too since they blow in the breeze and the hearts spin just a bit.

Anybody else getting last-minute crafty for Valentine's Day?