I suppose this isn’t a hack since this IKEA piece is already made of unfinished wood ready to be decorated, but it does use only IKEA parts! I had to give away my dresser after our recent move since it wouldn’t fit in our new space. I replaced it with a tall, narrow chest of drawers from IKEA called the TARVA which fits in my little closet next to hanging clothes. While I was at IKEA, I fell for these really gorgeous paper napkins (SOMMAR) and decided to grab them for no particular reason (I was very good otherwise and only bought things we actually needed!) When I got home, I decided they would be perfect to decorate the chest of drawers.
Lots of iteration followed! I tried Mod Podge first, but it was really difficult to make the napkins lie flat and I didn’t like the plasticky feeling of the finish. I tried ironing the napkin to Heat-N-Bond double-sided fusible adhesive and ironing that onto the wood, then spraying with acrylic sealer, but it made the layers of the napkin peel apart and form bubbles.
What finally worked: peeling the napkin apart and removing only the top decorated layer, ironing that to the fusible interfacing, ironing some interfacing to the other side of that, and using a mix of PVA and Nori to glue it (bookbinding-style) to each panel. Sort of like the reverse of this technique for making bookcloth. Some process pics!
Ironing Heat-N-Bond to the single-ply napkin (after stopping to decorate my ironing board cover <3)Heat-N-Bond backing removed: Ironing on interfacing:Gluing: Glue brush is key: Bookbinding corners: All 5 drawer fronts:If I were doing this again, I would paint the panels white before applying the napkins – I’m not super thrilled with how the wood shows through in some places (depending on how much I melted the Heat-N-Bond through the layers, I think).
Currently testing different finishes and planning to paint dresser. Stay tuned…