I explained how I got it started here. Then I got a little distracted by a little thing called Christmas (are you guys ready for it?) and went a little ornament crafting crazy. If you haven’t been keeping up (where have you been?) I put all my projects in one handy spot for you to check out here.
I let the drawers sit for a bit with the maps on them. I didn’t even put them back in the dresser to use. I just used this always essential chair (more on that here) to
toss organize what would be in the dresser. Apparently even if I have to step over a project 10 times a day it does nothing for my motivation to finish it. 😉
One day out and about I found these letters at a local scrap booking store and had the idea to stencil on the names of the locations that each dresser represents.
They didn’t have all of the letters I needed so out of a cereal box (love me some Honey Bunches of Oats) I made an O with a little help from the C I bought and an A with some M, N and W. And yes, the M and W are exactly the same but I didn’t realize it until I got them home. Bamboozled by the alphabet. Drats!
I mixed together a few different colors of craft paint I had to create a subtle color that wouldn’t over power the maps. Honestly, each drawer came out a little different. I needed to make a different color for the Curacao map since it was darker. I had outlined the Maine letters darker than I wanted, the Cali letters look almost perfectly white, but the Iowa letters turned out exactly how I wanted.
Thank goodness because they took some time to make. Each braid is 3 pieces of twine and each handle is 3 braids braided together and there are 8 handles. Sooooo … carry the 1, and that equals A LOT of braiding. About an episode of Sportcenter combined with the first new episode of Fear Factor. Mid process it looked like this.
Can I just say, as a side note, there is nothing about the eating challenges on that show that is worth $50,000 in my opinion. But, someone I graduated from high school with is the Supervising Producer so I was supporting the cause. Congrats Anthony!
Ok, back to the braids. I also learned too little too late that I should have cut my lengths of twine much longer to make it easier for me to tie them together. Of course I was being
cheap responsible when cutting just the right amount of twine for the braids. But, to attach them to the dresser I just fed the 9 ends of each handle through the existing hole and tied each end in a knot inside the drawer.
TIP!!! In addition to making the lengths of twine longer than you think you’ll need, make them as close to the exact same length as possible. This will make the process of feeding them through the ridiculously small holes more manageable. When all else fails, use a narrow, pointy tipped object to force the suckers through. I used scissors.
As soon as I had the handles finished and put the drawers back in the dresser I knew I needed to change the color. For some reason the drawers just made that hideous detail at the bottom even worse and the green just wasn’t right with the maps. So, without even moving the dresser out of the bedroom, I got my
broom stick straight edge, drew a line from scrolly edge to scrolly edge and jigsawed a straight line. (And yes, I know the Curacao map is on upside down, I address it here.)
Yup, jigsaw was on the move essentials list.
But then when I went to sand the newly cut edge I uncovered a little white primer and had the thought to just distress the whole thing. And I just didn’t want that much
more dust in the bedroom so we needed to move this project outside. Amazing that this little spot of white changed my whole strategy.
So, I flexed my big girl muscles and moved
the big a$$ tv the really cute accessories off the dresser and moved outside. I sanded and re-evaluated and decided to mix a little paint, similar to the lettering color and do a little dry brushing. And when I say a little paint, I only used about a tablespoon or two of my mixture. Dry brushing = time and money saver with the bonus of intentional imperfection. 🙂
I tell you, the combo of distressing, maps and dry brushing just makes this guy seem so well traveled and distinguished. This little spot shows all the layers, I love it.
She definitely brings a little character into our rental bedroom and just plain ol’ makes me smile. Picture me opening the Maine drawer and smiling at the thought of playing soccer at Little Falls field in high school when our high school was getting a face lift. Or reminiscing of some of the fun early memories I have with my husband in and around San Fran when I go to get a tee shirt. Just random goodness.
Here’s a reminder of the before:
And an after.
And the real after.
Yes, we have a large TV in our bedroom. And yes, we have a LARGE dog bed or 2. And yessirree, we have a wad of cords. They are hard to see in the pic, nicely hidden in the shadows. But I’m just keepin’ it real for ya.
But hey, we have a neat dresser now too. How much better is that straight line along the bottom? I love the upgrade.
But, more importantly, what do you think? I’d love to hear.