Shab to fab: dresser redo

Wow, I woke up to quite the following!  Thanks everyone for the support 🙂  I have a quick post for you, I’m sorry but I didn’t think to take pics of my work in progress.  Hopefully you’ll think that the finished product will make up for my rookie error!

So, what do you do when your dad cleans out your grandmother’s basement, and finds a grocery bag full of wooden rulers???  Give up?  Why, you top a dresser with them, of course!  🙂  My gram was moved into a nursing home last summer, and my dad had the task of trying to clean out the house and get it ready to sell.  My oh my… she had LOTS of stuff!  Dad wasn’t sure what to do with all the rulers, and he knows my crafty leanings 🙂 so he handed them over to me, and just said “put them to good use!”  Oh… Dad… I will not disappoint!! My grandfather worked for a time as a delivery man for the Wonder Bread company.  So all these rulers were Wonder Bread rulers.

I took a big handful and laid them out, grabbed some blue stain (I had several small containers of colored stain from various projects… this particular blue was a tube of Minwax) and stained some of the rulers blue.  Some of them I wiped off a good portion of the blue, leaving them with a lighter tint, and some of them were left dark. I repeated this process with green stain, red stain, a purply- “bordeaux” color, and a dark brown.  Oh, and I left some of them the original honey stained wood. Next, I used hubby’s chop saw to cut them into various lengths.  I wanted random.

The dresser I had set aside for this was a hot mess I got on Craigslist for $20.  The top was all janky, some of the top layer of veneer had come off… but of course not evenly.  Enter me and a hammer and chisel, scraping off the top layer to make sure it was even enough to lay down the rulers.  That part sucked. Once the top was ready, I started to lay out the ruler pieces, in random color and length, and when I had about four rows all laid out, I started gluing individual pieces down with plain old Gorilla wood glue.  The final piece on each row had to be cut to fit, so I set aside a pile and numbered them on the bottom (so I wouldn’t get them mixed up when putting them on after they got cut!), and took them to get cut to size.  (I just made a pencil mark on them where they needed to be cut.)

You’ve been so patient, reading all this without any pics!  Here’s a close-up of the top:


Sah-weet, right?!  🙂 After the top was done, I painted the rest of the dresser using leftover paint I had.  The front was done in a light sea-blue-green color, and the sides I painted gray.  Then I took some stain and rubbed it on like glaze, and wiped it off.  My goal here was to age the sides since the top was obviously not going to look brand-new, what with 50 year-old rulers on it!

As with most janky Craigslist finds, the pulls were gross (of course one was broken and one was missing altogether), so I grabbed the pulls I had bought from Pick Your Plum a LONG time ago (knowing I would put them to use at some point!).  They’re birds.  I’m still trying to decide if this is just too much “stuff” for this dresser, I feel like they’re okay for now, and I’ll come across the perfect pulls someday 🙂  Oh, and I only had 7 of these pulls and needed 8.  Of course.  So after looking online for the EXACT match, I just settled for a random bird pull from World Market.  Honestly, I love the odd-man-out.  It’s imperfect, just like life, and just like me!

Finished product!

photo (20)

Here’s another close-up of the top.  You know, they aren’t 100% “flat” rulers, but I’m using this in our living room as a sort of catch-all for the boys’ stuff.  Mostly stuff they use during the school year.  So it may have a candleholder or something on top, eventually.  But for now, I really just like seeing those sweet little reminders of my grandfather, and my grandmother, and my sweet (18)


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