DIY & more, homeschool

Old Chest of Drawers = Craft Supply Center

I’m trying to make our home more creativity-encouraging.

Part of my plan involves providing plenty of art and craft supplies — and making it easy to find things, and easy to put them away! A major step towards that goal was finding a chest of drawers to store art/craft supplies neatly but out of sight (because I become a crazy lady with too much clutter). I had some particular ideas in mind for how it would look; I’m extremely visual, so things have to be pretty.

But it also had to be budget-friendly. So I went searching and found an old chest of drawers on craigslist for $25. It’s probably old enough to be “antique” but let’s just call it old because that’s how it looked. Beat up and old. My mom drove out with me to get it; she’s almost always up for a little jaunt like that, which is one of the many reasons I love her!

old furniture before

Craft supply center: refurbishing step by step.

Ken repaired a drawer that fell apart, and I set to work sanding it. This thing had been quite a few colors in it’s lifetime. I joked that I was turning into the Hulk because I was covered in green paint particles. {Maybe I looked more like the Jolly Green Giant — except smaller.}

sanding in process

The next day, I went Home Depot-ing and bought a quart of paint for my little chest of drawers. I wanted grey, but not too dark, and a shade that didn’t lean too far toward any other color as some greys can do. I ended up with one called “pewter mug” by Glidden. I also bought cheap new knobs for the drawer fronts. The old ones were pretty, but not the look I wanted. And I know from experience that those kinds of drawer pulls make obnoxious rattly noises when you open and close other drawers!

I wanted each drawer numbered. Ken and Lindsey mostly humor me with whatever crazy ideas I have, but Kathryn wasn’t convinced that this would look good. I found a few examples on Pinterest to help explain what I wanted to do. Like this and this and this. She agreed, on the condition that she could help me with it.

I chose the font I wanted for my numbers, and printed them on cardstock. Then I used my handy dandy craft knife to cut out the numbers and make my own little stencils.

making stencils

Because I know that old furniture is sometimes a little warped and persnickety, Kathryn helped me figure out which slots which drawers fit into, and then we lightly attached the number stencils with double-sided tape.

attaching stencils

We’d given it a day to dry in the garage, so we were ready to paint on our numbers. I already had flat black spray paint, but I didn’t want to spray them because it’s hard to control over-spray and I didn’t want to tape off everything. Too much trouble. So I sprayed a little paint into a make-shift aluminum foil tray, and used a sponge brush to sponge-paint the numbers onto the drawers. Kathryn painted some of them herself. We pulled off the stencils, and after the paint had thoroughly dried, I lightly sanded to give them more of an aged look.

painted drawers

Kathryn attached our new knobs, and our project was done!
I’m excited this project came out precisely how I wanted it.

craft supply chest of drawers

Now I’m working on organizing our nifty new craft supply center, and we’re making a running list of art and craft supplies to buy.

Yay, creativity!

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looks great Jamie!


That looks great! I keep looking for some old dressers to refinish, but people around here are crazy and want $100 for something decrepit that I can buy brand new for less.

Carol Anne

What a wonderful idea! Planning to use it in my ‘office’ redo!

Susan Lea

Hi, Jamie! I found your blog through a Linky on Homeschool Creations (to this post: I’m researching the best way to get bookshelves in the attic space that we’re turning into Narnia for our grandchildren. I home-schooled our kids at different times in the US, Africa and France where we were missionaries. The 600 or so books we carted all over the globe so our kids could read English books have been waiting in boxes since we moved to this house four years ago. We’re finally building in the attic, turning it into Narnia where the GKs will go… Read more »


Yay is right! Love the dresser, and your workspace is so warm and inviting too:) Looks like the perfect place for creativity!


[…] An old dresser with lots of drawers turned into a craft supply center for one blogger.  She how she refurbished the dresser and added numbers at See Jamie Blog. […]

Stefanie Waters

I love this idea!! Our craft area definitely needs some help. We recently organized it a bit and it was so nice to know where everything is. But I love the dresser idea, keeps some of the supplies hidden. Great post.


I love this idea that you make a number to a drawer and its such a nice post about that .