DIY Dresser Makeover

DIY Dresser Makeover with Fabric from Ikea

Ikea DresserOne of the easiest and cheapest ways of fixing up and old dresser or making a piece of furniture unique is by using fabric.   Find out how in this DIY Dresser Makeover tutorial!

I looked everywhere for a tall, stand-up dresser and, alas I found a cheap, unfinished pine dresser at Ikea.  I also picked up some fun fabrics at Ikea for the project as well. The only other tools I needed to complete this project were an ordinary stapler and a little bit of paint (which I already had).

The easiest way to cover a dresser in fabric is to take everything apart and start from scratch (I bought mine new so this was not an issue). I also measured the areas I needed to cover in fabric and bought extra just in case, which I have since used for different projects.
I started with the red and white striped fabric, which covers both sides and the top of the dresser.   

DIY Dresser Makeover with Fabric from Ikea

To measure, I laid each individual piece of wood on top of the fabric so the stripes were horizontal and cut about three inches extra around each piece of wood. The next step was easy—I flipped the pieces of wood over and carefully folded the excess fabric over the back of the wood and stapled it down. 


Next were the drawers of the dresser. This part was a little tricky, as the fabric was patterned, and I wanted to make it so that when the drawers were all closed, you could see the pattern. For this part, I needed to be very precise. 


I laid all the wooden fronts of the drawers down on the fabric in order from top drawer to bottom drawer.  I left very little space between drawers (probably three inches) so that once they were all covered, the pattern would be revealed. After I cut out the fabric for each individual drawer front, I carefully folded the fabric over the back of the wood and stapled it down.  


Then I put the entire dresser together and covered the legs with fabric (again, using a stapler). I wanted to add a pop of colour, so I painted the dresser knobs teal and screwed them into the wooden fronts of the drawers. 


It took a lot of time and hard work, but I now have a beautiful, one-of-a-kind dresser and it didn’t break the bank! 


Sarah is currently studying Anthropology at McMaster University.  She enjoys up-cycling, creating customized furniture, decorative furniture painting and any do-it-yourself projects, big or small. She is passionate about creative sustainability, by breathing new life into items destined for the land-fill. 


  1. WendyLady33 says

    Well done! I have a very old table and chairs that were very rundown when i got them but after a lot of work sanding, staining and re-upholstery i now have a beautiful dark wood table with matching chairs with dark burgundy seats. All it cost me was 80$

  2. says

    This is so nice and I love the fact of taking a nice piece of furniture and redesigning it to something unique.. Love the design and pops of colour. It certainly is a focal piece. I love it!

  3. says

    I love this! I have been looking for a way to update our dresser because it is old (not antique) and it drives me nuts! I will look into making our dresser look this good!

  4. Sylvia Zajis says

    This dresser turned out great. I am going to be redoing one with mod podge instead of staples since I can’t really take mine apart without fear that it will fall apart for good…lol. I am trying to redo the house in garage sale finds on a budget. 😉

  5. Darlene says

    wow!! That is stunning. My teenage daughter was standing beside me when I loaded this article, she is in love and wants to give her dresser a makeover! This is a neat idea! Thank you for sharing.

  6. Karen S. says

    Nice concept, but it’s a bit loud for my tastes. Yo each her own, though. Thanks for the tip, using something more my style, this is a great option for me.

  7. angie smith says

    WOW this is one of the most impressive DIY dresser’s I’ve seen. They are always plain but this is so funky & FUN!!

  8. ginette4 says

    Wow, love the makeover, what a great conversation piece! A dresser covered with material I would never thought of that, oh the leopard print fabric that I have would look awesome on my old dresser, thank you for sharing

  9. Elizabeth Matthiesen says

    you did an amazing job with the dresser. You’d never think it was one from Ikea now! I think it was also a super idea to add painted dresser knobs in teal, really does add that little extra. A job well done, I take my hat off to you!

  10. jessica s says

    so pretty!!!!! Ikea furniture is great in so many ways, but a spruce up can definitely make the pieces more interesting. great job!

  11. Karen S. says

    I love the concept, but I’d have to go with a different fabric. The leopard spots are a little too loungey for me… but a nice linen might be pretty…

  12. Cheryl Grandy says

    I have an old dresser that needs to be refinished somehow. I hadn’t thought of using fabric. Thanks for explaining how you did this. I really does make a unique piece of furniture!

  13. Deb Dorrington says

    Wow it looks awesome, I love what you did. I have a dresser that really needs a new look and using fabric would be something totally different. Thank you for posting this and giving a tutorial on how to do it..

  14. Carissa Joslyn says

    i love this. I need to do something with my book case, this i an awesome way to bring some of your own personality out in furniture!

  15. Elva Roberts says

    I love what was done to the dresser to ‘Jazz’ it up. It is certainly one of a kind. Kudos!

  16. Anna W says

    Wow I love this. I have a couple of the plain jane ikea dressers in my house that could defiantly use a makeover like this.

  17. Elva Roberts says

    I think Sarah did an amazing makeover on her dresser. It will be unique and one of a kind…. She makes it look so easy, but I think it took planning, patience and a lot of time and effort. Kudos, Sarah!

  18. E says

    What a creative idea! I love all different kinds of fabric, and this is a great way to jazz up a plain dresser! Thanks for sharing!

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