We gave an old office flat file new dimension by turning it into a pretty patterned sewing chest. The drawers are ideal for long, flat items like stacks of fabric and quilting stencils. We painted the fronts with stencils to look like calico and damask, then labeled them with whimsical phrases using stamps.
Plaid FolkArt Acrylic Paint, 2 oz. of each of the following colors
Cardinal Red #414
Lemon Custard #735
Wicker White #901
Pure Orange #628
Fresh Foliage #954
Sterling Blue #441
Plaid FolkArt Glazing Medium #991, 2 oz.
Plaid FolkArt Waterbase Varnish, Satin Finish #792, 8 oz.
Crafter’s Workshop Doodle Template, Swirly Q’s #TCW85, 12”x12”
Crafter’s Workshop Doodle Template, Paisley Swirl #TCW88, 12”x12”
StenSource Balmoral Border #TE9010
StenSource Assorted Swirls #BD301
Plaid Simply Stamps Foam Fancy Alphabet #58858
1” Uppercase Alphabet Foam Stamps
Making Memories Gabby Alphabet Foam Stamps
1½” sponge brush
small acrylic paintbrush
sandpaper, 120 grit
1. Remove the drawers and sand the surface of the dresser and drawer fronts with 120-grit sandpaper. Wipe clean. Upend all the drawers so the drawer fronts face up. Then prime the surfaces with a coat of Wicker White paint.
2. Paint the top drawer with two coats of Pure Orange paint. Let dry completely between coats. Stencil a layer of swirls using the Fresh Foliage paint and the Crafter’s Workshop Swirly Q’s template. For best results, press the stencil edges down with your finger tips and dab the paint on with the foam brush using an up and down motion. Wash and dry the stencil after painting each design, not just after each color. When the paint is dry, stencil a second layer of swirls using the same template and the Parchment paint. Rotate the stencil to create a random design.
3. To label the orange drawer, use the Fancy Alphabet Foam Stamps and Teal paint. Start by finding the center of the drawer front with the yardstick. Lay the yardstick across the bottom of the drawer front to use as a guideline to stamp the letters in a straight line. Start stamping at the center and work your way out to the left and the right so the text is centered on the drawer. In this case, the phrase “Oceans of Notions” has 17 letters and spaces and the center letter is the “F”, so start with that letter. To prevent messy stamping, apply the paint to the surface of the stamp using the foam paintbrush rather than pressing the stamp into a puddle of paint.
3. Paint the middle drawer with two coats of Teal paint, letting each coat dry before moving on. Using the Assorted Swirls Stencil, paint three swirls in Shamrock, three swirls in Fresh Foliage, and three swirls in Green.
4. To label the teal drawer, use the 1” Uppercase Alphabet Stamps and Midnight paint. Stamp the phrase “The Fabric of My Life” across the drawer front.
5. Paint the bottom drawer Lemon Custard and let dry. Give it a second coat and a third if needed. Find the center of the drawer front. Place the Balmoral Border stencil on the left side, between the left edge of the drawer font and the center of the drawer front. Paint with Sterling Blue and let dry. Repeat on the right side of the drawer.
6. Label this drawer using the Gabby Alphabet and Cardinal Red Paint. Stamp the phrase “And Buttons & Bows” and let dry. To make the letters pop, add a drop shadow using the Midnight blue paint and the small acrylic paintbrush.
7. Paint the outside of the chest Cardinal red. Let dry and paint a second coat if needed. Using the Crafter’s Workshop Paisley Swirl template and Lemon Custard paint, stencil swirls on the top and sides of the chest. Rotate the template periodically. Let dry. Mix 4 parts of the Glazing Medium with 1 part Pure Orange paint to create a tinted glaze. Apply the glaze over the red paint and paisley swirls. Let dry.
6. To protect the finish, paint the drawer fronts and the chest with a coat of varnish.
A Stitch In Time: To save time, paint all the drawer fronts first, then do all the stenciling, followed by the stamping. This way one drawer can be drying while you work on the next.