one, two, buckle my shoe.

Every once in a blue moon someone I know offers me free furniture.  They know that I refresh old furniture, and they just want to get rid of something.  I’m sure those of you who regularly re-do furniture have experienced this phenomenon.  It’s awesome.

Last Saturday a friend dropped off this piece.

freebie before

Not terribly exciting, but kind of sweet and cottage-y.  I knew it would be much better without those drawer pulls.  I know that some people like this style pull, but not me.  I had just stocked up on clear glass knobs, and I knew they would bump up the ‘cute factor’ on this piece.

I took my color inspiration from this sweet white and yellow dresser painted by Janice at Fred and Bessie’s.  Seriously, how darling is this little number?

yellow and white inspiration

So, I pulled out my chalk paint.  I had to do a little custom mixing to get just the pale yellow I wanted, and to be honest the first time around the yellow was too pale for the white stenciled numbers.  So I darkened it up a bit and tried again.  And voila!

pale yellow and white dresser

Dang, but it is cute!  Thank you Janice for the inspiration!

Since my piece had very little detail going for it (unlike the darling dresser that Janice painted), I knew I needed to jazz it up somehow.  I’m a long time fan of the numbered drawer look, so I went with that.  The stenciled numbers help distract from the grooves and dings from the old drawer pulls too (they are there, trust me).

one, two close up angle

I got these stencils from Maison de Stencils, you can order them here.  I used the 6″ by 6″, but they come in a smaller size as well.

I have to tell you that my skills with a drill have come a long way.  I’ve been studying Ken’s technique, and I feel like I did a pretty good job getting these new knobs in place.  However I did not make a template, and I know Ken would have.  I also definitely need a new drill, mine is crap.  I just can’t get the bit tight enough anymore.

I cheated a bit inside the drawers.  You see, I am not a fan of lining drawers.  Not only do I find it putzy to do, but I also feel that a couple of years down the road most types of lining look terrible.  I prefer to leave my drawers unlined, unless they are really awfully stained.  So, sometimes I just put pretty scrapbook paper in drawers and leave it loose.  The future owner of the piece can decide if they want a more permanent solution.  And that is what I did here.

one two inside

That is October Afternoon paper, a company that I adore, which also happens to be local.  Check them out if you haven’t seen their stuff before!

When it came time to stage this baby, I was at a loss at first.  I don’t decorate with much yellow myself, so I didn’t have a lot of yellow props to choose from.  Plus, I felt like this piece is obviously perfect for a nursery, yet I don’t have anything particularly ‘baby like’ on hand either.  I was so wishing that I had snagged one of the fab vintage baby dresses that my friend Sue had at one of our last Carriage House sales, then I could have copied Janice’s idea and hung a baby dress from a knob.

baby dresses

Sue, do you have any left?  Let me know.  Maybe I need one to keep in my prop stash.

But anyway, the more I thought about it, the more things occurred to me … like I had some darling vintage baby shoes that I stashed away for the Carriage House sale.  And some of my vintage tablecloths had the right yellow in them.

one two staging

Adding the green scale and a blue chair in the same pale tones worked well too.

vintage scale with baby shoes

So, there you go.  A good example of what a little paint and some new hardware can do for an old dresser.

yellow and white dresser

Anyone need a darling little dresser for a nursery, or maybe a child’s room?  Or … really, this would be cute in a sun room or anywhere else that you just need a pop of cheery pale yellow.

19 thoughts on “one, two, buckle my shoe.

  1. Cute! And I do like the style of original hardware but not in this reincarnation. (I know that’s a shocker-heehee). I like the glass knobs. I am a big fan of wood knobs. I think wood knobs painted white might work too. Love the way you painted the drawers a contrasting color and then numbered them. I see this in a nursery. I got to hand it to you when I first laid eyes on this,I was like ok, what in the h ll is she going to do make the one a wow piece? Why did I ever doubt you would come up with the perfect solution. Bravo!


    1. I think I had the same feeling when I first laid eyes on it. I have to admit, I really didn’t think it would turn out as cute as it did. Wood knobs would have been good, especially if they had a little extra style, like the knobs that were on this red piece I did.


      1. Such a darling chest. I love red it is one of my favorite colors and those are some spiffy little knobs. Home Depot has a knob that was like a buck the last time I bought it. Comes in two sizes. I used it on the built in cabinets I did for the client’s bathrooms I did last year. I think I sent you a photo. I should have stock in them I buy so many. I think they look original to the era. But it’s just another option the glass ones are great.


  2. Another work of art! I love seeing what you can do to “turn around” a piece and make it more “today” friendly. This was certainly outdated and would have been used purely for function, whereas now, it can be proudly displayed front and center. Good use of your stencils…


  3. Looks even better now than it did in the picture you sent me yesterday. I really like it. I do like the big numbers on it.


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