Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Card Catalog Look-a-like September 3, 2013

My sister and I both separately pinned this beauty a few months back:

library card catalog example

We both wanted to do this project created by Kristine at Painted Hive right away, but when we went to purchase the drawers from IKEA we learned that they no longer sell that set in the United States.  What the heck!?  We were heartbroken, but kept the pin on our boards and promised ourselves that if we ever found a similar drawer set we would purchase it for each other.  Then at the end of July we were planning to hike up to Crystal Lake for an event my cousin was involved in.  My sister texted me that afternoon and told me we would be running an errand on the way up there, but not to worry, I would be ‘very thankful for it’.  I could not for the life of me figure out what she was talking about, so when she filled me in that she had found someone selling two of the IKEA Moope drawer sets on Craigslist, I freaked out!  What are the chances that someone would be selling not one, but TWO of these and on top of it we would be driving within a few miles of the Craiglister the day after she found them.  It was fate!

MaterialsWe picked them up for $10 each and got to work after the weekend.  We followed Kristine’s directions pretty closely, but I will add in our two cents and what we learned as we went along.  Below is a list of all the materials you will need:

Wooden drawers- preferably raw wood
Stain of your color preference
Clean cloths for staining
Disposable gloves
Paint or foam brushes
Danish Oil
Drawer Pulls
Nails (not pictured)

round corners

We removed the drawers from the shelves, turned the drawers around so we were working on the side with no hole in it, and proceeded to sand down the corners on each drawer.  It doesn’t seem like a huge difference, but it helps the piece to look more worn and authentic.


We dusted off all the sawdust and got to work staining the drawers and then the actual shelving unit.  We both wanted the wood to be pretty dark so we let the stain sit about 10 minutes before wiping the excess stain off.  I also want to point out that we stained the inner sections of the shelving unit so that when you pull out a drawer it doesn’t look unfinished.  However, we did not stain the bottom of the drawers or back side.  We didn’t want to use more stain than necessary!

staining details

drying stain

We let these dry for two days and then we applied the Danish Oil to the shelving units and all the drawers.  I was a bit skeptical if this ridicuously expensive product ($18 per bottle) would make any difference, but I shouldn’t have been.  Just take a look at the picture below and decide for yourself whether or not to use it.  All you have to do is take a clean cloth, dab it in the oil and rub it on the stained wood.  The pieces needed to dry for a day and then we were good to go for nailing the handles in.


Look at that shine…it’s almost like the wood is glowing!

My sister ordered brass drawer pulls for both of us from an Etsy seller and we paid a reasonable $1.45 per pull (including shipping).  No offense to the hardware stores, but everything they offered was way overpriced!  We were very excited to add the final touch to our drawers.  What we did not know is that this would be the hardest part of the whole project.  Seems silly, but it is awkward to make sure the pulls stay straight while you drive the nails in.  And to top it off, this wood is apparently very difficult to nail into.  We used a ruler’s width as our guide and got to work nailing in three nails per pull.  I’ll take a moment to remind you that this was super frustrating and took me way longer than I thought it would.  Just look at all the nails I bent in the process:


The nails that we used did poke out into the inside of the drawers.  You could cut or file them down so you don’t poke yourself later or just be mindful when you use the drawers.  Of course, in the end I am in love and so thankful to my sister for finding us some drawers to work with as well as gathering all the materials we needed (especially the drawers!). All I did was provide a work space and a little experience with stain.  Here it is:


I just have to tell a quick little story that I’m hoping some of you DIYers can relate to. After we secured the drawers, I was telling the story to someone at work and I got to the end of the story (clearly thrilled at the prospect of this project) and the person asked me what I was going to put in the drawers. I laughed said I had no idea whatsoever!  The point was, I was going to have pretty drawers to display, and I’m sure I’ll figure out what to put in them later.  So there you have it- sometimes the thrill of the project takes over and all practicality goes out the window!  Now please tell me I’m not the only one.


2 Responses to “Card Catalog Look-a-like”

  1. […] and vintage they look.  Those went on the very bottom shelf.  The next shelf up I left my card catalog drawers where they were and added my yarn trees with the blue and champagne color scheme.   I kept the […]

  2. […] Vintage Soft Tees Blanket Crate- Hmm just realized I never posted about this! Ombre Bracelet Card Catalog Look-a-like Bathroom Art Ugly […]

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