Wednesday, August 28, 2013

changing table DIY

The changing table project is now complete. finished. DONE! It was a fun labor of love that I will never forget. Of course, Pinterest always shows you these pretty before and after pictures and you think to yourself, "Wow, that looks easy as pie! I can totally do that in a day. While I'm 5 months pregnant. In our garage that feels like a sauna. GREAT IDEA, Becca!"

Whether or not this project was my smartest idea to date, it is finished and turned out just as I had imagined. My nesting instincts really got the best of me on this one, but I couldn't be more proud of how it all turned out. Even Russ was a little hesitant when he saw the old ugly desk I found on Craigslist, but he trusted me to turn it into a treasure and I think he was quite impressed with how it turned out ;)

When looking for changing tables and dressers online and in furniture stores I quickly discovered that they ranged from about $200-$600. We are in serious "baby budget" mode so I decided to go the DIY route and fix up an old dresser to use instead! I started looking in thrift stores and on Craigslist, but never found anything that I loved. Then I had an idea to use an old desk instead of a dresser so that I could put a fun little basket under one side to use for storing blankets or toys. The nursery is pretty small so we are limited on floor space for random baskets and stuff so I decided a desk would be great with one side having drawers and the other side being open for a cute basket or something! I found the old desk on Columbia Craigslist for just $45 and my sweet brother-in-law was kind enough to pick it up for me and bring it down to Charleston the following weekend since he was coming to visit. SCORE! 

I will give a breakdown of the costs at the end, but in all I spent under $100 on this entire project (including the actual desk.)
Here is the documentation of my beloved changing table DIY...

 (This is the picture of the desk from the Craigslist ad.  Once again,
I forgot to take a "before" picture so this one will have to work.)

Step 1: Take out all of the drawers and remove the old ugly hardware.

Step 2: Start sanding your life away. Stop every once in a while for a water break, bathroom break,
or to take a picture of your progress in order to document it for this blog post. haha

Step 3: Wipe down all surfaces to clean off sanding dust (is this even a real term?) and start priming! Once again, taking breaks every .5 seconds to pee, get more water, make a snack, and take an unnecessary amount of pictures because that is much easier than actually working on the project.

Step 4: Take a nap. 
Only kidding. We've got diapers to change, people!
Step 4 foreal- go to Lowes and pick out a million and five different shades of white paint color samples and bring them home and drive your husband crazy trying to explain that all the whites are different and you need h-e-l-p picking the perfect one!

Step 5: Finally decide on a paint color. Hope for the best. Buy a quart of it and get your paint on!
(Forgot to take a picture of the paint, but I bought satin finish because I like a more matte finish than a shiny look)
 *note* these legs were a JOY to sand, prime, and paint...  ha
*also note* paint spilled and smeared all over garage floor. Another fun way to
get your husband super excited about your project...oops!

Step 6: Bring out the sandpaper once again and start distressing. 
I really had no idea what I was doing here and just started randomly sanding in places
until I thought it looked good. There was no real method to my madness at this point.

Step 7: Pick out new hardware! I found some great knobs at Hobby Lobby and waited until they went on sale. Every other week, Hobby Lobby puts stuff on sale for 50% off so if you go to get something and it isn't on sale, just go back the next week.
I should be a spokesperson... I love me some Hobby Lobby!

Step 8: This is totally optional but I taped dryer sheets to the back of all the drawers so they would smell fresh. Since the desk was pretty old it had a little bit of an "old" smell to it. Nothing too bad, but I went ahead and wiped down all the drawers with vinegar and water to clean them and then taped some dryer sheets in each drawer to get it smelling good as new!

Step 9: Drawer liners...I didn't take pictures of this part at all, but I wanted to cover up the inside of the old drawers with something fresh and clean. I bought some fabric that was on sale at Hobby Lobby along with some fabric stiffener to make my own drawer liners. I found an easy tutorial off  Pinterest and followed a DIY for those. Basically you just soak your fabric of choice in the fabric stiffener and water (it is a glue-like mixture) and you lay the fabric out to dry. Once it is dry it should be pretty stiff and you can iron out the wrinkles. Then, just measure the bottoms of your drawers and cut your fabric to fit. I used double-side tape to adhere the fabric liners to the bottom of my drawers.

Step 10: TA-DA!!!!!!!!!!
Sit back and admire your hard work and think about that sweet little hiney you'll soon be wiping here ;)
The wire basket on top is one that I already had (I think from TJ Maxx) and the wire and burlap
basket below was another 50% Hobby Lobby find! I plan to put blankets and/or toys in there.

So there you have it... an ugly old desk turned into Everett's changing table! 
Breakdown of costs:
old desk from Craigslist: $45
wood primer: already had
new white paint: $15
new paintbrush: $10
sandpaper: $4
new knobs: $7
fabric & stiffener for drawer liners: $12
total cost: $93


  1. Make-it-happen Momma! This is absolutely precious. I adore DIY projects. This will make it so much more special for E.

    1. Thanks Hales! I'm so excited with how it turned out!

  2. It looks great!!! My mom does projects like this all the time, but I haven't gotten into it yet. I'm sure her skills will rub off on me soon enough. I may ask for your help too though :)

    1. Thanks Brittany! I am no expert by any means, but I sure do a love turning something old into a brand new piece! I would loveee to help you!

  3. I absolutely love this and love the humor that goes along with it. I just found very similar desk today to get started on this weekend for our newest addition arriving in November. It also helps that my husband does woodworking, so that saves on quite a lot and helps me feel better in the event I royally mess up something. lol
    Thank you for being creative and sharing. :)

  4. amazing :) I'm actually turning my old dresser into a desk too like this! The ides came to me while I was abou tto fall asleep last night

  5. amazing :) I'm actually turning my old dresser into a desk too like this! The ides came to me while I was abou tto fall asleep last night