How to Update a Hand Me Down Dresser

I love gift-wrap and I also love anything and everything having to do with typefaces. So it is no surprise to me that I have had my eye on this vintage typographer gift-wrap ever since Emily over at Jones Design Company posted about it as well as many other pretty papers she uses.

Furniture Makeover Ideas

I wanted to find a way I could use this gift-wrap where I could enjoy the pattern in my daily life instead of only wrapping gifts with it and giving it away.  When I started to update my guest room I got an idea on how I could incorporate it into the room.   The gift-wrap comes in 20” x 28” sheets that cost $4.00 each.  I needed 3 to cover the top of my dresser and the drawer pulls.  You can find it here at


This piece of hand me down furniture looks nice in this photo, but the top and left side have cracks in them. It would need too much work and expense to fix , so I am going to add my own style to it using the gift-wrap and paint.


supplies needed:

Kilz Stain Blocking Primer – Original Formula
Glass Beads –  I got mine at The Dollar Tree
Mod Podge – Matte finish
2″ -angled Purdy brush
Paint roller
Clear Glue – I used Aleene’s Platinum Bond Glass and Bead

My color scheme for the room: white, beige, tan, black, and purple.

I painted the dresser white first. The paint is a mix of whites that I had a bit of each– Sherwin Williams Creamy and Alabaster. I added them together so I would have enough to cover the dresser.    I roughed up the wood just a tiny bit with sandpaper.  Cleaned it up with a tack cloth and then rolled on two coats of Original Kilz stain blocking primer. Kilz comes in a few different formulas, but the Original one is the best in my opinion.   Let that dry and then I applied two light coats of the white paint I mixed together.  I used the best roller I could afford and an angled 2″  Purdy brush to paint the edges of each drawer and the trim on the bottom.

I didn’t like the drawer pulls, but it was not in my budget to buy new ones, so I had to come up with a way to make them more interesting.  I removed them from the dresser, washed and then spray painted them white.


Since the gift-wrap has a tan background, I wanted to add a bit of it into the pulls. They also needed a bit of contrast and I was inspired to add the flat glass beads after seeing glass number knobs at Anthropologie.

1. Cut letters out to the shape of flat glass beads.
2. Use clear glue to attach the cut-outs to the back of flat glass beads.
3.  Glue beads on to center of drawer pulls and let dry.  Rough up edges of pulls with a small piece of sandpaper.
4. Attach to the dresser.


Adhering the Gift wrap:

1.  Use Mod Podge to attach the sheets of gift-wrap to the top of the dresser. I figured out the placement of the gift-wrap first and then spread a thick coat of Mod Podge on the top of the dresser where the first sheet would go.

2.   Line up the paper and leave enough to turn over to the underside of the top.  Lay the sheet on and then use your brush and spread more Mod Podge on top of the paper.

3.  Make sure you press out all the air bubbles.  If you get an air bubble and you can’t remove it. Carefully cut the paper with a mat knife and then use the tip of the knife to hold the paper up so you can get some Mod Podge under the section.  Press it back down and smooth it over. Once it is dry you won’t notice. When using Mod Podge – especially on large pieces you are going to get a few wrinkles, but in this case – they look good  – like leather.   Use your brush or fingers to make sure that the gift-wrap is adhered to the underside of top.

4.  Repeat the process for each sheet of gift-wrap. I had to piece the back section as the sheets were not as deep as my dresser.  On the corners I left the excess hang over and then cut a diagonal line to the corner then turned the excess under and used more Mod Podge to make sure it adhered.


5.  After the first coat of Mod Podge was dry, I added a second coat.






I am thrilled with the way it came out. The most expensive part was the gift-wrap that cost me just under $15 with the shipping.

The glass beads were $1.00 for a pouch filled with them that I found at The Dollar Tree.



To learn how I attached the mirrors above the dresser in a 3D effect. you   You will find it:

How to Create a 3D Mirror Gallery Wall


More Furniture Makeovers:

Before and After Round Table with Woven Strips of Gift wrap

Trash to Dollar Store Treasure Dresser

Or see my Furniture Makeover Project Gallery




  1. Lisa says

    I came across your blog today.. let me tell you. It is ‘awesome’. I love it! The details, so concise, nothing held back and easy to follow. Great job! Keep it up :)

  2. Jenn says

    I did this and I found that spray adhesive won’t bubble the paper. Thanks for the inspiration! I picked up a nice enough bureau from a junk store and turned it into an amazing piece of furniture that I’m just in LOVE with! I put a few coats of Minwax’s Polycrylic on top to seal it. It dries clear, so no yellowing :)

  3. says

    You did a great job on this! I just redid some of our cabinets and old hardware on our drawers and it made such a difference. But I think the paper top is a genius idea!

  4. Kristyn says

    Again another great idea! Question…How easy would it be to change the paper on the dresser top if it became worn??

    • says

      Hi Kristyn – No harder than removing wallpaper from a wall. Wet it well and then let it sit for about 10 minutes, then you can peel it off. A large Spackle knife would be handy to get under the paper when you first start to remove it. Once that is done, it should come off easy. I would sand any residue smooth with a sanding block.

  5. Jill says

    Hi, I am refinishing an old dresser with hardware that looks similar to what’s on this dresser. Recently I was looking at the hardware and it doesn’t appear to be screwed on with regular screws. Since I can’t see the backs of yours to see how they are held in place, I’m not sure how these were held in place on your dresser. But can you tell me how you removed them and just ignore me if they were secured in place with screws.

    • says

      Hi Jill – The pulls were screwed in from the back of the drawer front. Your pulls may be inset – you would have to pry them out of the front. There could also be a backing against the back of the drawer front. See if there is a seam along the top of the drawer that you can pry off to reveal the screws.

  6. says

    Absolutly amazing job !!! I love what you did. Im in the same predicament with my dresser, same size as yours….just what i was looking for!!!! I am inspired….thank you..

  7. says

    I like the way you lightened up and transformed your dresser! I especially like the mirror collage on your wall above the dresser. That is really a great idea!

  8. says

    I love it! It is beautiful! I like how you added the glass beads to the handles that is so creative. I use and paint these same drawer pulls all the time. Thanks or the painting tip!

  9. says

    I like this idea a lot! I have a table that I want to decorate and was looking for inspiration and techniques. Thanks for sharing!!

  10. Taylor C says

    I totally want to do this to my bathroom counter… could I do this? Does anyone know? It’s an ollldddd style counter, I couldn’t tell you what it
    s made out of. But could I use wall paper? Does the Modge Podge make the paper water proof?
    Can someone let me know please? Thank you! :)

    • says

      Hi Taylor – Original Mod Podge will not hold up if the counter gets wet a lot. If it does get wet on a continuous basis, it may wrinkle and or buckle. They have a newer version that is for Outdoor use. It has a green label and is called Outdoor Mod Podge. You can buy it at the crafts store or Walmart. I have not used it on a counter, but have heard good things about it. I would still wipe up any water that gets on the counter after using the sink. It will only help keep the counter looking nice.


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