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Woven Drawer Front Nightstand Makeover

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If you like the fresh look of woven, cane webbing for rattan drawer or door fronts on furniture you will like this very budget-friendly furniture makeover. It is easy and doesn’t require any paint or power tools. The best part is it can cost as little as $10 and be completed in an hour or two.

This DIY cane webbing furniture hack all started when I simply wanted to cover the yellowing/darkening clock motif lining I added years ago to the white wood tray that is on my nightstand.

clock motif on night table tray

I was going to make this post an Insta-Style post about the makeover of the tray only, but you know how it is when one idea blossoms into another.

white night table with drawers in blue and white bedroom
My nightstand – BEFORE

I realized what I had planned to do to the tray, I could also do on the drawer fronts of the small chest of drawers I call my nightstand. It is still a fast and easy furniture makeover, but no longer instant.

The Cane & Rattan Fronted Furniture Trend

When decorating, trends can make our homes look refreshed. They are exciting and new. We all like that. But the downside of trends is that they go out of style as fast as they came in.

When I add a decorating trend, I like to find ways to add the trend to my decor in a small way. This is what I did with my nightstand.

I mentioned yesterday that I am not a fan of reeded wood furniture, but I do like furniture that is wrapped or fronted with woven materials using wicker, caning, raffia, jute, rattan, or rush.

What is the difference between wrapped raffia and cane furniture. Here you can see
1 | 2 | 3 | 4| 5

These durable fibers are being used on everything from bed frames, dressers, consoles, chairs to smaller decorative items.

Serena-and-Lily-raffia-wrapped-furniture-close-up
Serena & Lily

I especially like the look of woven raffia on furniture like this chic nightstand above (Serena & Lily – $998.00). It is an example of the wrapped raffia technique. The frame has been covered with woven raffia by hand and then coated with a clear lacquer.

What I don’t like about this nightstand is the price tag. With a little determination, I found a way to get the high-end look for a whole lot less.

What I Used to Create DIY Woven Front Dresser Drawers for Less

What makes the makeover of my nightstand so easy to do is making use of inexpensive, ready-made woven table placemats that you can buy online or at HomeGoods, TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

Close up of a blue and tan woven place mats

This style of woven vinyl placemats come in a variety of colors and cost about $10 for a set of 6. Their sizes can vary, but most are around 13″ x 19″. They are made of vinyl, making them easy to wipe clean.

This easy DIY woven front furniture makeover works well on nightstands or on pieces of furniture that are smaller in scale as the size of a woven placemat will fit the width or height needed to cover a drawer front, tray or table top.

For larger pieces of furniture, the placemats will work when covering dresser drawers that have a smaller recessed area on the center of each drawer front. The placemat size may fit these recessed areas on some styles of dresser or cabinet drawers.

If you have a larger piece of furniture and really like the woven raffia front or wrapped look, consider using one of these two options that come in wider widths:

How to Makeover a Plain Piece of Furniture to Have Woven Drawer Fronts

Woven front dresser drawers that you can make using placemats.
My nightstand – AFTER

This small chest of drawers was a hand-me-down from Ed’s grandparents. It is a handmade piece with some quirks. It has also had a few layers of paint in its past, but I have always loved it. When I found the tray fit perfectly on top a few years ago, the two pieces now look like one.

placemat in tray on woven drawer fronted nightstand

Total Cost of Makeover: $10.00

I didn’t have to paint my nightstand, but if you have a piece of furniture that needs painting. Let the paint dry a few days before adding the woven placemats to ensure they will adhere.

supplies needed:

  • Woven vinyl placemats – see color resources at the end of the post
  • Spray adhesive
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife

Time needed: 2 hours.

Budget Furniture Makeover: How to Add Woven Fronts to Dresser Drawers Using Woven Table Placemats

  1. Measure Drawer Fronts


    Remove each drawer and measure the width and height of each.

    Use large scissors to cut a piece of the placemat that is slightly larger than the measurements. You want to have a little excess to make sure you get a perfect fit. Once the placemat is fitted on the drawer front, you can cut any excess away.

    Cutting placemat to size of drawer front

  2. Apply Spray Adhesive


    Go outside and spray the front of the drawer with an even coat of spray adhesive making sure to get the edges and corners. Do the same on one side of the cut piece of the placemat.

    IMPORTANT: For the best bond, make sure to spray both the surface of the drawer as well as the mat. When both surfaces have adhesive on them creates a very solid bond that will last.

    TIP: Use a large piece of cardboard to cover the inside of the drawer when spraying. This will keep adhesive overspray from getting into the drawer.

    applying spray adhesive to the front of a drawer for a woven front furniture makeover

  3. Add Placemat

    Line up the placemat on the drawer front adhesive side down. Make sure the weave is running straight and even with the top of the drawer and is covering the sides. Then run your hand firmly over the placemat to make sure every part of it is sticking to the front of the drawer.

    smoothing out placemat on drawer front

  4. Trim Excess

    Using a craft knife, lay the drawer face down on a cutting surface. Working from the under side of the drawer, tilt the drawer a little towards you and then run the blade of the knife right against the edge of the drawer to remove the excess placemat. Repeat for the other edge.

    Repeat this process for each drawer.

    Let the adhesive dry before placing the drawers back into the dresser.

    If you find a corner or edge of a placemat is not sticking to a drawer, apply some fast tack glue on a small paint brush and run it under the area to get the glue under the placemat. Then press the area with your hand to ensure adhesion.
    cutting excess placemat from drawer

  5. Attach Knobs or Pulls


    Use an awl from the inside of the drawer and poke through to the front of the drawer so you can see where the hole is for each knob.

    Place the tip of the awl into this hole on the face side of the drawer and wiggle it around to make the hole big enough to fit the knob screw.

    Place knobs on and secure.
    How-to-attach-drawer-handles-on-woven-drawer-front-dresser

  6. Optional Steps


    I placed the original knobs back on to my nightstand, but before I did I wanted to remove the rust color on the screw heads to expose the chrome color underneath.

    To do this I used a wire brush on my Dremel Multi-Use Tool. It is my favorite tool and does so many things that make DIY’ing possible. :-)

    Dremel Mulit-Use tool wire brush to remove aged rust on drawer knob screws.

  7. How to Make a Woven Liner for a Tray


    Lay the placemat into the tray. Fold excess and mark with pencil.

    how to line a tray with woven material

  8. Cut Placemat


    Use scissors to cut placemat to size.

    Cut placemat to size with scissors

  9. Place in Tray

    placemat in tray on woven drawer fronted nightstand

Looking down on woven raffia look furniture makeover

Clock | Rug | Pom-Pom Dust Ruffle | Plaid Comforter

Small chest of drawers made over using table placemats to create the look of high end woven raffia furniture.

Woven Placemat Resources:

If beige is not your color, look at the variety of placemat colors I found that you can use to transform a small item or piece of furniture in your home.

A selection of woven vinyl placemat colors

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You May Also Like:

Woven front furniture makeover after. Text overlay says DIY Woven Front Dresser

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89 Comments

  1. Good heavens, Diane! This is so high end looking! I don’t know how you do it, my friend, but this is spectacular. I’m looking all around my house to see where I can try this,lol. ? Thanks for such an amazing idea!

  2. That looks fantastic! You never cease to amaze me with your projects! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  3. Oh, Diane. I just knew I probably wasn’t going to like this. LOL, but I LoVe the way it turned out!!! So pretty and fresh looking and very gender-neutral. As a rule, I’m just not crazy about this type of drawer fronts or inserts, etc, especially when it’s a high contrast color combo like white base and walnut fronts. But this one is quite nice, easy on the senses and complements the room as opposed to screaming for attention. Good job….very good job! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Sharon – Thanks :-) The idea for this came on a whim. Sometimes these ideas/projects come out better than ones that are planned and every detail thought out.