DIY Stenciled Dressers

The final touch for the bohemian master bedroom redesign was a makeover for the dressers. These mission style dressers are in perfect condition and meet the client’s needs. However, the darker stain wasn’t ideal for the light and airy vibe in their new boho room.

There are some ways to makeover wood furniture; you can paint, cover with wallpaper, and stencil, to name a few. After weighing out the options, we went with stenciling a tribal batik pattern only on the drawers of each dresser.

The pattern is perfect for this boho room, and the creamy white colored design brightens the dark wood just enough. We could have also painted the top piece the creamy white or even the entire frame, but we were conservative and subtle with our makeover approach.

Stenciling takes time and patience. It’s not a great project if you’re looking for immediate satisfaction, but the results can be stunning. Here are some times from my experience stenciling these dressers:

  • Number the drawers. I used a piece of painter’s tape inside the drawer to write the number, then I drew a sketch of the dresser and indicated each drawer’s number on the sketch. This will help you to easily put the drawers back in order – especially with the continual pattern we used.
  • Keep the hardware in order. After removing each drawer handle, I lined them up in the same order so that they could be placed back onto the same drawer.
  • Use painters tape to attach your stencil. The painters tape holds well and removes easily.
  • Paint a few drawers at a time. I used some books underneath the drawers to make them lay flat and sturdy. I lined up as many drawers that fit inside the stencil. This saves time and keeps the pattern continual.
  • Use as little as paint as possible. If the paint is too thick, it will run behind the stencil and could ruin your design. I used a towel to lift extra paint, but even then I sometimes experienced extra paint.
  • Use a sponge roller for large stencils. The roller will help keep the paint evenly distributed and covers a larger portion than a small dabbing sponge.
  • Make sure to let the paint dry before removing the stencil – or be very careful.
  • Use a craft acrylic paint. There are so many colors these days to choose from, it dries quickly, and it’s inexpensive.
  • When you seal the stenciled design, either spray or apply with one swipe of a brush. The seal will smear or even remove your design. If you don’t seal the design, it can get scratched off or worn off. Save all your hard work and just seal it with a water-based polyurethane. If you don’t have a light touch for painting, get a spray can of it instead.
  • Be sure to follow the instructions on the can of polyurethane – you want the coats to fully dry and cure before using and installing the hardware.

This awesome stencil is offered by Royal Stencils on Etsy.com. This shop includes helpful instructions and delivers a high-quality stencils. They have dozens of designs to chose from.

Here are more posts you may enjoy!
Macrame wall hanging
DIY pallet headboard
DIY boho inspired jewelry display
Bohemian style at Walmart
Bohemian style from Amazon
Boho plant shelf

DIY bohemian pallet headboard

I quickly realized that this bohemian inspired master bedroom design needed a headboard – the macramé wall hanging looks great, but a headboard anchors the bed and everything around it (wall art, shelving, hanging plants, even nightstands). My inspiration came from another DIY project I had just completed (check out the accent wall here) and I was so excited to build this headboard that I skipped my treasured Saturday morning sleeping in to get started on it.

Driving to Lowe’s and selecting the pine boards took longer than putting the headboard together. This DIY is so easy, and even fun. The impact of this simple organic headboard completes the boho room design and looks so beautiful with the other elements!

Tools
Six-foot pallet (I cut up a 10’ pallet – but a four foot could work)
Jig saw (if you need to cut your pallet)
Hammer (to remove pallet boards from the front and even a few from the back to lighten it)
Sand paper (if necessary)
Brad nail gun
Measuring tape or ruler
One 3” x 8’ select pine board – header board for a finished look
Five 1.5” x 8’ select pine boards
Eight 2.5” x 8’ select pine boards

My pallet was about 40” tall. Depending on the height of your pallet, may affect the number of horizontal boards you need. I started with the three-inch header board and then used a small – big – big pattern. Small meaning the 1.5” boards, and big meaning the 2.5” boards. You can use any pattern you like.

Instructions

  1. Prepare the back-side of your pallet – Cut the backside pallet boards to the desired width. I used a six-foot wide base for a king-size bed.
  2. Prepare the front-side of your pallet – Use a hammer to gently pull pallet boards off of the front side. These boards will be replaced with the select pine boards.
  3. If necessary, sand any rough spots on the pallet boards.
  4. Prepare the pine boards – remove the price tags and staples from the end. Lay your pine boards out in the order of your pattern. I made sure to pick the best side of each board before installation. Tip: When you’re purchasing your boards, try to avoid bowed or marked boards.
  5. Use the brad nail gun to attach the header board. I used eight-foot long pine boards, so there was one foot of board extending past the pallet on each side. Measure both sides and line up the top header board before placing a brad nail in the center of the vertical pallet board.
  6. Use one of the small pine boards as a spacer board in between each pine board. This creates a .75” space between the boards. It’s the perfect amount of space visually and it’s convenient to use one of your existing boards.
  7. With your pine boards lined up in your desired pattern – place your spacer board against the top header board and line up your next pine board. Place one brad nail in the center of the board – you can glance at the header board to line up your nails. Then remove the spacer board and use it between the next two boards.

    Tip: Pine boards aren’t an exact eight feet long – they may be a hair off – so I used a ruler to line up the boards on the side of the headboard that would be seen the most.
  8. Once all your boards are attached – your done… almost!
  9. You can use sandpaper to touch any rough edges on the pine boards, but this isn’t necessary.
  10. DO NOT pick up the headboard by the pine boards – brad nails are not strong enough to leverage the weight. You must always handle the pallet boards to pick up, move, and install this headboard design.
  11. Installation is up to you. You may not want it attached to the wall – just pressed between your bed frame and wall. Or you may have a different way to attach it, but I used French cleats to hang the headboard onto the wall. I used small pieces of 2 x 4’ boards and cut one side at a 45 degree angle (after Jeremy showed me how to angle the mitre saw – that was scary and fun).
  12. If you use French cleats, be sure to screw them into your wall studs – pre-drill the cleats and the wall, and use wood screws.
  13. Then simply reach into your headboard to lift it from the pallet boards and hang on the cleats. Install the cleats at the height you desire. I opted for a low profile look and left the headboard an inch from the ground.
I marked where to cut my pallet – evenly on both sides so that the vertical supports were symmetrical.
I just used a jigsaw because this side of the pallet faces the wall.
Then I removed extra horizontal boards to lighten the total weight. I left boards that I would need to install the headboard to the wall.
This shot is upside down, but it shows the base cut, sanded, and lightened.
Be sure to lay out your pine boards in the pattern you want – checking each board to make sure you know what side you want face up. Then use the .75″ width as your space between each board and line up the ends.
I used French cleats to hang the headboard on the wall. A French cleat is a piece of 2×4″ board that has one end cut at a 45 degree angle. I pre-drilled the cleat and wall after finding the studs and measuring the correct height to match the board on the pallet. The 45 degree angle should face the wall. Be sure that both cleats are even so that your headboard isn’t crooked.
All done and installed! You can see the fourth board from the bottom is bowed a little, but luckily the bed will cover it.

This was a seriously easy DIY headboard and the style works with so many décor styles. I love the versatility of the design, the organic casual look, and how affordable it is. I really hope you’re inspired to take on that DIY project you’ve been thinking about. The best thing about DIY is that you learn as you go and you gain confidence for the next idea that comes to mind.

I would love to hear your comments, see your projects, or have you share this post with others to help me spread the word! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Here are more posts you may enjoy!
Macrame wall hanging
Bohemian inspired shelf with plants
Boho jewelry display
DIY boho stenciled dressers
Bohemian style at Walmart
Bohemian style from Amazon

Macrame Wall Hanging – creating a bohemian bedroom

There is definitely something special about the trending bohemian style, and I had the opportunity to redecorate a master bedroom with boho flare. I especially love how this style can be done in all neutrals or with bright and bold colors – it’s incredibly versatile.

I think one of the main things that elevates a well-designed room is when there is something unconventional, handmade, or repurposed. Anything unique can really bring a look together.

In this master bedroom design, I wanted an amazing focal point above the bed. So, I took a shot at macramé. This is sort of crazy to me because I can remember being very young (like 5 years old) watching my mom make macramé plant holders. Oh, and when I was in middle school and hemp bracelets were popular, she taught me a few knots so that I could make bracelets for my friends. And here I am, at it again!

I’m one of those people who looks at something and thinks, “Can I just make it myself?” So, when I found several beautiful Pinterest pins with macramé wall hangings over beds, I knew I could do it, but wasn’t sure if I wanted to. I quickly came to a decision after finding out that large macramé wall hangings can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand dollars – and worth every penny for the time involved. I knew that I had to at least try to make one myself.

Etsy.com has some awesome shops that sell macramé patterns for us DIYers. It didn’t take much searching before I found a pattern that was perfect. Macrame cord can be found on Amazon, Etsy, or craft stores. My pattern called for 4 ply cord and I didn’t want to wait for shipping so I found some at Hobby Lobby. I debated on whether to use a branch, dowel, copper tube or something else for the anchor, but ultimately went with a branch because when I drove past this fallen branch, it looked just right. It ended up being the perfect length, color, size, and it was free. The real branch not only adds an organic element to the room, but it ties in with the driftwood jewelry holders I made (coming soon).

By Home Vibes Macrame

My big mistake was changing the shape of the anchor or “U line”. Therefore, my biggest tip is to follow the instructions exactly, at least the first time through. I was able to work with my mistake, but it added more time and a third spool of cord. The cool thing about macramé is that after you learn several knots, it’s fairly easy to experiment a little and create variations. I don’t think I could ever design patterns, but I added a few simple additions to make my overall design work. I originally tried to double the pattern thinking it would make the entire piece twice as wide, but that line of thinking doesn’t work with macramé or at least with this design. So, stick to the pattern and you’ll get the expected results.

We draped a small macrame bunting across these curtains because they don’t get opened.
I really like how it ties in and brightens up this area. These dressers will be getting a makeover too – stay tuned!

I think it turned out pretty great and it’s a one of a kind! Have you tried macramé or are you interested in trying it? There are a lot of pieces you can buy, but if you’re up for it – it’s a really easy DIY craft that can even be relaxing.

Here are more bohemian inspired posts you may enjoy!
DIY pallet headboard
DIY boho inspired jewelry display
Bohemian style at Walmart
Bohemian style from Amazon
Boho plant shelf
DIY stenciled dresser makeover


Resources
A Pair & A Spare – The Ultimate Macramé Knotting Guide
Macrame patterns and cord – Home Vibes Macrame
Macrame wall hangings – Amazon