Last week I posted on this dated chest of drawers (below) in my daughter Ella's room and how it was driving me coco bananas. I wanted to update it but horse-obsessed Ella had me in a quandry. No, I was NOT going to paint them fluorescent purple with sparkle horse stickers all over. No.
I wanted to do something timeless for Ella - something she could enjoy for many years to come as she enters her tween years.
So I found a Florence Broadhurst (quiet obsession with her, me) wallpaper - Horses Stampede - and grappled for a week over how I was going to use it to decorate the front of the drawers.
First I tried obtaining wallpaper by the metre. No go.
Then it was an attempt to buy small samples (at A4 size and no pattern-repeat, that was also a no).
Then I tried printing and découpaging the horses right onto the drawers. No go - the sealant kept smudging the printing.
My last idea was to resort to good old carbon copy paper. It was fascinating seeing how Ella reacted to the paper - she thought it was such cool technology - I laughed and told her it was older than her grandmother!
So here is how I converted this shabby chest of drawers.
After printing the horses, I trimmed and stickytaped them together to make a pattern long enough for each drawer front. I then taped the paper to the drawer on one side only, so I could slide the carbon paper beneath. Using a pen, I traced each horse. Try not to press too hard when you do this otherwise the lines will be too dark and will be harder to remove and may show through your marker's lines, especially if you are using a coloured marker like I did.
If you do happen to go a little dark with the carbon lines, simply wipe over the lines with a damp sponge and pat dry. The lines should fade... there may be some smearing, but this will wipe off. I suggest testing all this on an inconspicuous area first... I traced onto high gloss paint - it may not work so well on matt paint, so be careful.
Next I removed the carbon paper and pattern template. Using an alcohol-based marker, I carefully traced over the lines, allowed it to fully dry, then wiped over with a damp cloth to remove any carbon lines. You may need to rub gently to remove these.
Then it was just a matter of sealing the tracings with a clear enamel or decoupage medium.
Et voilà! Horses stampeding across my Ella's chest of drawers... a stunning image, beautifully set off with simple matt silver handles from Bunnings, at only around $5 each.
A total furniture revamp for around $50 - and a very happy horselover (and mum - yay! no purple paint). Huge gratitude to Florence Broadhurst.