How We Decoupage Fabric to Furniture onto Painted Furniture

Sometimes we start out with a piece that’s lacking character.  This lil’ gal has all sorts of different sized drawers but her personality was buried under a lot of homely, dated drawer pulls.  I had already removed them when I shot this picture, but the fade marks show you the basic style.  They were those flat goofy ones, know what I mean?

before dresser

We decided to funk-it-up a notch by bringing out her inner beauty.

fabric covered dresser

I like to do this on drawer fronts that are already framed so I can simply inset the fabric.  That’s what I did on the buffet below.  Can you see how the bottom drawer is inset?  That gives the fabric a nice finished edge.  Looks like I added some trim around the top drawer to balance it out.


The drawer fronts on our dresser needed some pizzazz so we decided to add some fabric.

before dresser

The inspiration for this piece actually started with this fabric.

romantic floral fabric shizzle design 2

Cath had just mixed up a custom color for a customer and in the trial and error of trying to get the right color, ended up with a whole bucket of it.  I was eager to paint something with it and this plain dresser was the perfect choice.

custom color on dresser shizzle design painted furniture grand rapids mi

Decoupaging ot of drying time involved to get the job done right.  We don’t cut corners on cost because we want our pieces to withstand the test of time.  Measuring and cutting can can be quite fussy.

When I decoupage drawer fronts, I apply a special fabric mod podge all over the back of the fabric and let dry over night. The next day, I start cutting.

Measuring is critical but I’m lousy at accuracy.  My brain is usually thinking about six different projects all at once and by the time I go to mark the measurements I forget the number.  Nothing is ever an even number, you know what I mean?  So then I start counting the little dashes on the tape measure… (cuz that’s how I roll).  If you’re the tiniest bit off, it shows, BIG TIME.

I just painted this piece and Cathy has been working on the fabric. She’s the one in the family who has the patience to fuss with tedious details and has a lot of experience quilting so it’s right up her alley.

how to apply fabric to drawer fronts furniture move drawer pull holes

That being said, she had a heck of a time with one of the fabrics we planned to use and after several failed attempts, that one fabric was ripped off and replaced with another one.

what if we painted the outside edge darker around the floral ones


The fabric is adhered to the drawer fronts with more decoupage and when completely dry (we usually wait overnight), we sandwich it in with yet another coat of mod podge over the top.   As another layer of protection, we also topcoat over that.

Help!  What finishing touches should we add?

design phase fabric decoupaged dresser shizzle design painted furniture ideas

We still need to add some finishing touches to this piece.  We’re not sure which drawer pulls we’re going to put on all the drawers.  The four little drawers need to stay as is but we’ve got options for the six other ones.  I’m thinking the floral drawers need something else.  They seem frame-less to me.

Please comment below with your suggestions; we’ll post the finished piece in a couple weeks!

Update:  9.16.14  

Here’s the finished piece!

how to apply fabric to drawer fronts furniture rose floral stripes shizzle design painted furniture shizzle deesign

how to apply fabric to drawer fronts furniture rose floral stripes shizzle design painted furniture shizzle deesign 2

Ready to get your Shizzle on?  

PicMonkey Collage Pinterest 9 20 workshopJoin Cathy and I for our next workshop in Jenison, MI.  Click here for schedule.

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  A hui hou ~ Shelly

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Did you know…

  • Shizzle Design is a small family owned business in Jenison, Michigan.  My sister Cathy and I work, paint, ship and teach our chalk and clay paint workshops out of the same space where we paint all our furniture.  We are truly humbled to be known as a leader in the world of chalk and clay paints.
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22 Replies to “How We Decoupage Fabric to Furniture onto Painted Furniture”

  1. I’m not crazy about the fringe detail…will it hold up? I agree with Camille, different drawer pulls. What about something really girly like crystal or even a pink or white ceramic.

    1. The fringe is a done deal. That was adhered a couple weeks ago already. I had the same fringe on my kitchen island for years with no problems what-so-ever and have also added it to tables, lamps… and never had it come loose. Which drawer would you switch out Karen?

      1. Try them on the floral drawers…I love the contrast of the two different pulls, (one screw/ two screw…lol I know there’s a proper name for them, but I don’t know it!) but wonder if you change out one type if you need to change out the others two. so the color etc is consistent.

      2. We’re intentionally mixing up the drawer pulls. I’m thinking something lighter on the floral drawers too. We’ve already tried crystal knobs on those but they just faded away. I don’t have any of the pink ones here, but those might work; otherwise, we’ve got some other options to go with. Right now we’ve go so many projects started that we’ve got some time to think about it. Thanks for your suggestions!!

  2. Black pulls look wrong with that fabric. Im not fan of the inconsistency of pattern.
    You might want to work in metric measurements. Much easier to remember and fractions are apieceacake.

    1. I’m not loving the dark pulls either with the floral fabric but I absolutely love mixing it up when it comes to fabrics and patterns. I’m definitely not going for uniform geometrics on this piece.

  3. Shelly when Dave and I stopped in there in August you were working on that tall chest with Cameo paint, remember? The pulls were black….to harsh for it. You applied a white paint wash and rubbed it off…..why not do the same here? You can do reverses…use the beige with red under it on the drawers with the floral and red with the beige under it for the the beige fabric. ( I was there when Cathy was struggling to get that striped fabric to work…)If you want to glam it up….use one of the micro metalllics added into it to shine them up. You know….the metallic powders?

    1. Hi Susie, I’m home sick right now and am leaving it up to Cathy to finish it. We tried lots of lighter pulls, crystal knobs, rose color glass knobs… and none of them looked right. I told her to surprise me 😀 Hoping when I get back to work that it’s finished. I’m tired of thinking about it already ~ my brain is mush 😀

  4. Hi, i am wondering when you mod podged the fabric to the drawer fronts, did you use regular mod podge or the fabric mod podge again? Thank you!

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