Before and After: This IKEA MALM Hack Took Tons of Patience and Precision

Here we have two perfectly fine IKEA MALM dressers: They’re pleasingly minimal, they have a cool presence and graphic appeal, and they offer a generous amount of storage as well acting as a TV stand. Their owner, however, was ready for something lighter and brighter—and a lot more fun.

Here’s how this DIY makeover came about:

The two dark IKEA MALM dressers that we purchased a few years ago were right at the time, but not so much anymore. Ever since we moved into our new house, I wanted to turn the master bedroom into a serene space that would feel airy and bright—I had to either replace the two dressers (but they were still in such good condition!) or give them a remake.

Ack, so cute and fun and unique! Angelica of Once Again, My Dear Irene conceived of and executed this ornate-yet-playful makeover, and there are major bonus points if you can guess what she used to make it happen:

I considered all options and finally, inspired by the repetitive design of bobbin furniture, I ended up gluing wooden ball knobs (mostly used as doll heads) around the drawers of my IKEA MALM dressers. The process was extremely easy and totally inexpensive. I first primed all the external surfaces, then glued the wooden ball knobs around the drawers and finally painted the the dressers. Painting each ball knob individually was most time consuming part, obviously. For this project, I used basic painting materials such as a good primer, paint, and paint brushes; the cost for the wooden ball knobs was just about $40 for one dresser. After the remake, the dressers look so stylish and chic that I now have to reconsider having a TV in the master bedroom!

This project must have taken a lot of patience and precision. According to Angelica, the doll heads “ranged from $ 0.15 to $ 0.18 per piece. If you’d like to create a piece with a similar look, but don’t want to drop $80 on doll heads, consider doing a bed frame or a smaller nightstand.

I love the look of these all-white dressers—they remind me of a perfectly piped wedding cake—but could also see them with colorful painted balls for a festive pom-pom-inspired look, especially in a kid’s room.

Thank you, Angelica of Once Again, My Dear Irene!



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