A personalized dresser

As promised I’m bouncing around the house and bringing you a little update I tackled in Harrison’s room.

dresser before

Harrison’s dresser was repurposed from the master bedroom. We have two Malm 3-drawer dressers that we’ve had forever and we were using them in our master bedroom as dressers/bedside tables. I decided to move one over to Harrison’s big boy room since it matched the bed, and it would make for a good bedside table for him and has plenty of storage. Why only one? Because two won’t fit in the room, and it’s more than enough storage. It turns out when you’re two and a half your clothes don’t take up that much room. All of his clothes with the exception of 3 or 4 items I’ve hung in the closet are in the top two drawers of the dresser!

When I shared Harry’s room last you can see that I painted the drawer-fronts white. I just used the same Simply White colour that I had used for the trim and doors in the room. It took a few coats of paint to get a good full coverage but I like how it turned out. I started by using a brush and that just wasn’t giving a smooth and even coat, so I switched to a small roller for the third and fourth coats (a second coat with the roller for good measure) and it was much better. You could probably get away with only 2 coats if you started with a roller.

Aaaanyway, I wanted to make the dresser more personal and special just for Harrison so I decided to stencil it with his birthdate.

To London With Love DIY Stenciled Dresser

I went to Michael’s to purchase the stencils I needed, but it was going to cost $22 or something crazy like that for the stencils. I decided I could do better on my own. I can’t remember if I downloaded the stencil font or if it came with our Mac but I had a stencil font right on my computer. If you don’t have a stencil font you can download one for free from sites like this or by googling around. If you have a printer and card stock (recommended) already on hand then Bob’s Your Uncle! You can do this too for practically free!

I printed out the stencils on card stock at a size I liked (I wanted approximately 6″ high) and then I cut them out using an exacto knife (while I watched the Patriots squeak out a win on Sunday).


Then, I laid them out on the drawers and got to painting. I used Stonington Grey by Benjamin Moore – the same as the majority of the walls in the room.


I used painters tape to hold them roughly in place while I was painting and then carefully removed them. I printed more than one digit to a page which made it a bit trickier to determine how far apart they should be since the 1s take up a lot less width than the 3 for example. If you wanted to you could print each digit that you need individually and then measure a fixed width around them so that you could lay them out side by side and be sure that each digit is taking up the same amount of space. Make sense? I pretty much just eyeballed it.

Note: Harrison’s birthdate only required 4 digits, so that meant the 0 and 1, used repeatedly, were starting to get a bit gooey and wet from the paint. I worked quickly and it was fine, but if you have a similar situation using the thickest card stock you can will help, or printing and cutting out more than one stencil for the same digit.


In my case I kinda liked that the edges were looking a bit rough and not so sharp. But that’s just me.

stencil heaven

And that’s it! A simple way to personalize a dresser with a stencil. When I showed Harrison he said “Look mom, the zero is missing a piece”. He went on to point out the missing pieces in the 2 and 3. Nothing gets by that kid!

Here’s a before and after

dresser before and after


6 thoughts on “A personalized dresser

  1. Pingback: Can you hack it? | to london with love

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