January Refresh: Dresser drawer word puzzle decal redo
Taking down the decorations after the holidays seems to bring out the impulse to start fresh for the new year in a lot of us, so for the month of January, we’ll be focusing on the theme of refreshing, revamping, and reorganizing for 2013! We'll be hosting a series of projects and tutorials created by talented guest bloggers and a few Spoonflower staffers to inspire you to turn those plain or worn items into treasures for your home using fabric, wallpaper and wall decals. First up, guest writer Emma Jeffery, from the blog Hello Beautiful, creates custom decals to transform her son's plain dresser into an exciting life-size word puzzle. Read on for the details of Emma's creative dresser revamp!
My son (now 8 ½) has had the same chest of drawers since he was born and whilst they are perfectly adequate (albeit missing one drawer knob) they don’t exactly scream 8-year old boy! I decided to give them a major new look with minimal effort, using puzzles and word games - something my son loves - printed onto Spoonflower’s removable decals.
I used the free puzzlemaker available on the website discoveryeducation.com,
which is popular with teachers and children. There, you can find a variety of word and number games, mazes and puzzles, and after inputting your own clues and answers, you can generate personalized cryptograms, letter tiles, word searches etc. I made my son’s extra unique by using the names of his
favorite book characters, friends and family members as the hidden clues and answers.
I began by generating a selection of different puzzles and saving them as .png
files on my computer. I used a total of 18 different puzzles for 3 drawers. Then I measured my drawer fronts. They measure 9” x 30” so I made 3 collages using about 6 different puzzles for each collage. I used Picasa to create my collages. In the edit collage tab, you are able to customize the scale ratio, so I set the dimensions to 9” x 30” for all 3 collages.
Next, I wanted to put the 3 collages together as one image. I selected all 3 designs, and created a collage laying them out as they would look on the finished drawer fronts. I added black gridlines between each collage to give me a perfect cutting line and also to serve as a tidy outline for each of the drawers.
Finally, I resized the final collage using Preview on my Mac and resized the image to fit my drawers perfectly at 150 dpi. You can also use Paint to resize an image. My image needed to measure 27” x 30”, so I multiplied 27” x 150, then 30” x 150. I then resized my images to 4050 pixels by 4500 pixels, then uploaded the file to the Spoonflower website, ordered my decal design and waited for it to arrive.I prefer to use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut the decals, and I suggest using pattern weights or some kind of heavy object in each corner (think tin cans!) to hold the decal flat while you cut.
All that is left to do is remove the old drawer knobs and place the decals onto the drawer fronts. The decals can be peeled back and repositioned easily, so if you don’t get it perfectly straight the first time, you can keep trying. To add the drawer knobs I sliced into the decals with a craft knife over the screw holes, and easily screwed on some new ones.
My son loves his new look drawers and he also discovered that he can write on the decals in pencil, which can be erased if necessary. I made some of the puzzles pretty difficult so they will be sure to last him a while. (Actually, I’m not sure if I can even remember all the answers myself so if you do this, you MAY want to write the answers down and keep them in a safe place!) When he’s done, the decals can easily be removed or replaced.
About Our Guest Blogger
I'm an obsessive sewer, often leaping into projects with more enthusiasm than talent, more bravado than skill and more good luck than anything else. This technique has worked well for me so far and more often than not, I make things I love, even if they're not absolutely perfect. And though I'm no expert, I have a passion for fabric, color and design. I know what I like and what I like makes me smile.