Spray paint, wall decals or contact paper add life to boring drawers.

How to Decorate With Plastic Stack Drawers

by Kris Gleba

Plastic stack drawers are ubiquitous in homes run by busy moms. Granted, the drawers are bought only when absolutely needed and often out of desperate necessity. It would be a different story if the handcrafted bureau made of reclaimed lumber and antique crystal hardware was not only readily available at the department store, but also inexpensive. While you can't wiggle your nose and magically make the drawers look like an expensive, sought-after piece of home decor, you can happily and beautifully decorate with plastic stack drawers.

First Contact

Contact paper used to have much in common with stack drawers. Both were inexpensive and accessible, but unattractive. Contact paper has evolved and now, with its help, your plastic stack drawers can be restyled, too. Use decorative contact paper to cover the drawer fronts, the outside of the unit or the entire piece. Your stack drawers can match the wood furniture in your living room after you cover it with modern wood grain contact paper. Turn the stack drawers into a conversation piece by covering it with zebra print contact paper. Contact paper can even be personalized. Print pictures onto transparent contact paper for sticky, but sweet, memories that can bring any boring plastic unit to life.

Hide Your Dirty Drawers

The chances are pretty good that your child has already tried her turn at decorating the stack drawers. The drawers are covered with stickers alongside hand-drawn renderings of herself, the sun and the neighbor's dog. For drawers that are structurally sound, but woefully overembellished, hide them from view. Slide the units into closed-off areas such as closets or under staircases.

If stashing them isn't possible, then hide them in plain sight. Attach hook-and-loop enclosure tape to the top of the drawers and to the backside of fabric that has been cut to size. Keep the fabric taut and tight or allow it to drape gracefully on the floor. Match the fabric to the room's decor. Chunky chevron stripes add subtle glamour to a home office, while bold polka dots add quirkiness to a child's room.

Sticker Shock

Girls love stickers. Even the little girl in you fondly remembers scratch-and-sniff stickers, but as cool as those were, wall decals are better. Wall decals are available in a bevy of sizes and styles. Use animated dinosaurs to decorate the stack drawers in your children's bedroom or the playroom. Chalkboard labels allow you to designate which items go in which drawer, but be careful not to get giddy with power. Affix labels in the shapes of shirts, pants and underwear to stack drawers in children's rooms to help children put away their own clothes and to help the drawers blend in with the room.

I Feel Your Paint

Stack drawers need not be pushed aside. Hit them with some spray paint and they can be part of your decorating scheme. Sand the exterior of the drawers and clean thoroughly before using a spray paint solely meant for use on plastics. Paint the drawers a different, but complementary, color to the rest of the unit, such as taupe drawers with a brown shell, or light blue with navy blue. Get creative, if you can muster the energy, and use stencils to create designs on the top or sides of the drawer units. Paint a floral stencil on top of a unit that doubles as a side table in either the living or bedroom, while a number stencil on the front of each drawer can help you organize children's school papers.

About the Author

Lowell, Massachusetts-based writer Kris Gleba has been writing home decor articles since 2008. She enjoys all aspects of small home living, from complete gut remodels to ingenius home decorating that incorporates style and function. She has previously written for the “Athol Daily News.” She holds a degree in professional writing from Fitchburg State University.

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