Sep 20, 2011 - Printables, Recycle & Reuse    13 Comments

Numbered Chest of Drawers

Numbered Drawer A few years ago, well 11 to be exact, we lived in a great little apartment in Bountiful, UT.  We had super fun neighbors that we would do stuff with as married couples all the time.  There was a Down East Home (an outlet that sells returned catalog items including PB) about a block away and believe me, we frequented it often.  I have stocked my house from many a deals from that DEH.  One day they had a “tent” sale where everything was out in the parking lot.  It was about 3pm and not much had sold.  I found a chest of drawers that I was interested in,  It was ”distressed” and it was missing a drawer on the top right side.  I did my usual fiddling with and realized that the top three drawers were interchangeable.  I decided that when I got home I could paint it black and put a basket in the middle and it would look like I bought it that way!  I bargained with the sales person (not letting on my basket idea) and told him it was getting late and he really wanted to sell it to me for $50 instead of the $75 sticker price.  To my surprise, he agreed!  I put off painting it but did put a basket in the center for a while.  Then we jumped into the world of flat screen TVs and needed a console.  The chest would be perfect.  My husband cut a piece of Masonite and laid it in the bottom of the center drawer.  Then we slipped our DVR and Blue Ray player in the center.  I store all kinds of stuff in this thing, diapers, wipes, and jammies for the little guy, toys in the bottom, scriptures for family night study, DVDs, it holds more than you’d think!  Everything was great until I saw this:

anthropologie chest of drawers

The Anthropologie Numbered Chest of drawers.  It sold for around $1000 and is no longer for sale.  I drooled.  It was very vintage industrial with it’s stenciling.  Could I transform my $50 work horse into something better than it alread was?  YES!  And here is how I did it.

Difficulty Level: EASY

Supplies: 2 pieces of card-stock, tape, measuring device, xacto knife (no fancy Cricut machine), scissors, craft paint, and of course a piece of furniture.

1.  Find an old chest of drawers.  Any will do.  Bring on the dings and the scratches.  After all, we are looking for something that may have been used in an old store or work room where someone might have called out “grab me that wrench from the 2nd drawer!”.

2. Make and print a simple stencil using a Cargo style font (or Click HERE for My Numbers Stencil pdf)  My drawer front space for the stencil was 3 1/2″ X 7″ and I made my numbers fill the space as much as possible.  If you down load my stencil, enlarge or shrink it to fit your drawer front.

3. Cut out the stencil with the xacto knife.  I put mine on some fish wrap (newspaper) so that I wouldn’t cut my table.  You might need to cut on both sides unless your knife is sharper than mine.  Don’t worry if you don’t follow the lines exactly, it is supposed to be imperfect.

4. Pick out all of the black.

5. Cut the stencil to fit the drawer front and tape it down.

6.  Dip the paint or chip brush (any old thing will do) into  a tiny bit of your paint.  Dab it off on the newspaper.  Lightly, I repeat, LIGHTLY stipple the paint over the secured stencil.  It is better to stipple many times than to glob the paint and have drips.  I left some edges and corners of the letters with out any paint so that it looked like a rush job from 20 years ago.

Number drawer

6th.  Remove the stencil and let dry.

Stencil Number Drawer

7.  Embrace your work!  Every time I sit and watch TV I glance down at those stenciled #’s and smile.  What a simple and quick fix to amp up an old piece of furniture.  Oh, and by the way, now at our house I have called out “grab a diaper from drawer #2!”

Number Drawer Anthropologie Like

Number Dresser


Number Dresser Drawers


Stencil Number Chest of Drawers


Here are links to other great numbered chests of drawers:

 Restore Interiors

Black Dresser with Ordinal Numbers

 Little Red Hen


  • Here is another person’s version I found after I posted this!

  • Thanks for linking to my dresser! I love your version.

  • Flipping AWESOME!

  • Love this… i want one like this in my own room! very cute!!

  • This is fabulous! Love, love, love it! :)

  • I LOVE furniture makeovers! This project turned out amazing :) Thanks so much for linking this up to Thrifty Thursday!

  • No question this is the place to get this info, tanhks y’all.

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  • Have you considered adding some relevant hyperlinks to the article? I think it might improve everyone’s understanding.

  • can I buy that dresser My daughter is having our firt grandbaby after 12 years and wants that dressers for her son. She saw it in a store and was out of our price range

    • Darlene, That is so sweet! It is really easy to update ANY chest of drawers with a simple stencil. Congratulations by the way :)

  • looking good

  • nice post

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