Beautified Cheap Plastic Drawers

Everyone has them. They are the cheapest way to keep your random stuff organized: white plastic storage drawers.  You can buy them from Walmart or Target and they come in varying sizes.  They can really help organize anything – despite the clear drawer faces.  We have 3 of these at our house… one in the garage, one in the office holding paperwork, and the largest in the bedroom holding my summer clothes.

With a weekend to myself I decided to work on a crafty household project that could easily be completed in a day or so.  Since the dressers had been redone, I decided to try to fix up these plastic storage drawers in our bedroom to match.  Here’s a picture of the drawers before:

I wanted the shell of the drawers to be black.  And I wanted the clear faces to have some sort of design on them to hide my clothes inside. So I bought some black spray paint (for plastic surfaces – this is very important!), cleaned and dried all the surfaces, removed the drawers and went to town on the shell.  I used an entire can on just this and could have done more, but instead I chose to skimp and do semi-coverage of the inside.

I also bought scrap book paper to use on the clear drawer faces.  I chose a print that I thought would match well in our room and with the new black paint job.  Since the drawers on this particular storage unit were a few inches wider than standard 12×12 scrapbook paper, I bought 6 pages (just in case) and had to do a lot of measuring, cutting, lining up and pasting using Mod Podge for paper.  This is where things began to challenge my patience.  The drawers are slightly curved outward horizontally, which was no big problem.  The handles of the drawers have this same curve but also have curves for the handles.  Eventually I decided to just cut the scrapbook paper off at the line below the handles.  I could deal with a little bit of clear plastic showing to avoid the hassle of getting the paper cut perfectly to meet up to every curve of the handle.  Note that these drawers may come in different sizes/shapes and it will hopefully be easier for you if they are perfectly square!  Moving forward, I coated the inside of the drawer face with Mod Podge, lined up the paper with the print facing out through the clear face, and tried to smooth out any bumps or bubbles.  Then I used the Mod Podge again for a couple more coats on the back of the paper, letting it dry in between coats.

The Sterilite drawers after:

These drawers now look prettier and are much less of an eye-sore in our bedroom.  This project was easy, quick, and produced a huge visual improvement – which is my favorite part!


2 thoughts on “Beautified Cheap Plastic Drawers

  1. so i’m thinking about doing something like this but I was thinking of using contact paper and adhering it to the outside of the drawer… what are your thoughts?

    • Hi Sheila! My first thought was that contact paper on the front of the drawers would be much easier than hodge-podging to the inside. But on second thought, the paper would be more vulnerable to damage on the face of the drawers. Also, attaching to the inside will hide some imperfections (like wrinkles, cut & paste jobs, etc). If your contact paper is smaller than the front of the drawer you want to cover, you will need to cut, match-up, and paste additional paper to the drawer faces which may be more noticeable on the outside rather than inside. Hope it helps! Let me know if you want any more feedback, and let me know how it turns out either way!

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