attach to shelf edge with tacks

Do you remember the old dresser that Mum and I wheeled/dragged 2km home last year?  Oh my goodness that was so funny!  Every time Mum and I drive past the house we collected it from (well, their footpath) I have a giggle and think of it. It may well be our most intrepid hard rubbish adventure ever.

Well, a lovely reader asked me recently what became of it.  And I realised I didn’t ever share the restoration of the dresser with you.  Probably because it has not currently reached a finish I am totally pleased with.  I spent a few days scrubbing it back til the wood was smooth and clean.  I oiled it with Danish Oil and then, with Abby’s help, lugged it into the Spare ‘Oom.  Yes, we do live in the Tardis.

But it didn’t have any doors on the lower half.  They’d been removed by a previous owner for goodness only knows what reason (actually, I DO know just the reason – I’ve removed many doors so as to make for easier restoration and then left them gathering dust, propped up in the corner of the shed, before I finally become fed up with looking at their gaping “owner”  and talk Julian into putting them back on – I’m useless with a screw driver).  Alas, these ones were not only not put back on but they didn’t make it out to the footpath either.

So I fancied I could make some doors – and bought some highly inappropriate wood and fiddled about with a tenon saw and mitre box for a weekend and produced nothing useful. Never mind – when I’m an earning nurse, I shall pay the lovely cabinet maker down the road to make me three.

However, back to the tale of what the dresser is doing now.  So there it was in the Spare ‘Oom with clutter on the bottom shelves (not hidden by the missing doors) and a motley collection of children’s novels on the shelves.  It never really sang.

Then one morning recently I was looking at the china which sat on the shelves near the back door – it gets putridly dirty with a dark grey dust that I can only imagine comes from the main road and tram tracks we live on – imagine our lungs! – thinking it really needed to sit somewhere cleaner so that we could actually use it!  Up until this moment, every time we wanted to use it, we had to wash it in hot soapy water first.  Ugh!

Behind me stood the lovely, completely under utilised kitchen dresser – if you turn to your left whilst standing at our kitchen sink you look straight into the Spare ‘Oom and at the dresser.  I knew exactly what needed to happen!

dresser before

China was shifted and washed.  Shelves were washed.  Books were moved (yes they’ll get dusty now but we’re not going to be eating off them anytime soon). China was neatly arranged on dresser.  Hmmm … much nicer than books but the bottom shelves still looked a bit ew.  The solution – fabric of course!  I might be overwhelmed by a tenon saw and timber, but there’s almost nothing I can’t achieve with fabric!

dresser after

As I’m sure you’ll believe, I initially thought of trooping up the road to Darn Cheap and BUYING some fabric.  But then I reminded myself that stashes are for using, not storing, so hunted through the sewing shed instead.  And came up with the perfect, huge piece of Civil War cotton I bought yonks ago to use as a backing on a quilt that has not been finished.  Pft! I don’t believe in being precious with my fabrics’ original purposes :-) And let’s face, when said quilt is done, it will be stitched onto a blanket.

So I made a gorgeous, voluminous, gathered skirt.  Whacked it on with blued tacks.  Then whipped up some lovely prairie points and whacked them on too.  Now … a sensible person would have whacked on the prairie points BEFORE putting the china on the shelves.  I’ve never claimed to be sensible.  It was such a thrilling experience – hoping that nothing would leap off the shelves or chip its neighbour with each blow of the hammer.  It didn’t :-)

denby teddy corner close up of tack teacups green teaset pyrex japanese dollies coloured cups

Now, I’m truly happy with the old kitchen dresser.  It looks so cheery and bright.  The china is all sparkly and clean and ready/easy to use.  And at night, when I look in from the kitchen this is the pretty sight that greets me.

so cosy

Lovely!  And so worth that 2 km madcap trek and a bit of quilt backing.

do you remember the old dresser?

8 thoughts on “do you remember the old dresser?

  • October 13, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Oh Lily, it’s like looking at the contents of a treasure chest – and you get to do this every day now! Thanks for sharing.

  • October 14, 2014 at 8:36 am

    I, too, was wondering what had become of that dresser. It was one of your most fun posts. You will be glad to know you share a problem with Jane Austen, who once took a cabinet to the father of Mary Anning (the fossil girl from “Remarkable Creatures”) in order to get a quote on repairs and found them too expensive!!

    Lots of good wishes and positive thoughts for the graduate post you are hoping for today!

  • October 14, 2014 at 9:02 am

    I too have wondered a few times what happened in the saga of the great dresser migration, good to see it filled with lovelyness and looking right at home.

  • October 14, 2014 at 11:53 am

    It lovely! Just lovely. I am so relieved to know that not only am I not alone when it comes to dragging home furniture but that someone else out there lives in a tardis too!!!!

  • October 14, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    It’s looks brilliant, I was thinking make some curtains for the missing doors, scrolled down & guess what? A curtain, looking fabulous, much nicer than doors. Yes I loved the post when you found the dresser, I read it to my mum over the phone & we laughed saying it sounded like something we’d do.

  • October 14, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Great story Lily. My favourite moments were Spare ‘Oom, I am still giggling about that as we reread The Lion, The Witch recently and ‘stash is for using’…words to live by. The longer you have it the harder it is to use or move on. Well done you.

  • October 14, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Another BANG UP job so to speak:) A lovely addition to bootville Lil!

  • October 26, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Simply splendid. What a renovation/resurrection, with the “corpse” dragged for 2km by devoted rescuers. I so love seeing old things gain new life through love and linseed oil (and Prairie Points, which I’d never heard of til just now, and I suppose the name comes from our own prairie, a la Laura Ingalls Wilder?

    I’m DO enjoying your blog—dropped in from Harleygirl, and am captivated. I’ll be back to delve into your lovely archives (soon as I come out of my swoon for that gorgeous teal-coloured china).


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