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In anxious giddiness to enter a contest for a home re-do project, I zipped over to a Salvation Army store and picked up this nightstand. I could hardly wait to go creative on this little red eyesore. True, it could have been worse, but it also needed some major personality. Utilizing one of my many Amy Butler fabric pieces (purchased in her home town while visiting a certain college), I put this yard of fabric to good use. Due to the possibility of running out, I scurried over to Kinkos to get a few color copies made to decoupage to the inside of the stand to save fab. Primer, paint, batting, upholstered sides and a custom decoupaged knob all came together to make a bright, springlike statement. The front curves of the nightstand had to be covered to hide the staples so I glued grosgrain ribbon along the front. Note* you have to add something to the trim so that the glue won’t soak through. I sprayed fabric adhesive to a thin strip of cardboard and then used very sticky fabric glue to adhere it to the front.

Materials Used:

old nightstand

sandpaper, primer and paint

paintbrush and roller

1 yard of beautiful, cheery fabric (I had Amy Butler fabric on hand)

1 yard of batting

color copies of fabric

staple gun or pneumatic stapler hooked to air compressor

plain wooden knob, primed and painted

ModPodge solution


Exacto knife


spray adhesive

matching ribbon or trim to hide staples along front


1.Wash, lightly sand, prime and paint nightstand

2. Cut color copies of fabric to fit inside lower part of nightstand, brush on ModPodge and glue copies in place, matching pattern. Let dry, using Exacto knife, trim off excess paper around curve. Apply ModPodge to top of paper forming sealed surface.

3. Measure and cut two panels of fabric to fit sides of nightstand leaving an extra 1 1/2″ on all sides. Fabric doesn’t need to have curve cut out until it is attached.

4. Lay fabric panel so that it is right side down, top edge laid underneath top edge of nightstand with top edge facing towards side of nighstand and the remainder of the panel laying over the top of the nightstand. Line fabric up so there is an even amount of extra fabric on all sides, fabric straight, with hand press fabric up into top edge where side and top of nightstand meet and run a row of staples across the top attaching fabric at top of nightstand.

5. With fabric still flipped over, spray adhesive on side of nightstand and lay a cut piece of batting on side. Cut batting around curve and along edges to fit exactly.

6. Flip fabric panel down over side and secure underneath bottom edge in the center. With a firm but not tight diagonal pull on fabric, run staples outward from center in both directions, leaving about 2″ unstapled on either side.

7. Pull fabric around back and starting at center, using same technique, staple up to top and down towards bottom, leaving enough unstapled to make a nice little fold like wrapping a present. Staple in place.

8. Pull fabric towards front of nightstand and staple in place using pull technique, leaving curve unstapled. After top and bottom are stapled, make three perpendicular cuts into curve, stopping 1″ from wood. This releases the fabric so it can be pulled and attached. Staple around curve, staples going on front edge which will be covered with trim. When finished, cut off extra fabric and repeat on other side. Second sides always are easier.

9. Run fabric glue along front edge. It’s helpful to have the nightstand on its back so the glue doesn’t drip. Add trim and cut at the end or fold under bottom of stand and staple down.

10. Cut desired design from fabric in a circle adding enough fabric to wrap around back of knob. Coat fabric in ModPodge and place on knob as desired, let dry and attach to nightstand drawer.

11. Nighty-night.

p.s. You could cover a nightstand in a menswear fabric for a masculine, tailored look.

on Amy Butler Upholstered Nightstand RUNNER UP in the Apartment Therapy January Jumpstart Contes