Decoupaging sheet music onto dresser drawers is a fun way to infuse character and help smooth over flaws on your furniture makeover projects. Let’s dive into all of the different ways you can accent your furniture projects by decoupaging sheet music to the drawers!
Step 1 – Pick Your Sheet Music
When it comes to choosing sheet music for your furniture project, the possibilities are endless! I personally like using vintage and antique hymn books. They’re usually inexpensive and can be found in antique shops or thrift stores.
The warmth of the aged paper matches my love of old furniture perfectly!
Here’s an example of a piece that has newer sheet music on the drawers.
I’ve also used maps from a vintage atlas!
You can choose whatever type of paper you wish for your project. It doesn’t have to be sheet music. If you have favorite songs or hymns, you can use them to make your piece extra special!
Ooh! What if you wrote a song of your own and put that on your furniture?
See what I mean? The possibilities are endless!
Step 2 – Gather Your Materials
Once you have your paper of choice picked out, you need to gather some other supplies for decoupaging. The most important is a medium to get your paper to adhere to your drawers. My decoupage medium of choice is Mod Podge®. It’s easy to find in most craft stores.
You’ll also need a bristle brush or a foam brush (my personal favorite) along with something flat. Mod Podge® sells these little rollers and smoothing tools that are super helpful.
If you don’t have these tools, you can opt for an old library card or grocery store membership card to help flatten everything down. After all, I’m sure lots of you have them in your wallet! (Or at least I do!)
Rip out individual sheets of paper and make a decent-sized stack. You can leave the edges raw or cut them using scissors or a paper cutter. It’s totally up to you.
You can also leave the edges raw. This looks especially nice on really old furniture. There’s something about the raw, imperfect edges that suits an antique dresser or washstand.
Next, lay out the sheet music in the pattern you want to create on your piece. You can stack your pages one right next to the other and overlap them slightly, like this:
…or you can choose a more random pattern.
Again, this is totally up to you! I like symmetry and order, so I usually opt for a more linear pattern.
Make sure the sheet music (or other paper) is slightly LARGER than the size of your drawer. This will come in handy in the next step – trust me!
Step 3 – Decoupage the Sheet Music with Mod Podge®
Once you have a basic idea of how your sheet music will be laid out, pour some Mod Podge® into a plastic bowl or disposable container, and apply a layer on your drawer.
Then, gently lay your sheet music do and smooth it out with your roller or library card. (Shh! Don’t tell my library that I suggested this!)
Add another sheet either right next to it, or overlap it slightly, like I did here:
Some Mod Podge® will ooze out between the seams, and that’s okay. We’ll fix that in the next step!
Work in small sections, and rather quickly. Mod Podge® starts to get tacky after a minute or two. If you accidentally place a sheet crookedly, it’s okay to pick it up and adjust it.
Once your entire drawer is covered, apply a layer of Mod Podge® over the ENTIRE drawer. This will seal the paper and add a protective coating over top. You’re essentially creating a little sandwich – 1 layer of Mod Podge®, then a layer of sheet music, then a top layer of Mod Podge®.
Step 4 – Creating a Perfectly Straight Edge with Sandpaper
This step can be done while your Mod Podge® is still wet, or after it’s dry – it’s totally up to you. I like doing it when the paper is dry so I don’t get sawdust and bits of paper stuck in my Mod Podge® as it dries.
To get rid of the excess paper that will hang over your drawers, grab a piece of sandpaper. (Remember I told you to use paper that was larger than your drawers?)
Using a downward motion (almost like you’re petting a cat), begin to sand the edges off from your drawer, holding the sandpaper at a 45° angle. Only use a downward motion! If you sand upwards, you’ll lift the paper off the dresser drawer.
I suggest using a medium grit like 100 or 150.
As you sand the edges, the paper will naturally tear off in a nice straight line. It’s pretty satisfying to watch!
Once the sheet music has been sanded off, and you have nice straight edges, apply another coat of Mod Podge® for protection. (You should have 3 total – one as a base, one on top of the sheet music, and this one as the final coat.)
Step 5 – Paint the Body of Your Piece
While your drawers are drying, paint your piece. I like using Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint because it gives my pieces an old world feel.
Add knobs by gently punching through the sheet music.
Then, step back and enjoy your hard work!
Here’s another piece I created using Typewriter by Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.
See how sanding the edges of the sheet music creates a nice straight line?
This dresser was one of the very first pieces I ever painted! It was also early on in my photography days. Can you tell? 🙂
Extra Tip – Decoupage the INSIDE of Drawers!
Decoupaging sheet music doesn’t have to be limited to the front of drawers. You can put it INSIDE drawers too!
This sheet music lined drawer is from this fun little project:
Remember, you don’t have to use sheet music for your project. Remember the maps I mentioned earlier?
Don’t they punch up the drawers on this mis-matched set of nightstands? I used General Finishes Linen over Stain Blocker Primer.