Thursday, June 8, 2017

Itty Bitty Anthro DIY: Bone Inlay Dresser

Happy summer, friends!
We finally made it! I hope you are finding time to enjoy the sunshine.  
Last weekend I hiked to the peak of Mount Muscoco with Patrick and the view was breathtaking.
I just kept hearing the Savage Garden song in my head, "I want to stand with you on a mountain..."
 And I found this crazy interesting stick.
I'm assuming bugs ate away at the wood under the bark to make this design.
 I think it's gorgeous.
 I also found time to go shopping and after strolling through Anthropologie earlier in the week, I was excited to make another Itty Bitty Anthro DIY.
This one was inspired by the stunning Bone Inlay Three-Drawer Dresser, and while the original will set you back a solid $1,298.00, the piece used for this mini version can be purchased at Dollar Tree.

I so very much wish this beautiful thing was in my bedroom right now.
I love, love, love the teal and the intricate bone inlay pattern.

The tiny version is, of course, not an exact replica; it's only inspired by the original furniture piece.

You will need:
wooden doll house dresser 
teal and cream acrylic paint

You can purchase the dresser from the Dollar Tree website, but you have to buy a case of 24 furniture items.  
Along with the dresser, they sell tiny chairs and tables, which could be cute for another modern dollhouse project.
Begin by painting the dresser a rich shade of teal.
Apply two coats if necessary.
Use the cream paint to outline the drawers and edges on the top and bottom.
I spent waaaay too much time trying to make perfectly straight lines.  
As you can see that didn't work, so my advice to you is don't bother.  
Make them as crisp and clean as you possibly can while working freehand and then move on.
Next, paint a smaller rectangle on the top and each side of the dresser.
Now we'll start on the pattern.
Begin by creating some symmetry (again, don't set your heart on perfection because this little treasure is hand painted).  
Find the approximate center of each drawer between the handles. 
Use a straight edge (it can be a piece of scrap cardboard) and a permanent marker to draw a dot in the center of each drawer.
Over each dot, I used a fine-tipped brush to paint a tiny flower.
Begin with a dab of paint in the middle and add six petals.
With the fine-tipped brush, add curves and swirls.
They don't need to mirror the original dresser, just attempt to paint the pattern the same on each drawer.
Add flowers and curves to the top and sides as well.
Think of these curved lines as vines and use the brush to add dots or "leaves" to either side of each vine.
This part is either tedious or meditative depending on how you chose to look at it.
When your "vine" pattern is completed, use the brush to fill in the empty space with random dots.

Pretty, right?
The dots will read as tiny pieces of bone.
Use rows of painted dots in the space outside the rectangles and along the edges.
So intricate!
Add a bit of paint to the drawer pulls and feet and you are finished!
A side by side view:
One disadvantage of the dollar store dresser is that unfortunately, the drawers do not open.  
This little guy is just for looks.  
To create a realistic version, you could use a working dresser with tiny drawers, such as this little lovely for sale at
You may also want to experiment with using painter's tape like we did in the Pointillism Print DIY to produce crisp lines.
For scale, I included game pieces in my photo. 
The letter tile is obviously a Scrabble piece but I'm not sure what game the brass-toned elephant figure is from.
 Do you have any idea?
The umbrella was a gift from my friend Matt.  
He bought it from a miniature artist on one of his journeys to Nepal.

Do you ever makeover doll furniture?
Please share your masterpieces in the comments below.

***Edit - although I appreciate the requests, I am not selling these miniatures because I feel that it would be disrespectful to the original artists. 
Thank you for understanding. ***

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