Antique dressers and chests look lovely, but they’re hard on delicate clothing and linens. The old wooden drawers are often rough and splintery. Glue-down drawer liners are one solution, but they’re hard to remove—and may reduce the value of your antique. Protect your furniture and your finery with removable DIY fabric drawer liners.
- Tear off small strips of masking tape and affix one to the inside of each drawer. Number the drawers on the masking tape, working left to right and top to bottom. Drawers aren't always interchangeable, especially those with wooden runners.
- Remove the drawers from the furniture piece, and place them on a tabletop or counter.
- Lay a sheet of newspaper inside the first drawer. Press the paper into the sides and corner, creating creases where the newspaper is larger than the drawer. Hold the newspaper in place with one hand, and run a pencil around the perimeter of the drawer, in the newspaper creases. Remove the newspaper from the drawer, and cut along the pencil lines to make a pattern for the drawer liner. Write the drawer number on the front of each pattern.
Make a separate pattern for each drawer, even if the drawers are the same size. Old drawers aren't always square at the corners, and the pattern for one might not fit the other.
- Tape your drawer patterns to sheets of cardboard, numbered side up. Cut the cardboard along the pattern lines to make backings for your drawer liners. Write the drawer number on the back of each cardboard backing after you cut it out, and then remove the newspaper pattern from the front.
- Spread your drawer liner fabric right side up on a flat surface. Lay the cardboard backings number side down on the fabric, one at a time. Follow the shape of the cardboard, and cut the fabric 2 inches longer and 2 inches wider all the way around the cardboard. After you cut each fabric piece, number the wrong side of the fabric with tailor's chalk.
- Unroll thin quilt batting on a flat surface. Pin the newspaper patterns to the batting, number side up. Cut out the batting along the pattern lines. Leave the patterns pinned to the batting.
- Cover a work table with a thick layer of newspaper. Lay the first cardboard backing on the table, number side down. Apply spray adhesive to the cardboard. Align the corresponding piece of quilt batting, pattern side up, with the glue-covered cardboard. Press the batting into place on the cardboard, and remove the pins and the pattern from the top of the batting.
Repeat the process with each cardboard backing and its corresponding quilter's batting, one at a time. Let the spray adhesive dry according to the manufacturer's instructions. Discard the newspaper protecting your tabletop.
- Spread the first piece of fabric right side down on a flat surface. Smooth away any wrinkles. Center the cardboard backing, batting side down, over the fabric. Fold the excess fabric over the back of the cardboard. Fold over the top and bottom first, and then the two sides. Fold the corners last, as if you're wrapping a present. Tape the folded fabric to the back of the cardboard with long strips of duct tape.
Repeat the process with the rest of the cardboard and fabric, until you've completed all of your drawer liners.
- Place the drawer liners in the bottoms of the corresponding drawers. Remove the numbered masking tape from the drawers.
- You can affix the fabric to the back of the cardboard with spray adhesive if you prefer, but the duct tape makes it easier to remove the fabric for cleaning. It also makes it easier to make new drawer liners in the future. You can just remove the fabric and the tape and then reuse the cardboard backing.
- Your drawer liners don't all have to match. If you're fine using a different fabric for each drawer, you can put bargain fabrics—scraps or samples, remnants, and even old drapery panels—to work.
- Masking and duct tape
- Tailor's chalk
- Quilt batting
- Straight pins
- Spray adhesive