Saturday, June 11, 2011

my DIY decorated melmers! + written tutorial! you can do it too!

Hi guys! I’m very excited to show you my newly decorated JetMax cubes AKA Melmers! I spent a lot of time decorating this and I am so happy with how it turned out.
(I am planning on showing you the contents of my drawers in the coming weeks when I receive all my swap packages.)

Are you ready to see them??

Love love love love love. 
I told Leslie I was making it animal print and she said "Animal Print?! You?! Nah!" 
Haha! How right was she?
I am a sucker for brightly colored animal print. It is no secret.

I put little squares of black glitter paper into the handle just to add a little more glitz :)

I am so happy I did this. It is so freakin' cute.

Should I want to spice it up a bit, I can also arrange it this way:

I prefer it the way I have it now but sometime I might want to change it up.

Do you guys love it as much as I do? 

Now I just need to fit all this:

And all this:

Into the drawers. Haha. I'm probably going to keep the blue tower next to my melmers just for bigger things and supplies and stuff.

Oh, and you'll also want some shelf liner so your bottles don't slide around:

I bought 2 rolls of it at the dollar store for $1 each. 

And now the best part, you can do this DIY decorating project too!

I’ve written in-depth instructions in case anyone else wants to do this but doesn’t know how.

You will need:
-Paper of your choice. It should be scrapbook paper or thin cardstock. You can use just one or as many patterns as you like. I couldn’t find anything long enough to fit the face of the drawer, so I had to improvise by doing two-toned drawers. The drawers are about 13.5 inches long. Look for paper that big. If not, find coordinating paper and do what I did!
-Mod Podge. I used the Matte version which I think is best for this project, as the rest of the cube is a matte finish. You can also use glossy. Your choice.
-A brush or foam brush. A foam brush leaves less brushstrokes, but I didn’t have one. My brushstrokes aren’t bad. I think it is a cool effect.
-An old gift card, for smoothing the paper.
-Pencil, ruler, exacto knife, cutting board – for measuring and cutting your paper.
-Sand paper or large nail file.
-Paper towels and tissues for wiping up messy Mod Podge.

Step 1: Cut out your papers. It is best to line them up against the face of a drawer and figure out how big they need to be. Making it a bit wider on every side than you need is a good idea. You can trim it after. Just a few millimeters too big. Cut all your papers first.
Step 2: Make a template for the screw holes. Mod Podging the paper over the screw holes is obviously going to hide them. To be able to find them again, I made a template. I lined up a piece of paper with the top corner of one of the drawers, and then poked through the paper into the holes. That is your template. This way, when they are dry, you are able to line your template up to the drawer and poke through your decorated paper into the holes.
Step 3: Begin Mod Podging. You want to put a medium layer onto the front of the drawer, and then put a thin layer on the back of your paper. Your paper will curl at first but it flattens easily. You smooth the paper onto the drawer and line it up so it is all covered. Remember, leaving room around the edges is a good thing because you know you won’t miss any spots. At first it will slide around easily but it dries quickly. Pay attention to the edges and corners.
Step 4: Smooth out the wrinkles. This is how you avoid bubbles and wrinkles. You take the old card and start scraping over the whole drawer. Keep scraping more than you think is necessary just to make sure. Again, pay attention to the edges and corners. Glue will probably come out at the edges but you can just wipe that up. Once it is all adhered, you leave it to dry for a few hours. At least one hour.
Step 5: Your drawer must be totally dry to move on to this step. Take your exacto knife and very slowly/carefully cut away the excess paper around the edges. This is easy to do but you need to take it slow. You can rest the blade along the sides of the drawer and just slice off the overhang.
Step 6: Sand the edges. You want to sand down, away from the front of the drawer to avoid lifting the paper. You don’t have to sand much, just enough to remove rough edges from the paper and any dried glue on the edges. I used a large nail filing block for this which was really convenient.
Step 7: Pop the holes for the screws. Use the template you made, line it up, and pop through the paper with something pointy like a very small dotting tool or toothpick.
Step 8: Top coat of Mod Podge. Make sure your layer underneath is very dry. If you live in a hot climate you might want to wait a day or more. Make sure you don’t get any bristles from the brush or anything into your layer of Podge because it will be visible in the end.
Step 9: Let it dry. Again, hot climates will need longer drying time. Pop holes through the second layer of Podge and then attach your handles.
Step 10: Admire your work!!
(Optional Step 11: Cut pretty paper rectangles to fit into the windows of the drawer handles.)

I hope this helps at least one person. Haha!
I got my paper (thin cardstock) at Michael’s for $3.99 (24 sheets) and my Mod Podge Matte formula at Walmart, $5.69 (8 ounces.) My glitter paper came from Michael’s and I believe one sheet is $2.99 or less.
If you decorate your melmer, show me!! :)


  1. OMG, it looks so cute! I really love it the second way too. Thank you for the tips as well.

  2. omg its gorgeous i looooove the animal print and the zebra of course is my FAVVV!!!!!!!! :)

  3. It turned out so nice! LOVE the prints you chose! Enjoy filling that pretty up!

  4. OMG I LOVE IT!!! Now you're making me want to do that instead of painting or putting stickers on mine.

  5. I am SO doing this!! Like, TODAY!!

  6. It is absolutely beautiful! I live it with my whole heart!

  7. you are such an artist! I love this!!!

  8. I love it <3
    i was sitting here mouth open when i saw this post :))

  9. It's S.O I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.Y P.R.E.T.T.Y !
    Stunning !
    Xx. S

  10. Oh I long for an answer to my polish storage issue. I bought a damn tool box thinking that it would be fine, but in about 2 months it's now over flowing and I can't close it. Maybe I need a mini version of these.. what you've done to them is amazing!

  11. Awesome tutorial!! ur melmer looks great! I really want a melmer but I have no room for it =(

  12. You should put your purple colors where the purple print is, green where the green print is and so on! That would be really organized hahaha! I love how it turned out!

  13. This is extremely awesome, my friend!!

  14. The only problem I have with animal print is I always think of your leopard undies now! OMG is that creepy sounding or what?! Great job on your melmers! I do not have a stash that large yet--only about 200 bottles of polish. Someday I'm going to need a large storage unit though, I have no idea where it's going to go since I have all the chinchilla in my room--someone might have to go! Seriously I am looking to pick up a Helmer unit to keep in closet--yours looks fantastic!

  15. where'd you buy the actual containers from? they look perfect for nail polish!

  16. I did it!!!

  17. Omg, it looks so cute :D I want one!! <3

  18. I have seen a lot of people use shelf liner like that, I can't seem to find any in the uk. Wondering what I could use instead...

    Love your storage! xx

  19. If I can find these melmers I'm soo doing this!!!

  20. THANK YOU so much for posting this tutorial!! Right now my polishes are in a rather meh plastic cart. I *love* what you did! Oh the possibilities for decorating!!

  21. Love it, but can you tell me what a melmers is. I am in Australia so would like to look for an equal. Is michaels a department store. Storage is a big problem

  22. @loberry - hi! A "melmer" is technically called a "JetMax Storage Cube" but they are known as melmers because they are similar to an Ikea Helmer, but they are from Michaels, so they are a Melmer.
    Michael's is a craft store chain. These cubes are designed for scrapbooking storage, they make all sorts of differently arranged ones. You could check out craft stores in Australia and see if they carry them or anything similar!

  23. great idea! I have 2 helmers and they just look like they should be in a garage under some tools, but now with your idea i can decorate it so it looks like its for me instead of bob the builder ;)

  24. I just discovered this. When I get Helmer/Melmers, I am using this idea to decorate them. thankyou!

  25. where did u get those scrapbook papers??? i adore neon/bright leopard print designs :)

  26. I picked up my own Melmer today at Hobby Lobby and followed Rebecca's directions. I love it! Here is a link if you wanna see it ( I chose a black Melmer with silver knobs (it went much better with all my furniture than the white one) and because it is so pretty no one would ever know it was for nail polish!

  27. I did this today and I LOVE how it turned out! I followed the tutorial literally word for word, this was absolutely great! Thank you so much!

  28. I just did my Helmer today, and I followed your directions and they were PERFECT. I picked a black and white lace pattern, since my Helmer is red, and the rest of my room has that color scheme. If you get the chance, check it out, your directions really brought it to life! Thanks so much!