Bedrooms | DIY Decorating Projects | Furniture Makeovers

Woven Front Nightstand Makeover

If you like the fresh look of woven or cane fronts on furniture you will like this very budget-friendly furniture makeover. It is easy and doesn’t require any paint or power tools. The best part is it can cost as little as $10 and be completed in an hour or two.


This furniture makeover all started when I simply wanted to cover the yellowing/darkening clock motif lining I added years ago to the white wood tray that is on my nightstand.

clock motif on night table tray

I was going to make this post an Insta-Style post about the makeover of the tray only, but you know how it is when one idea blossoms into another.

white night table with drawers in blue and white bedroom
My nightstand – BEFORE

I realized what I had planned to do to the tray, I could also do on the drawer fronts of the small chest of drawers I call my nightstand. It is still a fast and easy furniture makeover, but no longer instant.

The Woven Front Furniture Trend

When decorating, trends can make our homes look refreshed. They are exciting and new. We all like that. But the downside of trends is that they go out of style as fast as they came in.

When I add a decorating trend, I like to find ways to add the trend to my decor in a small way. This is what I did with my nightstand.

I mentioned yesterday that I am not a fan of reeded wood furniture, but I do like furniture that is wrapped or fronted with woven materials using wicker, caning, raffia, jute, rattan, or rush.

What is the difference between wrapped raffia and cane furniture. Here you can see
1 | 2 | 3 | 4| 5

These durable fibers are being used on everything from bed frames, dressers, consoles, chairs to smaller decorative items.

Serena-and-Lily-raffia-wrapped-furniture-close-up
Serena & Lily

I especially like the look of woven raffia on furniture like this chic nightstand above (Serena & Lily – $998.00). It is an example of the wrapped raffia technique. The frame has been covered with woven raffia by hand and then coated with a clear lacquer.

What I don’t like about this nightstand is the price tag. With a little determination, I found a way to get the high-end look for a whole lot less.

What I Used to Create DIY Woven Front Dresser Drawers for Less

What makes the makeover of my nightstand so easy to do is making use of inexpensive, ready-made woven table placemats that you can buy online or at HomeGoods, TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

Close up of a blue and tan woven place mats

This style of woven vinyl placemats come in a variety of colors and cost about $10 for a set of 6. Their sizes can vary, but most are around 13″ x 19″. They are made of vinyl, making them easy to wipe clean.

This easy DIY woven front furniture makeover works well on nightstands or on pieces of furniture that are smaller in scale as the size of a woven placemat will fit the width or height needed to cover a drawer front, tray or table top.

For larger pieces of furniture, the placemats will work when covering dresser drawers that have a smaller recessed area on the center of each drawer front. The placemat size may fit these recessed areas on some styles of dresser or cabinet drawers.

If you have a larger piece of furniture and really like the woven raffia front or wrapped look, consider using one of these two options that come in wider widths:

How to Makeover a Plain Piece of Furniture to Have Woven Drawer Fronts

Woven front dresser drawers that you can make using placemats.
My nightstand – AFTER

This small chest of drawers was a hand-me-down from Ed’s grandparents. It is a handmade piece with some quirks. It has also had a few layers of paint in its past, but I have always loved it. When I found the tray fit perfectly on top a few years ago, the two pieces now look like one.

placemat in tray on woven drawer fronted nightstand

Total Cost of Makeover: $10.00

I didn’t have to paint my nightstand, but if you have a piece of furniture that needs painting. Let the paint dry a few days before adding the woven placemats to ensure they will adhere.

supplies needed:

  • Woven vinyl placemats – see color resources at the end of the post
  • Spray adhesive
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife

Time needed: 2 hours.

Budget Furniture Makeover: How to Add Woven Fronts to Dresser Drawers Using Woven Table Placemats

  1. Measure Drawer Fronts


    Remove each drawer and measure the width and height of each.

    Use large scissors to cut a piece of the placemat that is slightly larger than the measurements. You want to have a little excess to make sure you get a perfect fit. Once the placemat is fitted on the drawer front, you can cut any excess away.

    Cutting placemat to size of drawer front

  2. Apply Spray Adhesive


    Go outside and spray the front of the drawer with an even coat of spray adhesive making sure to get the edges and corners. Do the same on one side of the cut piece of the placemat.

    IMPORTANT: For the best bond, make sure to spray both the surface of the drawer as well as the mat. When both surfaces have adhesive on them creates a very solid bond that will last.

    TIP: Use a large piece of cardboard to cover the inside of the drawer when spraying. This will keep adhesive overspray from getting into the drawer.

    applying spray adhesive to the front of a drawer for a woven front furniture makeover

  3. Add Placemat

    Line up the placemat on the drawer front adhesive side down. Make sure the weave is running straight and even with the top of the drawer and is covering the sides. Then run your hand firmly over the placemat to make sure every part of it is sticking to the front of the drawer.

    smoothing out placemat on drawer front

  4. Trim Excess

    Using a craft knife, lay the drawer face down on a cutting surface. Working from the under side of the drawer, tilt the drawer a little towards you and then run the blade of the knife right against the edge of the drawer to remove the excess placemat. Repeat for the other edge.

    Repeat this process for each drawer.

    Let the adhesive dry before placing the drawers back into the dresser.

    If you find a corner or edge of a placemat is not sticking to a drawer, apply some fast tack glue on a small paint brush and run it under the area to get the glue under the placemat. Then press the area with your hand to ensure adhesion.
    cutting excess placemat from drawer

  5. Attach Knobs or Pulls


    Use an awl from the inside of the drawer and poke through to the front of the drawer so you can see where the hole is for each knob.

    Place the tip of the awl into this hole on the face side of the drawer and wiggle it around to make the hole big enough to fit the knob screw.

    Place knobs on and secure.
    How-to-attach-drawer-handles-on-woven-drawer-front-dresser

  6. Optional Steps


    I placed the original knobs back on to my nightstand, but before I did I wanted to remove the rust color on the screw heads to expose the chrome color underneath.

    To do this I used a wire brush on my Dremel Multi-Use Tool. It is my favorite tool and does so many things that make DIY’ing possible. :-)

    Dremel Mulit-Use tool wire brush to remove aged rust on drawer knob screws.

  7. How to Make a Woven Liner for a Tray


    Lay the placemat into the tray. Fold excess and mark with pencil.

    how to line a tray with woven material

  8. Cut Placemat


    Use scissors to cut placemat to size.

    Cut placemat to size with scissors

  9. Place in Tray

    placemat in tray on woven drawer fronted nightstand

Looking down on woven raffia look furniture makeover

Clock | Rug | Pom-Pom Dust Ruffle | Plaid Comforter

Small chest of drawers made over using table placemats to create the look of high end woven raffia furniture.

Woven Placemat Resources:

If beige is not your color, look at the variety of placemat colors I found that you can use to transform a small item or piece of furniture in your home.

A selection of woven vinyl placemat colors

1 |2 |3 | 4 |5 | 6 | 7 | 8

You May Also Like:

Woven front furniture makeover after. Text overlay says DIY Woven Front Dresser

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83 Comments

  1. one word GENIUS. Thanks for sharing this and alternatives to use in covering larger pieces.

  2. Great project! I’m going to re-do my little dresser the same way except its a little wider than the placemats so I’m going to use a table runner to cover the drawer fronts.

  3. What an absolutely fabulous idea Diane! I would love to try this myself and have pinned for future. Thank you for sharing at Charming Homes and Gardens. I am so happy to be featuring you this Wednesday.

    1. Hi Kim – Thank you and thanks for sharing it on your post Wednesday. :-) I also wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your post about brightening up winter. I linked to it in my Style Scouting post over the weekend. You are a master with flowers.

  4. Oh my goodness! I just love this! It looks so pretty and high-end! Now you have my wheels turning…what else could this be added to! Thank you so much for sharing at EH&F! I am inspired!

  5. Diane, you have outdone yourself with this up-cycle! I love it and I think your husband’s ancestors would approve of how nicely you’ve treated their furniture through the years. Your how-to photos and instructions are excellent as well!

  6. Perfect timing! I have an old swatch cart from that company and was going to see if they were still around as I plan to do something similar to my nightstand doors and top. I have a PB seagrass headboard and my folks 1965 walnut dressers and night stands. The mirror has a recessed motif I don’t like so I cut apart an old seagrass purse and used that to fill the recessed area! It really ties in with the seagrass headboard. Your project came out beautifully!!

  7. Genius! And it just has that lovely coastal vibe that is so perfect in your home. Love it, Diane- thanks for sharing.

  8. This is such a brilliant idea that I will snag at some point I just love it and that nightstand is the cutest thing I ever saw.x

    1. Hi Janette – When the nightstand became mine when Ed’s parents gave Ed and I all his grandparents furniture. It was painted a very pale turquoise with a white wash over it. The bottom was rotting and my dad redid the entire bottom with new wood and added the scroll. He painted it white for me and that is how it has been for years. It is the little chest of drawers that has had many lives. :-)

  9. Great looking makeover! I am inspired by your post to use placemats, maybe a natural linen, to cover a very ugly lampshade. As always, thanks for the inspo. P.S. Love your new picture – you look mahvelous!

  10. This project is terrific and so timely for me as I have been looking to update our sideboard in our dining room using cane (too expensive for this beginner). I’ll give the placemats a try–thanks for the wonderful idea (and hopefully easy DIY)! I love the new look for your nightstand.

  11. That looks great! I love your style. We have Big Lots stores in our area, and they have similar place mats and matching table runners. I used a couple of runners to cover geometric patterned window valances in our camper. I cut the table runners into strips and stapled them over the existing fabric. It’s was an easy fix and a much simpler look than the busy fabric. I had planned to add a simple molding to cover the staples, but the staples pretty much disappeared, so I left as is.

    1. Hi Kay – What a great idea to us the runners to cover the busy valances. Love hearing about creative ideas like this and how easy it was to do. I will have to keep my eyes out for a runner to use on a larger dresser. When I lived in PA, I had a Big Lots close by that I checked out from time to time. I always found something at a bargain price.

  12. Gotta admit when you started out talking about Rattan I was thinking ugh!
    But as always- you made it look really great in a very simple and straightforward way.

  13. I started to say this is my favorite project that you have shared but how can I say that when you have painted your entire kitchen along with all of your other amazing projects. I have had these same placemats & used as placemats. I would never have seen the potential in them that you did. Your chest/nightstand looks so amazing! It must be wonderful to have Diane Ideas!

    1. Hi Linda – I really enjoy creating stuff and finding ways to repurpose things. Sometimes my ideas don’t work out, but this one came together perfectly. I can’t add 2 + 2 in my head, but the creative part of my brain is on overdrive. :-)

  14. This is also a great option for furniture that has deep scratches or smaller gouges to wood or laminate. This could rescue furniture that is otherwise in good shape from being tossed. I can’t help but notice what looks like beautiful blue grasscloth on the walls? Have you ever seen any diy projects using grasscloth? Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Michelle – Excellent idea on using the place mats as a way to cover damage on furniture to make it look new with little work. It would work beautifully. The blue wallpaper on my bedroom walls is faux grasscloth. It is smooth to the touch, but even from close up. It looks real. You can see the post I wrote about it here: https://bit.ly/3cIsRTz

      I haven’t done any projects with grasscloth, but I love it. Have you ever done a Google or Pinterest search for “DIY projects using grasscloth”? I am sure there must be quite a few.

  15. Wow, Diane, even your sheets and such pick up the texture of the new placemats! Very nice designing! Wish I’d thought of it myself! Thanks!

  16. So genius of you!!! The nightstand looks wonderful and I am loving this caning trend!!
    Now that you shared this easy DIY, I plan on updating a tray. Thank you💜

  17. Diane that is so pretty. The color is so soft and feminine. great job. Thanks for sharing the details

  18. Your nightstand looks fantastic! I love this diy, and am going to try it on my makeshift desk. Off to find some placemats. Thank you!

  19. Hi Diane,

    Would love to know how you use your Dremel. I bought one but have never used it. Could you show us a few projects using it?

    1. Hi Barbara – I will get a list together and write a post about all the things I use my Dremel for. It is one handy little tool. I think most people forget they have one or are not quite sure how to add the bits and what each one does. My favorite bit is the Diamond cutting wheel. It cuts through anything even metal. Stay-tuned.

  20. This is brilliant! It’s such a high-end look for a low-end price! You always have the best ideas!

  21. Beautiful! I can’t wait to try this. You always have such great posts – easy enough for people like me who aren’t so crafty and talented!

  22. Another budget friendly makeover! It looks so chic and expensive. By the way you look great in your FB Decorating Panel picture. I didn’t see any changes in skin color in that picture. Have a great week. XXOO

  23. I really enjoy your posts. They are a fun simple read….. always personal,upbeat and positive.You have a lot of ideas and I like your style. Keep them coming. I must say your updated profile picture suits you very well

  24. You are absolutely brilliant!!! I have been really wanting to add this look to an inherited buffet. But, the doors are solid and really didn’t want to start trying to cut out an inlay to add rattan. This may be the solution I have been looking for! As a side note, have been looking for mats like these to use for outside dining ;)
    Thank you for your continued inspiration!

  25. What an amazing transformation! I love the look and especially like that the material can be damp-wiped- unlike actual natural fiber. Thank you for this beautiful idea!

  26. I have been eyeing this style for a while and trying to figure out how best to accomplish exactly what you did! My furniture is a little wider than the placemat—maybe I could find a table runner in the same woven vinyl? Your finished piece is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

    1. Thanks Theresa – Another reader commented that she found runners at Big Lots. If you have one of the stores near you, it may be a good place to check.

  27. This is bonkers! I, too, have been drooling over grass cloth and cane furniture – I love the island look – and I cannot get over how expensive it is! You hacked it for 10 dollars!!?!?!??!? I can’t believe that you used placemats!!!! I would never have thought of this and it’s so brilliant because they are cheap and they are everywhere. Plus, they’re vinyl, so they’ll stand up to fingerprints. I haven’t used spray adhesive for anything but paper; I’d be curious to see how the placemats hold to the wood over time.

    Inspired idea!

    1. Hi Jen – Thanks :-) As far as spray glue goes, it can adhere many things to many different surfaces. The key to getting a lasting bond, is to spray both the surface on both items, let sit for a few seconds and then place together.

  28. I love your blog!! I am not a fan of this trend either but your nightstand is absolutely gorgeous! You’ve inspired me to go buy some placemats today! Thank you for your amazing inspiration!

  29. I started following your blog about when you were in the “clock face phase” and you originally redid this tray. Looks great all refreshed.

    1. Hi Mary – Thanks and double thanks for being a long time reader. I created the tray when I was a blogger writing for True Value Hardware. The tutorial is still on their blog. If they ever take it down, I will put it on my site. :-)

  30. I think this is my favorite makeover that you’ve done. I’m sitting here looking around for a piece of furniture I can try this on! Perfect match of color to the woven materials.

    1. Thanks Margo – When DIYing I can never be sure if the project will come out like my vision. For this makeover it did – which of course made me smile with delight to have been able to do it so quickly and inexpensively.

  31. Hi Diane,
    I love this makeover and now I finally have an idea for my husband’s old dresser! In the meantime, I have been decoupaging old lamps with birchbark with great results lol.

  32. Diane, to be honest, I am like Sharon; I didn’t think this was going to look good. However! It gives an entirely new look to the chest. I am pinning so when I have a chest to makeover for my booth, I will try and see if I can copy you! Thanks for the inspiration:)

  33. Good heavens, Diane! This is so high end looking! I don’t know how you do it, my friend, but this is spectacular. I’m looking all around my house to see where I can try this,lol. 😆 Thanks for such an amazing idea!

  34. That looks fantastic! You never cease to amaze me with your projects! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  35. Oh, Diane. I just knew I probably wasn’t going to like this. LOL, but I LoVe the way it turned out!!! So pretty and fresh looking and very gender-neutral. As a rule, I’m just not crazy about this type of drawer fronts or inserts, etc, especially when it’s a high contrast color combo like white base and walnut fronts. But this one is quite nice, easy on the senses and complements the room as opposed to screaming for attention. Good job….very good job! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Sharon – Thanks :-) The idea for this came on a whim. Sometimes these ideas/projects come out better than ones that are planned and every detail thought out.

  36. You are so talented and such an inspiration! Love the idea of using those cheap placemats!
    Thank you!