You’ve probably caught glimpses of this DIY card catalog jewelry box in shots I’ve shared of our bedroom recently, like this one where it sat on the DIY jute-wrapped vanity.
It seemed like the perfect time to finally the share the tutorial, which originally debuted on Remodelaholic in December, here on the blog!
I have such a weakness for card catalogs. I’ve been lucky enough to have a few pass through my hands on their way to new owners, but at the time I wasn’t in a place where I could keep any for myself.
I still retain hope that I’ll score a set of vintage card catalogs of my own one day, but until then I’m pretty pleased with this vintage-looking miniature version I created!
Would you believe this started out as a plain, unfinished wooden box of drawers from the craft store?
The transformation is actually pretty simple, but I’ve carefully documented each step of the way so you can follow along and make a DIY card catalog of your own!
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You Will Need:
- Unfinished wood box with drawers – I found mine at Hobby Lobby and altered it, but if you are a little handier than I am, the shape is quite simple and you might consider constructing your own version.
- Two 1/4″ x 36″ square wood dowels
- Two 1/16″ x 24″ basswood strips
- Scrapbooking card catalog label pulls
- Antique gold Rub ‘n Buff
- 2 pieces of felt to line drawers – I chose a tan embossed floral pattern – so pretty!
- Upholstery/carpet tacks – these look a little like tiny antique hand-forged nails, but you could also use appropriately sized screws to attach the label pulls.
- Stainable wood filler
- Wood glue
- 220-grit sandpaper
- Stain – I used Minwax “Provincial.”
Step One – Fill Holes
Take any hardware off the drawers of the box and fill the holes left behind with wood filler.
Step Two – Cut & Attach Trim
Cut the 1/4″ square wood dowels to trim out the front of the wooden box. Check out this nicely color-coordinated visual for explanation:
Glue the 1/4″ square dowel pieces to the front of the wooden box. You can place the box on its front with something heavy on top to weigh it down while it dries.
Now, to visually the divide the drawers, cut the 1/8″ bass wood strips and stack them to the correct height on the drawer front – so the divider on the drawer front is the perfect height to meet the 1/4″ trim you just added. In my case, this was three pieces high (or 3/8″).
I also added a strip of basswood underneath the top trim of the box to fill a gap.
Step Three – Sand and Stain
Fill any gaps with woodfiller and let dry.
Go over the whole thing with sandpaper until it all feels nice and smooth.
Stain the inside and outside of the box and drawers with the stain color you’ve chosen. I used Minwax “Provincial” and I think it was a pretty good match for the “antique card catalog” tone I was after. I followed up with dark Briwax for a hand-rubbed finished, but you could seal with whatever type of wax or poly product fits the look you want.
It’s getting there!
Step Four – Finishing Touches
Line the drawers with felt.
The label pulls I used came in a 6-pack of multiple colors, so I used Rub ‘n Buff to make them all antique gold.
Attach the pulls to the front of each drawer using the little carpet/upholstery tacks. Where the ends protruded through the back of the drawer front, I used a wire cutter to snip them off.
Next, choose a font for the labels. I used a free typewriter-inspired font, Underwood Quiet Tab, sized at 10 pt in a word document to make alphabetical labels. But the labels are so easy to switch out, feel free to get creative – numbers, letters, French words, the Dewey decimal system, or simply the content you intend to store in the drawers!
One final step, to prevent scratching, you can attach little rubber bumper feet to the bottom of the box.
Step Five – All finished! Fill with pretty baubles!
One pretty convincing little DIY card catalog, perfect for storing jewelry, office supplies, or really any small-sized item your heart desires!
Well, that was fun! I’m all fired up to make another one now – I foresee a few of these (or some sort of adaptation) making an appearance in the future as gifts!
I mean, who couldn’t use a miniature DIY card catalog, right?