Dumpster Dive Entry Chest of Drawers & DIY Tassel

About half an hour after we hit “Publish” on this post, Gwyneth and I went for a walk that ended with us going back on our word to give the Dumpster Diving a rest. When Gwyneth discovered a chest of drawers next to our dumpster, we gave each other puppy dog eyes that said, “how about just one more?” Gwyneth was confident that y’all would forgive us for breaking our promise, and we had to make a snap decision – a garbage truck had just rounded the corner and was rolling to a stop in front of us.

We know y’all won’t be surprised with what happened next, but the NYC sanitation worker in the passenger seat sure was. Yes, we directed both of our pairs of puppy dog eyes his way, knocked on his window and asked if he’d wait for a minute while we ran to get a luggage cart from the lobby. A few minutes later, this was in our entryway:

And with a little love, this is what it looks like today!

You can tell right away what we did here – we gave our chest of drawers a little facelift with leftover paint from our Dumpster Dive Dresser and this adorable hardware from Home Depot.

So instead of focusing on the details of the makeover, we thought we’d use this project as opportunity to answer our most frequently asked question – “Where do you do all your painting projects?” As you’ll see in the next few pictures, our painting projects take up the entire apartment! We’re sharing these with you against our better judgement because on top of the paint-splosion, you’ll get a nice little view of dishes in the sink, dust on the baseboards and a bedroom that resembles the ones people have to be dug out of on Hoarders. Keepin’ it real here!

The actual painting takes place on our kitchen counter. (That’s an old shower curtain liner we’re using as a drop cloth.)

The bathroom, hallway and living room become drying stations or staging areas for parts waiting to be painted.

(Here’s where it gets scary…) The bedroom becomes a catch-all space for any items that have to be moved out of the kitchen, bathroom and living room. Naturally, we decided that the mid-point of this chest of drawers project was also the best time to start pulling the Christmas decorations out from under the bed. So the space between the foot of the bed and the closet was filled with boxes of ornaments, at least 10 yards of garland, two table-top Christmas trees, holiday gift wrap galore, a wreath and a partridge in a pear tree. We wish we had a photo so you could experience this scene in all its glory, but we couldn’t get past this spot to take the it.

Essentially, our apartment becomes a war zone with each Dumpster Dive project, but we think the end result is worth a day of living in a sea of clutter!

Lastly, the tassel you see here is also a DIY, and we thought we’d share this super-easy how-to with you too!

  1. Braid 1′ pieces of embroidery floss and secure both ends with a knot. We used one piece of pink ombre floss and one piece of silver thread for each section of our braid.
  2. Tape your braid to the top of a piece of cardboard. Your cardboard should be as tall as you want your tassel to be.
  3. Wind embroidery floss around your piece of cardboard. We used three skeins for ours, but use more or less if you want your tassel to be fatter or skinnier than ours.
  4. Remove tape from the braid and tie the ends in a knot.
  5. Slide your tassel off of the cardboard and cut through the loop at the bottom.
  6. With another piece of thread, tie a knot around the top of your tassel.
  7. Wind and secure more thread around the top of the tassel.
  8. If you want more embellishment on your tassel (and who wouldn’t?) Use fabric glue to add your desired trim.

We know the Dumpster Diving won’t ever be over for us, but it’ll be on hold for a little while now. We’ve got some holiday decorations out and ready to be worked on!


mk & Gwynnie

PS: There’s still time to vote in Ikea’s DIY contest! We and three other finalists are in the running, and you can cast your vote here!

Part of the Link Parties at:

All Stars Block PartyLive Laugh RoweThe Shabby Creek CottageEmbracing ChangeAdorned From AboveBlissful and DomesticFive Days, Five WaysCountdown to Fall at Domestically SpeakingFunky Junk InteriorsTatertots and JelloTutus and TeapartiesToo Much Time On My HandsIt’s OverflowingDIY ShowoffThe Girl CreativeOur Delightful HomeCoastal CharmHome Stories A to ZProject QueenSavvy Southern StyleEtcetorizeGloss & Gumdrops Loving LatelyIt All Started With PaintLulu & Sweet PeaCraft-O-ManiacKeeping It Simple CraftsSumo’s Sweet StuffToday’s Creative BlogSugar Bee CraftsSomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyHouse of Hepworth’sA Glimpse InsideSomewhat SimpleSaving for SixSerenity Now504 MainFingerprints on the FridgeBe Different Act NormalI Heart Naptime


  1. This is way darling, and fits perfectly!

    Was there a love connection between you and the sanitation dept. worker? They make good money, and could supply you with a wider range of dumpster selections!

    The tassel is the perfect touch. Truly, your posts always amaze me.

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      HA! No love connection with the sanitation department worker! Y’all crack us up – always wondering if the dumpster dives will result in dates! Too funny! But seriously, thank you for the very kind comment. You put a huge smile on our faces!

      mk & G

  2. Matllda Joyce says:

    What Margaret said!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I’m so inspired!! Thanks for sharing these behind the scenes shots! :)


  4. You two have a way with dumpster dives!! The hardware is perfection and the tassel the cherry on top!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Thanks, Pam! Gwyneth certainly has an eye for diamonds in the rough, doesn’t she?!? And the tassels are so easy to make, we want to make a million of them! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

      mk & G

  5. You are truly amazing! The chest is a perfect fit and looks amazing. I really like the special touch of the tassel. You give me courage to try and do more in a small space ~ thank you!


  6. The chest was obviously meant to live with you seeing as it fits so perfectly into the space – love the colour choice and new hardware!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Thanks, Natalie! It’s definitely a storage improvement!!
      Now we just need to find a home for the old console that was there!

      mk & Gwynnie

  7. This. Is. AWESOME!

    Love how you showed where you paint and do everything in your apt. The tassel is so cute (so simple!! Who knew?!). Well done M!!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Thank you! We still can’t believe we posted those messy pics, but now everyone knows where we do all our projects :)

      mk & Little G

  8. Very cool! I love the tassle. Who knew you could make a tassel so easily?

  9. Love the finished result! The way you paint made me laugh… I do a lot of painting in my kitchen, too.

  10. Looks fabulous! Especially next to that door, wow! I love the tassel tutorial too, I never knew it was so easy. I’m totally going to make some now!

  11. i always wondered how you did everything in your apartment. now i know! (every time i read your blog it makes me want to move to new york so much!)

  12. Score! Love the your color choice. I’m featuring you in the PoPP Spotlight this weekend. Thanks for linking up.

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Maryann! We’re sure you saw our Facebook shout out back in November, but wanted to say a belated thank you here for featuring us in the Power of Paint Spotlight! We were so honored to be featured in such great company!

      Meredith & Gwyneth

  13. Love the dresser redo and the tassel! I’m going to make some tassels now after you’ve shown how easy it is!!


  14. I love this redo and seeing the behind the scenes. Thank you for sharing it at the All Star Block Party. I am featuring it today as one of my features.

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Holly! Thank you so much for featuring us! We just love the All Star Block Party and were so excited to see our makeover there!

      mk & G

  15. What a difference a little paint and hardware can make and most certainly worth a day of “living in a sea of clutter”! That’s how all my projects are too. Sometimes the day turns into a bit longer, however!
    Thanks for linking this up to Think Tank Thursday. We hope to see you again tomorrow night.

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Carrie, sometimes a day of living in clutter turns into a week over here too! You are not alone!

      mk & G

  16. Wow, if you can repurpose in your apartment than I won’t complain about my small space in my house, at least I can paint out in my garage. Very impressed with what you did, it looks great!


    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Well, you see what a mess the repurposing in the apartment can become! Lucky you with a garage for your makeovers!!

      mk & G

  17. Very cute Meredith! Love your ideas!
    Thanks for sharing at the favorite furniture makeovers party!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      You are so sweet! Thank YOU for hosting! We love a good furniture makeover, so we were so excited to see you hosting the party!

      mk & G

Speak Your Mind