Tag Archives | west elm

IKEA MALM dresser hack

Today we’re going to show you how we used $35-per-dresser worth of hardware to upgraded a couple IKEA Malms that until recently, looked like this:

DIY Dresser Upgrade And now… it looks like this!

You can watch the video that covers everything below, or keep scrolling for all our choices, steps, and tips in blog-format.

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a second it would mean SO much to us if you’d like our video or subscribe to our channel. Since we’re brand new to YouTube, every view, like, and subscription makes a huge difference for us. Click here to see the whole channel. Thank youuuuu! We’re doing a big goofy happy dance right now!]

We were inspired by this discontinued West Elm Dresser to do knobs on the top row of drawers and pulls on the rest. If you want to check out the backstory and challenges we faced about hardware and dressers (riveting, I know) before I get to the actual tutorial, click here to read our last post.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This ended up being a really simple tutorial that you could definitely tackle on a weeknight after work with just a few tools. Below is what we used:

Materials

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Tools

We also ended up needing bolt cutters, a wrench, and a spare nut that fit onto our screw because we ran into a little snag with our screw length (more details on that later).

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The first thing you have to do it make a big mess of your room by emptying all your drawers. Just think of it as an opportunity to get rid of that Panic at the Disco t-shirt that’s been shoved in the back for years.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Then you’ll need to measure your drawers and mark each spot to drill for your hardware. Double check your measurements because having a bunch of mistake-holes in your dresser is a good way to ruin it.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com For the pulls, we measured the width of the drawer front, then the width between the two holes in each pull. We subtracted the pull-width from the drawer-width and divided that number in two, which told us how far we needed to measure from each side of our drawer. We centered those marks vertically.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The knobs were easier. We just eyeballed what positioning looked good, made sure they were equally spaced width-wise from the outside edge of the drawer, and centered those vertically too.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com We recommend placing your hardware on each drawer front where you’ve marked before you drill. This gives you a visual check of how you did. When you feel confident that your ability to do simple math has resulted in the correct placement of your hardware, it’s time to get out the drill.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com To pick the right bit size, you can hold your screw up to several different sized bits and pick one that is just a hair thicker than your screw.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com We really like using a drill guide (that little metal bar we’re drilling through) to help us drill straight down (instead of at an angle). If you’re nervous about drilling through perfectly good furniture, I highly recommend getting one of these little guys.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com After drilling, we did hit a bit of a snag. See, hardware will typically come with screws, and ours came with two different screw size options. But sadly, we had a Goldilocks moment and one was too long and one was too short, but neither was juuuust right.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This is a common issue to run into, so we’re going to share a little tip (so you can avoid going to Home Depot for the 10th time that day to pick up new screws).

Grab a set of bolt cutters and a nut that’s sized to fit your screw. Thread the nut onto the screw, then cut the too-long screw to  the length you need.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Cutting it will deform the threads slightly, but that’s where the nut comes in. Grab the nut with a wrench and use your screwdriver to back the screw out of the nut. As you rotate it off over the damaged threads, it will re-shape them back to normal and boom, you have a perfectly-sized screw!

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The next step is to simply attach your hardware with your screws. You can use a normal screwdriver or a powered screwdriver depending on what you have.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Then just add your drawers (I guess you can put your clothes back now too) and give yourself a high five because you’re done!

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This project really was super easy, and it ended up only costing us $35 per dresser. In my book, that is WAY better than dishing out hundreds (or even thousands!) on something new.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Before…

DIY Dresser Upgrade After!

………………………………………………………………
You can also find us at:

YouTube (all our DIY videos)
Instagram (sneak peeks @evanandkatelyn)
Patreon (if you wanna support us, but no pressure!)
Pinterest (stuff that inspires us)
Twitter (us, in 140 character doses)
Facebook (be our friend)
Instructables (straight up tutorials)
………………………………………………………………
Note: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting us!

1

How to sell handmade products

Hey guys! A few weeks ago after our first West Elm Pop Up Shop, we asked if y’all would be interested in hearing the behind-the-scenes scoop: how everything went down and what we learned in the process. And your response was a big “yes!” across the board! So today, as we prep for our next show on November 12th, we are here to spill the beans.

**UPDATE** We recently made a video about everything we’ve learned since becoming official wholesale vendors to West Elms in Texas and getting even more experience selling online and in person under our belts. Check it out below!

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

It all started with a quick call to our closest West Elm. We knew they supported local artists (which is awesome) but we didn’t know how to get involved. We also didn’t know what exactly we’d make as said local artists, or anything about pricing, selling, quantities, packaging, advertising ourselves, etc. So hopefully we’re coming at this “guide” with the eyes of someone who didn’t know much and had a lot of questions.

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

But before I ramble on, I’m going to inject a bit of structure into this post because #iloveagoodlist. What I’m going to cover will of course vary from pop up to pop up, but these are the things we’ll talk about today:

  1. What products to sell
  2. How we priced our products
  3. How we promoted our pop up
  4. What we needed for our display
  5. How we dealt with packaging
  6. How we set up a payment system
  7. How we set up our shop
  8. Miscellaneous stuff to remember

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

So let’s dive in shall we!

What products to sell

We spent a good chunk of time brainstorming what to make. It needed to be sellable at a reasonable price (we’ll get into pricing later). It needed to be something we were good at making. And we wanted it to be a product we liked enough to display in our own house – just in case we ended up with a bunch of unsold goods am-I-right? Kidding, kidding, we just wanted it to feel like “us.”

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

We started with the deer head, which was based on a present Evan made for me years ago (more on that here). We added the Texas designs because a) Texas is awesome, and b) we hoped that having a Texas product would make our shop feel even more local and personal.

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

How we priced our products

This was a hard one, so we worked backwards. We originally thought we would sell handmade marquee letters because we often get requests to make/sell/rent ours. But the West Elm folks (huge thanks to Will Williamson for answering all our questions!) told us that usually products over $100 don’t sell as well at their events, so those big marquees were a no-go. This number of course is going to be different for any venue, but we learned that talking to the people in charge is a good place to start when it comes to your price point.

Once we had products in mind that we knew could sell under that $100 mark, we calculated the cost in materials/time and picked a price that was above that number, but not higher than what we’d pay for the item in stores (we asked a bunch of friends and family to let us know what they’d pay in stores too).

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

How we promoted our pop up

This was another new adventure… how do you actually get the word out about your event? The obvious answer is to just tell people, which we definitely did, but we also relied on Instagram and Facebook. Being a graphic designer, I mocked up some product photos with the pop up info (location, date, time, etc) and we posted those a week before and a day before the event.

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

We also created a Facebook event and invited all our friends that live in the area. This is stuff we’re still figuring out, so hopefully the combo of Facebook and Instagram was enough to remind people/provide info, but not so much that we got annoying (sorry friends if we got annoying).

What we needed for our display

This ended up being a decent amount of additional unexpected work, but luckily everything we made can be used in future shows. Again, we relied on the advice of Will from our West Elm store when it came to what type of stuff to bring.

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

We decided to make outdoor signage, an “About Us” sign for our table, pricing signage, business cards (plus a holder for them), displays for our products, and a sign up sheet for custom orders.

For the outdoor signage, we built a chalkboard A-frame that you can see in the photo above. We’ll post a tutorial later on the blog – it was really easy to make and could be used for tons of other events (showers, parties… shower parties… wait, what?)

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

We also built custom wood displays that we could mount our pricing sign and “About Us” sign to. The larger “About Us” sign is displayed between two acrylic sheets, mounted on wood. The pricing sign, since we didn’t have small enough acrylic, is held to the wood with magnets. Again, we will post tutorials on how to make these since they could be used for tons of different stuff (holiday menus anybody?)

We even turned a chunk of old branch from our yard into a business card holder. This is from the same branch we cut down forever ago to make our silver painted mantel branch… yep, it’s been in our garage attic for three years!

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

To display our deer and Texas’s, we brought some of these acrylic stands in a couple sizes. We also built a custom display stand for the ornaments using wood and brass pegs. I kinda want to mount it on a wall and hang keys/sunglasses from it one day.

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

West Elm was nice enough to lend their artists things like books and crates for adding height to our table displays, which helped a lot. But if you’re doing a pop up that doesn’t provide that stuff, bring some items to create elevation (boxes, books, crates, baskets, cake stands, etc). It will add visual interest and make your products easier to see.

How we dealt with packaging

We had to provide all of our own packaging for the event. For us this meant two different sized paper bags, stickers (to close the bags), boxes (for the deer), and tape (for the boxes). We wanted to brand our boxes and bags so they looked a little more custom, so we made a stencil of our logo and spray painted our bags.

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

When coat after coat of spray paint warped our stencil, we wised up and made a stamp. We 3D printed it, mounted the print to foam, and mounted the foam to wood. This was WAY easier (plus we weren’t dying of fumes). We used the stamp method for the remaining bags, boxes, and even the backs of our products (which we also signed).

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

Side note – the boxes were big so we brought them flat packed, hid them under our table at the pop up, and assembled on site. Maybe there’s a better way to do this – we are still figuring things out.

How we set up a payment system

Collecting payment was another item we were responsible for. To take credit card payments, a lot of people use Square but we opted for PayPal Here since we were already set up with PayPal. It was free, really easy to use, and it tracks things like how much you sold of each product variation and what times of day you sold the most.

We didn’t want to forget that some people prefer to pay in cash though. So we made sure to bring some cash monies with us to use as change if necessary. Fun fact, only one person paid in cash, so I think if you can do credit card you’ll cover most of your bases.

An added complication of selling physical goods is that in Texas, you have to pay sales tax. Which meant we had to fill out some forms to register with the state. I’m sure it’s different per state, but definitely something to look into if you want to keep to the straight and narrow.

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

As part of the whole getting paid thing, we also started an online store. That way, if people told their friends about us and their friends wanted to buy a product too, they wouldn’t have to wait for another pop up.

How we set up our shop

Our best advice about setting up: get there early! It took us several trips to/from the car to carry everything, plus then we had to actually figure out how we wanted our table to look.

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

We thought it would take us half an hour max, and it definitely took more like 45 minutes. Maybe because we are noobs. Maybe we brought too much stuff. Which brings me too….

Miscellaneous stuff to remember

There are tons of little miscellaneous things we brought to help the day run smoother. Some of them we needed, some of them we didn’t need, but having all of them made us feel better.

We brought:

  • Extra tape
  • Extra scissors
  • Extra twine (for the ornaments)
  • A sharpie (just in case we forgot to sign a product)
  • Our Yetis!!!
  • A nice camera
  • A tablet and a laptop… just in case (didn’t use either)
  • Our stamp and ink (for any boxes/bags we may have missed)
  • Some tools (to assemble the deer heads – we let people choose what head color and backing type they wanted, and we assembled on demand)
  • Extra chalk (in case our chalkboards outside got messed up)
  • Spare phone batteries (the payment system is run on your phone so keeping it charged is extra important)
  • Duct tape (always necessary)

We know we still have a lot to learn, but hopefully this helps anyone who is considering doing a pop up shop. If you guys have any further questions just ask below in the comments and we will answer everything the best we can!

Pop Up Shop for Noobs: aka what we learned from our first pop up shot - evanandkatelyn.com

Note: This post contains affiliated links. Thank you for supporting our blog!
How to sell handmade products
2

Our first pop up shop = success!

Hey y’all! If you follow us on Instagram (@evanandkatelyn) or you’ve been within 20 feet of us recently, you probably know that we had our first pop up shop at West Elm yesterday – and it went really well!

Our first pop up shop = success! evanandkatelyn.com Our first pop up shop = success! evanandkatelyn.com

We’re no strangers to the maker world (we’ve been DIYing and tinkering for years now), but actually selling the things we make is a whole different ballgame.

Our first pop up shop = success! evanandkatelyn.com

We’ve learned SO much about how all this stuff goes down that we think our brains might overflow and we want to share – but at the same time, we don’t want to saturate the blog with posts about products and pop ups because that’s not why y’all are here. Plus heck we don’t even know where all this product stuff is going yet. But we DO know that our readers are crafty, creative people who may have at some point thought “maybe I could sell the stuff I make?”

Our first pop up shop = success! evanandkatelyn.com

So if you guys are interested, we could do a post about how the whole thing went down and what we’ve learned even from just ONE pop up shop. We only started this adventure six weeks ago, and since then we’ve spent our nights and weekends creating a new logo and business cards, revamping our site, making signage for the event, figuring out how to price things, starting an online store, building our own displays, registering with the state to collect sales tax, dealing with all the logistics of setting up and breaking down a shop… Oh yeah, and building the products haha.

Our first pop up shop = success! evanandkatelyn.com

There’s a lot we can cover, so let us know if this is something y’all want to know more about!

Our first pop up shop = success! evanandkatelyn.com

 

 

8

Opening up shop!

3D print & wood faceted deer & Texas wall art - evanandkatelyn.com

Hey guys! If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook or you’ve been around us in real life (friends, family, coworkers, cashier ladies), I apologize in advance because you have probbbbbbbably heard this news already. We’ve been making things for years, but now we are actually selling some of the stuff we make! Specifically, these guys:

3D print & wood faceted deer & Texas wall art - evanandkatelyn.com

So I know I know, you have a billion questions: How do I buy one? What are they? How did all this start? How will you have time for this? How are you guys such straight-up badasses?? (unrelated, I just need to know!) I’ll try my best to answer everything.

3D print & wood faceted deer & Texas wall art - evanandkatelyn.com

3D print & wood faceted deer & Texas wall art - evanandkatelyn.com

HOW DO I BUY ONE?

There will be a couple ways:

  1. We are selling these in Houston at West Elm City Centre October 15th and West Elm Highland Village November 12th! Pinch me!!!!
  2. We are opening an online shop for those who can’t make it to either event, but we hope to do more in-person events too.

You can get to the shop by clicking the link on our menu or clicking here. We will continue to add more products as we go… we already have about a bajillion more ideas that we cannot wait to start.

3D print & wood faceted deer & Texas wall art - evanandkatelyn.com

WHAT ARE THEY?

They are dimensional wall art you can hang on your wall or display on your shelves. They’re made of faceted 3D prints that Evan designs (yay CAD + art skills!) and different types of wood: some with a natural raw edge, some with a dark walnut stain, and some that are hand painted.

3D print & wood faceted deer & Texas wall art - evanandkatelyn.com

Evan actually designed the deer years ago when 3D printing was just getting off the ground. Over time he refined this and exaggerated that until it became what it is today, which he surprised me with as a present one Christmas (it’s still hanging on our bedroom wall). It’ll always hold a special place our <3’s.

3D print & wood faceted deer & Texas wall art - evanandkatelyn.com

The faceted topographic Texas is a brand new design for us and, being Texans, we think it’s pretty awesome too. We are planning on branching out and doing other states as well but we had to start with our home state of course!

3D print & wood faceted deer & Texas wall art - evanandkatelyn.com

3D print & wood faceted deer & Texas wall art - evanandkatelyn.com

HOW DID ALL THIS START?

Well that first deer head Evan designed, he posted it open source a few years ago for people to use themselves and it went viral – even to the point of people selling it as a paper craft on Etsy! (Which of course we took as a huge compliment – that’s the cool part about open source content).

3D print & wood faceted deer & Texas wall art - evanandkatelyn.com

So that, combined with the comments of friends and family (“Y’all should sell that!” “I can haz deer hed?”) made us realize that people other than us might want this kind of thing in their home.

3D print & wood faceted deer & Texas wall art - evanandkatelyn.com

HOW WILL YOU HAVE TIME?

Hahaha. Hahahahaha. We don’t know. We’ll make it work though!

3D print & wood faceted deer & Texas wall art - evanandkatelyn.com

HOW ARE YOU SUCH STRAIGHT-UP BADASSES?

Born that way, deal with it emoji-deal-with-it   emoji-deal-with-it   JK, totally freaking out (but in a good way). So exciting!

 

8

DIY West Elm “S” Shelf

One of the first DIY projects we did in our apartment was super simple and we were able to save lots of money- win! It started when we spied the “S” shelf at West Elm…

DIY West Elm "S" Shelf- evanandkatelyn.com

DIY West Elm "S" Shelf- evanandkatelyn.com

We thought it would be the perfect thing to go above our TV without adding too much visual weight (that side of the room was already super heavy with our big media center). I remember it being around $120-$140 (don’t quote me on that), which seemed sorta crazy for something so simple. I don’t know if they still sell it, but lucky for you it was super easy to make and we’ll go through the steps here.

First off, we made a trip to our beloved IKEA and picked up some Lack wall shelves in black (four of the 11-3/4″ ones for $6.99 each, and one of the 43-1/4″ ones for $14.99). Unfortunately we did not remember to take any pictures before assembling it, so instead I drew up these instructions for doing so:

DIY West Elm "S" Shelf- evanandkatelyn.com

It was as simple as that! Before we put it on the wall I did manage to snap a picture of the assembled “S” shelf… but it was before we moved the “L” bracket to the correct location. In the picture below you’ll see the “L” bracket on the far left. Which was fine, but it would have stuck out underneath the shelf. So instead we decided to add it to the bottom of the “U” part of the shelf (see comic above) so that when you flip it and put it on the wall, it’s above eye level (even for tall people) and doesn’t show.

DIY West Elm "S" Shelf- evanandkatelyn.com

Just follow the IKEA instructions for attaching those brackets to the wall and you’ll be golden. Note- we left the screws as is, but if you wanted them to blend more you could color them with a black sharpie. You could also use any of the other Lack shelf colors if you wanted to mix things up.

DIY West Elm "S" Shelf- evanandkatelyn.com

DIY West Elm "S" Shelf- evanandkatelyn.com

This project was super easy, fast, and wayyyyy cheaper than the West Elm version.

Here’s the budget breakdown:

  • Four 11-3/4″ IKEA Lack shelves (with brackets and screws)… $6.99 a piece
  • One 43-1/4″ IKEA Lack shelf (with brackets and screws)… $14.99
  • Power drill (or you could use a screwdriver)… already owned
  • TOTAL… $42.95

I’d say compared to $120-$140, that’s a heck of a deal! And requires pretty much no DIY skills to put together yourself. Woohoo!

 

 

3