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Moppe Ikea hack vintage card catalog

This article is translated from an original project on the Dutch Design on a Budget blog. We have made some very minor edits to make it more applicable to readers in the UK. For more inspiration, take a look at our blog article about budget vintage decor at IKEA.

MOPPE Ikea hack vintage card catalog

The Moppe storage trays are very popular among IKEA Hackers. I found a lot of different hacks and fun examples on Pinterest! From sleek and modern, to shelves that look a hundred years old; that's the beauty of unprocessed wood, you can change it in all directions.

I was looking for a way to store all my creative stuff and decided to hack a MOPPE. I'm quite fond of the vintage / antique look, so I wanted it to go with my cupboard. So here's how I did it!


MOPPE  Mini chest of drawers

  • IKEA MOPPE drawer of your choice. We used the MOPPE Mini chest of drawers for this project.
  • Stain of choice. A dark color often helps to create an old look.
  • Sandpaper with a fine grain.
  • Screwdriver / hammer / key etc. to damage the wood.
  • Paper with a nice print or structure for the inside.
  • Mod Podge to keep the paper in place.
  • Brush for the stain and a brush for the Mod Podge.
  • Label holder / nice buttons of your choice.
  • Screws with a small bit.
  • Linear, scissors, plain paper, geo triangle, possibly an eraser.


Start by lightly sanding all surfaces so that all splinters etc. are off. Then sand all edges and corners to finish them, so the end result seems older. When you're done, take a cloth over the wood so that all the dust is gone.

Time to pickle! You can simply apply stains with a brush. With most types of stain you have to wipe with a cotton cloth a few minutes after application. With the stain I bought i was not instructed to wipe down and trying with a test piece it also made no difference so I did not do it.

Tin of Indoor stain transparent acrylic

I used Cetabever inside stain in satin gloss, but use whatever kind of semi-transparent acrylic stain you have available locally. We recommend a colour with beautiful warm brown tones. The bottom of the trays are of a different kind of wood, but it does not matter if you touch this, we'll solve that later.

This is how my drawers look after one layer.

Drawers after application of stain

Leave to dry overnight and shake again slightly. To make your vintage box look really old, you are now going to damage the wood. Use keys, can openers, hammers etc. to make random scratches and butes.

Then you apply a coat of stain. Most scratches will become extra dark and striking.

The stained drawers ready for lining

The wood is now ready, time to cheer up the inside with some patterned lining paper.

Lining papers

Eventually I chose the little flowers at the bottom left. These are all the things that you need for this part.

Some of the materials for this project

Measure the bottom of the drawers and the back of the cabinet. Draw this out on the back of the paper.

Lining paper marked for trimming

Cut out, coat a layer of Mod Podge on the bottom of a drawer and on the back of the paper, then stick the paper in the drawer. Spread a thin layer of Mod Podge over it again, Mod Podge works not only as glue but also as a varnish. If you apply it it is white but dries transparently.

Two drawers with lining paper applied

The box on the left has just had a layer of Mod Podge, the box on the right has been able to dry for a while.

Also stick a sheet of paper on the inner back panel of the box so that you can also see something beautiful there when you take out a drawer.

Back of drawer unit lined with paper

Finished drawer units

Next I needed label holder handles. Finally via AliExpress (a kind of Chinese Ebay), I found 15 label holder handles with matching screws very cheaply.

Vintage style drawer handles and fixings

To make sure that all the label holders are in the same place it is useful to make a template. Position the front of a drawer on a piece of paper and determine where the holes should be. Make sure they are nicely centered.

Drawer handle positioning template

Cut out, place on the drawer and push hard on the place of the holes with a pen. When you remove the paper you can see the print very lightly so that you know where to start drilling.

Drawer marked for drilling

Do you see it?

The screws are very small so you need a bit smaller screw bit to pre-drill.

Drill and screw

We used a screw-bit-set which also includes some very small ones. Very handy.

Tools and fixings

Drill all the holes and take your time. The slower you drill, the less the wood splits at the back. Now you can screw the label holders, put in tags and decorate your cupboard.

The result!

Finished drawer unit in place

Close-up of finished drawer unit

I now have a tray for rope and ribbon, stamps and ink, tape, labels, etc.

Close up of drawers showing labeled drawers

Shot of drawers from above showing contents

Another shot of the drawers showing contents

It's that simple! Maybe not very original, but a very nice vintage box!

The finished drawers


Posted by Victoriana Ltd on 18 October 2018 00:41

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