Ikea Hemnes Dresser Revamped!

If you saw this image on Facebook earlier. Here’s the post as promised!

So I recently bought the Ikea Hemnes 8-drawer dresser last weekend during Labor Day weekend. I’ve tracked this one for a while, when I changed my address Ikea sent me a $50 off coupon and I was determined get the most out of it!

As I started putting it together (best part about Ikea they make you work for your purchase) I realized the drawers were ugly! (See below…) And it inspired me to change it.



Like? Here’s how I did it.

It took me a while to decide, but since my latest obsession is grey/silver I went with nickel — great decision!

It only took two cans of the white to cover the – God awful – yellow stripes on all eight. It took about 4 hours to dry completely.

Next I taped off the stripes – I thought about doing Chevron stripes which would have looked amazing, but it literally look forever just to line up two. So I scraped that idea and went with horizontal stripes.


I love it! Check it out in the drawer…

It took me all weekend, four bottles of spray paint and enormous patience, but I finished it!


Upholstered Bench Project


After 9 months of waiting/planning + 5 hours of hard work I have finally transformed this $10 coffee table to an upholstered bench!

For this project I used:

  • Coffee table (20″ x 40″)
  • Foam
  • Batting (I used 108″x90″)
  • Buttons and button kit
  • 2 1/4 yards of fabric
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Fishing wire
  • Spray adhesive
  • Upholstery needle
  • Nails
  • Hot glue gun


The coffee table started out as a caramel brown so I stained the legs a deep espresso. I suggest waiting 24-48 hours after painting to allow the legs to funny dry. I also drilled holes for tufting. I planned to do four, which thankfully worked out perfectly. (I don’t have a drill so I used a fatter nail and hit it through to create a hole large enough for the upholstery needle.) I removed the legs of the table to make the stapling process easier. (I wish I had left them in place the fabric turned out so thick along with the batting that I now have to re-set the legs with longer, tougher screws. Which unfortunately I can’t do until my dad is in town to help, later this month.)

Fun Fact: I locked my self out of the house on my way out to rent a drill (long story short some of the screws were old and striped) and with my roommate in another state for a friends wedding I had to wait outside for about an hour for a locksmith. Did I mention it was the hottest day of the year (so far). My luck. [See I should have just left the stupid legs on and worked around them!]

STEP 1: Foam & Batting

I used 108″ x 80″ of batting for this project (a lot I know, but so worth it). I wanted to make sure the result didn’t  feel anything like a coffee table. I caught a great sale at Joanne’s and only paid $11.98 for all the batting. Woohoo!

I sandwiched the foam between the two layers of batting. I used spray adhesive on the top of the table to help hold the batting in place and then again on the batting to help hold the foam, while I played with the top layer of batting. The adhesive didn’t really hold, but it helped keep the foam and batting from sliding off the table while I tugged the top layer around the edge.

I added even more batting to the corners as I worked my way around the bench. I have a tendency to hit my shins on corners. :|

STEP 2: Tufting Prep

I read in a similar blog posting that the girl wished she dug out a little foam to allow a deeper tuft. So I pushed the needle up from the bottom cut out some of the foam. I marked the hole with a yellow paint pen and quickly realized there was no need :( but it did create a nice looking tuft! (below)

STEP 3: Layout the Fabric

I laid the fabric out and realized I may have over bought :\ (no worries I have plans for it) so I cut a generous amount to make sure I’d have plenty to reach around. Luckily I caught the pattern in the fabric and worked  to make sure it ran parallel to the edge of the bench (otherwise it would have turned out looking crooked thank God I thought of it before I stared stapling).

STEP 4: Buttons

I used a button making kit to make these, but the fabric was too thick to work normally so I used hot glue gun. (Thank you random google search result!) I put hot glue on the inside of the button, folded the fabric down and held it until it dried. Once it dried I put hot glue on the fabric and placed the back of the button on. I kept pressure on the back for around 30-45 seconds to make sure it dried correctly and stayed! It worked — thank goodness!

STEP 5: Tufting

Since I took off the legs I placed the table top over a basket so I could get under to push the needle up through the fabric. The thickness of the fabric made it hard to pull the fishing wire through so I had to cut a small hole in the fabric to pull it through. I tied the fishing wire to a nail to help me pull the button tighter and staple the wire to the top of the table. Hint: hammer the staples down to keep the wire from moving. (Not pretty but it did the job!) Note: I made sure to pull the fabric extra tight before working on the second set of buttons to keep the middle from looking wrinkled later.

STEP 6: The finale!

I stapled the fabric on to the table. The corners took some time, but I folded them to create a military sheet fold. The fabric was a bit thick on the edges so I used small nails to help keep the fabric in place.


TA-DA! It is finished.

I skipped the re-attaching the legs step because I had a tiny issue — since I chose an upholstery fabric (thick and durable) I had trouble re-attaching the legs, so they are on there superficially. I plan to re-address this issue with my dad when he comes in town later this month. I plan to add longer screws to pull the legs in tighter – fingers crossed it works.

And that’s it!

It feels great to finish this project  (well almost) and to do it 100% on my own! I hope this gives some much-needed reference for anyone other DIY-er’s thinking about doing a similar project. I know it looks like a big job and while it was tedious and a bit time-consuming.. it was worth it!

I still feel a bit exhausted from this project so if I skipped a step or if something seems unclear please feel free to leave any questions in the comments box below or email me at lifebyemily@gmail.com.

Car Care: Clean Your Headlights

Recently, I’ve realized how dirty or shall I say foggy my headlights have become. So I found this tutorial on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.

Here’s what you’ll need:

– Toothpaste — paste only (I think the cheaper the better)

– Steel wool (the article suggested a cloth, but I had a lot of grime)

– Gloves

– Bucket of hot water (not pictured)

– Rag

Here’s the before:


I just applied the toothpaste and scrubbed with the steel wool in a circular motion.


Once I felt like I scrubbed enough I wiped off the remaining toothpaste and poured the rest of the hot water over the headlights and…

It worked!



Just to show the difference here they are side by side.



Worth the $2.95 for the toothpaste? Heck yes!

Hi, I’m Random

While surfing Pinterest today I found District Lines with their “hi, I’m awkward”, silently wishing they had one that said “hi, I’m random” and then I discovered you can design you’re own t-shirts. And they actually look really great. I kind of want to make one for myself! So go make a t-shirt or sweatshirt that makes you laugh and post it below!


Keep your wireless password on your fridge for easy access? Me too, until I realized why don’t I write it on the back of a picture! Seriously this is such a simple idea, but I never thought of it until this past weekend.

Oh and excuse the mess, but my roommate and I have a ton of weddings to attend between the two of us.

Simple idea, but I hope you find a use for it!

Life by Emily is officially off the ground!


After years of trial and error, countless hours and lots of soul-searching: Life by Emily is officially off the ground. In the right hand column you will find six categories: Projects, Sgt. Pepper, DIY, Noms, Heart and Seasons.

A little about about Emily (me):

This blog is basically the random assortment of my everyday life.

My parents both come from strong Cajun French/French families so I love great food, enjoy simple pleasures and am completely obsessed LSU football!

I have a small child named Sgt. Pepper (okay so he’s a dog). He is a 5 lb. Yorkie and he stole my heart from the moment we met (I’ll post the story). I love that dog!

I am a Marketing/ Advertising/ Promotions coordinator at an engineering company by day and an amateur designer by night. Life by Emily has become my creative space! Here you will find posts about things that I love, my current design work, DIY projects, funny stories from my life (seriously I couldn’t even make this stuff up) and a random assortment of things that inspire me.


While I am a Marketing Coordinator at an engineering company by day, my true passion is print design. Lately I’ve been asking (we’ll begging) my recently engaged friends to let me help with designing save-the-dates, announcements, invitations and just about anything else they need. The projects page will showcase those projects! [So yes a couple of them said yes!] So far I only have a couple, but I’m hoping to have more soon.

Sgt. Pepper:

I have a small Yorkie – Sgt. Pepper. Yes that was a Beatles-inspired choice. I call him Pepper for short. While I am whole-heartedly for rescuing dogs sadly Pepper was not rescued. When i first met Pepper he was so tiny (1 lb. exactly). And he was still the biggest little trouble maker I have ever met. Right then I knew we were prefect for each other. On this page I will try to continuously update it with pictures and short posts of my life with Pepper. He’s a feisty one so that page may get a bit interesting!


Do-it-yourself or DIY is now a huge part of our weekends, am I right? Do you spend time during the week scouring Pinterest for the latest and greatest DIY projects that will complete that room you never finished or update that tiny apartment you’ve crammed yourself in? No worries I do it too. This page will show your all of my DIY projects that I’ve boldly taken on. Many of them are in the process of being completed to stay tuned!


This is basically a compilation of things that I love and/or inspire me to be a better person. This page may get a bit random so be prepared to find something new and exciting every week!


I grew up in a large cajun-french family, where seasonings reign as king and roux is a staple in every dish. Needless to say I love to cook and I love even more to eat! This page is where I will share my favorite recipes.


I’m a huge fan of holidays, maybe it’s the religious aspect or maybe it’s the excuse to get a little drunk with your favorite people. I also love to make seasonal cards – which will be posted here! So Merry Christmas, Happy New Years, Happy Easter or whatever time of year it is!

So that’s just about sums up Life by Emily! Thanks to those who have followed me though the painful year and half it took me to get here. And for those of you who are just joining me thanks for visiting I hope you continue to read up on Life by Emily!