DIY Tutorial: From Matchboxes to Stunning Dresser

Stunning miniature matchbox dresser tutorial by blackfrangipani

I like playing makeover artist with matchboxes and I hope you enjoy it too. Remember the matchbox chests I made? Well, I’ve taken a step further embellishing and transforming one of them. This time round, I turned my beautiful chest of drawers into a stunning dresser; complete with a “mirror” and an indulgent number of “perfume bottles” on the dresser top.  I’ve added a cup and saucer charm for a whimsical touch and a tassel for more drama.

Let’s get started on how to create this dresser.

Please note that this tutorial continues from previous tutorials – DIY: Beautiful miniature chest made from matchboxes tutorial and DIY: How to embellish your miniature matchbox chest.

What you need:

  • An ornate plate from Tim Holtz Ornate Plate Ingenuous Collection or a small scrapbooking frame
  • Charm components: an antique key and a cup and saucer or charms of your choice
  • 3″ length of chain
  • An assortment of beads of different shapes and sizes
  • 1/2-inch to 1″ headpins: the number you need depends on how many “perfume bottles” you want to make
  • A small piece of thick silver foil for the “mirror”
  • A tassel
  • E6000 glue
  • A brown or black marker
  • A pair of flush cutters
  • A match (combustible head removed)
  • A few toothpicks


How to make “perfume bottles”

1. Choose beads that look like parts of a perfume bottle. For instance, small oval beads can become the top part of your “perfume bottles” while the larger ones form the bottom. Mix and match the beads you have on hand. If you thread the chosen beads on a headpin, you’ll have a good idea on how your “perfume bottle” will look like when done.

Take a look at my photo for ideas. There are so many possibilities so enjoy the creative process.

Miniature “perfume bottles” by blackfrangipani

One “perfume bottle” I particularly like is the one that was made to look like it has a perfume diffuser. Here, a teardrop crystal bead was used to simulate a “diffuser” at the top part of the “perfume bottle”.

2. Once you’ve chosen your beads, it’s time to assemble the pieces. Apply a light coat of glue, about 1/2″ long, along the length of the headpin. The coat of glue should start near the head of the pin.

3. Carefully thread your beads, one by one onto the headpin. The beads are threaded onto the headpin in this sequence: the bead simulating the bottle top always comes first. Then comes the bead which forms the middle part and finally, the bead which becomes the base.

Miniature “perfume bottles” tutorial by blackfrangipani

If you notice excess glue oozing between the threaded beads, use a toothpick to remove the excess glue. Leave the threaded beads aside for the glue to set and continue making more “perfume bottles”.

4. Once the glue has set, check if the beads are secure on the headpin. If they are loose, you’ll need to repeat the gluing process.

5. Cut away the excess headpin with flush cutters. Make sure that the blades of your cutters are flush to the base of the last bead.

Cutting headpins safely by blackfrangipaniImportant: Please be careful when snipping away the excess headpins as they can become projectiles when they are snipped off. Take a look at how to do it safely.

Creating the framed “mirror”

1. Use a pencil and lightly trace the centre cutout part of the ornate plate or miniature frame onto silver foil. Add a 1/8″ border around your tracing. Cut along the traced border and glue the foil onto the back of your ornate plate or frame. When gluing, make sure that the shiny surface faces the front. Your “mirror” is done.

Setting the mirror on the dresser

From matchboxes to stunning dresser: mirror support

1. Cut the match equal to the length of the base of the “mirror” frame and colour it with the marker. When the ink is dry, glue it to the base at the back of the “mirror”. The closeup photo also shows where the match should be glued.

2. Once the glue has set, glue the mirror onto the matchbox chest. The match is used to provide additional support for the “mirror”.

Finishing thr dresser

Now that all the components are done, it’s time to decorate your dresser. This is my favourite part.

1. Glue the “perfume bottles” onto the top of the dresser; one at a time. You can arrange them any way you like. And if you have a cup and saucer charm like me, add it top of the dresser.

2. To further embellish the sides of the dresser, I’ve attached a key charm to one end of my chain and looped it through the frame of the “mirror”. A tassel was looped on the opposite side.

That’s it!! You now have a stunning miniature matchbox dresser. Best of all, it’s functional too. I keep my rings and earrings in the tiny drawers. Let me know if you have any questions. I’ll be most happy to help. I hope you enjoy this tutorial and remember, you saw it here first.

You may also like:

Miniature Matchbox Chest Tutorial

Matchbox Miniature Chest Tutorial by blackfrangipani

Embellishing a matchbox chest

Embellishing a Matchbox Chest Tutorial  by blackfrangipani

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6 thoughts on “DIY Tutorial: From Matchboxes to Stunning Dresser

  1. Thanks for the recent like of one of my blog posts – it led me to your interesting blog. I am fascinated by your posts. As a person who is not ‘crafty’ at all, you make things sound so simple that even I am tempted to try making them.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Happy blogging!


  2. I just wanted to say thank you for this wonderful tutorial. I’ve been looking for something like this and couldn’t find one. I found lots of pictures but having a tutorial makes life much easier.

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