IKEA Hack: Fabric Covered TRYSIL Chest

First off, I want to give you all a huge thanks for the sweet comments on my guest room makeover. You sure know how to make a girl feel good :-) 

My favorite part of our new guest room is the DIY chest that sits to the right of the bed. 

Would you believe that it started out looking like this?

It’s the TRYSIL chest from IKEA – it’s not a bad looking chest but it didn’t exactly fit with the style of my room so I decided to do an IKEA hack by covering the chest with fabric (a Target tablecloth actually!) and switching out the drawer pulls. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out:

There was a lot of trial and error in getting to the final product, but now that I’ve figured out the best way to do it, I could whip up another chest in no time. I’ve put together a pretty detailed tutorial for any of you who are interested in giving it a go:

The first step is to choose your fabric. About any fabric should work as long as it’s not too thick. You might want to steer clear of anything with a design or linear pattern to prevent driving yourself crazy trying to pattern match or keep the lines of your fabric straight. I was originally planning on using burlap, but I changed my mind after spotting this Target Threshold tablecloth in neutral.  The color and texture were perfect for my room and it cost only $16.99 for a 60″ x 104″, which translates to less than $6 per yard.

Next, you’ll want to get all of the pieces of the TRYSIL chest out of the box and read through the assembly instructions to figure out which piece is which. Put a small piece of painter’s tape on the side of each piece that will be on the inside once the chest is assembled. Write the name of the piece (side, top, drawer front, etc.) on the tape.

Measure the drawer fronts and the sides, top, and bottom of the chest and add about 6-8″ to the each of your dimensions (there will be some fraying of the edges of the fabric so you need this extra amount to allow for that – you can cut off excess later if needed). Cut out pieces of fabric in those sizes. One tablecloth is enough fabric for all of the pieces that you’ll need to cover the chest as long as you lay it out in a way that you’re not wasting lots of fabric. Do not use the hemmed edges of the tablecloth – cut off and discard those.  

Next step? Iron. Steam iron the heck out of your fabric to get out the fold marks and wrinkles. 

The last step before adhering the fabric to your pieces is to prep the drawer fronts. Each drawer front comes with two predrilled holes for the handles. Fill these two holes with wood filler, wax, or putty. I used a Minwax pencil:

Then figure out where you want your new pulls and drill the holes for them. It helps to use painter’s tape to mark the spot that you’re drilling the holes and to keep the laminate of the wood from flaking off the surface when you drill them.  

You’re now ready to put your fabric on the fronts of your pieces. I originally tried Mod Podge but I quickly saw that it soaked through portions of the fabric and darkened its color so for plan B I used 3M’s 77 Super Adhesive Spray, which worked great. This stuff is SUPER sticky and a little goes a long way. You need to use it in a well ventilated area so I spread a big dropcloth out in the garage (with the garage door open) and did it there. The process is pretty simple. For each piece, spray a light coat of adhesive spray on the side of the piece that will be on the outside of the chest and then gently lay your fabric piece on top of it. Readjust the piece to align it properly by lifting it up and placing it back down as needed. Once your fabric piece is centered on the wood piece, press it down onto the wood piece and smooth out any wrinkles.

Now you need to wrap the fabric around the edges. Instead of trying to spray the edges, I found it was easiest to spray some of the adhesive spray on a paper plate and then use a small paintbrush to spread it on the edges. Doing it this way also keeps you from getting too much glue on the fabric. The glue on the plate and the wood piece dries very fast, so you have to keep spraying more on the plate and keep wrapping and pressing the fabric down on the edges as you go. 

Beware that the two side pieces have holes on the edges. You need to notch out the fabric in those areas before adhering the fabric to the edges:

Once the fabric is adhered to all four edges of the wood piece, lay the piece on the ground with the fabric side down and fold the fabric edges over onto the back of the piece. Before adhering the fabric to the back, trim the fabric in any places necessary so that it will not end up covering any holes but that it is as close as possible to the holes. This step is important! If you cover up any of the holes with fabric, you are not going to be able to assemble your chest correctly.  Once you’ve made any necessary cuts, use the same technique as you used with the edges to adhere the fabric to the back side of the wood pieces. 

I used {this method} to do the corners, including cutting away extra fabric. I didn’t use any staples though – just the adhesive spray on a paintbrush. Once each corner is glued, it will need to be held down tight to the wood piece for several minutes until the glue dries. Your finished corners will end up looking like this:

After you’re done adhering the fabric to the front, edges, and back of the piece, it won’t look too pretty from the back:

No worries, it doesn’t have to be pretty – you won’t be able to see these ratty edges once the chest is assembled. Once you’re done adhering the fabric to all of your wood pieces, brush some Mod Podge around the edges on the backs of the pieces to keep the fabric in place and keep the edges from fraying further:

After everything dries it’s time to get our your IKEA instructions and start assembling! Once the chest is assembled, you’ll need to put your new pulls on. I chose {these Home Depot ring pulls}:

To attach them to the drawer front, I put a skewer through each hole that I’d predrilled and moved the skewer from side to side to widen the hole a bit.

Then insert the screw for your pull through the hole in the drawer and through the opening in the fabric that you made with the skewer. Turn the pull (NOT the screw) to tighten it onto the drawer front. Turning the screw can pull at the fabric and create a run in it (yep, unfortunately I learned that the hard way…). 

I wanted the legs of the chest to match my hardware so before attaching them to the chest, I sprayed them with Rustoleum Universal Paint & Primer Metallic in Oil Rubbed Bronze:


I may end up getting a piece of glass cut for the top of the chest to protect it from getting dirty since I’m keeping a plant on it. I would definitely recommend a glass top if it will be a heavily used piece.

So what do you think? If you have any questions, shoot me an email or leave a comment. Enjoy the weekend!


  1. says

    Kris, this is one of my favorite Ikea hacks. Such a great idea, and the end result is so custom looking! I like the idea of a piece of glass for the top, then your guests won’t be worried about messing up that pretty finish.

  2. Anonymous says

    This is beautiful!!! I’m so impressed that you had the vision AND were able to pull it off. I often have the vision, but my end results don’t always match that vision:)

  3. says

    This project is fantastic and even more fantastic is the extended tutorial that you shared here. Thank you! I have this on my list of projects to try and i have just the small dresser to try it on!
    -Maria B.

  4. says

    Crazy incredible. What I really love is how you used a table cloth and were really elaborate in your details! I love this. Amazing. Just found you. I’m so excited.

  5. Anonymous says

    I just came across your blog and “fell in LUV”;) I am so obsessed with this hack that I am going to do 3 of them and put them next to one another in my living room! I just hope I can make mine look as good as yours! I wanted to ask you about the table cloth, it’s no longer available in that size, only round…..how much fabric did you end up using? Thanks again I look forward to seeing more inspiration from you!

    • says

      You are so sweet and I love your plan! I would say that I used about 3/4 of the material from the tablecloth I bought. You might want to check another Target if you have more than one that’s close to you – I saw the size I used on clearance at my Target a few days ago!

  6. says

    What a beautiful job.
    I love getting ideas from this sight. The ideas are so real and you can actually do them yourself.
    So many other sights are too complicated –
    Thank you for sharing

  7. says

    One more pat on your back! You did a great job, this is beautiful. Also appreciate the tutorial was complete so others can be inspired too! Congrats, it is perfect in that room.

  8. Anonymous says

    just bought a used IKEA Brimmnes bed with storage drawers,,,this is a great idea on so many levels to soften and sophisticate the bed and have low cost custom tables and more,,,,I am new to this diy thing,,,,,and thank you for sharing,,,fyi,,,M, 50 yrs old!

  9. Anonymous says

    Been wondering how to update dresser and armoire in master bedroom — hubby won’t go for painting “good stuff” that’s only ten years old! Last week I happened upon a new linen tablecloth (Katie Brown) that daughter had bought, then decided not to use. Serendipity rules! I almost immediately thought about covering the dresser, minus the mirror, with the fabric and some sort of adhesive. Today I decided to search the web to see if anybody else had tried such a project and what methods, products, and results were out there.
    I loved your work on the Ikea piece, Kris…your guest room looks so much better than our master could ever hope to look. I need to ask your opinion about covering up something that’s already assembled. It’s mostly top, sides, and six drawers (that are removable), so would you treat this piece differently than yours?
    Thanks in advance for any helpful suggestions!

    • says

      Thanks so much for the sweet words! I do think it would be doable on an already assembled piece although a little more challenging. The drawers shouldn’t be much of an issue assuming that there is enough space on the drawer back to fold over and adhere the fabric before running into the drawer itself. Your biggest problem is going to be with the sides. For some of the trickier spots (like where the sides meet the top), you might want to serge the edges of your fabric and adhere the fabric to each side with the serged edge being at the very top. I hope that makes sense. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

  10. Jane says

    This looks so beautiful! I was wondering if somebody had done this with fabric and then I saw your blog! Thank you so much, I have two dressers that are getting a makeover. :)

  11. Paula K. says

    nice job. I think i would spray paint the sides of the drawer and the back in a lighter color,tan?, to make them closer in color to the fabric. I do love the look and do like the table cloth
    Sincerely, Paula K.

  12. Anatola says

    Can you show pics of how you folded edges of fabric concerning corners of dressers fronts?

    Thank you!

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