In this post: Using any small set of drawers you can make an inexpensive DIY card catalog that looks just like the vintage versions that are hard to find!

Wanna turn a plain-jane set of drawers into an inexpensive DIY card catalog that can be used as a jewelry box, craft storage or junk drawers?

Finally decorate your own home – with confidence!

You’re so much closer to a beautifully-decorated home than you think. You just need a little help to get there!

By the way, I’m not just talking about the discontinued Ikea Moppe drawers I happened to use either – you could do it to any little set of drawers! I’ve seen some at Micheal’s, Amazon and even the dollar store…you just have to think outside the box a bit!


Look at all that chippy goodness you can add to boring old craft wood boxes!

Originally I was going to use card catalog pulls. But all the ones I liked were too expensive – and I didn’t want to spend much on this project.

Enter some creativity on my hubby’s part; why not combine a label holder and a drawer pull to make a card catalog pull look-alike? And the bonus is that YOU can save yourself some dough by doing the pulls this way too!



1. Paint each drawer front and the main unit with a thin coat of black paint. Let dry. You just want enough to show through when you distress the drawers. (If you happen to be using the Moppe drawers just turn them around backwards to hide the little finger cut out.)

2. Randomly paint with the burnt umber. Let dry. This just adds some interest to the distressing.

3. Using a large brush with large sweeping motions brush the crackle medium all over. Let dry.

4. Now paint over the crackle with the grey paint. Let dry.


5. Distress. Using a metal ruler or scraper, roughly chip off paint where desired. Using sandpaper, sand edges.

6. Using a clean rag randomly rub dark wax in a few places. Then using the natural wax, wax the entire piece. (Now Shown)

7. Drill holes and screw a handle to each drawer.

8. Remove adhesive backing and attach bookplates to each drawer. Add labels – and voila!

An easy and inexpensive way to get the look of a vintage card catalog!

What do you think of our little card catalog-looking jewelry box? Can you think of a piece to turn into a card catalog look alike?

shannon photo and sig oct 2022