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Inexpensive DIY Card Catalog from Ikea’s Moppe

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?

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?


I'd love it if you'd share:

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

I'd love to chat with you in the comments!


  1. Centsational Girl says

    That looks AMAZING Shannon, wow, so impressed! Incredible project, thanks so much for joining in on the Pinterest fun!

  2. Tracey Bradshaw says

    Love it – I have two of these sets all plain and begging for an up style – only problem is mine has the little cut out pulls at the top. Did you fill or cover yours or did they come without the finger pull holes?

  3. Amy @ PaintWineRepeat says

    Looks great! I love your spin on it. I too have that card catalog pinned with no plan in place to accomplish it! Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Jeanette @ This Dusty House says

    I love it! It looks amazing and oh so useful. I have an old metal card catalogue that was left in our garage when we moved in. It’s in rough shape and we’ve started to use it to store tools and painting supplies and things, but I have a vague dream to fix it up and put it in my office one day when I have such a room. Only problem? It probably weighs about 300 pounds and is impossible to move. Perhaps I should set my sights on something a little smaller? Thanks for the inspiration!

    • aka design says

      A small set of drawers is a great place to start!!! (But your metal card catalog sounds FAB!)

  5. says

    I pinned that card catalog hack, too! Both projects are gorgeous!

    I haven’t been to Ikea in a while since the closest one to me is in Burlington. Do you know approximately how much these cost?

    After making painted signs from your tutorial, I’ve given the crackle medium some time off because I’ve been letting my palm sander do the distressing. It’s definitely time to break it out again!

    Thanks for sharing another awesome tutorial!

    • aka design says

      I have had our Moppe drawers for probably ten years – so no, I don’t even know which stores carry them anymore.

      I ignored the crackle medium for ages too…made me think of those cheap looking antique knockoffs at Walmart. BUT if you use a large brush and big sweeping motions it looks fab!

    • aka design says

      I’d say a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. It may have been shorter if I’d used the blow dryer for the paint as I often do. But I was doing other things while each coat of paint dried.

    • how2home says

      was the crackle paint easy to work with? It has the effect as the crackle nail polish…. I’ve never used this type of paint before and im really curious to try now. Did you just buy it from Home depot/michaels?

    • aka design says

      It is easy. Just use a large brush and long sweeping motions. Work quickly and don’t go back over what you’ve already done. You can buy it at Michael’s with the craft paints.

  6. holly says

    i LOVE it!! i, too, have pinned Kristine’s version and you have inspired me to jump on this project (as soon as i can make a trip to Ikea to purchase it)!!

  7. Sam @ The Junk House says

    I just died from amazing overload! Seriously, I’m in love with your project. I have that same inspiration picture pinned, but haven’t done anything with it yet. Now I really want to get on it and make one after seeing how good yours look. Oh, and your whole blog is pretty amazing…where have I been that I’ve never been by before?!

    • aka design says

      Lol. You just made me snort! Thank you for the very sweet (and enthusiastic) compliments!

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