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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. Jenifer M says

    I went to and cannot find this item.
    Could someone lead me to it, if they still carry them?

  2. Gem says

    Wow I just found the original post about these drawers, looked them up and promptly put them on my Ikea shopping list despite them being fugly in their original, un-hacked form. I’m currently re-designing my student room so I have a more usable space with a lot more storage. I’m hoping to replace a huge chair with an old wooden thrifted one (just to put clothing on) which I was thinking of crackling…..I was wondering what to do with the drawers if I got them and totally lacking inspiration. So your idea matches the two together!! Brilliant. Now I just have to get the drawers and chair and actually make them look pretty…… One day!!

  3. Yianna says

    Saw this hack and absolutely love it!

    Ikea no longer carries the Moppe or Fira lines in Canada but does anyone know of a good place to find a good substitute? I’ve looked everywhere I can think of and haven’t been able to come up with anything that will work for this project!

  4. TKraft Art & Interiors says

    OH MAN… perfect timing on this post, also great comments by your followers, it did not dawn on me to turn the drawers around until I read the other comments. This project is getting moved up to the top of my list. Great site!

  5. Hester says

    Fantastic idea. This one is for me far the best hack I saw on ¨ikea hackers¨ . I am thinking for years how I can give my Moppe drawers a better look and I got no further than to paint it white. Now I am happy I have not done yet, because this idea is so much better. Thanks a lot.
    (Unfortunately I have the one with the little cut out pulls at the top at both sides of each draw, but I will find a solution for this little problem)

  6. Holly says

    This piece is LOVELY! Really great job! And so clever with the pulls and labels! I was just thinking about trying to find something that had the look of a card catalog pull without the price–and now I don’t have to think anymore, because you already found a great alternative! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  7. Chaney says

    Wow, y’all! I clicked over from East Coast Creative’s CWTS contest, and this is beautiful! I love it! Job well done :). Hope y’all get a spot in the top 12 so I can see more of your creativity!

  8. Beth @ Whole New Leaf says

    What a great idea! Ikea stuff is great but its all very similar in style. This is a great way to change it up. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Victoria says

    Hi there,
    Your Moppe hack was the inspiration for me to do something to mine. I’m doing each drawer in a different colour. Anyway, when it comes to the step where you scrape using a device like a metal scraper or ruler, nothing happens for me. I tried a dinner knife and a screwdriver and the paint won’t chip off without going right back to the wood ? Same with sandpaper – fine grade did nothing and nor did coarse without some effort and it doesn’t reveal the black underneath, it just goes back to the wood with sanding too . Help !

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