It all started with Vanessa De Vargas’s emerald green campaign dresser in Lonny magazine. And then the bloggers were off. I was infected with campaign fever from the start, so I studied the RAST Ikea hacks and cherry picked the bits that I liked most, and here are my results! I’d first like to acknowledge the hackers that came before me: I used the Campaign drawer handles from LittleGreenNotebook and the corner brackets on Design Manifest.

But before I got started, I had a conversation with my friend that went a little something like this:

Me: I really want to DIY myself some green campaign drawers, but I just feel like EVERYONE has them.

Marisa: Nobody has them, I’ve never met anyone that has them. Have you?

Me: Well no.

Marisa: You don’t actually know anyone with campaign drawers then.

Me: No, I guess I don’t. But it feels like I do.

Sometimes the lines between real life and the internet are blurred, does anyone else feel this way? Here’s how I made my own DIY Campaign Dresser with a very simple Ikea hack that in my opinion, makes these Rast drawers undetectably Ikea.

fuji-files-bedside-table (1)

Handles Ansaldi & Sons / Paint Behr Herbal Tea / Corner brackets Hardware World

What You’ll Need:


Step 1: Buy Ikea RAST drawers

They are only $34.99 each. If you’ve searched for side tables (especially with drawers) you will know that this is a steal. Alternatively, if you already have drawers at home that could use a facelift, use those!

Step 2: Choose paint color

A few people have asked me how I got the lacquer look to mine, I just used a high gloss paint. I’ve seen some fabulous renditions of these in pink, grey, black, and white – you could really go any color with these. I’d love to re-do mine in orange!
Note: this wood soaks up paint, if you don’t use a primer it will take 2-3 coats and the finished product might not be completely even. I didn’t use a primer so I don’t know if that would fix this.

Step 3: Fill in handle holes & paint

Use woodfiller to fill in the holes meant for the Ikea drawer pulls, there are two on each drawer. Once this has dried sand them down until smooth. Then paint everything your color of choice.
Note: Save yourself time (and paint) by figuring out which sides will be showing. I went ahead and painted everything green (even insides of drawers) but no one will ever see those.

Step 4. Assemble drawers

You can begin to assemble the body of the dresser using the very easy-to-follow RAST instructions once the paint has dried (don’t assemble the drawers yet)

Step 5. Install handles

Measure the center of the drawer and then drill the handle pulls in. Measure twice, drill once.
Note: it’s difficult to get these centered… mine are slightly off but I don’t think anyone can notice

Step 6. Add brackets

The final step is to attach the corner brackets, then slide the drawers into place!
I drilled mine in with the small screws that came with the brackets BUT I would recommend skipping the screws and hot glueing them instead, because when I open and close the drawers the screws rub against each other, making it difficult to close the drawers all the way. One day, I’d like to remove the screws and re-attach them with hot glue, but… it’s been a year and I have not gotten around to it. Save yourself the trouble.

I really hope this helps, but if you have any questions leave them in the comments below and I’ll get back to every single one!
And for more photos of my nightstands and my home, look here and here.
Cristina V. Cleveland

Cristina V. Cleveland is a senior beauty editor based in Austin, TX. She has been exploring personal style and decor on Fuji Files since 2009. Her work as a writer and editor has appeared in publications like Refinery29, Birchbox, TradHome Magazine, To&From Magazine, Coco+Kelley, CamilleStyles and ads in Glamour, InStyle and Lucky.

SHOWHIDE Comments (23)
  1. I did a Rast re-do, and I’m not too fond of it. Haha. Thinking about re-doing them some other way! I love the antiqued gold detailing on this! Maybe another color… like deep blue? Hmm… Thanks for the DIY! Definitely the start of some inspiration soon!

  2. This is so beautiful and bold! I did a Rast hack too, but nothing dramatic like you did. I just painted it white and changed the knobs. Your hack is awesome!

  3. OMG,that is such an awesome DIY!!! You’re really creative, without a doubt=D love that green color! It’s okay in regards to if you feel everyone has the green campaign drawers because as long as you like it, that is what matters right?!!? and again, nobody that you know have green campaign drawers so perfecto! hehe

    p.s. love the skull frame you got from blogger Madebygirl, i believe? Adds that edge to your room!!!
    Have a great weekend Cristina!!!


  4. TOTALLY hear you on the blog life vs real life blurring together…but regardless, this is one epic DIY! I have white Malm dressers on our bedside, and I was thinking of doing some sort of hack to them so they don’t feel so “standard issue.” Tricky to paint though bc of the laminate. We also have a campaign dresser in the room, so that is out. Decisions, decisions.

  5. this is fabulous!! and I totally totally feel ya, absolutely the life between blogging and real life feels blurred. you did a wonderful job, looks great! I’m excited to try it.

  6. gorgeous, but my question is which hardware to buy? i took a look at the link you gave and found a few hardware options that i liked and that look like yours. but the website says they are not surface mount and so you have to carve out a space for them. where to buy surface mount campaign hardware so i dont have to carve into the wood? any way you can help? thanks!

  7. Lee Valley (.com) sells surface mounted campaign drawer pulls. The only con I’ve heard about them is that the handle might be a little hard to pull out of the base, but I wonder if that’s something WD40 could fix.

  8. I have three of these exact pulls for sale and five of a very similar antique style. If anyone wants to buy them reply to my craigslist posting and I can ship them to you at cost

    Also for those of you without a router, like me, I used a chisel and recessed them by hand. It was pretty fast actually because the Pine is such a soft wood.

    1. Awesome Annikka thanks for the tip! My corners still rub against each other so I might take a chisel to them, and you’re right the wood is very soft.

  9. How Brilliant! Thanks for the inspiration…I have been looking for that one unique inexpensive nightstand for months and I just may have to do an IKEA hack instead. I am currently working on one as a dresser, then a crib, and then just maybe I can get to that nightstand.
    Happy Nesting.

  10. I was just looking at that same IKEA dresser, trying to decide how I can upscale it and make it cute, and decided I’d go for green paint, so I went on Pinterest to look for green dressers to get inspiration from. I never thought I’d find something so cute! Totally about to try this. Thank you for making my new apartment feel like a home 🙂

  11. Hi Cristina,

    I love your dressers, they are stunning! I’m not terribly crafty or creative but I’m going to try this on a smaller scale table just to get the hang of it before I tackle a dresser. I get frustrated easily doing this type of thing but I want to do this project so badly and want it to go as smooth as possible. I have two questions…What type of brush did you use to apply the paint? What grid sandpaper did you use?


  12. Hi Christina,
    Did you have to use a router to install the Campaign handles? The handles I find online all suggest they must be installed as recessed pulls. Just wondering how you managed that. Thanks and love them!

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Rather than pushing up-to-the-minute trends and products, Fuji Files is about discovering a lasting, personal aesthetic and the journey to feeling your personal best. 

Fuji Files was started by Cristina Cleveland, the Managing Editor of NaturallyCurly, the largest hair and beauty content platform. Her work as a writer and editor has appeared in publications like Refinery29, Teen Vogue, CamilleStyles, Blavity, Birchbox, TradHome Magazine, Coco+Kelley, and ads in Glamour, InStyle and Lucky.