It can be downright daunting to DIY furniture. It’s Big Important Purchase stuff you need to use every day, and possibly the focal point of any given room. Building from scratch can sometimes require equipment and tools you’re not sure how to use. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept your furniture as-is, straight out of the box or thrift store! You can absolutely still upcycle and redesign your existing furniture to make it yours, and today we’re talking to an expert homemaker who is gonna help you do it.

Hester van Overbeek of Hester’s Handmade Home has been encouraging blog readers and YouTube viewers to think creatively about their furniture and decor. She has taken those ideas and turned them into Furniture Hacks ($22), a DIY guidebook that gives you step-by-step instructions for 35 projects in the living room, bedroom, dining room, kitchen, office and backyard. You’ll learn how to turn two chairs into a bench, a bookcase into a sideboard, a cabinet into a kitchen island and more.

“I always say that if I, a makeup artist, can do it, everybody can!” Hester tells us. Scroll on for some of her furniture hacking tips, followed by an exclusive project from her book. This DIY is so crazy simple, you can transform your bedroom before you even finish your morning coffee.

Five Tips for Hacking Your Furniture

1. Find your source of inspiration. For Hester, that’s magazines, Pinterest and nature. For you, it might be cloud gazing, coffee shops and manga. Whatever it is, think about why you love it and how you can turn it into your next handmade project.

2. Follow a good tutorial. We’ve all been there, cursing the little IKEA instructions man. Hester focuses on creating easy-to-follow tutorials with step-by-step guides and video explanations to spare you from frustration. (Oh yeah, and so does Brit + Co!)

3. Remember what the Y stands for in DIY. “A lot of girls are afraid to use power tools and always ask their partners to do the work for them, but do it yourself. It is so much fun, and you create a truly unique piece nobody else has in their home.” Check out her latest YouTube series, Hester’s Guide to Power Tools, to overcome that fear.

4. Don’t be afraid to mess up. It may seem like the end of the world at the time, but reality check — it’s not. “If it goes wrong, just unscrew and start again,” says Hester. “I have made things in the past that weren’t perfect, to say the least, but you learn where you went wrong and you try again.” Plus, getting it right is always worth it.

5. Always have washi tape on hand. It’s a DIYer’s best friend! “I use it for absolutely everything, from decorating empty jars to use as candle holders, to making mini bunting for a cake, to decorating furniture with it for the paint-shy.”

DIY Washi Tape Chest from Furniture Hacks

“I love how easy it is to change the appearance of a piece of furniture with some brightly colored washi tape. If you are a bit scared to paint your chest of drawers or simply don’t know what color to choose, this is the project for you! The bright-colored geometric pattern will liven up any interior.”


– chest of drawers

– washi tape

– scissors


1. Gather together your tapes — I use washi tape a lot, so I keep the reels close to hand in a big basket on my desk.

2. Have a look at which colors go well together. Here, I’m decorating four drawers, so I want four colors that complement each other. By lining up the reels of tape next to each other, you can decide which combinations you like best.

3. Start sticking lengths of tape to your drawer, making different-sized triangles, squares and other geometric shapes.

4. Press the tape on by sliding your finger over it. Washi tape is made from paper and sometimes needs a little help adhering correctly.

5. Cut the ends of the tape in neat, straight lines for a professional finish.

6. Simply repeat the process on the remaining drawers, using different colored tapes to complete your design.

Pick up Hester’s book, Furniture Hacks, to check out the other projects, big and small. Which one are you dying to make?

(Photos via Furniture Hacks by Hester Van Overbeek, CICO Books, $22. James Gardiner, style photographer, and Hester van Overbeek, stylist and step photographer.)