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Velvet Drawer Liners & the Minnie Mouse Dress

You know a DIY project has spiraled out of control when you find yourself in your half-finished closet wearing an ’90s-style velvet Minnie Mouse dress and ankle socks.
Minnie Mouse Dress
What happened?! How did my life come to this – shoulder pads and a Minnie Mouse applique?!
how to make velvet lined drawers
Like all the important downward-spiral milestones of our lives, this story began in the closet. With our DIY drawers. (See how we built them here.)

These drawers will be used for jewelry storage, and I thought it’d be fun to line the bottoms with velvet, to keep the jewelry from sliding around and to just make things feel a little fancier. So I skipped right over to Joann to buy a yard of velvet, but then I saw the price: $27.99 per yard.

I was all: uhhh, NOPE. Did an about-face and left the store.

Then started brainstorming, and suddenly I remembered: oh YES, the ’90s! Pretty much the ’90s are the answer to most problems, and that was the case for me. Velvet dresses were in abundance, and I thought if I could just get my paws on a ’90s velvet dress, I’d be able to reuse the fabric to make my lined drawers.

I found my Minnie Mouse beauty at the thrift store for only $1.75! Score! There were probably about five different velvet dresses that day that would’ve worked, but I just grabbed the one that had the most fabric (and the most Mouse). I washed it in the hottest of water, and then, before I knew what was happening, I was wearing it, and there were photos, and nothing could be stopped.

Fortunately, at some point I became sane again and actually made some velvet lining for our drawers that turned out pretty dang awesome. I’m thrilled with it, and it only cost me about $11!
DIY velvet drawer liningDIY velvet drawer lining

Materials needed

  • The most glorious velvet dress your local thrift store offers (bonus points for disney appliques and shoulder pads)
  • Spray adhesive (I used this kind because I already had some on hand)
  • A sheet of hardboard or cardboard (more on this in a sec)

1. Cut down your hardboard (or cardboard) to size

The first thing we did was run to Lowes and grab a sheet of hardboard. It’s an 8×4-foot thin, flat sheet that costs $8.98 at my Lowes. We had them cut it to size right there in the store (it’s free!).
How to buy hardboard
You can also use cardboard for this, but I opted to spend a little more on hardboard because it will never crease, it’s perfectly flat, and it’ll be nicer in the long-term. If you have some nice large pieces of cardboard to use, you can get this project done pretty much for the cost of your velvet.

We had the hardboard cut to about 1/4″ smaller on each side than the insides of the drawers. (The insides of the drawers are 12 inches x 24 inches, so the hardboard is 11.75 x 23.75.)

2. Upholster in velvet

Cut your velvet pieces to a couple inches longer than your hardboard.
DIY velvet drawer lining tutorial
Then spray one side of your hardboard piece with spray adhesive.
Applying spray adhesive to make velvet drawer lining
Give it a minute to get tacky, then caaaaarefully lay your velvet piece on top, trying to avoid any wrinkles. (This works best with two people.)
How to upholster velvet drawer lining

First person to judge our weed situation gets to come help with yard work!

Smooth out any wrinkles with your manly man-hands…
Applying fabric with spray adhesive
Then flip it over, spray the outside and fold down the extra velvet.
Upholstering velvet drawer linersMaking velvet drawer lining
I really didn’t worry too much about getting the corners good or laying flat on the back. I just cut off any extra pieces on the back and left it kinda rough-looking. I found the velvet to be very forgiving, and this part of the project was pretty tough to mess up.
Making DIY felt liningMaking DIY drawer liners

3. Pop ’em in place!

Just set your hardboard inside the drawers and you’re all done!
Tutorial: how to make DIY velvet lined drawers
If you wanted your liners to feel a little cushier, you could add a layer of batting underneath the velvet, but I didn’t want to create too much of a mounded-pillow-effect, so I skipped the batting.

I haven’t officially moved my jewelry in here yet – I’m trying (SO HARD) to wait until the whole closet is done – but I put a few pieces in just to take these pics. I found that ring holder thing at Ross for $4 and couldn’t pass it up.
DIY velvet or felt drawer lining
This whole project took me maaaaybe 20 minutes, tops. It was super speedy, and it was so easy that I’m tempted to line my dresser drawers too. Just makes things feel so fancy! And to think it all started with a thrift store Minnie Mouse dress!

Should we take a moment to mourn the dress that paid the ultimate sacrifice in the making of these drawer liners?
RIP, winter-Minnie-and-your-snowflakes. You served us well.

Love this! How to make easy velvet drawer liners! So quick and inexpensive!

Ever used thrift store fabric for something different than it was intended? Ever find yourself in a closet in a poorly fitting dress and ankle socks? I can’t be alone in this.

Let's connect


  1. Oh I’m so jealous!!! Well, not of the dress but of your awesome drawers 😉

  2. great idea!! thrift stores FTW!

  3. Kelly! What were you thinking?! I am kind of devastated that you didn’t save this dress for the cocktail party at Haven. The drawers are coming together beautifully – the velvet is such a luxe touch. And I now have you to thank for derailing me from Project Kitchen – in typical fashion I am now thinking about further altering my closet… Thanks for that :)

  4. Sarah says:

    Take that Joann! Excellent thrift store makeover. When you are done with your closet please come do mine. I will even model a velvet dress! 😉

  5. What a great idea! To line the drawers and use an old dress. Such a lovely dress too. Everyone needs a velvet mini dress for black tie affairs!

  6. What will you think of next! So clever to find the fab material you had in mind at a thrift store!!!!!! And how awesome is your closet? It’s seriously dreamy.

  7. cassie says:

    walt just rolled over in his grave, but i think it’s a great idea! 😉

  8. Kim says:

    I really hoped you saved the applique. You could frame it and hang it in the closet! 😉

  9. Laura says:

    Hahaha! Oh my gosh, what were we thinking back then?! I had black velvet overalls which I wore with only one strap buckled… obviously.

    Such a great idea! I am trying hard not to be jealous of your closet because it is looking amazing!!! :)

    • Kelly says:

      hahaha!! I totally forgot about the one-strap overalls. I rocked that look pretty hard. Also the mismatched sock look. Not sure if that was “a style” or just some weird thing I did. :)

      • Milly says:

        Ha! I have overalls but never velvet ones. :) The mismatched sock comes from Punky Brewster, I have four sisters and we all rocked those, in a row!

  10. Hahahahaha. Incredible.

  11. Angela says:

    You are a genius and rocked that dress.

  12. Love those drawers! There has to be something you can use those shoulder pads for. Padded hangers?

  13. I think Minnie would totally approve of being repurposed! Great idea, Kelly! And think how happy your jewelry will be soon… :)
    xo Heidi

  14. Marty Walden says:

    That is a brilliant idea! I want to come to your thrift store! Our Goodwill here is more expensive.

    • Kelly says:

      Our Goodwills are TERRIBLE. They price stuff higher than it cost brand new. We have one decent thrift store nearby. One.

  15. Mags says:

    Genius! I’ve been wanting to get felt liners for some small acrylic drawers but have been putting it off as I begrudged the expense of the felt. I NEVER would have thought of 1. Velvet and 2. Getting said velvet from old clothes. Thanks for the great idea! I hope no Minnies were hurt during the making of your liners…

  16. I really enjoy that you’re doing this project in your jammies outside! I do this often and I’m sure the neighbors think the place is going to hell. “She’s spray painting junk in her pajamas in the front yard!” Hey, at least I laid down a sheet to spray on so that there isn’t a giant yellow rectangle in the grass. I’m classy like that. Spray on sister!

    • Kelly says:

      I was actually nervous about wearing my “good” pajamas while using spray adhesive. (My “good” pajamas. I didn’t even realize how ridiculous it is that I have several different levels of pajama pant until typing this message.)

  17. Nadia says:

    I commend whoever owned that dress originally, they were a brave soul. I’m pretty sure I remember my Mum wearing some spectacular graphic sweaters back in the day, but velvet was taking a step on the wild side.

  18. Amy U says:

    Snazzy! And you actually look stunning in red and black velvet (:
    My 7th grade math teacher had shoulder pads and pointy … um… tah-tahs and big, artfully bleached hair and wore tight sequined shirts and when I reached high school the guys confessed they’d had a hard time concentrating on math. Ah! the eighties!

  19. So what you are basically saying is I won’t be seeing you in that dress in, say, July? Hmmm…. Not where I thought that post was going … 😉

    What a smart idea. All the way around. :)

  20. Bliss says:

    Oh Minnie you’re so fine, you’re so fine, you’re a row of drawers lined.
    Sorry, I’m not so good at rhyming.

  21. Caroline says:

    When I first started reading I thought you found the dress IN your closet lol. I was like WOOOOOW. I might had judged for a second. AWESOME use of thriftyness. $27 a yard is NOT ok.

  22. Sharon B. says:

    In the history of instructions on how to line drawers, this has got to be the most entertaining and amusing set of instructions ever. No one can deny the allure of the 90s minnie dress, but then to reuse it to line the drawers? Pure.Genius! They look awesome.

  23. Tina G says:

    Love this post! Way to be thrifty, crafty and funny! :)

  24. Kristin says:

    Wow, those drawers look really great now! I have my jewelry in an organizer on the wall in my bathroom, but I actually don’t like it because I have a lot of old stuff I don’t wear & wont need that much room once I go through it all. I might just empty out a drawer in my dresser (which I actually hate putting clothes in anyways) & get some stacking trays or something & line them! Must remember to look for velvet anything the next time I’m at goodwill. Please tell me you kept the red velvet so you can use it for something else & if not I’ll take it for my new project, haha! :)

  25. Sarah says:

    Yay for recycling thrift store fabric!! I do this all the time for throw pillows- material can be so expensive so i look for curtains, table cloths…anything with a pretty fabric that can be repurposed: )

  26. Tammy says:

    See, this is why we have you! You’re genius with your thrifty design. Now, I would have also said “no” to $27/yd fabric but then I would have looked for a coupon. Never, would it have occurred to me to go try to find some on a dress at the thrift store. Love it!

  27. You are brilliant and hilarious.
    I’m so glad you took the opportunity to do a minnie fashion show. (See what I did there?)
    So creative to line the drawers that way. Get it gurl!

  28. You’re so clever, Kelly! I never would have thought to purchase a dress for the fabric. Genius!

  29. Erin says:

    Brilliant! And the good news is, you didn’t use the top half of the dress, so you can still wear it! With windpants or something. And multiple mood rings. Yes.

  30. Devon says:

    I love the creativity, and I totally agree, thrift store clothes are the absolute best fabric sources! Last summer, a few of my friends and I decided to try our hand at building a trebuchet (a bunch of 20 year old engineers, what can I say), and we needed a strong, sturdy fabric for the throwing pouch. Well, hello there thrift store size XXL denim skirt. Fit the bill perfectly, and I don’t think we’ll ever want for denim scraps again!

    • Kelly says:

      Brilliant idea! You have to think the thrift stores must be shocked that xxl denim skirts and minnie mouse dresses actually sold… to a real human being… for real dollars.

  31. ok, for ONE second I thought you were going to say you found it from your past when you were cleaning out the closet….and I judged you. Sorry….

    But, I’m so glad that was not the case, and what a GREAT idea! Looks so good!

  32. Manette Gutterman says:

    As an avid thrift store shopper, this made me laugh! I have bought a few numbers I’m ashamed of now. Clever use of fabric and great end result!

  33. Please tell me you at least saved the top part and you’re going to turn it into a crop top.

  34. That is just how I work, finding alternative sources of material!! Good job!

  35. Lisa says:

    Your dazzling drawers are the best thing that could have happened to that dress…OMJeepers!

  36. So resourceful, I love it! And no need to mourn the dress, the top alone will make a fabulous half shirt :)

  37. Oh my gosh, this is awesome! Who knew that such a dress even existed? Of course, if I found a dress with Minnie Mouse on it, my four-year-old would never, ever let me use it to line a drawer!

  38. mary says:

    One year for Halloween, before I owned a sewing machine, I wanted to make a pirate costume (so original) and I found a handmade long-ish brown skirt at goodwill. It would have worked for just about any costume involving an old looking skirt. You can’t recreate that worn look and feel on new fabric. It turned out to be a great costume!

  39. Hahahaha! Oh god that dress!! Awesomeness and a fitting tribute! xxx

  40. Sarah says:

    What an ingenious way to save money – Love it and the drawers. The closet is really coming along. Can’t wait to see the end product.

  41. Tina B says:

    So great! I love that you found a way to do exactly what you wanted to do, only cheaply. No sacrifice and a great way to reuse old items!

  42. Karen T. says:

    LOL! You never cease to amaze me with your thrifty, practical solutions.

  43. Beth says:

    I know your neighbors love peeking over the fence :)

  44. You in the mini mouse dress makes this post. You are so thrifty and talented!

  45. Debby says:

    I love the fabric idea, but I keep waiting for hardware to appear on the drawers. How are you going to keep that lovely paint job from getting fingerprint wear all over it?

  46. Mel says:

    Those velvety arms make excellent microwavable bed-warmers. Sew one end closed, fill about 1/3 full with dried beans, sew the other end closed. Zap before bed until sliiiiightly uncomfortably hot to touch, then tuck under the sheets as you’re getting ready for bed. Toasty warm toes!

  47. Natalia says:

    You are seriously brilliant…that dress is too funny!! :)

  48. Julie says:

    Love the drawer liners, but what did you do with Minnie? Surely you did not throw her out?

    Of course the part I really can’t get past is that you are standing outside barefoot on grass! We have not seen our grass in Toronto for nearly 4 months and we were excited that it warmed up to freezing today, but to stand outside barefoot would still net you frostbite so I’m eternally jealous.

  49. Amy says:

    Just gets better and better with every post!!

  50. Awesomesauce! You’re so resourceful and clever!

  51. So what happened to the awesome applique?? You so rock.

  52. I would’ve never have thought of this! I love it and hope you don’t mind that I like it on your drawers better- no offense to Minnie either 😉

  53. shellie says:

    Oh you crack me up. I found your blog when I was looking for a DIY crib skirt. I found some gold fabric at a thrift store for $2.99. It was enough for a pillow, too. Score :)

  54. Kristin says:

    I loved this tutorial and your ingenuity! Just started following your blog and I’m glad I did. :)

  55. Wow, that dress is hot. Erm … a hot mess. But it served is purpose back in the day, I’m sure, and now it has been reincarnated. And if fabric could talk, I bet it’s thanking you for putting it out of its misery! The lined drawers look super!

  56. You are so resourceful. I would have never thought to go and fin a hideous velvet dress from the 90’s and cut it up! I love the way your drawers have turned out!!! They are beyond luxurious!!!!!

  57. What a clever idea using an old thrift shop dress! That’s awesome! I’m so jealous of how your closet is coming along!

  58. Stephanie Theis says:

    I’ve been ignoring my kids and reading your website all day!! You are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!

  59. genius! What a great idea Kelly!

  60. Kelly! First of all, I can tell that you totally rocked the 80s! Secondly, how GENIUS was it to use the velvet from a tragic dress to line your jewelry drawers?! Not in a million years would have thought of that and it saved you sooooo much money. Genius! PS- I have total closet envy. And my velvet lined drawers envy is off the charts!

  61. Liz says:

    Bravo! What a wonderful and resourceful idea – I can’t wait to try it!

  62. Mimi says:

    Love the idea!! Favorite part is that you modeled the dress

  63. Kelly says:

    This us nothing short of genius! So happy I found your blog :)

  64. gail says:

    Loved your story my mom would buy very large ladies clothes from thrift stores and rework the fabric into outfits for me…gail

  65. Kathy says:

    I have about 10 velvet dresses that I bought at various thrift stores to use in sewing projects, but never thought about drawer liners! Beautiful! I have found some beautiful dark green velvet, dark burgundy, dark blue, blacks, reds…maybe 20 yards all together for no more than $15.00 total. And I buy wool sweaters too, for crafting felted items. Got a giant mens wool sweater for $1.00.

  66. Pat Rose says:

    I just stuck a velvet robe out in the cat along with all the junk for Goodwill.
    I’ll have to go and retrieve it now for the little jewelry chest that I’m going to make out of a $5 auction win chest.
    Great idea!

  67. Dee W says:

    This made me smile. I loved the way you wrote this as a journey, celebrating the velvet dress in the way you did, even going to the extent of photographing it in ALL its glory and the progression to your jewellery drawers. I’m very impressed with the closet design and as I have two projects on the go (one of which led me to your page) that this will help me with. One is lining a draw – I have green self adhesive felt already. Not what I would choose, but as I have a whole roll of it….) and the other is a jewellery wardrobe I am creating (and which will also feature a velvet lining and a ring box similar to the one you have!). I hope your closet is done, and your little helper (I saw next to the trolley) is smiling too.

  68. Laura P. says:

    I needed some thicker fabric for a waist pouch for a costume, so I headed off to a local thrift store and purchased a wool winter coat for like 5 bucks. When I checked out, the cashier was like, “ooh, that’s a pretty coat!” My response? “Yeah, it is. I’m going to destroy it.” That got a good chuckle out of her.

    Nice job on the liners! I’ll have to keep the velvet dress idea in mind if I ever need some.


  1. […] And then I embarrassed myself in the last post when I made the velvet lining for the insides. But all this time, when I wanted to open the drawers, I had to reach under them […]

  2. […] these jewelry drawers for my closet… And then I embarrassed myself in the last post when I made the velvet lining for the insides. But all this time, when I wanted to open the drawers, I had to reach under them […]

  3. […] side of the mirror for necklaces. And we built the drawers below (see how we built them here!), lined them with velvet (here’s the post on how to make velvet lining for almost nothing!), and added the DIY […]

  4. […] comforters or blankets and repurpose the fabric for your own devilish schemes. We already know Minnie Mouse velvet dresses make awesome drawer liners, and also make any woman look her best! (PSHHHHH MMM […]

  5. […] will help large handbags keep their shape and stay in good condition. • If you have the space, a lined, built in drawer can be a great addition for jewelry. It will keep the jewelry in order and also out of plain sight. […]

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