How to Upcycle a Desk for a Safari Themed Room & Giveaway

An exciting upcycling project!

I’ve been busy giving this old children’s desk a makeover and along the way I found these gorgeous animal knobs from Abodent. Not only am I able to showcase the fun before-and-after pictures of my hard work with you today but I’m also launching a giveaway. Just for you, my lovely readers.

Abodent sells lots of colourful and uniquely shaped knobs – from insects to safari animal desk accessories (like you can see below) they’ve got plenty that I’m sure will suit your upcycling taste ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now, what are you waiting for? Enter by the rafflecopter below today for your chance to win ยฃ25 to spend at Abodent store online on knobs of your choosing.


t’s and c’s apply.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you remember, a couple of years ago I upcycled this beaut of a writing bureau which turned out really brilliantly. This upcycled table is no exception, if I do say so myself ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kids Desk Upcycling Tutorial with Pictures!


1. Prepare your Old Kids Desk

Prep is really important. It makes it easier along the line of your upcycling project. So, go ahead andย unscrew the old knobs and throw them away (or re-purpose them?) and take those drawers out.

2. Remove the Paint or Varnish on your Furniture

Remove the paint or varnish that is already on your old desk. This needs to be done so that the new layer of your chosen paint or lacquer is even and so that it looks professional.

This is hard work but it was made easier by B&Q’s awesome varnish stripper. I left it on for half an hour (at least. Once, I left it for a couple of hours for sure.) Use a scraper, sponges, scourers and anything else that you find that might work. Be sure to wear thick gloves and cover your face so that you don’t breathe this stuff in though as it’s really strong and powerful.

3. Sand down your Furniture

Once that’s done, it’s time to sand down whatever is left after your hours of labour in the first step… trust me it’s worth it in the end! I used a hand sander that I bought from eBay for about ยฃ20. It’s electric and works like a charm. My tips for this would be do it on a dry, windy day so that the debris flies away with ease, rather than getting stuck on the surface.

4. Paint your Desk

Make sure that it’s clean and dry, especially as sanding wood can be so messy. Then start painting.

I painted my desk a mocha colour. It has a lovely light hue as well as a tinge of purple and light brown in my opinion but you make of it what you will. Either way, it’s perfect for my Safari themed knobs, which leads me nicely to the next stage…

5. Add Animal Knobs to your Desk

Adding the finishing touches and accessories is always the nice, easy part. Here it took me only a few minutes to put the rhinos, elephant, and hippopotamus onto my drawers.


Perfect desk for a Safari themed kids bedroom!

It was a lot of hard work but it was all worth it. I’m selling it too as I unfortunately don’t have room for this beauty any longer so if you’d like to buy it for ยฃ50, it’s pick up only. Based in Essex and can be reached via [email protected].

A massive thanks to Abodent who provided me with the knobs for the desk makeover as well as the gift for the awesome giveaway.


Alina is the founder and writer of The Fairytale Pretty Picture blog whilst working full time as an SEO specialist at a growing online-only retailer called Amara. She owns a beautiful white Alsatian and lives in Essex with her husband.


  • September 28, 2017


    This is beautiful. I love it xxxx

    • September 30, 2017


      Thanks lovely x

  • September 28, 2017


    This is so wonderful, I love the patina on the animal knobs, in the past I’ve only ever seen really garish knobs so these are great!
    I’m also interested to hear you had a positive experience with varnish stripper, I’ve always been wary of it but I need to give it a try!!

    • September 30, 2017


      Haha I must say I was scared to use it at first but wearing a face mask and thick gloves really helped ๐Ÿ™‚ let me know if you try it!

  • October 3, 2017

    lorraine kirk

    It’s gold. Wow, I love what you have done – it looks amazing! Feeling inspired ๐Ÿ™‚

    • October 4, 2017


      Yes, you’re right! Thank you and glad you’ve been inspired.

  • October 4, 2017


    Wow what a great upcycle – those knobs are so unique, perfect for a child’s bedroom!

    • October 4, 2017


      Thanks Helen, I thought the knobs were unique too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • October 4, 2017

    five little doves

    Wow this looks great! I’ve never attempted to upcycle anything, DIY isn’t really my forte!!

    • October 4, 2017


      I recommend starting with something small and then with practice I’m sure anyone can do it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • October 5, 2017

    cheryl hadfield


  • October 5, 2017

    Holly - Little Pickle's Mom

    Wow, what a great upcycle! You’ve done an amazing job. Love the knob handles especially – they make it so special.

  • October 7, 2017


    Gold, I have a table I need to upcycle when I find the time

  • October 7, 2017

    Kerry norris

    You’ve done a fab job. Those knobs are amazing. My littlest has a safari themed bedroom so they’d be perfect for there

  • October 8, 2017

    Allan Fullarton


  • October 8, 2017

    Kim Neville


  • October 9, 2017

    jo liddement

    The Queen Bee cupboard knob is Gold and i love the variety of designs.

  • October 9, 2017

    Susan B

    The Queen Bee is a gold colour. What a fab range they have and you desk upcycle looks brilliant.

  • October 9, 2017

    Kimberley Ryan


  • October 9, 2017

    Monika Bascombe


  • October 10, 2017


    Great idea, just a simple change like the knobs brings it all together and make a it a fantastic piece!

  • November 1, 2017

    Black Friday Sales

    I just love it. This is an amazing makeover. This desk is looking beautiful.