Upcycled Drawers to Side Tables

We rescued some large mid century drawers and turned them into bright side tables.
2 extra large drawers, 8 little legs, and some scrap wood. The legs were attached with blind nuts and a wood shelf was added. A couple coats of paint later and bland drawers become bright accents. I chose to leave the original handles on to keep the mid century feel, two sets of legs were used, although they didn't match exactly, we trimmed one pair and the slight miss match adds to their charm and uniqueness.
*Due to many questions I am adding more info here after original publishing. We attached the shelf with wood glue and brads (thinner headless nails) and the legs are attached with blind nuts- available in most hardware stores.
*** added after original post This set of little drawers has really made the rounds. Since being posted they have been seen all over the web and Pinterest. They even made it into Mary Janes Farm magazine! I was contacted from another publication to feature them and asked if I could redo the project to have a new look and staging. The second set has been completed and a blog post has been made to feature them. They will be published in Sommerset Home's Feb 2017 edition!
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**see the blog post here http://www.asouthernbellewithnorthernroots.com/2016/12/upcycled-drawers-times-two.html
Finished in Duck Egg and Cream with flower and bird house stencils, these are now cheery side tables.
*also added after original post, one reader suggested stacking- this was a project from last year. Drawers are fantastic pieces to work with!! Thanks for the overwhelming support on this project!!

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Have a question about this project?

14 questions
  • Donna
    on Feb 28, 2016

    How did you install the extra shelf? I don't see any nail holes on the outside, so are they just glued to the inside?

  • Julie B
    Julie B
    on Feb 28, 2016

    What kind of paint did you use?

  • Grace
    on Feb 28, 2016

    How did you add the shelves? I don't see any screw Mark on the side. Did you just glue it or use an "L" bracket of some sort?

  • LaJean Dowty
    LaJean Dowty
    on Feb 28, 2016

    How did you add the shelf? Did you nail or screw from the outside?

    • Shannon O- Junkflirt
      Shannon O- Junkflirt
      on Mar 1, 2016

      From the outside on this piece, that is why a thin brad is used rather than a larger nail or screw. Those tiny little heads vanish. Remember to glue with a good wood glue also , every joint or spliced area needs glue to remain sturdy and strong.

  • Joanne Freeley
    Joanne Freeley
    on Feb 28, 2016

    I'm a dummy, but think this is something I can master...what's brads?

    • Deborah
      on Feb 28, 2016

      A very small nail. It's like the ones that you use to put the back on to a bookcase (that you can buy from Target or Wal Mart) and assemble yourself.

    • Carol S
      Carol S
      on Feb 28, 2016

      Brads are small, finishing nails.

    • Lori
      on Feb 29, 2016

      Bwouldnt brads be to short?? Or do they come in different lengths??

    • Cathy
      on Feb 29, 2016

      They come in different sizes and you can bet then at Walmart, home depot or Lowe's

    • Cathy
      on Feb 29, 2016

      Oh Lord. *you can get them*

  • Anne B
    Anne B
    on Feb 29, 2016

    Super cute! Where did you get the legs?

    • Shannon O- Junkflirt
      Shannon O- Junkflirt
      on Feb 29, 2016

      I picked them up second hand, but most stores like Lowe's carry them. Also if you have any habitat for humanity stores, or you can always but down longer table legs.

  • Brenda Jordan
    Brenda Jordan
    on Feb 29, 2016

    Such a great idea! Can you make a youtube video on doing this? Never wood worked before and don't understand the screws. Thanks!

    • Shannon O- Junkflirt
      Shannon O- Junkflirt
      on Mar 1, 2016

      I have never made a you tube....it would be fun but good grief who wants to see me on their computer!! lol below is a photo of a blind nut. When you need more stability on a piece you can drill a hole the size of the thread part of the piece, Don't go all the way through because you don't want that hole to show on top, then you line up the hole and pound the blind nut in. The prongs grab the wood and the threaded part gives you the metal base to screw you legs into. This is a strong and secure way to do legs. Often just drilling and screwing the legs or a shelf in will work but when you have wobble potential or just want that extra strength, this is a great option. Make sure your thread matches the thread on the leg, take one in and have the hardware clerk help you figure it out.

  • Valerie
    on Mar 3, 2016

    How did you attach the shelves?

  • Lin
    on Mar 10, 2016

    What brand paint did you use - I love, love, love the colors?!

  • Nancy
    on Apr 12, 2016

    These look wonderful!! May I ask how big the drawers actually are? I am wondering if what I have will be big enough to copy your idea. Thanks and great work

    • Wendy
      on Apr 16, 2016

      Try them out in the position you have planned for them, & imagine the legs on them . If the proportions look ok they should be fine. I'm going drawer hunting!

  • Celia Wooten Hannah
    Celia Wooten Hannah
    on Apr 14, 2016

    Where did you get the legs, hardware store?

    • Shannon O- Junkflirt
      Shannon O- Junkflirt
      on Apr 14, 2016

      you could, mine came from a garage sale, but any good hardware store, or salvage store, even a thrift store could have them!

  • Martha O'Brian
    Martha O'Brian
    on Feb 2, 2017

    How did you attach the shelf in the center? Thanks

  • Annie Laurie Campbell
    Annie Laurie Campbell
    on Apr 2, 2017

    Hello. How did you put the shelves on top of each other?? On the outside all I see is smooth, not where their stacked??? What am I missing? Lol

    • Shannon O- Junkflirt
      Shannon O- Junkflirt
      on Apr 2, 2017

      The drawers are each about 3/4 in thick which gives plenty of bite to screw together on the interior through them both.

  • Danielle Gadson
    Danielle Gadson
    on Aug 15, 2017

    where would i buy legs? and find old wood to use in the middle? i'm not very savvy with this stuff, so i don't know where to get it.
    • Shannon O- Junkflirt
      Shannon O- Junkflirt
      on Aug 15, 2017

      Legs should be at any store that sells wood like Home Depot, Lowes, they would have new wood which you can stain to match. Older wood generally has to be boight from a person or salvage store. Good luck!

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