Turn a Pile of Leftover Drawers Into a Bookshelf

What do you do with a pile of dresser-less drawers? Turn them into a unique bookshelf that is perfect for a narrow or small space!
Last summer I had some extra drawers left over from a dresser I recreated and used them to make a bookshelf.
I loved that bookshelf. I love how unique a bookshelf made out of dresser drawers looks. Ever since I made the last one, I have been wanting one for my own house so I have been keeping my eye out for a pile of lonely, dresser-less drawers. And I finally find a pile... on the side of the road... dresser-less!
To prep the drawers before painting, I removed the hardware and filled in the holes. Once the filler was dry and sanded smooth the holes were invisible and they were ready for paint.
I wanted this bookshelf for my living/dining room area so wanted a nice, clean, neutral colour. A custom mix of Fusion Mineral Paint in Picket Fence and Casement was the quintessential creamy white for the job.
Each drawer was painted individually before they were attached together.
I dug through my collection of salvaged legs and found these long beauties. Their slim line and simple design made them the perfect complement for the narrow drawers.
To attach them to the drawer that would become the bottom one, I used these nifty little metal plates you can get at Home Depot. They were super easy to attach... just make sure that you place them at the correct angle you want the legs to go ;) (I may or may not know this tip from attaching them incorrectly the first time!)
Once the plates are in place, you just screw the legs into them and they are sturdy and held securely in place.
The legs also got two coats of the Fusion paint mix after they were attached.
After laying the dresser drawers in the order I wanted, I applied some wood glue between them to attach them to each other. Unlike the last shelf, I didn't use any screws because of the spaces between the drawers.
Each of the drawers had a little lip at the back and I'm so glad they did! The little lips created a lovely little space between each shelf which added even more charming character.
I am so glad I saw that stack of dresser drawers that morning. I now have a unique bookshelf that cost me under $10 to make and fits perfectly into my space.
If you would like to see more pictures or more projects using paint in a variety of non-traditional ways, pop over to the blog...

Suggested materials:

  • Drawers  (side of the road ;))
  • Fusion Mineral Paint  (Local Stockist)

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Recreated Designs

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Mary Eddings
    Mary Eddings
    on Mar 28, 2017

    What kind of paint do you use? Why that kind? Where do you buy your paint?
    • Recreated Designs
      Recreated Designs
      on Mar 28, 2017

      This shelf was painted with a mix of Picket Fence and Casement from Fusion Mineral Paint. I use a lot of different paint brands but use Fusion the most because it has a top coat built in. You can get Fusion from a local stockist or even on Amazon. It is a Canadian paint but is available all over North America.

  • Billi Smith
    Billi Smith
    on Nov 2, 2018

    First off, I absolutely love it. But I am wondering.... Where are the books? lol


Join the conversation

3 of 93 comments
  • Recreated Designs
    Recreated Designs
    on Jan 23, 2017

    Yep, it is. It got fastened as soon as it was put into place.

  • Humera Zubair
    Humera Zubair
    on Jul 9, 2017

    i have one draw what i do

    • Recreated Designs
      Recreated Designs
      on Jul 12, 2017

      If you have just one drawer, you can add legs to it and build a small shelf out of it . It would be just enough space to add a few books or small things and add a little decor to a small area.

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