Wardrobe Trunk Upcycled Into Campaign Style Bookcase

Got this trunk on the side of the road. Too beat up to sell as is, too big to sell at my shop...Too good to pass up. It took me a few months to figure out what to do with it, but I love the way it came out.
This is what it looked like at the start. I always like to restore the things I find, but I really don't need a wardrobe trunk since I rarely spend my summers touring Europe aboard luxurious steamships.
I used the top that I salvaged from an old buffet to make the shelves.
The leather pulls were replaced with pieces cut from a belt I bought at Salvation Army.
The giant bin on the bottom was too big to be practical. I cut the front panel off of it, then cut it down the middle to make doors.
The whole thing was painted a much lighter color. The paint for the fabric covered areas was watered down just a tiny bit so the texture could still come through.
I found some old airline and steamship labels online, antiqued them, and put them on the outside.
It does a great job of hiding the mess in my living room...And looks awesome! Check out my blog for a more detailed post.

Top Hometalk Projects

21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
Turn Your Old Junk Into The Perfect Home For Your Plants
11 Unexpected Ways to Use Spices in Your Home
21 Ways to Have More Polka Dots in Your Life
13 Spectacular Ways To Display Your House Number
31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
31 Creative Garden Features Perfect For Summer
30 Fun Ways To Keep Your Home Organized
22 Ideas To Make Your Terra Cotta Pots Look Oh-So-Pretty
23 Insanely Clever Ways To Eliminate Clutter
Gardeners: Copy These 28 Stunning Ways To Display Your Plants
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
31 Coastal Decor Ideas Perfect For Your Home
18 Adorable Bird Feeders You'll Want To Make Right Now
Scott Valentine

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


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Sno34615206
    on Dec 28, 2018

    I am looking for hangers for the wardrobe trucks. These hangers interlock in the middle to hook in the metal rod. I was wondering if you by any chance have since them or have them for sale. Do you speak Spanish?


    Sylvia Yarbrough


  • Kay
    on Jan 12, 2020

    That's is lovely. I was wandering if the middle peice of wood with the papers on it could some how be made to slide out to make a small writing desk. I have an old up wright chest of draws in the middle a peice of wood slides out to become a small writing desk. Just a thought. It's lovely as it is Kay Adelaide Australia

Join the conversation

2 of 72 comments
  • Cathy Wommack
    on Sep 24, 2016

    I have an old steamer trunk that I also got from a thrift store. Mine is chrome (?) but instead of drawers, it has a small, dark purple silk, curtained closet with a rod that pulls out with the original wooden hangers. It's from 1906. I thought about selling it as I know they go for several hundred $. I have always liked it so may keep it after seeing the unique possibilities!

  • Dottie Shannon
    on Jun 9, 2019

    Positively love this idea!

Your comment...