Dresser Drawer Into Shelf

8 Materials
2 Days

I have two dresser drawers that I'm not using and I didn't want to throw them away. I decided to make shelves out of them.
The drawers are in good shape and have unique wooden face plates.
Drawer No. 1

Step 1: Sand drawer
I sanded the drawer inside and out

Step 2: Prime inside
I primed the inside of the drawer bottom and all sides

Step 3: Paint inside
After the primer had dried, I painted a dark gray. Once the gray dried, I wanted a darker color so I used Old Fashion Milk Paint in "Pitch Black".
Step 4: Wax inside
Once the inside paint was dry, I waxed the sides.

Step 5: Add poster board
A - I measured the width of the inside of the drawer
B - Using a piece of printed poster board,
C - I flipped the poster board on it back, measured and cut to size
D - I sprayed adhesive to the inside bottom of the drawer,
E - I applied the poster board and smoothed it flat
Step 6: Stain outside
The front, sides and back of the drawer were stained with Minwax "Early American".

Step 7: Wax outside
The entire outside of the drawer was waxed.

Step 8: Add drawer pulls
Once everything was dry, I added the drawer pulls.
Step 9: Add hanger
I added a canvas flush mount canvas hanger onto the back of the drawer at the top.
I love the way this shelf looks in my hallway.
Turning the drawer horizontally, it could be used in your bathroom
or your kitchen.
Drawer No. 2

Step 1: Sand drawer
I sanded the drawer inside and out

Step 2: Stain inside
I stained the inside bottom and sides. I used Minwax "Early American".
Step 3: Stencil inside
Once the stain had dried, I stenciled the inside bottom and sides of the drawer. I used Waverly chalk paint in "Celery".

Step 4: Wax Inside
Once the stencil paint was dry, I waxed the inside of the drawer.
Step 5: Paint outside
I painted the outside of this drawer using the same paint that I used to stencil the inside of the drawer, Waverly chalk paint in "Celery".

Step 6: Wax outside
Once the paint was dried, I waxed the entire outside of the drawer.

Step 7: Add drawer pulls
Once everything was dry, I added the drawer pulls.
Step 8: Adding a shelf

A - I measured the width of the inside of the drawer,
B - I cut a pieces of 1"x 8" pine
C - After staining the board, I placed it in the middle of the drawer
D - I placed two screws in the side of the drawer
E - And two in the back of the drawer.
I placed the two drawers on top of each other and added items to the shelves to make a bookcase!
It's very sturdy and so much cuter than a "normal" bookshelf.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 21 questions
  • Marlene Delap
    Marlene Delap
    on Aug 11, 2018

    When u say wax, what are u talking about. What do u use?

  • Becky
    on Aug 11, 2018

    You have a lamp on in the last photo: did you drill a hole to allow for the cord, or is this a battery-powered lamp? Very cute!

    • Alicia Gruber Winey
      Alicia Gruber Winey
      on Aug 11, 2018

      Hi Becky. The lamp’s cord is actually along the side of the drawer but you could drill a hole in the bottom/back of the drawer for a cord.

  • Queenie
    on Aug 20, 2018

    Where did you get the stencil?

    • Jacx
      on Nov 12, 2019

      You can also go to Hobby Lobby or to Joannes.

Join the conversation

2 of 116 comments
  • Tina Y. Gerber - McCurley
    Tina Y. Gerber - McCurley
    on Aug 26, 2020

    I am inspired. Thanks for sharing. Looks awesome.

  • Kyralee
    on Nov 13, 2020

    I absolutely love these ideas. Old drawers are made with real wood and actual carpentry. Tossing them out is a waste. Here's a way to give them a new life!

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