How to Turn an Broken Drawer Into Beautiful Shelves

5 Materials
2 Hours

Don't throw out that old broken drawer! Turn it into the perfect shelves to give any space a beautiful, unique look.

Several weeks ago, after redoing one of my living room walls with a gorgeous mural, I turned an old dresser into a new TV stand. ( see that project here...) This drawer was leftover from that project and I didn't want to get rid of it as it had beautiful dovetailing and details.

To deconstruct what was left of the drawer, I used a hammer to take the sides apart and this is what they looked like after… everything I love… old, broken, and chippy. They were perfect.

I previously had one long shelf above my couch but always felt it left the rest of the wall a little too bare. Loving the idea of multiple shelves, I decided to use the three flat sides from the drawer.

After taking the drawer apart and giving the pieces of wood a fresh coat of milk paint, it was time to hang the shelves. Once I had decided where they would be on the wall, I began hanging the corbels. I used a tape line to mark off the exact length of the wood for each shelf so I could place the corbels where they would look best.

Since the shelves were not built yet, I found it easiest to hang the corbels and then attach the wood to them once they were in place. This was so much easier than attaching the wood to the corbels first and then trying to measure and get the screws on the wall in the exact right place.

I love how beautiful the details on these old pieces of wood are and they add so much character to the space. I also love that I was able to reuse and repose the leftover pieces of the drawer and save them from being discarded into the landfill.

To see the original Recreated Designs post for this project, including how to give new corbels a vintage feel, hop over to the Recreated Designs post using the link below.

If you loved this project, be sure to check out my new book - Cottage Projects With a Vintage Flair. It is packed full of rustic upcycles and all of the step-by-step directions you will need to complete each project.

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Recreated Designs

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


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3 of 11 comments
  • Linda Abate
    Linda Abate
    on Mar 25, 2021

    Great way of repurposing this wood. Great for a kids room for housing match box cars or a few of their favorite stuffies. Thanks for sharing.

    • Recreated Designs
      Recreated Designs
      on Mar 26, 2021

      That's a great idea! There are soo many uses for them I just couldn't part with that gorgeous wood :)

  • Carla
    7 days ago

    What a wonderful idea

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