Updating a Vintage Chest of Drawers

Cindy Richter
by Cindy Richter
7 Materials
1 Hour

This old chest of drawers has been in the bedroom, the dining room, the mudroom and now I'm putting it in the pantry for some much needed storage. But it can't stay looking like an old chest of drawers. I'm going to update it by removing the top two drawers, adding a shelf and the cutest farmhouse style curtain ever!

Besides removing the two top drawers from the chest, we needed to remove the wooden piece of wood that held up and separated the drawers. We used the circular saw to cut both ends off.

We then used the same piece of wood that we sawed off as a stabilizer for the new shelf. Something else for the shelf to screw into. We screwed it into the middle from front to back.

After measuring and painting a scrap piece of plywood, we screwed the shelf into that middle bracket we just added in the last step. If works perfectly! I feel we can add a lot of weight to the shelf and it never fall down.

I didn't want to add doors to the open space because I feel they'd get in the way in our small pantry. So instead, I made a curtain/valance. I only used a needle, thread and buttons to make a rod pocket.

After measuring how large I needed to make the rod pocket, I just started sewing on vintage buttons. I wanted each button to be different to give it more character. This curtain needed about 3 inches for the rod to fit and it turned out perfectly just folding one towel in half. I used 2 towels to make the curtains.

Add the tension rod inside the new rod pocket

If you need the curtain to be larger, just cut off one end and use that end for the rod pocket. The towels come with finished edges so there's no need to hem the sides or bottom edge.

Updated repurposed vintage chest of drawers

After sewing 7 buttons on each towel, I had my curtains. I slipped on the tension rod and voila! We have an updated repurposed vintage chest of drawers! I love how it turned out. You'll have to guess what's behind it! Is it a new bar area, storage for pantry items, pots and pans? It can be used for just about anything! To see more details, check out the blog post.

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Cindy Richter
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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2 of 8 comments
  • Jane Briggs Jane Briggs on Jul 16, 2021

    I like this use but I thought I think I would like to try to make doors out of the two top drawer fronts by backing them with some plywood, and cutting them in half and adding cabinet hinges, and a couple of handles and a magnetic closure. It would be perfect for the stack of skillets and stackable pots.

  • Traci.heaney72 Traci.heaney72 on Sep 05, 2022

    WOW. I have 2 dressers that have a missing drawer. I was going to throw them out,but now I don’t need to. I’m definitely going to try this. Great idea. Thank You.