Building a Shelf Out of Drawers

Remember this thrift store dresser from my last post?   old_dresser_ready_for_trashI picked it up for next to nothing and turned it into a great piece for our cottage.old_dresser_completely_remadeWhen I was done, I had 4 drawers left over from the bottom where I had made the cubbies and wanted to make something unique and not waste them.  After playing around with them I found that they were the perfect size and height to build a nice, tall, vertical shelf.

In order to get the stack of drawers off of the ground, I added legs to the bottom drawer.  I found these lovely legs at Home Depot, and, even though I would have preferred to use something upcycled, they were the perfect size and height.
Tip: Add legs by marking and drilling 4 holes.  Add a little wood glue into the hole and screw in the legs.  Turn over and once they are level, leave to dry.  
Adding wooden legs to a dresser drawer to make a bookshelf.I wanted to not only keep the unique look of the rustic drawers (splits in the wood and all) but wanted to define each one by using a different colour.  I chose Country Chic Paint in Midnight Sky and created an Ombre effect.
midnight_sky_country_chic_paintTo create the Ombre effect, I began by painting the bottom drawer with the Midnight Sky exactly as it came. For each drawer then going up, I made it a little lighter in colour by adding more and more white/cream paint to the blue.
midnight_sky_country_chicAfter each drawer was painted in its own unique shade of blue, I attached the drawers together with some wood glue and screws to make the whole shelf come together. glueing_wooden_drawers_togetherTip: Add the screws from the top of one drawer/shelf up in to the bottom of the next drawer/shelf.  Going up with the screws instead of down will not only add strength but will hide the screws on the inside of each shelf where you won’t see them.  distressing_bookshelf_made_from_drawers_adding_screwsI love how the differing shades of blue really defined each drawer/shelf when they were all painted and stacked.
beautiful_ombre_bluesI finished the piece off with some light distressing and a coat of Miss Mustard Seed Hemp Oil. ombre_midnight_sky_paintI am so excited that I was able to use every part of my thrift store dresser and love how the shelf came together.shades_of_midnight_sky_paint The 4 drawers, made a perfect shelf for a small, narrow spot that needed some extra storage and they the were given a new life which just some paint and a little hardware.  How much better does it get than that? A bookshelf created out of old dresser drawers. Painted and distressed.Check out another shelf I made out of drawers here…



17 Comments on " Building a Shelf Out of Drawers "

  1. Lisa

    Wow! Love what you did with the dresser! And how creative with the drawers!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks! It was a fun project. I have actually just finished another one that is similar and will be sharing pics soon 😉

  2. Lisa

    Beautiful work. thanks for sharing all your projects with everyone.

    1. Lisa

      Thanks Diana!

  3. Lisa

    Left over drawers also make good shadow boxes to wall hang or sit upright on a table. A good glass cutter can cut a good grade of glass to fit and framing it in is pretty simple with a picture frame or molding form Lowe’s Home Store. The front of the drawer can be used as the side, the bottom or the top. 2 drawers can be put together to make a 2 compartment shadow box if you have a child that plays more than one sport or for anything you would like to display side by side but not in the same shadow box. If you are putting 2 together side by side or even staking them they look great. Side by side use the fronts as the side and cut a smooth piece od good wood for the top to covere both pieces making it look as one. Do the same with the bottom to give a wsmall lip to attach the framing to. It’s about a 2 hour project with construction, sanding any rough spots, prepping the wood for paint, painting, etc. Then it’s about an hour after it’s all dry to glue the background in and get the glass in place. We did a hinged glass door with a picture frame on each side opening in the opposite direction. Unfortunately I sold it before I could get a picture of it. Hubby set it down in my booth and it was gone when I got back in. The front desk said it went out the door almost faster than I brought it in. Planning to make some more, just haven’t had the time.

    1. Lisa

      That’s a great idea Nancy! I am always so excited when I can use the whole piece, even things like hardware and drawers and not have to waste any part of it. I haven’t made the shadow boxes before but those sound beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing this and I will be on the lookout for drawers now 😉

  4. Lisa

    I like this project so much. Is very pretty and easy

    1. Lisa

      Thanks Grisel! I was so glad to be able to use the drawers and not have to dispose of them 😉

  5. Lisa

    The ombre effect on this shelf bookcase is so pretty. What a great rep urpose this is!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks 🙂 I was glad to be able use the left over drawers and not have to dispose of them… Always fun to come up with ways to use what is left over 🙂

  6. Lisa

    Oh I love this! And if I had some drawers, this would be at the top of my list! Right now I have an old black pressboard bookshelve that serves the purpose but definitely not what I want. I can see a trip to the thrift store or one of the tons of antique/flea markets we have here very soon!!
    Thank you so much for the ideas and inspiration!

    1. Lisa

      🙂 Thanks so much Candy! I love having interesting pieces in my home and this definitely fit the bill 🙂 Not only that but I was able to save and use all parts of the dresser which made me very, very happy 🙂 I would love to see a pic of yours when you get it built!! Thanks for stopping by and happy hunting. Hugs, Lisa

  7. Lisa

    Oh my! This looks so incredible! Pinned and tweeted. We love partying with you and we appreciate you stopping by! Please take a minute to stop by next week, so we can pin and tweet your new creation. The party starts on Monday at 7 pm! Have a great Saturday! Lou Lou Girls

  8. Lisa

    What a fabulous upcycle project and great vision to even think of making this! Thanks for sharing on Snickerdoodle Sunday. Pinned and Tweeted.

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much Beverly! I am always excited to find a use for the “left over” parts of a project 🙂 This was a fun one. Thanks for stopping by and the pin and tweet! Hugs, Lisa

  9. Lisa

    Lisa, this blue is so pretty! I can’t believe you made this shelving system from salvaged drawers that is so cool. I love the Ombre effect too. It’s super fantastic! Hugs, CoCo

    1. Lisa

      Thanks Coco! I loved the blues and was sad to see this one go 🙁 Guess we can’t keep everything 🙂

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