Turn A Broken Drawer Into the Perfect Shelves

Do you remember that dresser I turned into my tv stand last week? Well, I couldn’t let the broken drawer that I removed go to waste! I decided the dovetails and wood were just so pretty they deserved another life.

The Drawer

The drawer was quite large. The base became the shelf for my cable box, apple tv, etc… in the tv stand and this is what was left.

dresser drawer missing bottom of 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.

broken drawer pieces

After painting one of the living room walls, I needed to add some shelves back to finish off the space. The drawer pieces were exactly what I needed.

Placing the Shelves

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.

Hanging multiple shelves on a wall can be a bit tricky. I find It easiest to always plan out where they will go before you do any drilling. Start by measuring out a piece of painter’s tape the same length as each piece of wood.

measuring length of wood pieces

Then move the pieces of tape around the wall until you get a look and flow that you like. If your shelves have corbels, you can even add those in tape to give you an exact copy.

marking out position of new shelves

The Corbels and Wood

To give my new shelves a little bulk, I added 2 of these inexpensive corbels to each one.

The corbels came unfinished but it was super easy to give them a worn, vintage look. I rubbed on some Fusion Stain and Finishing Oil in Golden Pine and that was all they needed.

unfinished varnish

Wanting to tone down the blue paint on the shelves, I gave them a coat of Milk Paint by Fusion in Vintage Laurel. I am so in love with this soft green (and the blue peeking through) as it played off the colours in the wall mural beautifully.

wood painted with green milk paint

Putting the Shelves Together

Since I was building the shelves from scratch, it was easiest to hang the corbels first and then add the wood. It was so much quicker doing it this way as I didn’t need to worry about getting screws in the exact right spot.

attaching corbels to the wall

To finish the shelves, I laid the wood on top, made sure it was level and spaced evenly, then screwed it to the corbels.

adding wood to corbels

These pretty shelves were so easy to make and hardly cost anything. If you need some in your home, I would encourage you to look around and see what you have that you can use.

new corbels painted with Fusion finishing oil and stain

wood corbels

I am so happy to have the living room completed and feel like these just add the finishing touch to the space.

living room shelves painted with milk paint by fusion

living room shelves made from a broken drawer

**Please note that this post includes affiliate links for your convenience.  All links are for products that I have tried and use regularly.  By using the link, it in no way increases the cost of the item to you should you choose to purchase.  However, by using the link, a small portion of the sale is given back to help fund this blog. Thank you and Happy Creating! **

Pin for later…

turn a broken drawer into shelves

4 Comments on " Turn A Broken Drawer Into the Perfect Shelves "

  1. Lisa

    Great idea. I have some teak drawer fronts that would work perfectly.

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much, Michelle! I am so glad I didn’t have to throw the drawer out. It was beautifully made and so old.

  2. Lisa


    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much Beverly!

Leave a Comment...