December 9, 2023
Furniture in a room

DIY Upcycling – How to Turn a Dresser into a Bookshelf

Need some extra storage for books and other items? You don’t need to go out and buy a new bookshelf. Instead, why not try upcycling an old dresser or chest of drawers into a unique and stylish bookshelf? It’s easier than you think and can save you money, too! Read on to learn more.

What You’ll Need:

  • An old dresser
  • Sandpaper or electric sander
  • Primer, paint, or wood stain
  • Wood glue
  • Wood screws and a screwdriver
  • Paint brushes or foam applicators
  • Wood screws (1 1/2 inches) and screwdriver Once you have all the materials you need, follow these easy steps to transform your dresser into a one-of-a-kind bookshelf.

Gather Your Materials

Before you get started, make sure you have all of the materials that you need. You will need an old wooden dresser (or chest of drawers) with at least three drawers, sandpaper, wood glue, screws, and screwdriver, a saw or power drill with the appropriate bits, a paintbrush (if desired), and sealant (again, if desired).

Prepare Your Dresser

Once your materials are gathered, it’s time to start prepping your dresser for its transformation. Remove all drawers from the dresser frame in order to access the back panel. If necessary, use sandpaper to remove any grime from the outside of the dresser frame as well as from the inside surfaces where the back panel was attached. Make sure that everything is clean before moving forward.

Install Shelves

Using your saw or power drill with appropriate bits, cut shelves to fit within the width of your dresser frame. Once all shelves are cut to size, begin attaching them into place with wood glue and screws. Make sure that each shelf is securely affixed in place before moving on to the next one. Continue attaching shelves until all are in place – aim for approximately two inches between each shelf. Seal & Paint (Optional)

Books neatly stacked up.


Once all shelves are installed in place within your dresser frame, it’s time to decide whether or not you would like to seal or paint your new bookshelf creation! If yes is your answer then be sure to use a sealant first followed by several coats of paint in whatever color strikes your fancy! Let dry completely before proceeding onto… Finishing Touches


Finally, add any final touches such as knobs or handles for decoration or style purposes if desired; otherwise, you’re done! Congratulations – enjoy your new unique bookshelf!

Upcycling furniture is a great way to keep costs down while creating something unique for yourself at home. With just some simple tools and supplies you can transform an old wooden dresser into a beautiful bookshelf in no time at all! So grab those supplies and get started today – happy upcycling!

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