DIY Transformation: Turn Bookshelf into Dresser – A Complete Guide

Today, we’re embarking on a particularly exciting project: turning a bookshelf into a dresser. Now, you might be wondering, why take a perfectly good bookcase and make it into something else? The answer lies in the art of maximizing space and infusing creativity into our living areas.

Think about the spaces in our homes that cry out for a little extra storage or a touch of style. That’s where this project comes into play. A bookcase, with its open shelving, is a blank canvas waiting to be repurposed. By transforming it into a dresser, we’re not just upcycling a piece of furniture; we’re creating a solution that’s as space-saving as it is stylish.

If you’re curious about more ways to reimagine your bookshelves, check out our post on how to decorate bookshelves without books for some creative inspiration.

This transformation is ideal for those of us looking to add more storage in a compact space. It’s perfect for small apartments, bedrooms, or even living areas where a traditional dresser might feel too bulky or out of place. And let’s talk about the creative aspect: this project lets you unleash your inner designer. You’ll have the freedom to choose colors, textures, and accessories that reflect your personal style, turning a simple bookshelf into a statement piece that’s uniquely yours.

So, if you’ve got that bookshelf that’s been collecting dust, or you’re simply itching for a DIY project that combines utility with creativity, you’re in the right place. With some simple, clever hacks, we’re going to show you how to turn that bookshelf into a dresser that’s not just functional but also a testament to your personal DIY flair.

No need for advanced skills or a workshop full of tools – just bring your enthusiasm and a willingness to try something new. Let’s get ready to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary and make the most out of what we have. Let the DIY adventure begin!

As we delve into transforming bookshelves, don’t forget to revisit our guide on repurposing bookshelves for additional ideas and tips that could complement this project.

The Benefits of Upcycling Furniture

Upcycling old furniture, like transforming a bookshelf into a dresser, isn’t just a fun DIY project; it’s a decision that has a positive impact in several ways. Let’s explore some of these benefits:

  • Sustainability: Upcycling is a great way to reduce waste. By repurposing a bookshelf, you’re giving it a new lease on life and keeping it out of the landfill. It’s a small but meaningful step towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Buying new furniture can be expensive. Upcycling lets you save money while still refreshing your space. With some creativity and a bit of elbow grease, you can transform an existing piece into something that looks brand new.
  • Uniqueness: When you upcycle furniture, you create something one-of-a-kind. This process allows you to infuse your personal style and preferences, resulting in a piece that’s uniquely yours. Unlike mass-produced furniture, your upcycled dresser will have its own story and character.
  • Learning and Skill Development: Taking on an upcycling project is a great opportunity to learn new skills or hone existing ones. Whether it’s painting, drilling, or creative designing, you’re sure to gain new abilities along the way.
  • Personal Satisfaction: There’s a profound sense of achievement in creating something with your own hands. The process of turning a bookshelf into a dresser can be deeply satisfying, and the end result is a source of pride and joy.

For those who enjoyed our recent adventure in wallpapering bookshelves, this project on turning a bookshelf into a dresser will be an exciting next step in your DIY journey.

How To Turn Bookshelf into Dresser

Basket Dresser Conversion:

An elegant and functional way to transform your bookshelf into a dresser is by replacing its existing shelves with a series of decorative baskets. These baskets effectively become your new drawers, offering a charming and rustic look while providing ample storage space. Choose baskets that fit snugly within the dimensions of your bookshelf slots, ensuring a smooth and seamless appearance when they’re inserted.

When selecting your baskets, consider both aesthetics and functionality. Opt for sturdy baskets that can withstand regular use, especially if you plan to store heavier items like clothes or books. Wicker or woven baskets are great for a natural, earthy feel, while wire or fabric baskets can lend a more modern touch.

Additionally, think about the ease of access. Baskets with handles are ideal as they can be easily pulled out, much like drawers. If the baskets you love don’t have handles, consider attaching some yourself for that extra convenience.

This approach not only maximizes the storage potential of your bookshelf but also adds an element of visual interest. By varying basket sizes or colors, you can create a unique pattern that complements your room’s decor. Furthermore, these baskets can be easily swapped out or rearranged, allowing you to refresh the look of your dresser-bookshelf as often as you like without much effort.

Tension Rods and Curtains:

Transforming your bookshelf into a dresser with the use of tension rods and curtains is not only practical but also adds a charming, decorative touch to your room. This method is particularly useful if you’re looking for an easy way to conceal your items while adding a flair of design. Start by measuring the inside width of your bookshelf to determine the size of the tension rods you’ll need. You can find these rods in most home improvement stores, and they come in various lengths and styles to match your decor.

Once you have your tension rods, the next step is to choose your curtains or fabric panels. This is where you can get creative – select colors and patterns that complement your room’s theme. Sheer curtains offer a light, airy feel, while thicker fabrics provide more coverage and can mimic the look of solid drawers. If you’re feeling crafty, you can even make your own fabric panels to fit the exact dimensions of your shelf spaces.

Install the tension rods at the desired height in each shelf compartment, ensuring they are snug and secure. Then, simply hang your curtains or panels from the rods. The beauty of this method is its flexibility; you can easily change the fabrics to refresh your room’s look or adjust the rod placements as your storage needs change.

This approach is particularly appealing for those who rent or prefer not to make permanent alterations to furniture. It’s a simple, yet effective way to turn a plain bookshelf into a stylish and functional dresser, keeping your belongings neatly out of sight and adding a soft, textural element to your living space.

Slide-Out Shelves

Converting your bookshelf into a dresser with slide-out shelves is a fantastic way to add functionality and ease of access to your storage. This approach involves installing sliding shelf hardware on each shelf, transforming them into drawers that smoothly pull out. The process is straightforward and can significantly enhance the usability of your bookshelf-turned-dresser.

Start by selecting the appropriate sliding shelf hardware or drawer slides for your bookshelf. These are available in various sizes and styles, including side-mount, center-mount, and under-mount options. Measure the depth and width of your bookshelf to ensure you choose slides that fit perfectly. Remember, it’s crucial to have a little clearance on each side of the shelf for the hardware.

Next, you’ll need to create or adapt shelves that will act as drawers. You can use the existing shelves if they’re removable, or cut new ones from plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) to fit your bookshelf. Attach the drawer slides to your shelves following the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually involves screwing one part of the slide to the shelf and the other to the bookshelf’s interior sides.

Once installed, these slide-out shelves will offer you the convenience of a dresser, making it easy to access items without the need to reach back into deep shelves. It’s a great solution for organizing clothes, craft supplies, or even kitchenware, turning your bookshelf into a multi-functional piece of furniture.

Adding slide-out shelves not only increases the practicality of your bookshelf but also brings a touch of modern sophistication to your furniture. This DIY project is perfect for those who enjoy a more hands-on approach and are looking to elevate their furniture’s functionality.

Repurposed Shutters for Doors

Adding a touch of rustic charm and functionality to your bookshelf-turned-dresser can be easily achieved by repurposing old shutters or small doors as front covers for the shelves. This method not only effectively conceals the contents for a neater look but also infuses the piece with unique character and a sense of history.

Start by sourcing shutters or small doors that fit the size of your bookshelf’s compartments. Flea markets, antique shops, or even online marketplaces can be great places to find such items with character. If they don’t fit perfectly, don’t worry – a bit of trimming or sanding can often make them the right size. For a cohesive look, consider painting or staining the shutters or doors to match or complement your bookshelf.

Once you have your shutters or doors ready, you’ll need to attach them to the bookshelf. Depending on the design of both the bookshelf and the shutters, you can use hinges to mount them either on the inside or outside of the shelf edges. Be sure to use sturdy hinges that can support the weight of the shutters or doors. If the shutters are particularly heavy, additional support like magnetic catches or small latch hooks can be added to keep them securely closed.

Incorporating shutters or doors not only adds visual interest to your dresser but also allows for creative expression. You can choose shutters with intricate designs, peeling paint for a shabby chic look, or sleek, modern doors for a more contemporary feel. This approach is especially appealing for those who love to blend functionality with artistic flair. By repurposing these elements, you’re not just upcycling a bookshelf – you’re creating a piece of furniture that tells a story and adds a unique vibe to your space.

Inspirational Ideas and Styles

Transforming a bookshelf into a dresser is not just a DIY project; it’s an opportunity to infuse your space with a touch of personal style. Whether your home decor leans towards modern sleekness, rustic charm, or vintage elegance, your new dresser can be a reflection of your preferred aesthetic. Here are some style inspirations to get your creative juices flowing:

1. Modern and Minimalist

For those who love a clean, contemporary look, a modern and minimalist style is the way to go. Think crisp lines, a monochromatic color palette, and a focus on functionality. When converting your bookshelf, consider a minimalist design with simple, sleek drawer handles or even handle-less designs. Paint it in neutral shades like white, black, or grey, and keep the embellishments to a minimum. The key is to create a piece that’s understated yet chic.

2. Rustic Farmhouse

If a cozy, country-inspired aesthetic appeals to you, then a rustic farmhouse style is perfect. This style embraces natural textures and a warm, earthy color scheme. Use distressed wood or opt for a chalk paint finish in colors like sage green, soft blue, or creamy beige. Adding elements like wrought iron handles or basket drawers can enhance the rustic feel. This style is all about creating a sense of warmth and comfort.

3. Vintage Elegance

For those who are drawn to the charm of bygone eras, transforming your bookshelf into a dresser with a vintage flair might be the ideal choice. Think antique-looking paint effects, ornate knobs or pulls, and decorative elements like carved wood or intricate patterns. Colors can range from soft pastels to rich jewel tones, depending on the era you’re inspired by. A vintage-style dresser can add a touch of elegance and nostalgia to your room.

4. Eclectic and Artsy

For the free spirits who adore a mix of styles and vibrant colors, an eclectic approach offers endless possibilities. Combine elements from different eras and cultures. Play with bold colors, mix textures, and experiment with quirky handles or decorative pieces. This style is all about personal expression and creating a piece that is as unique as you are.

5. Scandinavian Simplicity

Scandinavian style is known for its simplicity, functionality, and use of light, muted colors. To create a dresser with a Scandinavian feel, choose a palette of white, light grey, or soft blues. Keep the lines clean and the design simple. Functional yet stylish handles and a focus on uncluttered, practical design are key characteristics.

6. Bringing Your Vision to Life

No matter which style resonates with you, the transformation process offers a canvas to bring your vision to life. Use these ideas as a starting point, and don’t be afraid to mix elements to create a dresser that perfectly suits your space and style.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Label Your Drawers: Use labels to organize your items, making it easy to find what you need.
  • Top It Off: Style the top of your bookshelf-turned-dresser with a mirror, photos, or a few decorative items.
  • Stay Organized: Use dividers inside your boxes or baskets to keep smaller items neat and tidy.

Conclusion: Your New, Stylish Dresser

And there you have it – your very own, effortlessly stylish dresser made from a bookshelf! This easy DIY project is perfect for adding extra storage to your space while also giving a new purpose to an old piece of furniture. I’d love to see your creations and hear about your experience, so please share in the comments below. Happy DIY-ing!