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15 Fun Ways to Upcycle an Old Dresser

A planter for succulents, a wine rack, a dog-food station, and other imaginative ideas for upcycling a chest of drawers

Pet Bed

Photo by Courtesy of Voodoo Molly Vintage

Antonia, who sells her upcycled furniture pieces at Voodoo Molly Vintage, will often acquire individual dresser drawers. Here, she made a quirky dog bed by adding four footstool legs to an oak-front drawer.

See more photos of the finished piece for inspiration: Upcycled Pet Bed

Buffet Table

Photo by Courtesy of My Blessed Life

Myra, of the blog My Blessed Life, bought this old dresser from a ReStore for her son's bedroom. But it was the right size and shape for a dining room buffet, so she updated it with gray chalk-finish paint and used it as a buffet instead.

Find more details about how she did it: Thrifted Dresser Turned Buffet Makeover

Dog Food Station

Photo by Courtesy of Fisherman's Wife Furniture

To corral accessories needed by her two dogs, Kaylor, the writer behind the blog Fisherman's Wife Furniture, turned an old wood cabinet into a dog-food station. She added a place for stainless-steel bowls in the bottom drawer, coated the piece in a beautiful shade of light blue, and updated the knobs.

See more photos of her project: Crazy, Dog People

Cushioned Bench

Photo by Courtesy of Createinspire

Most dressers are repurposed as some kind of table. Lisa, who sells upcycled furniture and writes for the blog Createinspire, no longer had a use for that sort of piece—but she did have an idea about how to transform the dresser into a seat. The finished piece looks completely different from the original.

Find more photos and how she did it: Dresser Turned Bench

Window Boxes

Photo by Courtesy of Kammy's Korner

Window boxes add a lot of personality to the exterior of a home. Kammy, of the blog Kammy's Korner, decided to make window boxes from old drawers. She added even more character to by painting the drawer fronts yellow.

See how she made them: Dresser Drawer Window Boxes

Home-Office Desk

Photo by Courtesy of Thrifty and Chic

To make the perfect desk for her mother's home office, Alica, the DIYer behind the blog Thrifty & Chic, made over a 1970s dresser. She took out most of the drawers so that a chair could slide underneath, and added a larger piece of wood for the top. It cost her only about $50, and the result? A one-of-its-kind.

Find more details of this makeover: Dresser to Desk…Really?


Photo by Courtesy of Addison Meadows Lane

Stacey, the blogger behind Addison Meadows Lane, turned a dresser—minus the drawers—into a TV stand. She was determined to repurpose the drawers, too, so she created a fun set of hanging bookshelves for a children's room.

Re-create the idea with her how-to: Bookshelf From a Drawer?!

Pet-Kennel Hideaway

Photo by Courtesy of From My Front Porch to Yours

Pamela, of the blog From My Front Porch to Yours, bought this vintage dresser to serve as a laundry-room folding station. She painted it yellow and added unique knobs. After a few years, she converted it again, this time taking out the bottom drawers and painting it off-white. It's still a folding surface, but now a kennel fits in the empty drawer space, out of the way.

View more of the before-and-after photos: Vintage Dresser Redo Take 2

LEGO Table

Photo by Courtesy of My Repurposed Life

Gail, author of the blog My Repurposed Life, used the top of an old dresser to make a Lego-themed table for kids. The little seats are made with extra drawers and also have hidden storage space. The cute drawer fronts were created with painted wood dowels.

See how she made it step-by-step: DIY Lego Table

Media Center

Photo by Courtesy of Number 2 Pencil

Melissa, of the blog Number 2 Pencil, had a large swath of empty wall space to fill around her TV. She found a vintage cherry-wood dresser on Craigslist for only $100 and decided it was the right width for the space, plus the TV could sit comfortably on top. She removed two drawers to hold the cable box and other equipment, then painted the piece a cheery yellow color and used a special technique for a distressed look.

Find her step-by-step instructions for re-creating the look: Vintage Dresser into Media Center

Craft Table

Photo by Courtesy of Creating a Life Now

This dresser had been a craft table, a console table, and a kids'-room dresser. Jeanette, of the blog Creating a Life Now, gave it a whole new look and purpose as a craft island. She removed drawers, added extra countertop space and support brackets, and gave it a fresh coat of paint.

Get inspired by the drastic before-and-after photos: DIY Vintage Dresser Island

Wine Rack and Serving Bar

Photo by Courtesy of Unskinny Boppy

With a fresh coat of paint and a few accessories, Beth, of the blog Unskinny Boppy, converted a 1980s chest of drawers into a wine-bar cabinet. She used reclaimed wood to back the shelves and turned an old soda-bottle crate into a wine rack.

See how she did it: DIY Painted Serving Bar: The Big Reveal

Kitchen Cupboard

Photo by Courtesy of North Shore Days

It was difficult for Natalie, of the blog North Shore Days, to imagine creating anything worthwhile with the bright-pink, foul-smelling eyesore of a cabinet she picked up from an online auction site. But then inspiration struck. She gave it a thorough cleaning, stripped and repainted it. Now the piece serves as extra kitchen storage.

See the before-and-after photos: Kitchen Cupboard Makeover

Entryway Table

Photo by Courtesy of Dwelling Happiness

A must-have for a busy family is a place to drop keys and mail in the entryway. Instead of just using a small console table, Amanda, writer of the blog Dwelling Happiness, decided to repurpose a dresser she found on Craigslist. After scraping off six coats of black paint, she refinished the top and repainted the bottom to match the light-green scheme of the room.

See more photos of how she created this unique piece: Rustic Charmer: From Dresser to Entryway Table

Painted Planter

Photo by Courtesy of Carte Blanche Upcycled Furniture

Melanie Paulin, of the store Carte Blanche Upcycled Furniture in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada created this one-of-a-kind planter.

To paint the piece, she used Chalk Paint protective paint, by Annie Sloan, and a Hands' stencil from the Annie Sloan Stencil Collection. She made a custom color by mixing 1 part Arles yellow, 1 part Emperor's Silk red, and ½ part Barcelona Orange, and used Pure White Chalk Paint for the stencil.

Rather than fill the drawers with soil, she placed plastic window-box liners with saucers in the drawers, then planted a variety of succulents, which are easy to care for and require little watering.