There are all sorts of things that can be salvaged from broken dressers and wardrobes: hinges, handles, planks, and – perhaps the most fun of them all – drawers. There is something liberating about starting a DIY project with an empty box, which is basically what a drawer is, and seeing what comes of it.
So, what can be done with old drawers?
1. Rolling (Under Bed) Storage
The space beneath a bed is either an annoying waste or an amazingly efficient form of storage. Often it’s something in between, a wasteland of stray items and dust bunnies, a place only visited in times of hide-and-seek or therapeutic cleaning. To the point, old drawers can make snazzy under bed storage units. Just add some caster wheels to them and store away.
2. Bathroom Cabinet
You can also get creative with your bathroom cabinets! Put a couple of shelves in them, add a door (consider an old window sash), and suddenly the bathroom cabinet becomes somewhat like a work of art.
3. Shelving Unit
When we really think about it, shelving units are just like drawers — open rectangle boxes — stood on end with shelves added into them. Only, they are super cool when they are actually drawers. One drawer makes a modest shelving unit. Several drawers stacked together can make a sizable and attractive shelving unit.
Who knows why it is we feel the need to compartmentalize stuff, but we do. Planters are a great example. Potted plants already have a container, the pot, but we often like to put that pot into a planter box. Old drawers make great planter boxes. They can hold a gaggle of potted plants — a little indoor herb garden even — in one snugly little spot.
Most of us like ottomans, but we don’t realize until one is around. Kicking up our feet while we are on the sofa is great, and it’s even better when there’s something more comfortable than a coffee table to use. Take an old drawer, make a cushioned lid for it, add some old furniture legs, and that’s an ottoman with a nifty storage space for secret snacks.
6. Picture Frame
In the world of repurposing, things that can’t be converted into picture frames are the rarity. Old drawers are yet another great medium for displaying photos and/or art work. The nice side of the drawer picture frame is that it comes with a little shelf at the bottom and top, and the potential for some hooks at the bottom. Plus, the picture is inset, which has a unique effect.
7. Floating Wall Shelves
We’ve already discussed how drawers can be converted into a shelving unit, but they can also be mounted on the wall to become shelves themselves. Mounting them stood up supplies two small shelves, and mounting them horizontally (as they were in the dresser) creates spiffy storage shelves for bulky and/or loose items.
8. Dog Bed
Whether or not they really use them is still up for debate, but pets often get their own beds, something to admire while napping on the sofa. Old drawers can be filled with pillow stuffing and covered with upholstery to make a fashionable dog bed. Because Fido is always concerned about home décor.
9. Drinks Tray
Without much in the way of construction, a shallow drawer can make a dandy drink tray. It’s quirky but feels right in the role.
10. Toy Box
Toys seem to rarely make it back into the “put away” position, but in a world where they do, drawers can make a pretty hip toy box. A few feet can be added to a drawer, making it look like more than a ransacked house, and ideally, the kiddies will put their stuff in it. This can be a compromise for the living room stash of playthings.
There are plenty more things that can be done with old drawers. The basic, rectangular framework is begging for repurposing, so why not take advantage?
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