Store More with Furniture -- the DIY Way
Make furniture work twice as hard with smart storage strategies. Transform dressers, bookcases, and more into clever organizers for your home with these cool projects.
Everything In This Slideshow
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With paint and a few modifications, this old dresser works wonders in a hobby space. A new top overhangs 12 inches on one side to accommodate seating. Small drawers and boxes replace the top drawers to allow sewing supplies to be easily taken elsewhere. And a new base in place of the original feet adds a charming silhouette and raises the height. The curvaceous base was cut from medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and painted white to match the furniture casing.
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Reimagine a cabinet or chest of drawers as a storage and display spot for shoes, purses, and jewelry. Remove the doors and reinstall interior shelves lower to make way for store-bought or custom shoe racks made from dowels. Highlight the drawer fronts with a splashy paint color and new hardware. Add hooks to the outside of the storage furniture piece for quick-grab access.
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Harness the storage potential of a sawhorse by transforming two of them into a hardworking desk with an edge. Add wood shelves made from reclaimed boards cut to length to the bottom rungs for book and office supply storage. For an unfussy work surface, add a white melamine panel to the top of the sawhorses.
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Increase the storage capacity of your entryway with this creative use for crates. Two crates surrounded by MDF create a center bench with lower storage. Secure crates to wall studs or use drywall anchors for modular bookshelf space ready to hold outdoor gear, shoes, and coats.
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Handy Gift Hub
A bookcase outfitted with dowel rods makes a handy and attractive gift-wrapping and crafts supplies station. Cut 3/4-inch-diameter dowel rods 1/8 inch shorter than the width of the cabinet interior, and support them from the side panels with shoulder hooks to keep wrapping paper and ribbon ready for dispensing and refilling.
No dedicated mudroom or back entry? No problem! See how you can use a bookcase to serve the same purpose.
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A Craigslist cabinet can be given new life with a quick sanding. Keep your wood furniture bare for a rustic look, or paint with a high-gloss finish for a bold statement. Replace glass doors with chicken wire and add vintage pulls for flea market flair.
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If you can't find an island to fit your exact needs, assemble your own! We added false backs to two kitchen carts, then painted them teal. We secured two wine racks and two shoe cubbies together and painted them to match. After sandwiching the cubby units between the two carts with the open sides facing out, we added rubber casters and a MDF top with a 1-inch overhang and sleek faux-concrete finish.
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Entertain This Idea
Is that bulky old entertainment center collecting dust? Repurpose it to create handy kitchen storage. Remove the doors and drawer fronts, then sand, prime, and paint the unit. For a creative rack for pots and pans, cut, paint, and mount pegboard to cover the open cabinet back. Install a rod across the front of the largest cubby for a convenient towel rack. Use 4-inch PVC pipe to fashion a wine rack. Cut pipes to length, paint, then adhere to the cabinet shelf using construction adhesive. And don't forget the ends -- mount a handy holder to the side of the cabinet for easy access to kitchen wraps and papers. Use chalkboard on the other end to create a memo board (not shown).
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You'd never guess that this clever desk started as a dresser. Go to the next slide to learn more about its amazing transformation.
DIY Desk: See It!
Watch and see how blogger Diane of In My Own Style transformed a basic dresser into a drop-down desk.
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An ordinary wooden nightstand can become a smart beverage station with a little bit of sanding and a coat of white interior semigloss latex paint. For durability, seal the top with a water-base acrylic sealer. Bold wallpaper adhered to the back and new hardware add oomph. Make your bar cart mobile by adding casters to the legs.
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Pets come with plenty of gear. Keep it organized with a dedicated armoire outfitted as a pet station. Stash treats in airtight glass jars with screw-top lids. Attach trays to drawer glides and place large bins of food on them for easy access that pulls right out. Coat plywood panels with magnetic primer, then cover with chalkboard paint and glue them to the armoire doors to help keep track of pet-related playdates and appointments. Attach magnetic hooks to corral leashes.
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Easily build this fabulous ottoman from affordable MDF. Four divided sections provide storage and display space that's easy to switch up as needed.
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Turn three bookcases into a dedicated entertaining station that takes up just a sliver of wall space. Hang a pair of bookcases horizontally, then slide a third on the floor below. Install the middle bookcase at counter height so it can moonlight as a swanky bar or dessert station. Secure the bookcases with wall anchors.
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Scour thrift shops for a vintage wood dresser that can be repurposed as a kitchen island. Look for one that's about 36 inches tall, or add casters to make it a comfortable height. To achieve a two-tone look, mask the wood top using painters tape and kraft paper before sanding, priming, then painting the dresser body and drawers with two coats of semigloss paint. Replace the bottom drawer with baskets.
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Turn crates into a charming bedside table packed with storage. First, screw four wood crates together for a country-inspired look. Measure a plywood top and bottom that are about 2 inches wider on each side than the width of the crates. Cut plywood with a table saw, and stain or paint plywood as desired. Secure the top and bottom to the crates with screws. Attach four 4-inch casters to the bottom of the table.
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