How to turn your dresser into a bookshelf

Furniture and Cabinetry Redouxs, Furniture Makeovers, Le Junque, Tutorials

How to turn your dresser into a bookshelf
If you ever come across a dresser missing drawers, like this one, don’t despair! You can turn it into a bookshelf.
I started by taking the top drawer supports out.  Sometimes they “pop” right out, sometimes you have to bring in the big guns.
Next, I laid the dresser down flat and brought in my reciprocating saw, cut through the wood where it was attached at the front of the dresser.
Once I cut through the wood, I had to use a Hammer and Chizle to pop out the rest.
Now I was left with this, This is what I took out, the guts:
Next, I measured the inside, left side, right side, and bottom, and cut pieces the same dimensions with my table saw. Be sure to mark each piece, so you don’t put it together wrong. (Not that I have ever done this or anything…..)
 Since the bottom piece needed to have a curve to match the shape of the dresser, I laid it down on top of a drawer, and traced the shape, then I used a Jig Saw to get the right shape.  I clamped the wood to the top of my work table so I wouldn’t have to hold the wood and try to cut.  (No one is ever around to help when I do these things….)
If you aren’t comfortable with power tools, a jigsaw is a great place to start, the blades are small, you can control it very well, and you can make any shape you want. They are lots of fun.
I then glued one side at a time to the bottom, using Gorilla Wood Glue, my go to glue. Let the glue set, then secured it with wood screws.
Now I have a shelf!
 I “dry fit the piece into the dresser to make sure it fit, then sanded and primed the pieces.
I put the shelf back in the dresser, filled in any blemishes with “Wood Filler”. Measured my trim, and put it down the left and right side of the box, to hide any gaps that would show.
Painted the entire piece with Sherwin Williams “Tricorn Black” in semi gloss.  Lightly distressed the edges with a 320 grit sand paper and finished with several coats of Minwax “Polycrylic”.
Now we are all ready for new service!
This post originally aired some time ago.  It was time for an update on Dressers missing drawers conversions!
If you enjoyed this Dresser turned bookshelf transformation, then check out these other Dresser missing drawers conversions!


  1. Inspire Me Heather

    Wow, that looks lovely – you've done a great job with that for sure!

  2. A Vintage Vine

    I love our jigsaw too! Great tutorial on this makeover…..You are not scared to try anything! Look out, I think those stairs are in your radar soon!

  3. Roeshel S

    You are amazing! It's gorgeous!

    • GTC

      Thank you so much Larissa! Hope all is well at your place. You seem to be balancing it all, new baby, blogging and repurposing just beautifully.


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