Trashy Tuesday Top 10 Bookshelf Upcycles

Top 10 Bookshelf makeovers you can do in a day

Bookshelves are one of my favorite easy upcycles. When I am out on my weekly (sometimes daily) Dumpster cruising, I often find broken, thrown out, old, ugly bookshelves.

If the people throwing them out only knew of all the amazing upcycles you could do with an old bookshelf…well, they would probably still throw them out because it does require some effort.

I found this bookshelf in a sad Dumpster. This is one of my most popular pins and most favorite bookshelf makeover. It was transformed with DIY Chalk & Clay Paint in Sea Glass and Mermaid Tail. I added reclaimed wood that was old fence boards to the top, the sides and the bottom. Just adding those details completely changes the look that it was a Melamine Bookshelf! If you would like to see how to get this look yourself, please check out my POST where I share the details!

#2 Dumpster Bookshelf Turned Storage Cabinet

I found this bookshelf behind Target a few years ago. The side had a big hole. BIG. I used leftover furniture parts and turned this into a storage cabinet with chalkboard panels for my daughter’s room. She is heading off to college in less than 48 hours, it has served her well for a lot of years. It didn’t cost me a dime! You can see how I made this Junk Bookshelf over HERE.

Technically, this is not a Bookshelf makeover. It is a makeover in reverse! We have two spaces in our front room that were begging for built in bookshelves. The cost of having builtins was more than we wanted to spend. I knew I could find a better solution. One day I was roaming the aisles of Home Depot and the idea came to me to get closet organizers! The space was perfect. I have two stacked on each side of the window. It was an easy fix and we couldn’t be more happy. Want to try your hand at this bookshelf project? Read all about it HERE.

#4 Ikea Bookshelf turned locker

Ikea Bookshelf Turned Locker! This clever DIYer took an Ikea Expedit bookcase and turned it into an ultra hip set of lockers. The tutorial is fantastic, go check it out! How COOL is this project from Little House of Four?

Dumpster Bookshelf turned kitchen island was one of my all time favorite projects. I found this GIGANTIC bookshelf in a dumpster. I really don’t know why I took it in the first place. It was massive and ugly. It sat in my garage for a while, until one day, inspiration hit. I chopped it in half. Added DIY Chalk & Clay Paint, wood planks for a new top and even made those fun wood boxes. See how easy it was to do this project HERE and be sure to watch my YouTube tutorial on it as well.

Dumpster Bookshelf makeover! I found this shell of a bookcase. It was basically just a bunch of boards. I knew it could be the foundation of a beautiful bookcase. I cut new shelves for it, added a piece of wood for the back and adhered IKEA upholstery fabric on it that I had on hand. I LOVE this project and still wish I had not sold it. Hopefully it is living happily ever after in someone’s home now 🙂 You can read all about how to do a project like this HERE.

While we are on the subject of Dumpster Bookshelves and Fabric…..This is one of my most pinned and popular posts EVER. It has literally been pinned millions of times since this blog post was first published about 8 years ago. It was an easy project to complete. All you need is a cheap bookshelf, some fabric and some bun legs from Home Depot. Check out how to get this look by visiting THIS POST.

#8 Ikea Cubby Bookshelf to Apothecary Cabinet

Wow right?? Right? This blogger has tons of of great tutorials. I am definitely going to put this project on my list. I just about fell over when I came across this makeover from Sawdust 2 Stitches.

#9 Bookshelf turned under the bed storage

This is a total “why didn’t I think of that”!!! Who doesn’t need more storage in kid’s rooms? I love storage that rolls under anything. I did a similar project with an old drawer that is under my bench made of junk. This idea is so genius. Any old tall bookshelf could work. Such an easy makeover, and so fun! Check out the tutorial from this genius blogger at

#10! Another bookshelf turned rolling cart 🙂

I definitely have a theme going in my workspace. I LOVE any piece of furniture that rolls. And I especially love turning bookshelves into rolling carts. This bookshelf came from a friend’s home after they had a fire in their garage! They were literally throwing away everything that the smoke damaged 🙁 After clean up, I helped myself to pieces that could possibly be salvaged. This bookshelf had soot all over it, but other than that, it was still solid.

Burnt bookshelf is on the left, you can still see some soot on it.

After I cleaned this burnt bookshelf up, I turned my attention to paint. It needed serious lightening up. I used a combination of some of my favorite DIY Paint colors, then used my tried and true trick of adding reclaimed wood and boards, finished off with what else? Wheels! You can see how easy this project is to make for yourself HERE at the post.

That’s it for Trashy Tuesday Top 10 Bookshelf Makeovers. Hope you enjoyed and have a totally trashy week!

1 Comment

  1. Fonda Rush

    Lots of good saves!



  1. How to Upcycle a Cheap Bookcase - Redoux Interiors - […] You can see some of favorite Bookshelf Upcycles Here. […]

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