How to Upcycle a Cheap Bookcase

Take a cheap Bookcase and turn it into an excellent rolling cart!

Do you probably have one of these in your home somewhere or in your garage? And if not, there are plenty to found in your nearby thrift stores, or my case, Dumpsters!

I think my favorite project to makeover is a Bookcase Makeover. There are so many options! I love putting wheels on them, framing them out with old wood, and creating an entirely new piece of furniture as a rolling cart.

You can see some of my favorite Bookshelf Upcycles Here.

This project is super easy to do in the afternoon. You will need a cheap bookcase. Thrift stores are brimming with them, and in my case, usually, a Dumpster will give one up 😉

I got this pile of fence boards from my neighbor’s front yard for free! I heard the going rate for these now in my area is $1.00 per plank! Whoa!

You will want to measure the top of your bookcase and decide what boards you want to use. You can have a little overhang or cut them to fit precisely. It’s easiest to do a dry fit, switching up the boards to see which will work best.

For this project, I used old picket fence boards I bought at a land sale, I only have a few left now!

Measure the top front of the bookcase. You will want a nice board to go across the front. Be sure to measure the board’s actual width and the bookcase’s horizontal length. Divide the board’s width in half, and add that to the width of the bookcase. This will be the length of your front-facing board. You will want it to hang off this much so you can add a panel to each side and have the cut edges covered with your front-facing piece.

This process is so easy, I did a video to show you how! Click the link for a thorough how-to. BONUS, I share how to create a waterproof finish for your wood using 100% Natural DIY Paint products, so watch to the end!


Once you have your wood on, you can add some wheels! And paint it up. I painted this one with DIY Paint in Tarnished Pearl and used the super fun new Old Grey Patina. It is designed to make your project look like old wood. Once your project is finished, haul it into the house to take a picture. Call your dog so he can photo-bomb it right as you press CLICK.

If you want to see more junk makeovers and more ways to upcycle old bookcases, please subscribe to my blog! I have tons more fun projects to explore and tons more to come.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Patty Soriano

    awww, sweet puppy! Sweet bookcase, too, Karen!!

    • GTC

      Thank you so much Patty! He is “mostly” sweet 🙂

  2. at Home ketamine treatment

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the
    video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away
    your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

    • GTC

      Thanks for your feedback!



  1. Top 10 DIY & Upcycle Posts 2022 - Redoux Interiors - […] How to Upcycle a Cheap Bookcase […]

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