I’m always up for a good repurposing project, so when I ran across these amazing things that you can do with bookcases, I had to share. What’s great about these is that you can buy old bookcases at most thrift stores or yard sales for just a few dollars each. So, if you don’t have a bookcase on hand, it won’t cost much to get one and you can do wonderful things with it! From headboards – who wouldn’t love a bookcase headboard? – to coffee tables and even some cool things for the kids, you can turn that bookcase into any number of beautiful new creations.
Repurposing is seriously one of my favorite pastimes. I just love how you can take something and make it completely different – and in most cases so much better! I love the idea of turning old bookshelves into new things and if you have an old bookcase that is a bit worse for wear, you can restore it yourself before you repurpose it. Just take a look at this easy way to refinish wooden furniture. Then, you can turn that wooden bookshelf into something amazing and it will look as good as new.
Not all of these projects are done with solid wood bookcases. You can do many of them with those less expensive bookshelves that you find at Walmart and some of them are IKEA hacks. You know you love a good IKEA hack! So, whether you have an antique wooden bookcase or you have a cheaper one that you’ve just outgrown, you’re going to find some beautiful ways to put that bookcase to new use. And, just in case that bookcase or bookshelf you’re working with has drawers that you are no longer going to need, just check out these amazing repurposing ideas for old drawers.
I really do love to repurpose and I adore the project ideas in this collection. Whether you’ve got one bookcase to repurpose or 20, I’ll show you some adorable and really functional ways to reuse them.
16. Repurposed Bookshelf Play Kitchen
17. DIY Pretend Market
You can also turn that bookcase into a cute little pretend market for your little ones. This one is great for girls and boys alike and actually helps them to learn about money and other real life things. The only work involved is in adding the banner and roof. Other than that, the bookcase already gives you everything you need – unless you want to paint it, of course. Then add those adorable little plastic grocery items and let them have hours of fun playing market.
18. Bookcase Reading Bench Reuse Project
I love this reading bench that’s made from an old bookcase. Not only does your bookcase continue to do its job of keeping your books organized, you can also actually sit on it to read. I really do love this entire project and it’s much easier than you may think. You can build a couple of these and fill an entire corner of your living room or bedroom. This would look amazing under a bay window!
19. DIY Rolling Craft Storage
This bookcase turned craft storage is really great. Not only does it give you a place to store your fabric or other craft supplies, it rolls so you can stick it just about anywhere and get it out of the way. It’s really easy to make with a thin bookcase and some wheels and you will absolutely love the organization that it gives you. If you have room, you could do a couple of these side by side. Just add handles and you’ve got all your craft supplies stored out of the way.
20. Rustic Apothecary Table
Don’t you just love apothecary tables? I priced one at Pottery Barn a while back and they are super expensive. But, you can make one for next to nothing if you have a bookcase that you’re not using. The doors actually resemble those small drawers that doctors used for medicine back in the day, but instead of pulling out, they open up to reveal mass storage potential.
21. Repurposed Bookcase Color Block Sandbox
How much will your little ones adore this sandbox? Seriously, this is one of the most creative things I’ve ever seen that is made from an old bookcase. You just paint it with different colors and it’s perfect for sand play. Bookshelves that have removable shelving work best for this one as you can make the sandbox a bit larger in places. You can also divide it so that little ones have their very own tiny sandbox and aren’t getting in each other’s way when they play.
22. DIY Secret Room Pivoting Bookcase
This project is a build it all from start to finish but if you have a bookcase on hand that’s the right size, you can save yourself a lot of steps and just use that. The gist of the project is to hide away what’s behind door number one with a great bookcase that simply pivots out of the way when you need to access what’s behind it. This is great for hiding away water heaters and other unsightly things and it’s a pretty easy solution to build.
23. Easy DIY Shoe Storage
Turn that old bookcase into shoe storage! You know you never have enough storage room for your shoes (who does?). You can solve that problem by simply sitting a shelved bookcase in your closet on its side and sliding your shoes right in. If your closet is big enough, you could do a couple of these – just stack them on top of each other to create the ultimate in shoe storage solutions! Or leave it standing upright if you don’t have the floor space to lay it down.
24. Old Bookcase Turned Sofa Table
Turning a bookcase into a sofa table doesn’t require much work or time at all. You basically just turn it on its side and slide it behind your couch. This works best with a taller bookcase as you’ll want it to reach the same height – or close to the same height – as your couch. You can stain and distress it for a great farmhouse look or paint it whatever color you need to match your existing décor. There’s loads of storage and people will think you paid a fortune for your new sofa table!
25. Easy DIY Toy Storage
This toy storage from an old bookcase is borderline genius. Not only does it have room for loads of toys, the elastic bungees help to keep stuffed animals organized and off the floor. You can buy bungees at the Dollar Store for a couple of dollars – you get three or four – and that’s all you need aside from maybe some paint and a few baskets for smaller toy storage.
26. Upcycled Bookcase Desk
If you need a new desk and you have an old bookcase on hand, your problems are solved. This upcycled bookcase desk is pretty easy to make and it’s really functional and has loads of storage space. We’ve seen the double desk but this one makes just one so you can sit it against the wall to save room. You just have to adjust your shelves where you need them and then add the pull down desktop and a chair and you’re all done.
27. Repurposed IKEA Expedit Bookcase Under Bed Storage
Not only does this IKEA hack serve as great under the bed storage, it serves as the bed frame itself! If you’ve ever wanted a bed frame that has a place for everything, this is it. You take an Expedit bookcase from IKEA and lay it on its side – do this for both sides of your bed or all three if you have a larger bed. Then lay your bed on it and you’ve got the perfect under bed storage and you’ve saved a bundle of money. Those storage beds are not cheap.
28. Upcycled Bookcase Wine Rack
This wine rack is a bit different than the wine cart but it’s still made from an old bookcase. If you tend to have wine and/or wine glasses around the house, this is the perfect way to keep them organized. Plus, it’s really gorgeous when it’s finished and offers so much storage potential for all of your wine related items. Wine glass racks attach to the top of the shelf for hanging your glasses and bottle storage racks keep those wine bottles perfectly in place.
29. Repurposed Bookcase Bathroom Storage
You simply never have enough storage in the bathroom, right? If you have the room and you have a small bookcase, you can easily solve that problem. Just paint the bookcase to match your bathroom décor, add wicker or canvas baskets and you’ve got the perfect place for keeping all those bathroom necessities perfectly organized. Add your makeup, toilet paper, towels, or anything else you need a place for.
30. Bookcase Turned TV Stand
You can make so many things when you turn an old bookcase on its side. Take this TV stand for instance, it’s a simple project that only requires you to turn that bookcase over and maybe drill in a few holes in the back for cords. If your bookcase is backless, you don’t even have to do that! The shelving gives you so much room for storing video game systems, games, movies and so much more! Add a decorative wooden top to really dress it up.