Using Upcycled Drawers to Make Sweet Bathroom Storage
I love it when I have one of my little EUREKA moments. I had one the other day.
I’d been looking for some extra storage in my bathroom and hadn’t liked anything I’d seen in the shops. Also, I didn’t really want to spend much money. There are a lot of things I’d rather spend my money on and bathroom storage isn’t on the list!
The EUREKA moment came when I realized that I could make my own shelving unit by upcycling an old drawer. And I had just the drawer for the job. I’d rescued it from a skip (dumpster) because I loved it’s pretty blue drawer pull.
The drawer had been sitting in the bike shed for the past six months getting in my husband’s way. Therefore, he was a happy bunny when I finally got around to recycling the old drawer.
I’m super chuffed with how my upcycled drawers storage turned out. I think it looks really sweet in the upstairs bathroom. I also got to keep that lovely blue drawer pull that made me rescue it from the skip (dumpster) in the first place.
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What you need to make an upcycled drawers wall unit
- An old drawer, however, I think that this project would work just as well with an old crate.
- Scrap piece of wood for a shelf.
- Cavallini Whale Gift Wrap
- Mod podge or other decoupage glue
- Dark and clear furniture wax
- Blue chalk paint
- Picture frame eyelets
- Electrical sander – You can of course sand by hand if you have the patience.
- Hand saw
- Screw driver
- Paint and glue brushes
- Drill for mounting it to the wall.
How to turn a drawer into a wall shelf
Preparing the wood
- I loved the look of the drawer and wanted to keep the chippy painted front and the lovely blue handle as it was. With hot soapy water, give the drawer a good clean inside and out.
- When the drawer is dry sand the unpainted wood sides, inside and out. No need to sand the base of the drawer as this will be decoupaged.
- To give the newly sanded wood an antique feel cover with dark furniture wax using a lint free cloth. Then wipe off excess and buff.
- Using a clear furniture wax this time, wax and buff the front of the drawer and handle.
- As the cupboard was specifically for my bathroom I wanted to give it a nautical/water feel. That is why I decided to decoupage the back of the cupboard with some gorgeous vintage Whale gift wrap. Also the blue in the paper went really well with the blue drawer pull.
- The chances that your gift wrap sheet will fit the drawer back exactly are remote. Look at the pattern on your paper and decide how you will cut it to fit the back. Make sure that the piece you end up with is exactly the same dimensions as the drawer base.
- Cover the drawer base and the back of your paper in a thin layer of mod podge. I use a big brush for this. Leave the glue for a minute to dry slightly but make sure it’s still tacky.
- Next stick the paper to the base. Brushing with a cloth or roller as you go to squeeze out any air bubbles.
- Once the mod podge is dry. Using a big brush cover the front of your paper with a layer of mod podge. This will appear white, but don’t worry as it will dry clear. This layer of mod podge acts like a varnish and will protect the decoupage.
- For the final part, make a little shelf to turn your upcycled drawers into a little wall unit. Firstly cut a piece of scrap wood to fit the inside width of the drawer.
- Sand and paint your shelf with chalk paint. Once it is dry then seal it with the clear furniture wax.
- Then to fit the shelf use the little picture eyelets to hold it in place. The eyelets will screw very easily into the wood sides. You will need 2 on each side of the shelf to hold it up.
Decoupaging the back
Making a shelf for your upcycled drawers
That’s it! All you need to do now is the fit it to the wall. I did this by placing a screw in each corner and screwing it directly into the wall.
I am so pleased with how this upcycled drawer has turned out. It looks fabulous in our upstairs bathroom and now actually gives what was a rather boring bathroom a bit of character.
I will be on the look out for more drawers in skips (dumpsters) to make more of these handy little shelf units for other places in my home. Cavallini make so many different gorgeous decorative papers I will have plenty to choose for my next one. In fact, I have my eye on some vintage bird paper.