Repurpose Challenge: Drawers

BY SCC STAFF

Orphan drawers are full of possibility! Often available at architectural salvage depots or potentially discarded on roadsides, at their core they’re wooden boxes just waiting to be upcycled into something useful. These drawers were created by our staff; we hope they inspire you to make something of your own!

What would you do? Share your ideas at editorial@sccmag.com!

We recommend using solid wooden drawers versus those crafted with pressboard or plastic. Before embellishing, remove any unwanted hardware and wipe clean of all dust and dirt. You may also wish to prime all surfaces before painting for a more durable, smooth finish.



Shannon’s Dollhouse

What you need

  • Clean drawer
  • Paint and paintbrushes
  • Balsa wood plank, 1/8 inch thick by no wider than depth of drawer
  • Balsa wood rod (1/2-inch-square used in sample)
  • Scissors
  • Sharp box knife and cutting mat
  • Strong craft glue
  • Decoupage medium and foam brush
  • Dollhouse furniture and accessories
  • Embellishments such as adhesive buttons, fabric scraps and small cotton doilies

How to create:

  • Cut:
    1. Measure inside width of drawer and cut a piece of balsa wood plank to size; this will be second “floor” of dollhouse.
    2. Cut two pieces of balsa wood rod whose length equals plank’s width (for example, if your plank measures 3-inches wide, cut two 3-inch-long pieces of rod).
  • Paint:
    1. Paint outside of dollhouse in desired color (pink used on sample).
    2. Paint cut pieces of balsa wood in coordinating color (pink used on sample).
    3. Paint dollhouse furniture to coordinate as desired.
  • Assemble:
    1. Draw a line along inside “walls” of dollhouse to determine placement of second floor.
    2. Decoupage decorative paper onto inside walls of dollhouse, using a different design for each floor.
    3. Decoupage decorative paper onto bottom floor of dollhouse and onto top of second floor balsa plank.
    4. Glue balsa rods onto inside left and right walls of dollhouse so that top edge is aligned with line between first and second floors.
    5. Glue second floor balsa plank into place so that it rests on top of rods and decorative paper is facing up.
  • Embellish:
    1. Determine placement of dollhouse furniture and apply wall décor as desired.
    2. Set up dollhouse with furniture, adding accessories such as tiny doiles for rugs or afghans and scrapbooking embellishments for wall art.



Leighann’s Dog Bed

What you need

  • Clean drawer
  • Drawer front only from one drawer (for headboard)
  • Four wooden knobs for feet
  • Wooden flourish applique for headboard
  • Wooden rope molding
  • White paint and paintbrush
  • Jigsaw
  • Handsaw
  • White Gorilla Glue
  • Foam for cushion
  • Fiberfill for small pillow
  • Fabric and basic sewing supplies

How to create:

  • Cut:
    1. Use a jigsaw to cut a rectangle from back edge of drawer (side opposite handle); this will become front of dog bed.
    2. Measure height of front corners and cut two pieces of wooden rope molding to size.
    3. Measure width between two front corners, and cut a piece of molding to size, allowing for two pieces of wooden rope molding on either side.
  • Paint bed, headboard, headboard flourish, cut pieces of rope molding and four knobs with white paint.
  • Assemble:
    1. Glue a knob on bottom of bed at each corner to create feet.
    2. Glue short pieces of rope molding onto left and right front edges. Glue longer piece of rope molding to bottom front between left and right pieces.
    3. Glue headboard flourish onto center top of headboard. Glue headboard into place against back of bed’s existing drawer front.
  • Create pillows:
    1. Glue a knob on bottom of bed at each corner to create feet.
    2. Measure width and depth of bed’s inside; cut a thick piece of foam to fit. Sew a simple slipcover/pillowcase to cover foam.
    3. Create a tiny monogrammed pillow to accent.



Courtney’s Vanity

What you need

  • Clean drawer
  • Two small wooden flourish appliques
  • Small doily
  • Small beveled oval mirror
  • Paint and paintbrush
  • Strong craft glue
  • Two white screw-in hooks
  • Screwdriver
  • Picture hanging tools
  • Small glass containers

How to create:

  • Paint:
    1. Paint entire drawer a solid color (purple used on sample).
    2. Paint cut pieces of balsa wood in coordinating color (pink used on sample).
    3. Paint two small wooden appliques white; while paint is still wet, sprinkle with fine glitter.
  • Assemble:
    1. Glue cotton doily onto back of drawer on upper right; let dry completely, then glue small oval mirror atop doily.
    2. Glue a small wooden applique above and below mirror and doily.
    3. Screw two small white hooks into place on left side of drawer.
    4. Attach screw eye hangers and picture hanging wire to back of drawer. Hang securely on wall by locating studs and using drywall screws.
  • Accessorize:
    1. Place a few small glass containers and other items on bottom shelf, such as perfume bottles and tiny jars.
    2. Fill containers with cosmetic items and accessories.
    3. Hang necklaces on hangers.



Amanda’s Flower Box

What you need

  • Clean drawer
  • Paints and paintbrushes
  • Repurposed jars, assorted sizes
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Painters tape
  • Twine
  • Fabric scraps
  • Large-eye needle

How to create:

  • Paint entire drawer a solid color (aqua blue used on sample). Set drawer on side for display.
  • Embellish various sizes of repurposed bottles and jars by sectioning off areas with painters tape and applying glitter and/or paint as desired. Remove tape before completely dry to avoid chipping along edges. Fill with cut flowers and display inside bottom shelf of flower box.
  • Create a banner by cutting approximately 5 small heart shapes each from two fabric prints. Use a large-eye needle to thread hearts onto a length of twine, alternating prints. Affix banner inside flower box.



Jessica’s Display Shelf

What you need

  • Clean drawer
  • One or two small corkboards
  • Paints and paintbrushes
  • Picture hanging tools
  • Decorative paper
  • Decoupage medium and foam brush
  • Strong craft glue
  • Pushpins and ephemera
  • Repurposed jar
  • Ribbon and rickrack
  • Assorted embellishments
  • Precut chipboard banner
  • Sticker letters

How to create:

  • Paint:
    1. Paint all outer edges of drawer in desired color (pink used on sample).
    2. Paint one or two small corkboards in coordinating color (pink used on sample).
    3. Paint a repurposed bottle in contrast color (blue used on sample).
    4. Paint precut chipboard pennants in contrast color (blue used on sample).
  • Assemble:
    1. Decoupage decorative paper on all inside edges of drawer.
    2. Attach corkboard(s) inside drawer on upper right.
    3. Attach screw eye hangers and picture hanging wire to back of drawer. Hang securely on wall by locating studs and using drywall screws.
  • Embellish:
    1. Wrap painted bottle with ribbon and affix with a small embellishment. Fill with real or dried flowers and display on shelf.
    2. Apply adhesive letters to chipboard pennants (sample shown spells out “imagine”); string with rickrack and attach to bottom front of display so banner hangs evenly below shelf.
    3. Apply additional embellishments and display items on corkboard as desired.

Leave a Reply