Different Ways You Can Repurpose Bookshelves | the ReFab Diaries

Finding new ways to transform old furniture is one of my favorite ways to upcycle. There’s nothing better than breathing new life into things you might otherwise throw away. If you find yourself with an old bookcase and no idea what to do with it, don’t toss it out! Instead, reduce your waste and explore different ways you can repurpose bookshelves.

Different Ways You Can Repurpose Bookshelves

Bookcase headboard

One of my favorite ways to upcycle bookcases is transforming them into functional headboards. This DIY project is easy to accomplish and adds loads of useful storage to any bedroom. 


Paint your bookcase any color that complements the room’s theme and place it behind your bed. Store books, plants, and knickknacks of any kind on your bookshelf headboard to give your space some character. And if you have two tall, narrow bookcases, pop them on either side of the bed and use a plank cut to size (and hardware store will do this for you) to join them together and create a great feature shelf across the top of the bed.


Container garden

Finding ways to garden in a small home or apartment can be difficult. Solve your space issue by turning your old bookshelf into a container garden! 


Bookcases already have shelves as dividers, so you can grow multiple plants at one time! It’s easy to find space on your patio or balcony to store a short bookcase, so utilize what little room you have and cultivate a garden.

And if you have more space, flip the bookcase onto it's back and you have an instant "raised bed" garden, great for growing veggies. 


Wine rack

I love bookshelves because they are versatile. If you’re looking for a way to organize your wine bottles, glasses, and other supplies, why not upcycle your old bookcase into a trendy wine rack? Installing glass racks on the upper shelves will give you plenty of room to hang your beautiful glassware. You can also install storage racks on the bottom shelves to quickly access your favorite bottles.


Display case

For me, the best part about upcycling is giving a traditional item a nontraditional use. Don’t limit your bookcases to books only—repurpose your shelves into a display case to show off all your exciting things! For example, if someone in your home collects toys, turn your old bookshelf into a cool action figure display. Your upcycled bookcase will be the perfect home for any kind of collectible item.



Of make the shelf itself an eye-catching piece of decor using wallpaper, as above.

Before you toss your old or unused bookcases and furniture pieces in the trash, see if you can give them a new use. Use these different ways to repurpose bookshelves as inspiration for your next sustainable DIY project. I can’t wait to see what you create!




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