A Top Shelf Project

By Becky Pittman, communications consultant for Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas 

DIY Drawers into Shelves

My final summer project is finding creative ways to store books and display our favorite tchotchkes. I’d heard about different ways to upcycle old drawers and thought I’d try it out! I visited the Habitat ReStore to scope out materials and was pleased to find some drawers that weren’t part of a whole dresser or desk! Those are the only items I purchased for this project, as I already had paint and hardware at the house. Incredibly, the cost was only $4! And the result is adorable—I made some for my daughter as well, and she loves them in her room. 

The simplicity of this project is the best part—it’s so easy I’m planning to upcycle more shelves for the playroom! 


· As many old drawers as you please! 
· Chalk paint in any color
· Interior paint in any color
· Foam paint brushes
· Regular paintbrush
· Picture-hanging materials (wire and hooks) 
· Sandpaper 

Attach wire hanger to the back!

Attach wire hanger to the back!


1. Wash and sand the drawers to remove dirt and old paint. Determine which way you want your drawer to hang on the wall. Flip it over, and install the picture hanging material (wire and hooks). 

2. Paint the exterior of the drawers with chalk paint using a regular paintbrush (or whatever paint you prefer). 

3. Paint the interior of the drawer for a color contrast using the foam brush to add a little texture to the project. Get creative and look for stencils, appliques, whatever your heart desires. 

4. Let it all dry before applying the next coat. I’m guilty of moving too quickly and smudging the color with the white paint. 

5. Hang on the wall and style with books, vases or anything else you love!