DIY Book Holders Repurposed from Drawer Organisers

Bookshelves Made From Drawer Dividers

Around the same time I was designing the floating bookshelves for behind Charlotte’s bedroom door, I happened to notice some drawer tidies in Kmart.

Drawer Tidy

“You know what?” I remarked to my mum, who was shopping with me that day, “These would be good re-purposed as little bookshelves.”

It’s funny how you think when you’re in the midst of a project. Things you mightn’t normally notice and ideas you ordinarily wouldn’t consider seem to jump out at you.

Anyhoo, the drawer tidies were much too deep and short to be used behind Charlotte’s door so I abandoned the idea…for the time being.

Fast forward four years (yes people, four years) and I finally had the perfect use for them!

Repurposed Drawer Tidys into Wall Bookshelves

Thankfully Kmart were still selling them because it’s almost like they were made for the side of Riley’s dresser.

As I’ve previously mentioned, Riley’s room is pretty teeny so I need to make the most of all the little spaces available – blank furniture surfaces included!

This was such a quick, easy and affordable little project. There are heaps of different items you could repurpose in this way (I know the Ikea spice racks are popular) and tonnes of ways you could go about personalising them. I decided to keep things simple.

Spray Painting the Bookshelves

First I lightly sanded the tidies then spray painted them white all over.

Painting Stripes

Next I used some painters tape and acrylic craft paint to add a simple green stripe to each tidy, just to dress them up a little.

Distressing the Paint

At this stage I felt they were looking a little too perfect so I lightly distressed the paint.

Using Dark Wax

The white still seemed a bit too stark so I decided to apply some dark wax to give it some warmth and a more grungy edge. Before using the dark wax I sanded again in a more haphazard manner to create random scratches for the dark wax to highlight.

Command Strips

Finally, to attach the tidies to the dresser I used Command strips (obviously I didn’t want to drill or nail into Riley’s beautiful antique dresser!). I used two large strips per tidy, wiping both contact surfaces with isopropyl alcohol first to ensure good adhesion and a nice, strong bond.


DIY Bookshelves from Drawer Tidys

Like I already mentioned, they are just perfect and have the capacity to hold a heap of books if need be. Although I’ve attached them to the side of a piece of furniture, they could just as easily be mounted on a wall and are a great solution if you’re short on space – like me!

Repurposed Drawer Tidys into Wall Bookshelves

I know many of you are hanging out for the DIY landscape art tutorial and I promise that will be my very next post.

DIY Bookshelves for the Side of Furniture or Walls


If you’d like to save this project for later, you can pin it using the below image.

DIY Bookshelves for the Side of Furniture or Walls

  1. Julie says:

    So cute. These turned out great!! Nice touch on the antique look. This gives me other ideas for doing these and attaching to wooden backs for display, or one of your word art projects !! COOL.

  2. Linda L Weeks says:

    Very nice! I might have something like these somewhere in the house – yep, I’ll be doing some of these too! Thanks for the post!

  3. tegma says:

    Looks like they would make a great spice rack, too! Thanks for the idea!

  4. Deb from Maryland says:

    Perfect size and everything. I’m guessing the stripe will coordinate with the wall color? ;)

    • Can’t believe how perfectly they are sized Deb. Yeah, I wasn’t sure about the stripe at first though it’s growing on me.

  5. Cathie says:

    Looks great! These Kmart bamboo trays are very versatile. I bought a couple for craft storage and I decoupaged them with paper napkins and distressed them and they came out great. Keep up the good work!

    • That sounds like a great use for them Cathie. You’re right, they are so versatile and such a great price!

  6. Carol says:

    I have some of those drawer tidies – I use them as… drawer tidies. I know, shameful :/
    You make them look great!

    • Ha, ha. Truth be told, they would probably serve me better being used in my utensil drawer Carol!

  7. Sherylee says:

    Goodness, I just about had a heart attack at them being attached to the dresser – lucky I read through your post to see the command strips! Cute little bookshelves though.

    • LOL! Yes, that would have been a big decision for some little shelves :)

  8. Kay Lake says:

    That’s why Will and I love to go to the hardware store…we re-purpose soooo much stuff…our minds are on one thing and then we see something, totally made for something else, and use in one of our new projects!! So much fun!!
    Love your imagination!!
    Kay and Will

  9. Omg, I love these book holders! I really like how they take advantage of every spot. Thank you for sharing the details!

  10. Pat says:

    Pheww…I though you had drilled holes in the dresser and I was like “Nooooooooo!!!”
    The book holders look great. Every clever solution for a small room.

    • Ha, ha. I might be crazy, though I’m not THAT crazy Pat :)

  11. Ana says:

    I love these book holders. They look great too. The tape stripes would work well to hold them up as long as you don’t put to many books in them I suppose! Great idea I like them :)

    • Yes, the strips I used can hold around 2kg (per strip) so that’s ample for some kids’ books :)

  12. Hannah says:

    Oh yes! The perfect idea for my very small bathroom. I am a command strip warrior! Why didn’t I think of this?? lol I’m so glad stumbled across your blog today. Yay me!

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