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DIY Bifold Door and Dresser Bookcases

When I rescued 3 sets of these bifold doors from the dump last fall I knew I wanted to use them to make bookcases in the master bedroom.
bifold door bookshelf

They were stained dark on one side and natural on the other.


bifold door Christmas card holder

I removed the hinges and primed them and then they sat and waited… and waited… and waited… while I looked for a couple of dressers. Here they are last Christmas being used as card holders.

Because I have a thing about symmetricality (is that even a word) I originally wanted the dressers to be the same height so I could build the bifold door shelves on top, but after looking for months I realized that was probably a pipe dream, or should I say a dresser dream, because one dresser had to be narrower than the other.


dresser makeover

So when I found this vintage dresser set at the ReStore for $35 I grabbed them.


Vintage dresser makeover
I’m usually very patient and can wait until I find what I want, but in cases where my sanity is at stake I’m perfectly happy to move on.
So all I had to do now was totally and completely rethink my plan.
DIY dresser bookshelf

I decided to screw the doors onto the sides of the dressers. Why not?


repurposed bifold doors as bookcases

It was quite easy to do.


upcycled bifold doors as bookcases

I used the bottom side rail of the dressers as my guide so I didn’t have to trust my levelling eye, which sometimes can’t be trusted.


Bifold door and dresser bookcases

Even though one dresser is narrower and taller than the other this setup satisfies my slightly unbalanced need for balance.


bifold door and dresser bookcases

Then onto the shelves. All the wood used was salvaged from the dump (with permission of course).

These pieces had splinter danger written all over them so I went at them with a sanding block, but still leaving them with a rustic look.


sawing shelves for bookcases


One of these days I’ll get myself a smaller version of our circular saw because the big ancient beast that we have is just a whole lotta terrifying. It’s actually the awful noise it makes that I find quite disturbing to my peace, so I refuse to use it.

But I do wield a mean hand saw, and adorned with my pink work boots and gloves I happily and peacefully sawed my wood pieces to size.

I’m never opposed to a little manual labour. My mother always says that it’s good for the soul. I have to say that it’s not too bad for my 50ish upper arms either. lol.


Adding shelves to bifold door bookcases

Before adding the shelves I had to make sure that everything was level. In this house that is no easy feat. It was built in 1890 and a level floor or a square wall doesn’t exist. So a little propping up of the feet was required.

Then I measured up from the dresser tops and marked where I wanted the bottom of my 1x1s to go, and I screwed them in.


Screwing shelves into diy bookcases

I screwed in the shelves using two drills.

One for the holes,


Screwing shelves into diy bookcases

and the second for the screws.

Pre-drilling the holes keeps the wood from splitting, and using two drills helps maintain my sanity.

It helps, but it’s no guarantee. lol.


DIY Dresser and Bifold Door bookcases

So here are my bookcases all levelled, and doored, and shelved… oh my… and waiting for some white paint love along with the cedar chest that’s been primed and waiting for over 3 years now.


painting diy bookcases

Well I found it in this Behr white paint/primer combo at the ReStore. A gallon of paint is only $10, but paint and primer combos are $15. Still a really good deal.

Whenever I see a colour I like I grab it, and I’ll often grab white because I can use it to mix my own colours. I think I could probably stock my own little paint aisle.


painting diy bookcases

A little white paint love goes a really long way… even on this rustic salvaged wood.

Adding fabric to bookcases

To back the shelves I pulled this $1 thrifted shower curtain from my fabric stash. I’ve been saving it for the perfect project, and this is it.

DIY Repurposed bifold door and dresser bookcases

I think it just adds a little extra something and a little touch of pink never hurt anybody, especially not me.

I simply attached the fabric pieces to the back with flat tacks. That way if I ever need a change it’s easy to do.

If I ever change my mind? lol. It’s probably more like when.

DIY Bifold door and dresser bookcases

I finished the bookcases off by adding some simple corner details that I salvaged from a broken Victorian screen door from the dump, and some window case molding from my stash  to the top.

If you’re interested in more details about how to cut moldings you can check out my DIY Built In Bookcase project that I built in my craft room.


DIY Bifold door and dresser bookcases

I added a vinyl liner that I found at the dollar store, and prettied up the shelves with some lace from my stash. I just used double sided tape to attach the lace to the liner.

Then I played with a few of my favourite things.

The narrower bookcase holds some of my antique and vintage books, my book angel, a few other favourite items, and the typewriter that I bought for myself when I was twelve with money I earned from delivering Eatons and Simpsons catalogues and flyers to every house on a couple of streets in my neighbourhood.

Does anyone remember those big heavy catalogues? It’s hard for me to imagine that as a girl I actually lugged them around in a wagon that my dad adapted to hold them. I’m not sure I’d even do that now. lol.


DIY Repurposed bifold door and dresser bookcases

We finally replaced the ancient TV that we had in here. It worked fine, but it took up way too much space. The larger shelf houses the new 32″ TV with built in DVD, which I absolutely love.

DIY Bifold door and dresser bookcases

I recently bought the whole Mary Tyler Moore Show series and am now into Season 4. I’m thoroughly enjoying it. It’s one of my all-time favourite shows. I watch one Mary most weeknights between 10 and 11 while I do my yoga.


DIY Bifold door and dresser bookcases

I love to have books everywhere so this bookcase holds some of my favourites.

I had to add my funky vintage peacock clock, which does work but the tick it too loud for me so I’m not actually using it, and a photo of John and myself in front of the Eiffel Tower.


DIY Bifold door and dresser bookcases

And this heavy glass ball with hand painted cats that my brother brought back for me from China where he worked for a few years eons ago.

The cats are painted on the inside of the glass ball with little brushes that go through a hole in the bottom. It’s quite amazing.

I slanted an old ornate frame behind just for fun.


DIY Bifold door and dresser bookcases

I was getting rather tired of living with this sad looking end of the room.


DIY Bifold door and dresser bookcases

It looks so much much happier now, and I feel so much happier now that it’s finally done.

Everything got two coats of the white paint/primer combo including the cedar chest, which makes a perfect little window seat. You can just see my pink yoga mat peeking out from beside the TV bookcase. It fits in there perfectly, and I plan to put a hook in there to hang it.

I wanted to make this project as thriftily as I could so I think $40 for the dressers, the shelf liner, and the shower curtain, plus a loonie or two for the paint and primer, is pretty good… and I have one set of bifold doors for another project.

I still need to figure out what I’m doing about drawer knobs. The pink ones that came on the dressers were a cheap plastic and had to go. The drawer front bottoms are all lipped and very easy to open and close without knobs so I’m going to wait until I find something I love. I have a few repurposing ideas, but I have to find the items I need.

UPDATE: Check out my decoupaged drawer knobs project here.

Even though I really needed the break it feels so good to be back. I really missed everyone. I was gone longer than I planned because Spring came and with it came all the work in the gardens. The weather has been quite lovely though so we’ve been enjoying it.I hope Spring has been treating you well.

Thanks so much for reading and until next time…

Think Pink!


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  1. Score, Tuula! Wow, I'm so impressed with your handiwork! Your furniture makeover is absolutely amazing and it looks perfect in that spot. You are a lady of so many wonderful talents! So glad you're back!

  2. Welcome back Tuula! First just let me say how awesome those pink boots are–they made me smile this Monday morning. What a huge project you undertook, and it turned out so well. Now you can face "that end of the room" proudly. Great job–

    1. Thanks Diana! I do love my pink boots. This project was indeed a big one and I'm so glad it's finally done. Now all I have to do is figure out the knobs, but that's such a small thing and it doesn't bother me at all. I can wait for the right idea to come along.

  3. You have been missed, girl! But you sure came back with a BANG! This project is beyond awesome! That would make you beyond awesome, too, for having come up with the idea and making it happen! I'm loving the look…………hmmmm…………….I have this wall in my bedroom……………….! Thanks for sharing! Dona

    1. Thanks so much Dona! It feels so great to be back. I can't believe I was gone for so long. Before I knew it I was into my third week, and I told myself that I had to get back to blogland. It's really become like a home away from home.

  4. It's so nice to see you back, dear Tuula! I hope you enjoyed your time away from blogging….sometimes we need to step away and simply relax 🙂

    I love what Dona said…you did come back with a bang! 🙂 You are so amazing, my friend. Enjoy your week! Hugs!

  5. Welcome Back… sung to the tune of Welcome Back Kotter …. LOL!
    I love your new bookshelves Tuula! They look symmetrically fine to me. I'm glad to know you love the built in DVD on the TV, we've been thinking about upgrading to one. I'm so glad you're back girl!
    Have a great week! Oh and I love you even more now that I know you watch Mary Tyler Moore… you are one of a kind 🙂

  6. Hi Tuula,
    WOW!!!! This is so great. Awesome project. Love that you re loved those bi fold doors into such a masterpiece. Glad to see you back. Have a wonderful week ahead.

  7. This looks so great! And I loved Eaton's. It broke my heart when they left Eaton Centre.

  8. That is just so gorgeous!!! I love them and they do add the symmetricality to it all…and yes that must be a word cuz I see it twice on your blog post now….hehe I have a couple of those old catalogues that I salvaged from a woman's attic years ago. She was just going to throw them out. My kids love looking at all the fashions and choosing what they would wear. I can't believe you can get white paint at your Re-Store. I never find white so I always have to pay full price. I am happy you are back Tuula. Cheers!

    1. Thanks Alexis! Repurposing things is so much fun, and it doesn't hurt that it saves money too. It's so great to have you along as a reader. I'll be over for a visit soon.

  9. Wow, what a great project! I'm glad you were finally able to get your shelves put together and maintain your sense of humor at the same time. Love all your treasures and your clever use of the shutters and old wood. Welcome back.

  10. Welcome back Tuula! I am in love with this project. It looks absolutely gorgeous. I love everything you did and the cost is the best part. Such an expensive looking piece without the big price tag! Way to go…:) Hope you are having a lovely week!

  11. Welcome back Tuula! I guess it's true what they say, "Good things come to those who wait." They came to you in the form of those wonderful dressers for only $35 and they came to us in the form of this post and your inspiring photos. You really did a wonderful job.

  12. So glad you're back! And with an amazing project too! I just love your creativity and the energy to get it all done. What a unique, fun and functional piece! Just love the pink fabric on the back of the shelves. Spring has a way of sparking our creativity and willingness to get it done!

    1. Thanks so much b! I still have a few pieces from that old screen door to repurpose in other projects. I'm very happy with how this one turned out, and for a very thrifty cost.

  13. Those boots are made for sawing and that's just what you did! (Apologies to Nancy.) Love how you transformed the dressers with the bifold doors.

  14. Tuula what a clever gal you are to have figured this all out! Great use of the doors and dressers! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  15. great job Tuula! I love how you transformed your pieces!

    catching you.


  16. I LOVE this Tuula – they sort of look like built ins now – would never have thought to do this in a million years – beautiful job!

  17. Great project here—love the reuse of the waterfall dressers. We are redoing our bedrooms this month…hopefully they will turn out as well as this, Sandi

    1. Thanks Sandi! Those dressers were a steal and I look for quite a while. Love the Restore! Happy New Year to you!

      1. It is so well ad oh so lovely!