Upcycle & Reimagine: What To Do With Your Old Bookcase

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We’ve all been there — the sturdy bookcase that once was the pride of your living room has lost its former glory, or maybe the bookshelf you inherited doesn’t quite suit your decor style.

However, before you decide to retire your old bookcase to the curb, remember that with a little imagination and creativity, you can breathe new life into it!

Let’s explore some inventive ways to repurpose your old bookcase or bookshelf into something unique and functional.

What To Do With Your Old Bookcase

Home Decor Transformation

Paint it Anew

Paint is a renovator’s best friend. Choose a bright, bold color for a stunning statement piece or opt for a more subtle hue to blend with your existing decor. Consider chalk paint for an antique, rustic look, or high-gloss paint for a modern, chic finish. Distress the edges for a shabby-chic appeal or use a stencil to create intricate designs.

Don’t forget to prime your bookcase before painting to ensure an even and durable finish.

Add Wallpaper or Fabric

If you’re looking to inject pattern and texture into your space, why not line the back of your bookcase with wallpaper or fabric? Choose from countless colors, patterns, and textures to create a bespoke piece of furniture that reflects your personality.

Reinventing Function

Turn it into a Bar

Convert your old bookcase into a unique, home bar! The shelves are perfect for storing bottles, glassware, and cocktail-making tools. Add some LED strip lights to illuminate your collection, and voila — you have your very own custom bar!

Convert into a TV Stand

For those needing a new TV stand, your old bookcase might be the solution. Remove any unnecessary shelves to accommodate the TV, using the remaining space to house your media devices, DVDs, and video games.

Kids Room Magic

DIY Dollhouse

Transform your old bookcase into a delightful dollhouse. Each shelf can be a different “room,” decorated with miniature furniture and accessories. It’s a fun project to do with your kids, and it’ll provide hours of imaginative play.

Art and Craft Station

For the little artists at home, an old bookcase can be turned into a fantastic art station. Keep paints, brushes, papers, and other art supplies neatly organized on the shelves, and attach some hooks for hanging completed masterpieces.

Garden and Outdoor Use

Plant Stand

For green thumbs, an old bookcase can make an excellent plant stand. The multiple shelves provide plenty of space for your potted plants. Remember to seal the wood properly to protect against outdoor elements.

Potting Bench

Turn your old bookcase into a practical potting bench. The shelves can store pots, tools, and bags of soil, while the top can be used as a work surface for potting plants.


Old bookcases and bookshelves are far from being destined for the dump. With a bit of creativity and elbow grease, they can be transformed into stunning decor pieces or functional furniture. So, the next time you come across an old bookcase, look at it with new eyes and reimagine its potential!

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