My parents have sooo much stuff and I’m continually working on helping them sort through and clear out things that they don’t use or need anymore.

This old laminate book shelf is one of those things that was taking up space so it was time to say good bye. But there was a problem. Sometimes I’m not much of a helper because I can kinda have a problem getting rid of things too. Only for me, it’s usually because I’m trying to think up a way to make the item useful again. So when I came across this ugly old bookshelf, a light went on. I mean, with all my parents’ stuff, there had to be a way to use it to help get them organized.

So, this ugly laminate book shelf…

DIY Under The Bed Storage

…was converted to a very useful under the bed storage drawer under my dad’s bed. And it was sooo easy to do! Plus, it was particularly useful because as you can tell, that is a hospital bed in the picture. My Pops is 93, God bless him, and he had some medical supplies in his room that needed organizing. So off I went to adding some inconspicuous storage.

First, I screwed casters onto the back of the bookshelf, which then became the bottom.


DIY Under The Bed Storage

Now I could have stopped there and simply slid the whole thing under the bed, but I have to say that it was so darn ugly to look at.

I thought a little paint would make it (and me) happy. So, I roughened up the surface with sand paper


DIY Under The Bed Storage


Gave the surface a coat of paint primer


DIY Under The Bed Storage


Oh, by the way, this is what always happens whenever I try to get anything done…


DIY Under The Bed Storage


I mean, seriously, how can I say no to those big brown eyes when she wants to crawl onto my lap?? Needless to say, she remained there the entire time I primed and painted. …I know, I know, I’m a sucker.

Next, I painted the under the bed drawer green…


DIY Under The Bed Storage


DIY Under The Bed Storage

Looks like someone found a new bed, too. So much for that pretty little Princess Doggie Bed/Throne (click here for tutorial) that I built for her…


diy dog bed

I really liked the green color, but after painting some turquoise stripes on a feature wall in my Dad’s room (click here to see the stripes and learn how to paint perfectly sharp lines), I decided turquoise was the color for the under the bed storage drawer too.



So I repainted. That’s what’s so fun about makeovers. If you don’t like something, you just make it over!

I also added some risers under the bed feet that I cut from a 2’x4′ and then glued some felt to the bottom, to give the drawer a little more room to slide. If you don’t have a spare 2’x4′, you can find bed risers here.



Look how much storage space!!!



I also added some drawer pulls that I refinished.



I love how the draw pulls turned out. The used to look like this…




But I gave them a shabby chic little makeover. Click here for drawer pull tutorial.



For more easy storage ideas, check out the tutorial for these Super Easy DIY Fabric Covered Storage Boxes

How To Make DIY Fabric covered storage boxes

And 26 Incredible Under The Stairs Utilization Ideas.


under stairs storage drawers
source: Zenya Adderley, Sydney Australia


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This post linked to some of these totally fabulous blogs and Remodelaholic.



    • Thanks J! I’m actually liking the turquoise way more than I did the green. And the handles gives it a much more finished look. Wait till you see what else I’m using the turquoise paint for. :-)

  1. Ohhhh my goodness that is brilliant! I love it! Now I wish my bed were a bit taller to be able to do that, ha!
    I love that you painted them, too, though. There are a ton of beautiful bed frames that have the built in storage underneath, and this mimics them perfectly, while being so customizable!

  2. Wow! Great idea! I’ve seen people turn old drawers into storage like this but not a whole bookshelf! I’m loving the color and those drawer pulls.

    • Thank you so much Jessica! It just seemed like such a waste to get rid of the bookshelf so I gave it a shot and luckily it worked out (which doesn’t always happen). I’m going to be doing a quick tutorial on the drawer pulls in the next few days. They were pretty ugly before I painted them.

    • Yay! Thank you. I’ve packed so much more stuff in there since taking those pictures. It really is such a space saver. And if you don’t have a spare book shelf, you can always get one super cheap on Craigslist.

  3. Ok, I find the word genius is overused in blogland, but YES, this does qualify as genius. Love it! Thanks for linking up to the Vintage Inspiration Party!

    • Haha, Becky, thank you. I did hesitate to use the word ‘genius,’ but my friend who loves it convinced me that I should. And thank you for hosting!

    • Haha! I used to have a 60lb pitbull. She was the sweetest thing who definitely thought she was a lap dog and my little Lily would totally boss the big one around.

  4. WOW! I have done this with a single drawer, but I NEVER would have thought to do it with an entire bookshelf- this is AWESOME!! So glad you linked up at Snickerdoodle Sunday- hope to see your latest makes next week!

    Sarah (Sadie Seasongoods)

    • Thank you so much Sarah! The drawer has definitely been coming in handy and is seeing a lot of use! I’ll be sure to stop by next week!

  5. Dang it!!! I was trying to figure out what to do with a hollowed out bookshelf (I cannibalized the last remaining shelf for something else) on Sunday… couldn’t think of any use and got rid of it. I’ve been brainstorming under bed storage ideas for months. I was stuck on the “recycle old dresser drawers”… garbage pickup was yesterday. I found your site tonight. I feel so dumb. That would have been perfect and FIT perfect!! Brilliant idea. (Especially helpful as I plan to actually store books down there).

    Thanks for sharing :) Why couldn’t I have seen this sooner?

    • OH NO!!! I’m totally feeling your pain! But if it’s any consolation, I bet you can easily get another one really cheap on Craigslist. Although, that wouldn’t stop me from wanting to kick myself. But I tell ya, this storage is coming in so handy. I’m using it every single day! Well, next time, I’ll try to post sooner. :-)

  6. What a wonderful idea! I’ve been looking for a good way to add storage to my daughter’s room without taking up more floor space. This is perfect! Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. I love your idea, so I’m going to do the same to my daughters room. I just have one question, did you need to put extra support for the wheels or are they just attached to the back? If you could please help with this, I would really appreciate it.

    • Hi Michele, I did not put extra support. But I made sure to attach the wheels to the sides of the book shelf which is about an inch thick. Hope that helps. :-)

  8. I’m kinda new to pinterest( yes I’ve been living in a cave,lol). So I’m aware this from January but I wanted to tell you what a great idea!!!& What a great job you did, it’s very cute.

    • Sorry for the delayed response, but thank you so much Pamela! It’s never too late to discover the fun of Pinterest! I sometimes get seriously lost in it for way too long. :-)

  9. Thanks for this idea. I am currently using a hospital bed and need extra storage for supplies. This is perfect. Trying to make the room look like a real bedroom and not a hospital room. Love organization.

    • Yes, that’s exactly my situation. My dad uses a hospital bed and he has a lot of medical and personal care supplies. So this turned out to be a great solution. It keeps his stuff private and the rest of the room looking nice. He just turned 94 and is doing great; he just does things little slower than he used to. :-)

  10. What a great idea. I used old dresser drawers under our bed. I didn’t have enough clearance under our bed frame to add wheels to the drawers. Bought a set of those silicone furniture moving.pads that are made for sliding your heavy furniture pieces easily over carpet and floors. I hot glued them to the corners of the drawers and voila they slide in and out just like a dream. I wish I had enough room for your bookshelf idea. But we have nightstands on each side of our bed, so that wouldn’t work for us. Great job. Love the colorful touches you added.

  11. Thanks so much for this idea. I was going to build an under the bed drawer unit for my grandson’s dorm room. This is so much easier and I already have everything I need. I just need to know the color he wants. Love your creative mind. Sandy

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