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Turning a Cabinet into an Open Bookshelf

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Seriously, one of my favorite things to do is find ways to use old materials to make new things. When we had our walls taken down, we lost two upper cabinets. We asked the contractor to save them for us and they have been sitting in our garage for four months. We had initial thoughts that we would put them up in the laundry room, but we found two better uses for them in the end. Today and next week we’ll share with you what we did with those cabinets. The first is that we turned one of the cabinets into an open bookshelf to go on the end of our kitchen island!

Turning a Cabinet into an Open Bookshelf

First thing I had to do was to make it the right size. The upper cabinets are taller than the lowers, so they needed to be cut down. I used a combination of my circular saw and jig saw to cut the solid top part of the cabinet off to reattach later. Since it’s solid, we needed that to rest the counters on.

Turning a Cabinet into an Open Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
Turning a Cabinet into an Open Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted

Then, I went down 13 inches and cut off another section of cabinet to make it the appropriate size.

Turning a Cabinet into an Open Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted

The next step was to reattach the top piece that I cut off back to the main section of the cabinet. I used wood glue and caulk to make it look seamless.

Turning a Cabinet into an Open Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
Turning a Cabinet into an Open Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted

Now that the cabinet was the right size, I had to build the base. As you know, lower cabinets aren’t flush on the floor.

They have recessed bottoms, so I had to match that by building a new base. I used 1″x4″s to make a box frame on the back of the cabinet and added two stylish legs in the front to give it a modern look.

I had to add some extra pieces of 1×4 flat in order to compensate for the bottom lip of the cabinet, but this all worked out and created the base. You can see my box in the above pic.

Turning a Cabinet into an Open Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted

Finally, we screwed it into the island and patched over all the screws, then we painted it and our island a new color to get rid of that ’90s light oak color.

I used a jig saw to cut out a hole for the island’s electrical outlet and that was it. We popped in shelves and all the sudden we had turned an old cabinet into open shelving on the end of our kitchen island.

Turning a Cabinet into an Open Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
Turning a Cabinet into an Open Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
Turning a Cabinet into an Open Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted

You can notice that the top isn’t covered, but we’re having new custom counters created and will be installing in a few weeks. For now, the new shelving is exposed, but no big deal. We’re so excited to have a bigger island! Stay tuned next week to see how we repurposed the other kitchen cabinet!

 
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