Trash to Treasure Furniture Makeover

I am one of those people who is not afraid to stop my car on the side of the road to pick up other peoples cast-offs.  I enjoy the process of a good trash to treasure furniture makeover.   I find the hunt very adventuresome and love transforming my finds into functional pieces.  Best of all – it doesn’t cost me a thing.

I found this hollowed out dresser in a field on the way to the supermarket.   Lovely, isn’t she?  She has nice lines.  I saw potential.


Trash to Treasure Decorating

The transformation begins with a trip to the dollar store for 17 white plastic baskets.  I would have loved wicker baskets, but 17 of them would be a bit pricey for my budget.

White Organizing Baskets

Also needed:   my computer, printer, and card-stock to make some labels.  I  chose a font size that would fit in the label holders I found years ago.  I cut out a piece of acetate from a transparency sheet to use as my see-thru cutting template.

Transparency template cutting guide

Vintage looking label holders and labels I made.  If you don’t have any label holders you can see my post on how-to make wipe-off labels.

label made on computer

I used a pair of pliers to attach a label holder to the front of each basket.

metal label holder

I cut plywood to fit into the hollow dresser to create shelves.  There were 8 sections and a small lip where the drawers used to be that I screwed each piece of plywood into.  I then gave it a coat of white paint.  This is a rough piece.  Even after sanding and buffing the front edges still looked raw with the plywood and screws showing.

Before and After Furniture Makeovers

I cleaned it up as best I could and figured it is going to go in my mudroom so it doesn’t have to look perfect, just functional.  Lots of sanding needed.

Before and After Furniture Makeovers


Trash to Treasure Decorating: After

Trash to Treasure Decorating Before and After Furniture Makeover for Mudrooms

I also bought white thumb tacks at the Dollar Store and used two different colors of ribbon from my stash to hide the  ugly front edge of the dresser.   I measured the ribbon and placed the purple on top of a wider white grosgrain.  I attached the ribbon to the dresser with the thumb tacks.  I think I am going to add more tacks, so it looks like nail-head trim, but I ran out.  I will need to take another trip to the Dollar Store to get more.

ribbon and tack detail on trash to treasure

ribbon and tack detailing

This dresser sees a lot of action as it is right in the door from our garage where we enter the house.   It is where we place keys, mail, library books, handbags, backpacks, etc.  I have the baskets labeled – Sunglasses, Goggles, Sunscreen, Mittens, Hats…the things we use on a daily basis that I want easily accessible, but I don’t want to see laying around.

After Trash to Treasure dresser

dollar store basket organizing

Decorating with the dollar store

I love how it came out.  Not too bad for something I found on the side of the road.

Trash to Treasure After


Budget Furniture Makeover



  1. Kristyn says

    I absolutely love this idea. I am newly into repurposing furniture, clothes etc. and was looking for some unique ways to redecorate my home. You have given me some much needed direction. Guess I wont be throwing out the kids old dressers. THANKS :))

  2. Khara says

    You are SO smart!!! I’m SO inspired by your work!;) “Re-purpose” is my middle name…and you make it look GREAT! Thanks for sharing!!! I can’t wait till the holidays are over and I can get started…and the paper on top of the dresser with glass beads over the letters! Ugh!!! TOO fun:)

  3. says

    I totally need label holders! Lots of label holders! Where did you find those?

    What a useful way to repurpose an old dresser. And I love the shutters on the wall above it.

    • says

      Hi Louise –

      I bought them at IKEA a long time ago. I do not think they sell them anymore. I would check out places like Staples and Office Max. I know Martha Stewart has a few different types of labels sold at Staples. You may find something you like.

  4. Debby says

    I love this dresser. I’ve seen some dressers on the side of the road and was always wondering what to do with the gap from the old drawers. Thank you.


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