Expand storage in your bedroom with repurposed dresser drawers

This week, our Jill of All Trades, Jill Washburn, gets creative in finding a new way to create good looking storage units for underneath a bed. Jill was frustrated with the traditional under bed storage boxes that are plastic. She wanted something that worked well but looked more like furniture. 

Her solution was to find a used dresser on Facebook Marketplace and modify the drawers to create storage units for under her bed.

The piece that Jill was looking for had to fit certain criteria. First, it had to be in decent shape. Second, it had to be affordable. Third, the drawers would have to all be the same size. And last, the drawers would have to fit in the space allowed under her bed and have enough clearance for her to put them up on rollers.

The piece that Jill found was a used changing table that was in very good condition. It had 6 identical drawers that would fit under the bed and had enough clearance to accommodate the rollers, as well.  Plus, at 40 bucks, it was a bargain. Jill snapped it up. 

The first step in converting the drawers was to remove the roller tracks from the sides of the drawers. They came off easily with a power screwdriver.

The next step was to reinforce the corners of the bottom of the drawers. Since that’s where the rollers were going to be installed, the wood had to be thick enough to accommodate the screws. The bottom of the drawers were made from a fairly thin plywood.  Jill glued small 3x3 blocks of 1/2" thick wood inside the corners of the drawers. 

Once those were dry, Jill turned her attention to painting the drawers to match the bed. Since she had rehabbed the bed herself (another Facebook Marketplace bargain), she had the same spray paint that she used for the bed and painted the outsides of the drawers to match.

Next step, installing the rollers. Jill was trying to preserve as much vertical space as possible under the bed so she needed to find a caster or roller with the lowest possible profile. She found rollers that use a steel ball sitting in a housing full of ball bearings from Global Industrial. They roll really well and are very low profile, perfect for this application. 

Jill mounted the rollers to the underside of the drawers in the four corners.  They screwed on easily (although Jill did pre-drill the holes for good measure).  Once they were installed, the drawers rolled really nicely. 

The last step was the one that made Jill the most nervous... drilling the holes for the handles. While Jill had swapped out handles many times, she had never had to drill holes for installing a handle where there had not been one before. She knew she had to take her time and measure very, very carefully. Even doing so, she was off by just a hair. She knew, though, that she could kind of work the drill bit around in the hole a little more and get the tiny bit of extra space that she needed. It worked, and her handles went on perfectly.

BONUS*** The handles Jill found were on clearance for 47 cents apiece!  And, they’re great handles from a good company. She just happened to score them on clearance.  

The only thing left to do was place the drawers under the bed. They move in and out super easy and they look SO MUCH better than the plastic storage boxes that were there before. 

PROJECT RATING:  Medium (The only thing that boosted it up to Medium was the measuring and drilling for the handle installation. If you’re experienced at that, or your drawers already have handles, this project would be easy.)

To watch Jill guide you through the process, just click on the video player above.