Crafty Ways To Repurpose Old Cabinet Doors Around The House

According to data from Statista, United States homeowners spent over $1.4 trillion on home remodeling in 2022. This is such a common expenditure for a reason — even small switches like swapping hardware or painting the walls can completely transform the look of a space and help you feel more comfortable in your home — but many people don't consider everything that goes into a renovation before they get to work. Most of the time, effort and resources are delegated almost entirely to picking out new additions and hiring the necessary labor to tackle tougher jobs, but little thought is put into what will happen to the waste produced by these changes.

If you're looking to cut down on the amount of perfectly good material you have to send off to the dump, consider upcycling some of the pieces that are salvageable. A lot of the time, we choose to upgrade our spaces primarily because the old pieces look a bit outdated or no longer match our style, but that doesn't mean they're at the end of their life. Sturdy pieces, especially those made of solid wood, like cabinet doors, can easily be reincorporated into your next DIY project. Through this process, you'll not only reduce the amount of trash you're throwing out, but you'll also save some money on materials and have the chance to get more inventive with your creations.

1. Mirror

If you're looking for a piece of décor that's neutral, functional, and can make a small space look bigger, a mirror checks all those boxes. The problem, however, is that options that aren't flimsy or tiny are often fairly expensive, especially if you opt for something that's trendier or more intricate. One way around this is through a simple DIY project. Take a mirror that feels a bit too small or isn't as sturdy as you'd like, then attach it to an old cabinet door. The cabinet will act as both a support and a kind of frame to bring some sturdiness and visual interest to the piece.

2. Mug organizer

Starting your morning off on the right foot with a mug of hot coffee or settling down at the end of a long day with a cup of tea can bring a bit of luxury to even the most mundane of schedules, but, oftentimes, our peaceful moment is interrupted by the view of a messy countertop or cabinet crowded full of unused mugs. To help prevent this, consider creating your own wall-hanging coffee station. Install a shelf onto an old cabinet door, add some hooks for your favorite mugs, and top with some decorative pieces to help finish everything off and add some interest.

3. Canvas

Following the same line of logic as the mirror project, old cabinet doors can make for a solid base for your art. Most cabinet doors feature a simple beveled design, which coincidentally mimics the look of a classic frame, just in one solid piece. Instead of having to add a border around your artwork, try painting, decoupaging, or gluing directly onto the cabinet. This can act as a fantastic canvas if you have a particular medium you're fond of, but, if you don't fancy yourself much of an artist, you can also simply paste prints or cutouts you want to display directly onto the surface.

4. Serving tray

Even if you don't host or entertain guests often, serving trays can have plenty of uses around the home, from simply sprucing up a plain dining table to transforming a plush ottoman into a sturdy surface. Before you run to the store to buy one, however, consider making your own using an old cabinet door and some handles. If you're going for a specific look, these handles can be purchased new from the hardware store, but you could also repurpose old cabinet pulls if you want to make the most out of materials you might otherwise be tossing in the trash during a kitchen remodel.

5. Decorative sign

Incorporating signage around the home can give you the positive reminders you need throughout the day, but applying these vinyl cutouts and decals directly to the wall can cause damage to your paint and make removal difficult. Instead, consider sticking them on an old cabinet door for a more polished sign you can then display on your wall without worry. You can buy these decals pre-cut in stores if you're looking for a common quote or word, but, if you want something custom, there are plenty of sellers online that sell custom vinyl cutouts for a fraction of the cost you'd spend on a fully assembled sign.

6. Chalkboard

Life is hectic, and we can all use the occasional note to keep us on track and remind us of what's coming up soon. Chalkboards are the perfect way to accomplish this task, and they're surprisingly easy and inexpensive to DIY. To make your own chalkboard, all you need is a solid, smooth surface — like an old cabinet door — and some chalkboard paint. Give the surface a coat or two, allow it to fully dry, and you're ready to start jotting down little notes, daily schedules, and important reminders that can help to ensure your day runs as smoothly as possible.

7. Coat rack

Having a space next to the door to drop keys, hang jackets, and store purses can help streamline your routine and decrease the amount of clutter around your home, but it can be difficult to find the room for a console table or something similar if you're working with a tight space. A few hooks, however, can alleviate this issue without taking up a ton of room, and this upcycle using a cabinet door can help to add some more interest to this setup while decreasing the number of screw holes you have to leave in your wall — a great option if you're looking for rental-friendly DIY.

8. Wall vase

Vases come in plenty of shapes and sizes, but most of them are designed to sit on a table or a shelf so you can admire your bouquet from all angles. If you don't have a ton of horizontal space, or you're worried about pets or kids knocking over fragile flower displays, a traditional vase might not be the best option for you. Instead, consider creating a vase that can attach to the wall out of an old cabinet door. This way, it's completely out of your path, but you can still enjoy some fresh greenery and floral accents in your home.

9. Stand

Sometimes, you just need a little extra boost. Whether you use them to help you reach the top shelf of the pantry, spotlight baked goods on your kitchen table, or give your favorite houseplant a place to sit that isn't right on the ground, having a few tiny stools or stands lying around can be surprisingly convenient. Luckily, they're just as easy to make as they are to find uses for. Simply add some legs to an old cabinet door, making sure that it's made of a sturdy and well-maintained material if you intend to use it to support larger décor pieces.

10. Laundry room organizer

Even a tiny bit of organization can help to create a more functional laundry room, and this DIY is a one-stop shop for all your laundry day essentials. Attach a simple basket to an old cabinet door, then add some hooks or a bar for hangers at the bottom. The basket can hold your most-used items, like laundry detergent, scent beads, dryer balls, stain remover, and delicates bags, while the hooks or bar on the bottom can be used to hang delicates that need to air dry. Finish everything off with a decal, and you have a fully functional décor piece.

11. Wall shelf

Floating shelves can present a solid, low-profile storage solution that doesn't require taking up any floor space, but, if you want something with a bit more visual interest than the more minimalistic options out there, consider adding a backing made of a repurposed cabinet door. This DIY is incredibly simple — it basically just requires you to install the floating shelf and its supports onto the cabinet door rather than directly onto the wall — but it can make a major impact and help put a spotlight on whatever items you wish to display or store on your wall.

12. Candle sconce

Wall scones are a great way to incorporate a classical touch and interesting lighting into your space, but more intricate options can be shockingly expensive for such a simple item. With a bit of help from a cabinet door, however, you can transform a sconce that feels too small or simple into something that looks like it better fits on your wall. Cabinet doors are typically taller than they are wide, so they're the perfect option to frame out a sconce with a similar set of dimensions, and there's plenty of room to play around with different paint colors and finishes to customize your look.

13. Wreath display

Wreaths are typically hung on the front door, but there's no reason you have to limit yourself. By nature of their design, however, wreaths can look a bit awkward just hanging in the middle of the wall, especially if they're smaller or more minimalistic, so adding a backing can help give your wreath a place to hang and frame it out to create a more cohesive look. To do this yourself, simply take an old cabinet door and add a hook or ribbon to the surface to hang your wreath. This way, you can easily swap out greenery as the season changes or it begins to wilt.

14. Mail organizer

Even though sending handwritten letters is far from our main form of communication nowadays, it's still common to receive plenty of mail throughout the week. So much so, that it can get a bit annoying to have to sort through it all the second you collect it from the mailbox. To keep it from piling up on your counter, consider creating a designated space for mail out of a repurposed cabinet door and a couple of baskets. This way, you'll always know where to find those important items, even if you haven't had time to open every envelope.

15. Wall planter

Typical hanging planters are a great way to capitalize on vertical space and keep plants away from curious pets, but, if you're looking for something that's a bit more of a statement piece, consider making one to hang on your wall. Take an old cabinet door, then attach a pot, planter, or even mason jar to the surface. Make a few drainage holes if necessary, add in your soil, and plant whatever plant you desire in the vessel. Hang the cabinet door on the wall or simply lean it against a surface, and you have a unique plant display that's sure to impress.

16. Side table

Just about any flat object can be turned into a table with the addition of some legs, but cabinet doors are a particularly well-suited option thanks to the fact that they're designed to withstand plenty of wear and tear, scratches, and spills. If you want your table to be as low-profile and functional as possible, remove the hinges and handles from your cabinet door, fill any holes, and give everything a fresh coat of paint or sealant. If you're willing to sacrifice a bit of functionality in favor of interest, however, keeping the hardware on can result in a fun and quirky final product.

17. Event signage

Big events, whether it's a wedding, baby shower, or birthday party, typically require a bit of signage to help direct guests on where to go, what activities are coming up, and what they can expect to find throughout the space. Unfortunately, ordering these custom signs can get a bit pricey, especially if you're looking for something sturdier or more polished than plastic or cardstock. Cabinet doors that would otherwise go in the trash, however, can make for a great base. Try out your calligraphy skills with a paint pen, or order some custom vinyl cutouts for a fraction of the price of a full sign.

18. Mosaic base

Cabinet doors can be painted on and used as a kind of frame, but why stop at two-dimensional art? Old cabinet doors can act as a perfect base for a mosaic art project thanks to their size, frame-like look, and sturdiness. Glue your mosaic pieces down directly onto the surface of the door, then fill everything in with grout as desired. Because it's meant to be thick and sturdy, the cabinet door will certainly be able to handle the weight of the glass and ceramic pieces you stick to the surface, especially if it's made of real wood.

19. Kitchen island

While it might be a bit more of an undertaking than some of the other ideas on this list, cabinet doors can be transformed into a functional kitchen island with a bit of finessing. At their core, cabinet doors are just finished pieces of wood or particle board, so they can be screwed, glued, and nailed together to create just about any shape you desire. For this particular idea, you'll likely need about a full kitchen's worth of materials, but it can make for a fantastic project if you've been itching to get creative with your builds but haven't wanted to shell out a ton on materials.

20. Bench

Cabinet doors can be used as a base for plenty of different projects, but they also have a ton of potential to be incorporated as a decorative accent in other builds, too. If you have an existing backless bench that feels a bit drab, or you're looking for a way to spruce up an otherwise bland design you're working on, consider using cabinet doors as the back. This can be a great opportunity to mix and match different sizes, shapes, and styles you find secondhand, but you can also stick with doors that match if you just want to repurpose pieces from your own kitchen remodel.

21. Mini bench

If you like the idea of creating a bench but you're looking for something a bit smaller, this DIY might be the choice for you. By combining two cabinet doors, four legs, and some hardware, you can create a tiny bench that's the perfect size for kids' seating, doll furniture, or even a plant shelf. This build likely won't be as sturdy as a full-sized piece of furniture, but it's a great place to start if you want to try your hand at a more involved project without jumping straight into creating full-sized furniture pieces that require a lot more planning and materials.

22. Skull décor backing

Animal skulls are a trademark of western, rustic, and witchy décor, but, oftentimes, not much thought is put into their display besides proper preparation and where they are placed on the wall. If you're looking for something a bit more customizable and unique, consider mounting your skull to an old cabinet door. You can leave it like this if you're just looking for something to frame the item, but there's also plenty of opportunity to add flowers, paint patterns, or incorporate other decorative accents to create your own personalized piece of art.

23. Jewelry holder

There are plenty of different kinds of jewelry organizers to both buy and DIY, but this simple project only requires a cabinet door and a window screen to get started. To do this yourself, all you need to do is remove the middle section of your cabinet door and replace it with some mesh so you can easily store both stud and hook-style earrings. If you'd rather an approach that doesn't require you to use a saw, however, you could just as easily cover the central panel of the cabinet door with some thin corkboard and add on a couple of small cup hooks to hold necklaces.

24. Calendar

Having a calendar on the wall is a great way to keep everyone on the same page about what's coming up, but there's no reason you have to go out and buy one new. If you have a scrap cabinet door, paint the middle section with chalkboard paint, then draw on a grid pattern and the days of the week using a paint pen. This will create a base for your calendar, so each month all you have to do is draw on the numbered dates and what important events and appointments you have scheduled over the next few weeks.

25. Planter

Just about anything can become a planter with some reworking, and cabinet doors are no exception. If you have multiple doors on hand that are the same size, they can be combined to create a box shape with the help of a couple of nails to hold everything together. From here, you can keep it simple, or get creative with legs and trim to customize the final look to your taste. Just make sure that you line your new build to protect it from moisture, especially if you want to ensure that you're not left with warped surfaces, peeling veneer, or unsightly stains as you water your plant over time.

26. Photo frame

One of the most notable things about most cabinet doors is that they look quite a bit like a traditional frame thanks to their beveled edges. Because of this, they can easily be used as a substitute, so long as you're willing to apply your photo directly to the surface of the cabinet door rather than sandwiching it between the backing and a layer of glass. Get a photo printed that's the same size as the inner area of your frame — or cut one to size — and simply stick it down with some glue, Mod Podge, or even just mounting putty.

27. Dog food bowls

Many pet owners prefer elevating their animals' food bowls to keep the area clean, make their pets more comfortable, and help improve their furry friends' digestion, but there aren't that many stylish options for elevated food bowls on the market. While your pet's safety and health should always be the top priority, having to constantly deal with this eyesore can get annoying. Instead, consider making your own. Add some legs to a cabinet door, paint it your desired color, and cut out holes to hold the food bowls. It's a pretty simple project, but it can make a big difference in your décor.

28. Laundry room change collection

A cabinet door can easily be transformed into an organizer that can hold all of your laundry room essentials, but it can also serve as a collection point for items that you might otherwise lose track of. Attach a jar to a cabinet door to collect any coins, dollar bills, or any other miscellaneous items that might accidentally make their way into the washing machine after being left in a pocket. Add on a few clips to act as a holding place for solo socks — if you don't find their mate, try your hand at repurposing them, too.

29. Holiday countdown

While they might not be an essential part of your special events, countdowns can help increase the excitement for major holidays coming up — and act as an answer to younger kids who constantly ask how long they have to wait until Christmas, their birthday, or an upcoming vacation. To make one yourself, simply paint or stick on a decal that states the name of your event, then add a square of chalk paint to write down the number of days left until you get to celebrate. Erase and replace the number each day, and watch the excitement build as it continues to decrease.