See how I transformed inexpensive bookcases ready for the trash into the perfect rolling work table.
When I finally managed to snag my very own space for all my creativity, I knew the one thing I really wanted was a rolling work table. Having a big table to work on all my DIYs seemed like heaven to me. No more need to take over the dining room table!
But with my $100 budget for this room, I had to get creative. I happened to have a few cheap melamine bookcases laying around that I didn’t want anymore. From them I created the perfect crafting table. I can’t tell you how much I love my new upcycled bookcase rolling work table!
Since I made this upcycled bookcase rolling work table for the $100 room challenge makeover, I had to keep a close eye on my budget. I love the creativity this challenge is forcing me into.
Luckily, we just did a huge rearranging in our entire house and it uncovered a lot of things that I didn’t want anymore, like a couple tables from Ikea we used for my kids art table and my old craft table, as well as 2 short bookcases and 1 tall bookcase.
Instead of tossing or donating them, I decided to upcycle them into my dream craft table.
There were 3 major needs in my new craft table:
- Lots and lots of storage.
- Tall enough for me to comfortably stand at.
- Has wheels so I can access it from all sides, but push it out of the way when not in use.
And I have to do it all for practically nothing because I am quickly spending my $100. The bookcases were the perfect answer to my needs.
Now my table has so much storage I am not sure I will be able to fill it all.
Okay, that’s a lie, I may be a bit of craft hoarder and I’m drowning in all kinds of crazy crafting things (not to mention the hoards of fabric). But at least it will all be organized now.
With just a little bit of woodworking, and a piece of 1/4″ plywood underlayment (left over from the entryway makeover I really need to share with you), I was able to make this table for $0.
Yep, you read that right. I spent absolutely nothing on this entire work table because I used things that I had, but no longer wanted.
I am shocking myself with how I am able to create something from the junk filling the corners of my house (and seriously, these bookcases were just piled in the back corner of the basement hallway).
If you want to see the other creative solutions I’m using to redo my new office & craft room for only $100, you can follow along here. So far, here is the breakdown of what I have spent:
And there is a lot more to come. There are going to be so many budget friendly ideas for this space, make sure to subscribe to the weekly newsletter so you don’t miss out on anything!
And if you are ready to see how I transformed these 3 bookcases and 2 Ikea tabletops into the best upcycled bookcase rolling work table ever, check out the tutorial below. You will be amazed at how easy it was!
How to Make an Upcycled Bookcase Rolling Work Table
- 2- 3 shelf bookcases
- 1- 5 shelf bookcase
- 2- 59″x29″ table tops
- You could also use 3/4″ plywood for the top and bottom.
- 1/4″ plywood (underlayment works nicely and is cheaper)
- 5- 3″ castor wheels
- Table saw or circular saw
- Use a circular guide track like this to get straight and accurate cuts with a circular saw
- Impact driver and wood screws
- Construction adhesive
- Kreg jig and pocket hole screws for extending shelves (optional)
The height of my work table was super important, so I started by figuring out exactly how tall I wanted my table to end up. Then I subtracted the thickness of my Ikea tabletops (x2) and the height of my castors.
The smaller bookcases needed to be cut down to this height. This meant I just needed to remove the toe kick on the front of the bookcases. And trim the side boards to be even with the bottom shelf with a circular saw.
Before I started assembling the table, I attached the castors to the bottom of one of the table tops. I used 5 wheels, four on the outer corners (about 3 inches in from each side) and one in the center.
To make sure they were stable with lots of use, I used a heavy duty construction adhesive to glue the castors to the bottom of the table. Then secure with screws. After the adhesive cures, they are not going anywhere.
Turn the table top over. Now line up the smaller bookcases where you want them on the top of it. Attach them with wood screws through the bottom shelf into the table top.
If you don’t have hoards of craft supplies, you can add your second table top and call it a day. But I need A LOT of storage if I want a room that is anywhere near organized. So I decided to add more shelves to the center of the work table.
I took apart the 5 shelf (6′ foot tall) bookcase and cut down the two sides so they were the height of my smaller bookcases with a circular saw. Cut 4 of these from the two sides, make sure you cut them identically so the holes for the shelf pins line up properly.
Attach two of the shelf sides to the back of the small bookcases. I set mine in about 1/2″. Make sure you are using the matching pieces of the bookcases so the holes for the shelf pins line up. I attached these with my battery powered finish nailer and a few nails on the top and bottom.
Cut a piece of 1/4″ plywood so it covers the back of this new shelf area. Place this behind the shelf sides. I didn’t bother attaching it, I just placed the second set of bookcase sides on the other side so it was contained in the middle.
Now it’s time for the top. Line it up on top of your upcycled bookcases and secure. I used wood screws in through the top shelf of the bookcases into the table top.
I added the shelves to the smaller bookcases. And then I realized the middle bookcase area I created was about 4-5 inches larger than the shelves from the bookcase I took apart.
If I didn’t have a $100 budget, I would have purchased some boards and cut them to the right length. But when I went to see how much they were, they were $15 a piece. I needed at least 2 so that was definitely out of the budget. Luckily, I found a solution that cost me nothing!
Using my Kreg jig and the left over heavy duty construction adhesive, I was able to create longer shelves from the shelves I had on hand. I cut one of the shelves into pieces that were equal to the amount needed to make the new shelf length.
Place masking tape over the melamine shelf where you are cutting to prevent chipping.
Add 4 pocket holes to the edge of the new piece of shelf. Run a bead of construction adhesive along the edge, then secure the two pieces together with pocket hole screws. Once the adhesive cures, the shelf should be good to use.
Because these shelves have a seam, they will not be as strong as a regular shelf, I put all my heavy items on the bottom shelf (aka, the table top). The new, long shelves will be perfect for organizing all my other crafting supplies.
And because they cost me nothing, I think that is a great solution!
Now I need to spend a day (or two) completely organizing all my stuff into the new upcycled bookcase rolling work table.
Lucky for me, the hubby and I are addicted to coffee so we buy our k-cups in bulk. This leaves me with the perfect storage boxes for organizing all my things in my craft table.
I just need to figure out how to pretty them up a bit! I love how the fabric covered storage boxes for my coffee console table turned out, maybe I’ll do something like that.
Also to make this work table really work for me, I topped it off with a large cutting mat. To keep it from moving around, I stuck it down with a few strips of double sided tape. It’s the perfect surface for cutting and crafting! The grid has really come in handy with lots of projects.
Seriously, this is the perfect table for my new office & craft room. And making it completely out of upcycled bookcases that were in the donate pile makes it even more perfect (if that is possible).
I am considering doing a few things to pretty it up a bit more, but we will see if I have time after completing the rest of my enormous list of projects for this room.
Time to get back to work 🙂