How to Convert a Bookcase to a Craft Armoire

Updated February 21, 2017

Bookcases are convenient pieces of furniture to have in your home. Bookcases are great for more than just books. You can transform a bookcase to make an entirely different piece of furniture. By adding a couple of doors to your bookcase you can convert it into a craft armoire which is perfect for storing your craft items. Open the doors when you want to work. Close the doors to hide the mess when company comes.

Remove the lowest shelf from the bookcase. You need enough room to sit without your knees bumping into the bottom shelf. Move the shelf supports so they are at a good level for you to work comfortably.

Cut the pine board in half, leaving 2 4-foot lengths.

Paint your bookcase, doors and the pine boards so they all match. Paint all sides of all the pieces. Allow the paint to dry for one week before assembling the craft armoire.

Lay the bookcase on its back to make it easier to work on.

Attach the smaller doors to the top half of the bookcase. Line up the hinges on both sides of the bookcases and on both doors. Use a measuring tape and a pencil to make placement marks. Use the drill, fitted with a bit, to screw in the screws.

Place the larger door on top of the bookcase at the bottom half. Measure and make placement marks for the set of hinges. Attach the hinges with the drill and screws.

Use screws to attach the 2 pieces of pine board together to make a leg. Place one piece on top of the other and form a 90-degree angle. Ensure the ends are flush before screwing.

Make a swing out shelf. Lay the leg on top of the lowest shelf already installed in the bookcase, where it was comfortable for you to sit. Drill a ½-inch hole through both layers of wood.

Insert the through bolt. Fasten the nut underneath the shelf to secure the swing out shelf and complete the armoire.


You may need to cut your pine board to a shorter length depending on the width of your bookcase. Ensure the 4-foot size will fit into your bookshelf with the door closed. A through bolt is a heavy-duty bolt that only has about 1/2-inch of threads. The upper portion of the bolt is smooth to allow for pivoting without coming out of the wood.


Do not use pressboard bookshelves to make this project. Pressboard is not as sturdy as real wood and will not hold up to the extra weight and use.

Things You'll Need

  • Real wood bookcase
  • 2 doors to cover the top half of the bookshelf
  • 1 door to cover the bottom half of the shelf
  • 1, 8-foot pine board
  • Paint and paintbrush
  • Drill with bits
  • 6 Hinges
  • Screws
  • ½-inch through bolt with nut
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