How to Make Farmhouse Mud Room Lockers out of an Antique Bookcase

A friend recently asked me to come over and grab some of the stuff they were clearing out of their garage.  I only planned on grabbing one lingerie chest but, as usual, she started packing other things in my van including two end tables.  On my way out, I noticed an old bookcase and an idea popped into my mind.  I took it home and quickly got to work.

This old bookcase came out of an elementary school and was very solid.  It was pretty rough to the touch so I ended up doing a lot of sanding with my mouse sander to smooth things out.

While most people would see it as a horizontal bookcase, I saw a cool locker for somebody’s mudroom.  After everything was sanded, I flipped it on it’s back and marked four spots to screw in the new feet.

I glued and screwed them into place.  I wasn’t able to clamp the back two feet so I taped those into place and let them set up overnight.

I did a little more fine sanding by hand to smooth out the rough edges then gave everything two coats of our chalk and clay paints.

I added three vintage coat hooks to my new lockers to complete the farmhouse look then found a scrap piece of wood to make the shelf.

I am not the most patient person so accuracy is not my strong point.  Instead of making a bunch of measurements, I simply laid the board up against the lockers and marked the inside and outside edges of each locker.  Using a square and my miter saw, I made as many cuts as I could then used a chisel to chip out the 1″ pieces at the ends.  I glued supports underneath and secured everything into place.

I’m pretty geeked that it turned out as I had envisioned.  I brought it to Not So shabby where it sold before I could get many more pictures.

I’d love to know where it ended up.  It’s not often than I actually create something like this and I’d love to make more of these.

Here are some other items available at our Not So Shabby location, 2975 West Shore Drive, Holland, MI  49424 (East of US31, South of Riley).


Both our locations are open 7 days a week.  Shop paint at Not So Shabby in Holland or Changing Thymes – Wilson, 2900 Wilson Avenue SW, Grandville, MI  49418.  Hours are listed on our website towards the bottom of the page at


a hui hou kau kou!


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