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kitchen cabinet display
Remove the doors from an old kitchen cabinet and use it to display collectibles. tanakawho, Flickr

Looking back on our 2005 kitchen renovation, there's one thing I wish I'd done differently: salvage the cabinets. Were they truly ugly? Or did I have vintage gems right under my nose and just not realize it?

So, before your old kitchen cabinets are hauled away, consider how you might be able to repurpose them elsewhere in the house. Maybe they could be relocated to the garage for general tool and odds-and-ends storage, for example.

If you boast a little DIY know-how, you can get even more creative. You can refinish and reinvent individual cabinets in endless -- and endlessly exciting -- ways! For starters, some adjustments and refinishing can produce "new" bedside tables or display cabinets for collectibles.

How about taking the doors off and turning them into bookshelves? Or leave the doors on larger cabinets and use them to corral toys or for craft and linen storage.

Are your cabinets super-sturdy? Here's a really clever idea: flip one onto its back, add rolling casters and you have a handy rolling storage bin. Use it to hold toys, magazines, blankets -- whatever you need. Add a cushion and it can serve double duty as a convenient ottoman or footstool.

Cabinets also make cozy sleeping quarters for rabbits, guinea pigs or other small animals. Just place it inside your pet's hutch or other enclosure. Caution: be sure to thoroughly strip off all the paint first and remove the cabinet entirely if your pet is a hard-core chewer. Also, remember that small pets should live primarily indoors for their safety and well-being.

Discover new functions for old cabinets outdoors, too. In a relatively weather-proof spot such as a front porch, back patio or greenhouse, cabinets can be a convenient place to stash those small garden tools you use most often. Secateurs, trowels, plant tags and fertilizer, for instance, could be stored here to save countless trips to the garage.

How about repurposing cabinets for mudroom shoe and boot storage? Or as handy recycling containers?

Finally, here's one tip especially for frequent online shoppers: turn a leftover cabinet into a front porch delivery box for large packages. Your orders will be protected from wet weather and the prying eyes of passersby. Just make sure to label it so your mail carriers know what it's there for.

Any other ideas for reinventing kitchen cabinets? I want to hear your crafty ideas!

  • Johnny

    When remodeling your Kitchen, an alternative to new cabinets is kitchen refacing, by replacing you cabinet doors and drawers - Cabinet Refacing. When replacing your cabinet doors, you can achieve a beautiful new kitchen look at a fraction of the cost. Save 50-70% by replacing your kitchen cabinet doors. Four Less Cabinets carry a beautiful line of wood cabinet doors and cabinet drawers to make you're dream kitchen a reality in hickory, cherry, and maple doors in various styles from raised panel, flat panel and shaker. Select your cabinet door style and order today!!! Replacing your cabinet doors is one of the easiest DIY projects that you could do with one of the biggest impacts. They say that kitchens and baths sell homes. Yet in today’s market it’s tough to dish out 10-20 thousand on new kitchen cabinets, especially when the housing market is down. An alternative is to replace your cabinet doors with new replacement doors and freshen up the cabinet frames - cabinet refacing. Most kitchens cost about $1000 or less in materials and a weekend of your time. The transformation is a spectacular kitchen makeover which adds instant value to your home for years. When replacing your cabinet doors you may want to use the full overlay doors as they cover up most of the frame on the existing cabinets. Even though cabinet refinishing is a simple project, most people find it complicated. What I have found is that the hardest part is figuring out what door sizes are needed. Other then that it’s a matter of changing doors and hinges.

  • Lena Ziegler

    This is certainly what i am doing with my old cabinets, aside from throwing it away I'd rather re-use it up and put it somewhere in my house. I'll only throw it away if and only if the parts of it will rotten. But so far i haven't bought a cabinet that can be damaged easily, I usually ask for help online like for example at or either on other resources online. Believe me it really works and definitely helps a lot.

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