Reclaimed and recycled wood linen drawers

Made using offcuts from pine shelves, reclaimed shipping crates, pine offcuts and a few pieces of PAR pine from your local Builders Warehouse, you can easily knock up this tall chest of drawers or set of linen drawers for a home. I think these would also be practical for storage in a small bathroom. As an alternative to shipping crates you can use 18mm pine plywood.



2 of 44 x 44 x 2.4 metres PAR pine - cut to 1200mm lengths - legs
4 of 44 x 44 x 262mm PAR pine - side panel cross supports
3 of 44 x 44 x 1.6 metres PAR pine - cut to 450mm lengths - cross pieces
2 of 262 x 1056mm 18mm plywood - side panels
3 of 262 x 450mm - 18mm plywood - top / bottom shelves
6 of 20 x 44 x 300mm PAR pine - drawer supports
1 of 370 x 578mm pine - top panel
Half a sheet of 3mm Masonite cut to size for back panel
4 handles or knobs
2 butt hinges
Wood glue


Kreg Pockethole Jig (used here) - or biscuit joiner / dowel joints
Drill/Driver + assorted bits
Jigsaw, circular or table saw


Although basic measurements are give, you can modify the measurements to allow for whatever scrap, offcuts of reclaimed wood you have, or are able to find.

1. The side panels are mounted within the legs and side panel cross supports by using pocketholes to secure the side panel flush with the inside edge.

2. With the side panels completed, make up the shelves for the top, mid and bottom of the unit. Again, this is done by using pocketholes in the 44 x 44 PAR pine to secure the plywood shelf panels. The top panel is flush with the underside while the mid and bottom panels are flush at the top.

3. Position the mid shelf 102mm down from the top shelf. The drawer size is 100mm, so this allows a 1mm gap at the top and bottom for the drawer front. Mount to the inside using pocketholes, or drill through the sides to mount using pre-drilled, countersunk holes and screws.

4. The cross pieces are secured to the inside of the frame using wood glue. If you have some scrap, use this as a gap support while to clamp the individual cross pieces until the glue sets.

The opening for the first three drawers is 192mm. The bottom drawer opening is slightly larger, so leave this until last. Alternatively, mount through the side frame using pre-drilled, countersunk holes and screws.

If you don't have a pockethole jig, or prefer to assemble using screws, you will need to fill all holes with a wood filler that matches the finished look. eg. Colour match to the stain you will be applying to finish off the chest of drawers.

5. Working from the back, attach the drawer supports to the side panels using wood glue and screws. Although PAR pine is specified, a hardwood (meranti, saglina, etc) is a better option and provides smoother opening/closing of the drawers.

Apply wax polish to the top of the drawer supports on a regular basis to keep the drawers sliding nicely.

6. The drawers are made using some pine shipping crates and assembled to fit. There's no rules here and you can make the drawers out of any reclaimed or recycled materials you have lying around. The design is simple since the drawers slide in and out on the drawer supports.

7. Attach the top panel to the back of the frame using butt hinges. The 20mm overlap allows for easy opening and closing and the lid opens to reveal a hidden compartment that comes in handy if you need secret storage.

Attach the handles and knobs. Secure a back panel in place using panel pins or staples. Stain, oil or apply wax to finish off your new linen chest of drawers.