How To Repurpose A Dresser Into A Home Garden

Good morning to you! I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago for guest spot for Bella Nest's Drab to Fab series. Holly invites guests to come by and show off their restoration projects - taking things from drab to FAB.

 This project is actually a Drab to Fab Double Hit. I'm going to take a very drab part of my driveway/backyard and fab it up with an oh-so-drab dresser transformed into a planter.

A "planter dresser" or "dresser planter" - not sure which is the appropriate name - was one of my first Pins. I wasn't sure if I could make it work because it rains 55 - 60 inches a year here and that is a LOT for a piece of furniture meant for indoor use to take. I figured that a dresser would be good for about one summer/fall in Michigan. After that it would probably be toast - and would have to be thrown away. That meant that my already low spending tolerance for junk furniture would be even lower. But never sales are here! And I found this baby for $5.00. A perfect investment for a throwaway planter.


I cleaned it up and took off the knobs for painting. (note that all of the knobs don't match)


Then dry brushed it with CeCe Caldwell paint in Alaskan Tundra Green. I only had the small sample size - thus the dry-brushing technique. I used every drop of the sample size. The girls at Bungalow 47 where I buy my CeCe Caldwell paint didn't recommend it for outdoor use, but I thought I would do my own little test on this. This paint is clay based and I think it might be more durable for outdoors than they think.


I used to CeCe Caldwell Vintage White for the accent painting. If you are making a planter dresser, be sure to paint the sides of the drawers. They are usually untreated wood and the paint will provide a little bit of protection for that wood.


Then I put it where it was going to live and prepared the drawers for planting. I had no intention of filling the whole drawer with soil - that would be A LOT of dirt - so I cut some scrap lumber to fit snugly into each of the drawers to mark off the space where I would put the dirt. IMPORTANT! The dresser will get really front heavy and fall forward if you don't do something to weight it at the back. I put two heavy edging stones in each drawer behind the divider panel.


I didn't want the dresser to be sitting in standing water repeatedly so I used the same edger stones to raise it off the ground and let water flow freely underneath it. I also used the stones to support the bottom drawer. You will figure out that this is essential about the 2nd time that the dresser falls forward when you are setting up your drawers! The stones inside the dresser will hold it upright without the dirt, but I was afraid that once I put the dirt and plantings in there would be a disaster.


I covered those ghastly knobs with some slices of a tree trunk (dead) that I cut into disks. I was a little worried that the knob behind would look bad, but once I put them on the drawers they looked better. Once the plants grow in the back of the knobs won't be visible anyway.


Then I planted her up. For the most part I used plants that would hang over the edges. I also stuck in some of my herbs. (note - if you think your dresser planter is going to last more than one year you should probably use pot inserts or line the drawers with plastic)


dresser9This little area is one of the saddest spots in the back yard. It needs to stay relatively clear so we can use the hose regularly (we don't have a sprinkler system). But it ended up being an area where I put stuff until I "decided what to do with it" or it gets ruined by dragging the hose across it. I wanted so much to be able to fit the dresser in front of all this stuff, but there just wasn't a way to make that work.

I tried really hard to get a picture that fully captured how much better this drabby concrete corner looks with this little planter. None of the pictures really did it justice. You are going to have to trust me. This is one FAB little corner now with a FAB little planter made from a junk dresser. If you don't trust me, you can just stop on by for a little back yard cookout and a glass of wine.

This little corner is the first reveal of my spring patio makeover. Which I must say turned out pretty darn cute!


Make something wonderful today!


Oh look at how it filled out! This picture taken in July.



Original article from