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How To Recycle An Old Armoire or TV Cabinet. Repurpose Old Furniture.

Updated on January 3, 2018

Recycled and Adding Shelves.

This is an old armoire that belonged to my daughter. She was getting rid of it. I thought it would work well in my office. We have a very small farmhouse with little storage. I’m always looking for a way to add storage to this house. I wanted to recycle this nice armoire into something useful.

I see armoires all the time at yard sales. They can't be used for television like they once could. Only the smaller flat screen televisions will fit into them. I still use one in my bedroom for a thirty-inch television. The bigger screens just won't fit.

Here's a storage idea for all the desk stuff everyone has and a way to recycle an old armoire. It's useful affordable storage. If you need more storage in your home this is the way to go.

Our home is old and small and we have very little storage.

I didn’t paint the armoire or TV cabinet, whatever you want to call it. I just left it the way it was because I liked the look of it. It matched in my office area. My husband added two shelves to it with plywood.

He first cut four pieces of wood to the height for the shelves. He then measured the size of the shelves he wanted and cut them. He put the first shelf on top of two of the wood side boards and nailed the shelf to the top of the side pieces, he then just set it on top of the shelf which was already in the armoire. He nailed the next shelf on top of the last two side boards. He sat the shelf on top of the first homemade shelf. We painted them black to blend in with the color of the armoire. He didn't add any nails to the side of the armoire. If you wanted to lift the shelves out sometime later they can be just lifted out.

Each armoire is made different so the way we put shelves in may not work the same for your armoire. You may not need as many shelves. Your armoire may already have more shelves than my armoire had. There is usually one big blank area where the huge televisions would sit.

Black Armoire
Black Armoire | Source

Items You Will Need To Finish This Project

You will need:


shelve liner







measuring tape



I covered my shelves just because it feels better and looks better. I bought shelf liner for about $5.99 for 6 feet, it took two rolls of the liner. I cut the liner to the size of the shelves and then I tacked them over the edge with about six tacks. I only used two tacks in the back, just enough to keep the liner in place.

Items you will need to finish this project

Top shelf with fabric pushed in.
Top shelf with fabric pushed in. | Source
Two finished shelves.
Two finished shelves. | Source

What to Do with hole in back.

With most all of the armoires, there are big holes in the back. We bought a big piece of cardboard at Wal-Mart for about $2.00. If you have a big enough box use it for the cardboard you will need. Measure the back of each shelf, cut the cardboard to size. The cardboard needs to be cut with a knife, scissors didn't work for us. If your cuts of cardboard are tight enough you can just push it into the armoire and not have to tack it in place it will just stay in place. The cardboard doesn't get pushed into place until the fabric is on it.

I found a piece of fabric to cover the cardboard. You can cover it with anything you have, pretty paper, or wallpaper. We just taped it on no reason to glue it. The fabric can easily be taken off and changed if you want to later.

Measure the fabric, big enough to overlap on the cardboard. Cut the fabric and wrap it around the cardboard and tape it on.

Bottom two pictures with cardboard pushed in.

Finished Armoire ~ TV Cabinet.

Here is our finished armoire. I put all my desk items in it. It holds a huge amount of stuff with the two extra shelves. I add boxes, baskets, or plastic containers to put things in. If it were open all the time where people could see it I would make it look better with matching boxes or baskets etc. It's in our bedroom office area where no one goes and it's behind a door. I used what containers I had around the house. The armoire holds lots of stuff just about all my disk and computer items.

Some people turn these armoires into a place for their computer. Which is really a good idea? My only problem with this is where do you put your knees when sitting up to the computer? I guess a pull out shelf would have to be built into it so you will have a place to put the keyboard.

Next to this armoire is my desk with my computer on it, another project I will put on Hubpages later.


Kitchen Armorie

Since I did this hub my life changed and I moved from my home into a smaller home In another city. My new kitchen had very little room for food and dishes. The armorie that was once my desk as turned into a pantry.

Would You Do This To An Old Armorie?

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Hi Misty: I was half asleep and opened this old article making the rounds again...I thought it said "Recycling an old amor!" Made me think of you!

      Have a good 2017

      R xoxo

      ps Hi Moonlake good to see the oldies still on here.

    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 

      3 years ago from Superior, Arizona

      My father-in-law took and old cabinet to a Magnavox tv and did something similar. He put a couple shelves in and used it to store video cassettes, and then DVDs. It is amazing what you can repurpose if you just think about it a little bit.

    • lowena profile image

      Lauren Slater 

      4 years ago from London

      Old stuff can still use. All we need is creativity and it can be recycle.

    • moonlake profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from America

      RTalloni, Thank you and thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am also going back to pin some hubs that I enjoyed before joining Pinterest. This jewel belong on my Painting Walls/Furniture… board--thanks!

    • moonlake profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from America

      DDE, Thank you so glad you stopped by.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      My Recycled Old Armoire or TV Cabinet. Reuse of Old Furniture In Small Places. great hub with such helpful suggestions

    • moonlake profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from America

      rajan jolly, Thank you and thanks for the vote, glad you stopped by.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Very interesting and beautifully done. I love the exterior of this Armoire, glad you change it.

      Voted up and useful.

    • moonlake profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from America

      Au fait, I found a dresser for my sewing at Goodwill I only paid $6.50 for it. I almost lost it, long story. I have seen armoires and tv cabinets at yard sales. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment and thanks for the vote.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      7 years ago from North Texas

      I think you can save so much by upcycling sturdy used furniture. I know this one belonged to you from the start, but sometimes it's possible to get good furniture at yard sales and thrift stores too, and turn them into something useful and beautiful for just a little expense compared to buying something new, and a piece of furniture you've redone yourself often adds so much more character to your home.

      Voted up!

    • moonlake profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from America

      DeborahNeyens, This piece of furniture is really handy for me. We live in a small farmhouse with not much room and it keeps all my stuff hid. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      8 years ago from Iowa

      What a great way to reuse a piece of furniture. Thanks for sharing your idea.

    • moonlake profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from America

      RTalloni, Thank you I'm so glad I got it from her in time. It is a pretty piece.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • moonlake profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from America

      Jamie Brock, It is really handy for me. Our small farmhouse doesn't have many places to store things. I'm sure one would work great for craft stuff. Thanks so much for coming by and leaving a comment. No problem with the following same thing has happened to me.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What a beautiful piece and how you and your husband reworked it is fabulous! I'm guessing you are getting loads of use from it and enjoying its character very much--not to mention that you get to think of your daughter with a smile each time you look at it. :)

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 

      8 years ago from Texas

      This armoire is gorgeous! I LOVE how you made it into a storage cabinet for all of your desk items... this makes me want to keep a look out for one to fix up for my craft supplies (besides in boxes in the closet)... it would be the perfect place for them and easily accessible too. Great hub.. voting up, sharing :) PS I am terribly sorry.. you have been commenting on my hubs for a while and all this time I thought I was following you until today I realized I wasn't... but I am now and so sorry I've missed all of your wonderful hubs!

    • moonlake profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from America

      Eddy, It works great holds so much my daughter thought I was nuts to take it home. Thanks, so much for stopping by.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      8 years ago from Wales

      What a great idea and thanks for sharing.

      Take care my friend and enoy your day.


    • moonlake profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from America

      tillsontitan, I was just telling my husband yesterday how much it holds that I have been able to hide away. My daugher hasn't seen it since we redid it, hope she won't want it back. Thanks, so much for stopping by and for the vote.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      8 years ago from New York

      You did a really great job on the armoire, you'd think it was built for that. Perfect piece for a small office. Voted up and very useful!

    • moonlake profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from America

      Patsybell, So glad it inspired you and glad you stopped by my hub and left a comment.

    • moonlake profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from America

      livingpah2004, Thank you. I'm glad you liked the hub. Thanks so for stopping by and I really appreciate the vote.

    • moonlake profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from America

      europewalker, Thank you, I thought this armoire just didn't need to be painted. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 

      8 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      You have inspired me to try something like this for myself.

    • livingpah2004 profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      What a wonderful idea!I love your finished work. Useful, shared and voted up!

    • europewalker profile image


      8 years ago

      Beautiful armoire! I love older furniture that can be recycled and used again. Great job and hub!

    • moonlake profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from America

      mactavers, Thank you and thanks so much for stopping by my hub and leaving a comment.

    • moonlake profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from America

      diogees, Your right to much stuff gets thrown away. I like redoing things and reusing. Thanks, so much for stopping by.

    • mactavers profile image


      8 years ago

      Loved the Hub, recycling at its best and the fabric lining is the perfect touch.

    • diogenes profile image


      8 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Interesting DIY hub. Too much stuff is thrown away with years of use left in it...happens to humans, too!

      I love flea markets (boot sales) and charity shops, although they have become very greedy.

      There's a couple of good web sites here where you can advertise stuff free for someone with needs.



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