Fun DIY: 8 Ways to Use Your Old Doors

Hi, Everyone! When replacing your interior or exterior doors, you can often wonder what to do with the old doors you’re leaving behind. Well, lucky for you, we have some great ideas that will help you make up your mind! Don’t be limited to these ideas, though. The options are endless!

Projects Using Old Doors




1. Turning your doors into a leaning shelf

This first idea is a fantastic one! I should know, I’ve made one myself! To do this project, you not only need to have some old doors, but also some knowledge of power tools as it takes slightly more skill than the other projects. You want to make sure that you wear all safety gear and have someone knowledgeable help you if you’re not sure you can do this one all on your own. See how to do this project in our How To Video!

How to build a rustic door shelf by builders surplus

Click to see how to create this shelf!

2. Using old doors as an entryway tree

This is a great idea that doesn’t take too much work! You can take a single door, or two that you connect, and add a box or bench in front. You’ll add some crown moulding to the top, and some hooks for your bags and jackets! You can make it as simple or as elaborate as you want! See some ideas of entryway tree’s here!

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3. Turning your old doors into a photo collage

This is such a sweet idea if you are replacing a full-lite door. Make a statement and put all your beautiful memories on display by turning your door into a photo collage! This how to from PhotogMommie, Mary Jane, will show you how to do it yourself!

Photo Collage from Old Doors

Photo Credit: Photog Mommie, Mary Jane

4. Turning old doors into a desk or table

This is an awesome way to repurpose your old doors! Turn it into a table or desk! If you are wanting a solid surface to write on, I recommend that you get some class to sit on top, otherwise it works great as is! Click here to see how to do it yourself, step by step!

Door Desk from Old Doors

5. Using old doors as a drink station

This is such a great way to use your old doors! The author at Finding Home Farms ( made this incredible drink station! Use it outdoors or indoors, make it more modern or rustic as this one is, shown below. You only need a few simple pieces to make it perfect!

Photo Credit: Finding Home Farms – Drink Station

6. Old doors for a Rustic Wedding Entrance

This is such a beautiful ideas for a rustic outdoor, or even indoor, wedding. Every bride needs a perfect entrance. That walk symbolizes her exit from her old life and her entrance into a new one. The doors at the beginning of the aisle is a great way to make the symbolism real. Nothing says rustic or boho like some old doors!

Click here to see more!


7. Old doors as a Garden Entrance

I absolutely love this idea! It is so “Secret Garden”. Make the entrance to your garden whimsical and magical by adding a old door covered in vines. Beautiful, right?!

Click here to see more!

8. Turn your doors into a Crafty Chalkboard

What a fun idea! Whether you use this on an outdoor shed like the photo shown, or in a playroom for your kids, using chalkboard paint over the flat surface on your door makes it a perfect chalkboard. Write to-do lists, fun, inspirational messages, or reminders. Whatever you choose, the idea is a great one!

Click here to see more!

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Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

Written By: Allie Bloyd

How-To Build a Rustic Door Shelf

*If you do not see the youtube video directly below, refresh your browser to view. 

DIY Rustic Door Shelf Tutorial

Hi everybody! Today we are going to do a really awesome how-to. I’m going to teach you how to take an old door and turn it into a leaning door shelf. This is a project that most of you can do on your own, but if you aren’t comfortable with using a circular saw, find someone who is familiar with it that can help you out on that step. The rustic and vintage styles are very popular right now. This is mainly because of the sense of warmth and comfort that these pieces bring to our homes. The feeling of history that comes with a piece like this is absolutely priceless. Up-cycling is another great trend that no only helps to save money, but helps our environment as well. Let’s get started!


The door I used for our door shelf comes out of out of our surplus selection. The great thing about our surplus doors is that you never know what you’re gonna find! We’ve got some really great interior and exterior doors out there and I happened to come across this beauty. It is an old 5 panel, solid wood door with an imperfect finish on it. It is perfect for this project, so I’m excited to share it with you!


Rustic Door Shelf by Builders Surplus


Tools You’ll Need for Your Door Shelf:


Here are the tools that we’re going to need today. We have a circular saw, we’ve got some small screws, 2 picture hanging kits, some decorative chain, a nice decorative door knob that I got from Hobby Lobby, some clamps, a straight edge, and a level. We also need our safety glasses and ear plugs for when we’re using the circular saw. Safety First! You will also need a drill, a hammer and a chisel.


  • 5 Panel Wood Door
  • Circular Saw
  • Safety Glasses & Ear Plugs
  • Clamps
  • Straight Edge
  • Level
  • 2 Picture Hanging Kits (You Can Use Eye Hooks As Well, If So You Will Need 10)
  • Decorative Chain
  • Decorative Door Knob
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Small Screws


Step 1:

Decide Where To Put Your Door Shelf and Take Measurements


First, you are going to take a look at your door and determine where you want it to be in your home and how far you’ll want it to lean. Because you will be using the panels of the door as shelves, you need to realize that the top 2 shelves will need to be cut, or they will hit the wall, making it impossible for them to lay flat. You will need to measure the space from the wall to the door on the top 2 panels (maybe 3 depending on how your shelf is leaning). For me, my top shelf was 3″ from the wall, and my second shelf was 6″ from the wall. The rest of my panels were fine at the size that they were.


Step 2:

Cut 3 Sides of Each Panel in the “Lip” Area With Circular Saw


The next step in our Door Shelf project is to cut out these panels on the back side of the door. Once you have decided which side you would like to be facing out in your home, find a table and flip the door with the back side facing up. This is where you are going to need your circular saw. Again, if you are not familiar with a circular saw, find someone who is to help you out. Make sure you are wearing your eye and ear wear when using the circular saw. We are then going to measure from the blade to the edge of the saw. For me, that is 5 3/4″. I will then place the saw on the spot that I’ll be cutting, and will take a measuring tape and measure 5 3/4″ from my cutting area. I then mark that spot with a straight edge and 2 clamps. This area is called “the fence”. This will ensure that I get a straight cut, as the circular saw will move along “the fence” while I’m making my cuts.


Panel doors such as this will have a “lip” area around the panels. This is to hold the panels in place, as they are not glued or secured in. They simply sit in slots inside on the wooden “lip” surrounding the panel area. Because of this, we will only need to cut out 3 sides of the panel, because once your 3 sides are gone, you will be able to pop and slide the panels out. Be very careful when cutting, but if you happen to go a little too far on your cuts, it is not the end of the world. The beauty of projects like these are that the imperfections make them beautiful. You will cut the bottom lip and the left and right side of each panel “lip” on all 5 door panels.


Step 3:

Chisel Out The “Lips” and Pop Out The Panels

Now that your 3 lip sides are cut, you will need to chisel them out completely  to make sure your panel can come out as easily as possible. Take your chisel and place the flat side up against the door, not the panel area. Take your hammer and get it down to the bottom of the “lip” wood, and then pry any remaining pieces out. After you’ve done the sides, make sure you get in the corners and tap those out as well. Repeat that process for the remaining panels.

Step 4:

Drill Holes for Your Chain & Pre-Drill Screw Holes For Your Door Shelf

*In my project, I had one panel break in half that mysteriously was the perfect size for my top 2 panels (step 1) of my door shelf, 3″ and 6″. Because of this, I did not have to cut any panels to fit the measurements in step 1. I doubt you will have the same luck, so you will need to take your saw and cut one of your panels to fit those measurements, using the same procedures in step 2.
We are now going to drill our holes to secure the shelves. First, you’re going to take a 3/8 bit and drill holes in the top left and right corner of each panel. On the opposite side of your panel, take a 1/8 bit and drill a hole about 1/2 inch from the edge of the panel in the center. Your final holes should be in a triangle shape on your panel.

Step 5:

Connecting your panels to your door

Your door should still be face down on a table, which is how it should remain. Take your first panel with the side with your single 1/8 hole in the center, and place it in on the ledge, straight up, on your door. You should then take a screw and LIGHTLY drill it into the center hole you predrilled to secure it to the door. This screw should NOT be tight. This is because our self is leaning. If you screw it in tightly at a 90 degree angle, your shelves will not be level to the floor. After you have lightly screwed your shelf in place, you will need to get out your decorative chain. Take one end of the chain and thread it through the first hole, going from the top of the shelf to the bottom, then across the bottom and up through the hole on the other side. Take your chain up to the corner of the opened panel area so estimate how much chain you will need for each shelf. You will not know exactly where to secure the chain, because again the door shelf is leaning. Cut your chain based on the amount you assume you will need.
You will then take you mirror hooks (or eye hooks). Drill in your left mirror hook and connect the chain to the loop. You will go ahead and screw in the right mirror hook, but do not connect your chain to it. You will need to adjust these chains when your shelf is straight up. Repeat this step on all remaining panels.

Step 6:

Connecting Your Chain & Finishing Your Shelf

After all of your shelves are lightly secured and have chain threaded & mirror hooks attached, you will carefully stand your shelf up and lean it as it will be in your home. Now that you can see where you need your selves to sit in order to be level, take the side of your chain that you did not connect, and connect it in the appropriate place to your remaining mirror hook. Repeat for the remaining panels.

Step 7:

Adding Decorative Accents

The decorative accent I chose to use for my door shelf was a vintage style door knob. It had 2 holes in it already, so I simply drilled it to the spot where a door knob would be, one screw in the top and one in the bottom. You now have a beautiful, original, rustic or vintage piece that will work wonderfully as a shelf! This is a great conversation piece and the pride that you have in building it will shine through in the finished product. You will want to make sure you test each shelf before placing really heavy items on it, but it is a strong shelf and will work for virtually anything you want to put on it.

How to build a rustic door shelf by builders surplus

My Finished Rustic Door Shelf

That’s all for our how-to on building a rustic, leaning door shelf! I hope you enjoyed it, and please check back soon for other great how-to projects. If you have any how-to video requests, please comment below and we’ll be happy to add them to our list! Have a wonderful day and I wish you luck in building your iwb door shelf!
Builders Surplus is a full service remodeling company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, which comes as a free service to our clients. We sell building supplies ranging from unused surplus, to first quality in stock, to high end custom order and everything in between. We also provide measurement and full installation services. Our core products consist of kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities (single vanities and double vanities), interior doors, exterior doors, sinks, faucets, granite countertops, quartz countertops, laminate countertops, windows, and more! If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. Happy Remodeling!
Written By: Allie Bloyd