Toy storage bookshelf redo

Toy storage bookshelf redo

kids bedroom toy storage

Oh toys, they will forever be a problem for anyone who has children. They bring our kids hours of fun, imagination, they cause fights, sibling rivalries can all be traced back to fights over toys I am sure. When I was planning my boys shared bedroom I prioritized active play, and with a huge dose of organization. This Toy storage bookshelf redo was one of many ways I created storage, function, organization, and some color into the room. I have tried to minimize my kids quarrels over toys, at least in regards to where it all goes. Each toy has a place, all bets are off over them actually sharing the toys. Don’t get me wrong, my kids will be in therapy whining over something about their childhood. Toy organization will not be the reason at least.

boy bedroom with WM collage

In this shared boy bedroom I have shared the full reveal, the toy storage, the play table and Lego center, the gallery wall and other wall art. There is still their reading nook and built in bunk beds to share the tutorial on. I have been dragging my feet with the bunk beds because it was such a massive job to do and I want to explain it well enough for others to be able to create them as well. I do promise the tutorial will be shared!

cabinet before

This is what I started out with, the shelf is great, big, tall and has tons of opportunities for storage. The issue is, that I wanted to set this under the window but it was too tall. I have a plan to fix that. I also needed to plan out the use of the space better. Lastly, time to make it shiny and new again with a pop of color. I got this bookshelf from my Mother-in-law who was ready to get rid of it. Since I have a major furniture hoarding issue I yelled loudly “Dibs! mine, me, I want it.” which was not at all weird at a family get together when she was off-handily mentioning she was getting rid of it. I was all over it and made a fool of myself walking (briskly) over to her, almost knocking over some toddlers toddling around to claim dibs. Luckily family knows the kind of crazy I am with furniture (really crazy) so they all just ignored me.

cutting legs off cabinet

I put it in the boys bedroom and it worked well for a while. But I was determined to redo it and make it work perfectly in their new bedroom. To fix the issue of the height, I was only about 6 inches or so off with the cabinet in order for it to fit under the window. Which is almost exactly what the extra legs and bottom of this is. Which means I was able to cut off this portion and keep the rest of the shelf intact. This is a home decorating and DIY miracle brought on by the decorating fairies, no other way to explain when things like that work out so smoothly.

cutting legs

I measured and marked off where I can cut the legs down.

cutting edge off cabinet

I used a handheld saw and began sawing it down. There was some uneven portions of it because I did it by hand. To level it all out some sanding was done after the fact and all was straight. Whenever I do a crazy physical thing like this with a DIY project I always imagine I am Popeye The Sailor Man who just hate a boatload of spinach which made my muscles expand to get the job done. On a fun side note, Dale and I played an old clip from that cartoon of him eating his spinach and then gaining muscles to convince my kids to eat their spinach. It worked, it also reminded Dale and I that we grew up in tough times when it was OK for cartoon characters to smoke pipes, swear under their breath and beat the living sh** out of someone. How we became wholesome adults is beyond me, but we do know the power of spinach! 

blue painted cabinet

As you can see from the above picture, my muscles did the job and the legs are cut off this shelf. Because it has a faux wood finish I did not need to sand this down, just wipe it down to get rid of any dirt or dust. I painted 1 coat of primer on this and then used this yummy navy blue to paint the shelf with. I painted this with 3 coats of the blue for a clean look with full coverage.

dark blue toy storage shelf

Now it fits under the window!!!!

DIY lego table and toy storage

It matches the Lego table I made, and rounds out this fun play space in the boys’ bedroom.

kids bedroom toy storage

Aside from the obvious improvement of color and the much needed height change for this I put in a lot of work making this shelf function better. It had the storage space I needed but I was not using it properly. I purchased bigger baskets and also just set larger toys in here. It allows most of my boys’ toy’s to be off of the floor which makes for ease of clean up but also improves their playing.

baskets for toys

Yes, we cage in dinosaurs! I initially had purchased these baskets and used them in our hallway as part of the family command center. But I felt they would be better used in this bedroom. I purchased them from Target and it was love at first sight. I also thought that these dinosaurs are out of control and needed to be caged in. My kids will set them up to appear that one is crawling down, then I add a police officer or Pirate who is pushing the escapee back in. It is a ongoing joke in our home. These dinosaurs are out of control!

vintage boy bedroom decor

All of the decor things on here were found in thrift stores, excepts the 1070’s Cadillac. That beauty was displayed in Dale’s living room when I met him, as any 22 year old man would have. He had a display cabinet with cars in it, like a true grown-up.

toys in baskets

The bins are amazing, also purchased from Target. They are big and can fit all of my kid’s play people in.

lego table and toy storage

kids ebdroom toy storage

I just realized I have also not shared the wood valance tutorial, man…. this room did not get it’s due time to shine. I am resurrecting it over the next few weeks and will bring you all of the tips and tutorials I missed. I share this room and then the holidays happened, it was a blur. This Toy storage bookshelf redo is pretty straight forward in what I did to redo it, and was with the work to make it happen.

kids toy storage ideas

toy storage ideas

I like that this toy storage shelf is big and bulky. Their huge built-in bunk beds are another massive piece in this room. I needed something to een out the bedroom.

bookshelf redo title image

I am in the middle or doing a tiny revamp with Nora’s bedroom, it was completely overhauled last year but has needed to be tweaked as she has decided toy’s and playing are not her “thing” anymore. Yes, at the ripe old age of 8 she is over toys. So a Toy storage bookshelf redo is not needed in her bedroom. My boys’ who are 6 and 4 are very much into toys and will be for a long time, they need all of the help they can get in keeping those toys under control.  I have a ton going on around my home right now, and am literally dancing around because of it. I love decorating, being busy, and getting things done. I am simultaneously finishing up Nora’s bedroom, still working on the laundry room, and a big project coming up that I cannot divulge too much about right now. It is top secret and makes my home decor blogging heart soar! 

Tomorrow I get to show off my Spring home tour, which I had such fun setting up for. I love all of the colors and bright patterns. I am ready for warm weather and sun! Bring it on!


For more furniture redo’s go here



  1. THis came out great, Emily! I love the color combos in this room!

  2. This looks so much better! Nice work and I love the paint and metal/fabric combination. Pinning!

  3. Wow! This is great inspiration – my sons would looove everything about that room! The lego table is a great idea as well – so multi-functioning.

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