ugly hollow core door

Ugly hollow core door

We’ve all seen them, we’ve probably all thrown a few out — the ugly hollow core door.  Let’s save them from the landfill and burn piles and reinvent them into usable, one-of-a-kind pieces for your home.

This is a two part series, this first post will cover how to transform old doors (like the one shown) into useable storage cabinets.



storage cabinet made from hollow core doors

White double door storage cabinet

These two cabinets are each made from six hollow core doors — 2 for the doors, 2 for the sides, 1 cut in half for the top and bottom and the last cut in half for the shelving. Because the doors are hollow, they have to be reinforced once they are cut. I usually use scrap 2 X 4’s ripped down to fit inside the opening.


Blue storage cabinet made from hollow core door

Blue double door storage cabinet

After they are assembled, it is time to dress them up. Molding for this large of a cabinet can be very expensive, so to save money I created my own. The trim on the white cabinet was ripped from a $10, 4 X 8 sheet of 1/8″ fiber board, into strips and designed in a contemporary style. The blue cabinet was done in simple, inexpensive half round applied to give the door a raised panel look.


I also designed some home office single door cabinets for a computer whiz who has too many cords, miscellaneous parts, and a variety of ugly computer towers that had to be hidden to save his marriage. To make them more interesting, I cut out an opening and created a painted glass insert. The painted glass was created by pouring different colors of paint at the top of the glass and letting it run down. The trim around the glass is wainscoting cap and the rest of the trim is the ripped down 1/8″ fiber board. In order to keep the computer towers cooled, I left off the back and inserted a side screened vent.

Black hollow core door computer cabinet

Black Computer Cabinet (left)

Black hollow core door computer cabinet

Black Computer Cabinet (right)


Hollow core bi-fold doors are great for making smaller cabinets. This cabinet was built to hide an ugly laundry hamper. The design on the door was made from squares of 1/8″ fiber board, trimmed out with screen molding and a simple wooden knob in the center of each square. The base was repurposed from an antique vanity.

laundry hamper cabinet made from hollow core bi-fold doors

Laundry hamper cabinet

laundry hamper cabinet made from hollow core bi-fold doors

Laundry hamper cabinet (open)


Stay tuned for part two of the Hollow Core Door series where I will be discussing more ways to repurpose those ugly hollow core doors.