How to Upcycle an Old Cabinet Door into a DIY Photo Display Board

a couple is posing for a picture in their wedding photo booth

It’s that time of year again for spring cleaning, as the Lunar New Year is just around the corner. Whenever possible, I prefer to upcycle items I have lying around the house rather than tossing them all into the trash.

In 2022, I had a study area consisting of Silveran High Cabinet. I didn’t install the lower two doors as they were under my desk. I didn’t toss out the unused doors but kept them. I love the doors’ vertical wood panelling and knew someday I would use them for crafts or something.

Wooden cabinet door white with paneling

Fast forward to 2024, 2 years after lying against a wall somewhere untouched. I was finally inspired to use one of the doors as a Display Board. As my late father would say, necessity is the mother of inventions.

I had a small photo display frame, which I purchased from Daiso, but it was minimal—clipping on three photos. My family has the habit of printing special events and moments. Nothing digital compares to the experience of holding and admiring a photo in your hands and admiring it. Without standing, the glare from a digital screen.

peg photo board from daiso

After cleaning the dusty door, I purchased craft glue meant for timber, in other words, wood from Daiso. I glued on wooden pegs that I had leftover from another project I made for a friend. Make it a point to look for items you already have at home; the taxes for goods and services have increased by 2% in the last two years, and almost every essential is a massive price hike. Every penny saved is a penny earned, which is one great benefit of upcycling.

Let Glue Dry

I wished I wasn’t so hasty and allowed the glue to dry overnight, but excitement got the better of me. I hung up my photos when the glue was semi-dry… resulting in a slightly crooked wooden peg.

I was a dental technician aeons ago. I still subconsciously recall what my seniors say about setting up teeth. It’s too straight, and it looks very fake. Heehee, I guess as I age, there is less need for perfectionism; where else can I be myself more than at home?

Upcycled furniture idea

Concerning the opposite side of the door, I’ve deliberately set aside; I harbour the ambition of metamorphosing it into a bespoke side table tailored for my study.

Having become accustomed to the ample space provided by a generously sized L-shaped table at my workplace, the prospect of crafting a similar environment at home intrigues me. Acknowledging my modest carpentry skills, it is apparent that seeking external assistance will be imperative for successfully realising this project.

In my quest for a seamless transition from door to table, I contemplate whether Singapore has specialized furniture upcycling services that could contribute expertise and finesse to the process. I intend to explore potential avenues that align with this vision diligently.

Rest assured, as I embark on this creative endeavour, I am committed to providing regular updates on the evolution of the side table, documenting each stage of its transformation. Stay tuned for a comprehensive account once the project reaches fruition.

In a bustling world inundated with ceaseless advertisements for the latest products, let’s pause and explore the potential within our possessions. No matter how simple, crafting something with our hands can yield satisfaction and joy—qualities that money can’t purchase.


  1. avatar

    I rather like the slightly wonky pegs – as you say, it feels more human, more crafted rather than mass produced! Good luck with the door -> side table in due course.

  2. avatar

    It’s great that you found a purpose for the cabinet doors! The display board looks great, and the slightly crooked pegs give it personality. I hope it goes well with turning the other door into a side table!

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