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DIY LEGO Display Idea Using a Thrifted Drawer

Think outside the display box with our cheap DIY LEGO display idea that uses a thrifted drawer as a shelf you can mount on the wall.  You will love our other LEGO projects too like our cardboard box LEGO playhouse, LEGO terrariums, and 15 LEGO party ideas.

a diy lego display idea that uses an old drawer as a shelf to mount on the wall

I had been looking for the perfect way to display some of our LEGO sets that have items that should be in the air, such as helicopters, a hot air balloon, and airplanes. While I was wandering around one of my favorite thrift stores on my lunch break I stumbled upon a new booth that uses old drawers as shelves to display items. This particular drawer was only $10 and the perfect size for making small LEGO scenes to put on display.

a drawer that is upcycled to use as a LEGO shelf display

How to make a DIY LEGO shelf display

This LEGO shelf display is the perfect project to do with your kids. Have them think of a scene they would like to put on display. Together, you can paint a backdrop, and then assemble the scene.


  • Drawer
  • LEGO
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Hot glue gun (optional)


The drawer I found was sturdy, but as you can see, the dividers inside were a mess. We cut a piece of plywood to the same size as one divider, threw the old ones out, and gave the drawer a fresh coat of paint.

a drawer painted white and turned into a wall mounted shelf

Once you have your drawer painted, sanded, or whatever you need to do to yours it’s time to create a scene for the background of your LEGO display. Use a pencil to sketch out the background. You can draw on the sides and top as well, but we just did the back.

a city scene painted on the back of a shelf to display LEGO

Once you are happy with your sketch, it’s time to paint your backdrop. Set your shelf aside to dry completely before you begin adding LEGO.

Start from the base and work your way up when you add the LEGO scene. For the LEGO police chase (below), I mixed and matched pieces of flat LEGO to make the base. It is up to you whether you want to hot glue your LEGO into place. I chose to do that with mine after I mounted it on the wall the first time and an hour later I heard a crash and LEGO was everywhere.

LEGO police chase on display in a diy shelf

As you can see, I used a variety of LEGO from different sets to make the above scene. The below one was made mostly using pieces from LEGO Friends though.

lego friends waterfall scene displayed on a shelf

I wanted to add a helicopter to the LEGO police chase scene. You have a couple of options here. One is to use an invisible fishing line and drill small holes to hang the helicopter, the other is to hot glue it into place – don’t worry, hot glue will peel off LEGO when you want to remove it.

LEGO police chase displayed on a diy shelf

I did the same to add the hot air balloon to the waterfall and nature scene.

lego friends hot air balloon set displayed on a diy shelf


A fun project like this is perfect for LEGO sets that you collect with a holiday theme. You can paint a very simple background and then switch out the LEGO scene for Christmas, Halloween, Easter, or even with each season.

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