Repurpose that changing table

In a past post I wrote that a changing table is not a must have and that parents can make due by using the top of a dresser instead.

If you find yourself with a changing table and don’t know what to do with it once it outlives its usefulness in your child’s room, you may be able to repurpose it into something more useful. Over at Ohdeedoh, they highlight a rather nice media center that was made out of a child’s changing table. The changing table pictured originally cost $1650, so I completely understand why its owners would want to find multiple uses for the piece of furniture.

Do any of our readers have examples of repurposed changing tables? Use the comments section to share your ideas.

28 Comments for “Repurpose that changing table”

  1. posted by James on

    I completely understand why someone would want to re-use furniture or other items that are no longer used for there original purpose, but one thing did spring to mind when reading this article; who on earth would spend $1650 on a changing table??!!!

  2. posted by Carl Cravens on

    When our son was born, we bought a “Crib to College” set, where the crib converted to a toddler bed, and then to a headboard and footboard.

    Part of the set was a wide dresser with a changing table rail around the top… when you no longer need the changing table, the whole thing flips top for bottom and the rail becomes the raised foot and what was the bottom is a flat top.

    And the dang thing certainly didn’t cost $1650!

  3. posted by Commonhuman on

    srsly? 1650?

    Whatever. Still makes a nice place to keep music.

  4. posted by Sarah on

    We initially didn’t buy a changing table when our daughter was sharing our room. When we moved and she got her own room, we did, but that piece of furniture is very much still in use as her dresser (she’s four; it hasn’t been used as an actual changing table in at least two years). Sure, her “dresser” has tall sides around three sides of the top, but that just means she can’t shove her Cinderella snow globe or her plant off the back or side of it.

    If a person takes the long view when purchasing a changing table, it’s very possible to get one that will see more than a couple of years’ use. When it becomes an inadequate dresser for my daughter, I plan to repurpose it again for storage in my sewing room.

  5. posted by CM on

    We have a changing table with two open shelves and a surface on top. I use it as a dresser, with open storage boxes for each type of clothing (one box for pajamas, one box for T-shirts, one box for short-sleeved shirts, etc.) arranged on the shelves. I hang the diaper stacker on the side and keep diapering stuff (wipes, cream, cloths) on top. In the drawer, I keep small things that have no obvious place like his nail clipper, hair brush, and thermometer. I change him on the floor right next to the changing table, so I find it really handy to have everything accessible.

    This is a lot like your “use your dresser as a changing table” idea, just in reverse. I like having a smaller, lighter, less expensive piece of furniture rather than having another dresser in our house. I think changing tables, at least the kind with shelves, are very versatile and can be used for just about any kind of storage.

  6. posted by Shalin on

    clever design! but…$1650 for a changing table!?!?! I think getting some wood, equipment, and even a lesson or two would cost half as much at most!

    –S

  7. posted by Celeste on

    We used an old microwave table for a changing table.

    $1650…there is just no way to recoup that loss.

    If I had had a changing table I would have just sold or donated it because in my opinion they are just not worth repurposing.

  8. posted by Groovymarlin on

    I don’t regret buying a changing table at all. Of course, I think ours cost about $199, not $1650! Our is just a simple open shelving sort of thing, and I know once we’re out of diapers we’ll keep it and continue to use it for storage. The shelves have lots of height and are perfect for large storage bins. Currently that’s where we keep her diapers and wipes and other things, once those aren’t needed it will be easy to switch to pajamas, toys, whatever.

    Then again, I may take it and put it in my office, and use it as a gift wrapping station, or a postal center where I can package my Swaptree trades and eBay sales for shipping. Think about it – the top is the perfect height for any activity that’s best done standing up! Plus you have all that storage space in the lower shelves. Man…the more I think about it the happier I am that we bought one!

  9. posted by Jack on

    I did the opposite: converted a dresser into a changing table by attaching a changing pad (http://www.netkidswear.com/changepad.html) to the top. Once diapers were no longer needed, I removed it. Cost: $20.

  10. posted by Vintage Mommy on

    I was just about to put our changing table on Craig’s list but I think I’ll show this to my husband first. I can imagine getting use out of ours w/out even doing a lot of work on it.

  11. posted by Marie on

    Our changing table has a big open space, two big drawers, one small drawer (which isn’t really small — just in comparison to the huge storage drawers below), and a door cabinet for storing big stuff. I wouldn’t call it a dresser since the raised edges around the changing pad can’t be removed. But so what? I don’t regret buying it at all. Once the twins have outgrown diapers, I have little doubt that we’ll be using it as a dresser or for storage for years to come.

  12. posted by allen on

    I love the idea of re-purposing the furniture as you & your family grow. I love the idea that Carl Cravens gave, those bed/furniture sets that change & modify as the child grows (they never loose THIER bed, helps give them time to adjust to changing sitchuations).

    However: I HAVE to repeat what others before me have posted: SIXTEEN FREAKING HUNDRED DOLLARS?????????
    I don’t care if you make a million a year, that is STILL too much!

  13. posted by infmom on

    Changing table? What is this changing table of which you speak? :) We just put down a rubber pad and changed the kids in the crib.

  14. posted by umjudis on

    Awhile back on HGTV they re-purposed a changing table. They cut a hole on the top and inserted a stainless steel bowl with a lip on it. (so the bowl wouldn’t fall through) Then they attached lattice around three of the sides. (so things don’t fall off) They painted it all and used it as a potting bench with the bowl holding soil. Or they also said to use it as a bar and the bowl could hold ice. The lower shelves, of course, would hold additional supplies. I also liked the previous suggestion of using it as a gift wrap station.

    Ditto to infmom’s comment and ditto to all who were astonished at the price of that table.

  15. posted by Cherry on

    Wow, a record player! People still have those?

  16. posted by Leonie on

    $1650?!!!? for a changing table?!!!?
    ok…so mine cost…$300…
    BUT!!! It was an antique dry sink – oak cabinet with doors and two shelves inside. I guess they call it a dry sink because the top was sunked. That is it had a rim around it.

    So while I bought it as a cabinet, I realised that I could “repurpose” the dry sink as a changing table for a few years. It was great. I put a foam mattress that was just the right height and fit right inside. Even with the foam mattress – it was just to give the kid a soft landing while I changed diapers – there was space on the top for wipes, rash cream and diapers. I kept the rest of supplies (and I seemed to be changing diapers a lot…) behind closed doors.

    now that the kids are grown, it stores wine inside, and I had books on top.

    Wow…$1650…wow…sorry I just can’t imagine…

  17. posted by Karen on

    After our changing table was no longer needed for diapering, I used it for years in my son’s room to hold toys. It was the type with three open shelves, rim around the top, very simple. It was great for those big plastic preschool toys (like Fisher-Price garages) that don’t fit well on skinnier bookshelves.

    Now that diapers are a distant memory, the table holds gardening equipment out in the mudroom. It’s been a very useful purchase, no remodeling necessary, and only $100 at the time!

  18. posted by Johanna on

    Another repurpose use for a quality changing table, for those of you who dislike the raised edge…

    Add a front piece to the edge, using molding or an appropiate wood piece to match the existing. Place collectables or keesakes inside, like shells, antique jewelry, photos, mementos, toys, cards, corsages etc. and cover with a glass top.

    Result? A nice display case that you can change whenever you want.

  19. posted by Anny on

    I think a standard changing table would make a nice entry piece. Place a picture on top, a few little bowls for keys, small bin for letters and store shoes on the bottom shelves.

  20. posted by Wendy on

    We got a second-hand changing table specifically to store cat food and supplies on top of, and we keep the kitty litter tray in the large space beneath. It’s very handy!

  21. posted by Nicole on

    I’ve seen a few things where they turn the changing table into a drink cart or cart for the porch for beverages and plates, etc… With wheels on the bottom it makes a perfect entertaining cart with plates, condiments, drinks, etc. I just put mine in the attic for now, as I know we will have another in a couple of years. Here are some pictures of what I’m talking about…
    http://womantribune.com/baby-furniture-makeover

  22. posted by Dorothy on

    we lucked into getting a sturdy changing table made by a woodcrafter. He had copied a 200 dollar table…that’s 1988 pricing. I scored the table for 20 or so, as I recall, because his kids had outgrown it.
    Solid wood. For several years, it was used post-diaper-days, with ‘milk crates’ fitting on the 2 lower shelves.
    These held pajamas, sweatshirts/pants, shoes, toys, games—anything, really.

    Now, it’s in what we call the ‘cat room’. That’s the no-frills downstairs half bath that serves the needs of the household felines (3). Nobody uses the downstairs shower, so the shower floor has two litterboxes in it.
    Across from that, the ‘changing table’ serves as an elevated place for the Cats to have their dry food dishes, safely out of the reach of our Corgi. (A small vintage end table holds cat fud cannisters, and is the ‘stepping stone’ to the ‘table’). If I ever designed my own house, it would better take the Pets into account, but this is Basic Suburbia and built in the ’70′s.

    I am not sure what we’ll do when the cats are too old to jump up to their dishes…but odds are they will outlive the dog by several years. ;-)
    The changing table will one day be cleaned, polished, outfitted with a new pad, and used by my children’s children.
    Although we had a fabric cover on our changing table pad, it worked quite well to buy some cheap Striped towels and lay one on top of the table, changing that as frequently as desired. The towels lasted through two babies and then became the main ‘stash’ of towels in the kids’ bathroom. We rolled ‘em up and stuffed them into a wood ‘wine rack’ that was wall-mounted.

  23. posted by Barbara on

    Since I am just under 5 feet tall, most changing table heights are too high for me. After my baby was born, my sister-in-law gave me a desk intended for my teenager, but she didn’t care for it. So, I put it in the nursery and used a “Close and Secure Sleeper” by First Years ( http://www.learningcurve.com/product/detail/Y3171A2?locale=en_US )on top with a piece of non-slip shelf liner underneath so it wouldn’t slip off. The sleeper worked perfectly because it comes with a water proof mattress pad and sheet, and the sides are padded and soft. The cover and sheet are both removable and machine washable. The desk height is perfect for me and the drawers are perfect for keeping all necessities close at hand. And all I had to pay for was the sleeper which cost me $12.00 at a resale shop. After the changing table is no longer needed, we will just use it as a desk.

  24. posted by Kathleen on

    When my children were little a changing table was on my “wish” list, but never did get one. All six were changed in their crib or on top of a hand-me-down dresser with a folded towel on top. Now that they are all grown and with little ones of their own we still use that old dresser with a towel on top for changing diapers.

    I did, however buy an uber-cheap changing table at a yard sale a year ago. NOT for changing diapers on, but to store my yarn ball winder, yarn swift, and a stash of yarn waiting to be wound. As I’m only 5′ 2″ tall, it’s the perfect height for working yarn.

  25. posted by EngineerMom on

    We did not buy a changing table. Instead, we took a small chest of drawers that I had from my childhood and just added a changing pad (the kind designed to fit into a changing table). We cut off all the straps, as they just got in the way, and installed some non-skid tape on the underside of the pad. With a couple of changing pad covers, this has worked really well.

    We supplemented the storage space in the dresser with a combination of an endtable and two stacking plastic drawers. Everything is at the right height, and all his diapers are neatly stowed out of sight in the drawers.

  26. posted by Barb on

    No changing table in our house. I relied on a rubber diaper changing pad for the most part and when all else failed, I tucked the kids rubber pants under their butt!

    Unpin diaper, roll diaper up inside rubber pants, toss in diaper pail. Quick, clean, easy!

  27. posted by tammy on

    we used my parent’s antique drysink for a changing table, and then returned it to them when that stage was over.

    it was perfect, cause it had 6-8 inch sides all around, so the baby couldn’t roll off if i turned my back for a few seconds. when they were newborns, they could even take a nap there safely.

  28. posted by Amanda on

    I know several families that have repurposed their changing table into wet bars. Yup…just refinish that furniture into a classier hue and pop some whiskey and scotch, some red wine and wine glasses and you’re good to go! That’s what we plan to do with ours!

    Argington sells a collection (Bam) that all pieces are meant to transform into something else. Their changer allows you to remove the large sides that hold the pad so it can be used as a bookshelf. I don’t know why you just couldn’t do that anyway with several of the changing tables on the market today (even those with high sides that aren’t removable.

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