Back with Even More Repurposed Drawers!

Contributed by Emma Lavoie

With the completion of our inventory, we have even more drawers to share with you that were repurposed by friends of the Peabody!

Hundreds of old collection drawers were given away throughout the Peabody’s collection inventory and rehousing project. These drawers were then transformed into furniture, décor, art, trays, storage, organizers, and gifts.

Our past blogs featured many different and unique drawer projects and we loved seeing the creativity used in giving these old drawers a new purpose. You can check these projects out here and here.

The wooden drawers were a part of the original storage for the Peabody collections, housing over 600,000 artifacts. To learn more about the history of these drawers in the Peabody Institute and collection check out our blog, Behind the Photograph: Unpacking the Peabody Collection.

The following drawer features were contributed by friends of the Peabody both on and off Phillips Academy campus. First up are several painted drawers used for various décor purposes. A little paint and stain can go a long way in repurposing the look of a drawer.

Painted and stained drawers

This particular drawer is a charming holiday tray, painted and customized as a fun way to leave cookies and milk out for Santa. Don’t forget the carrot for Rudolph too!

Holiday tray created out of an original Peabody drawer

Some of our old drawers were transformed into incredible pieces of art by Jamie K. Gibbons, Head of Education at the Addison Gallery of American Art. Follow and support her work here!

Artwork by Jamie K. Gibbons, Addison Gallery of American Art

To commemorate the Peabody’s Inventory completion and thank donors, staff, and volunteers who played a role in the process, puzzle pieces were created from drawers by Get On Board – Signs and More as well as puzzle boxes by the Makerspace at the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL) on Phillips Academy Andover campus.

Puzzle pieces and puzzle box made out of drawers

A huge thank you to all of those who have repurposed drawers and have shared their projects with us. If you’d like to feature your repurposed drawer project, please email your photos to Emma Lavoie, Peabody Administrative Assistant, at

Restored and Revived – An Update on Peabody Drawer Projects

Contributed by Emma Lavoie

In these unprecedented times, we are adjusting to a “new normal” in our lives – whether that be working from home, wearing a mask and social distancing in public places, ordering more online, participating in video calls and Zoom meetings, or assisting students with schoolwork. As we persevere during this time, we are finding ways to safely connect with friends and family, get outside, exercise, and continue our lives while embracing new changes to keep everyone safe and healthy.

It’s nice to find new ways to smile… even in a pandemic ☺️

House projects have been a popular trend for many, especially with the warming weather. A few friends of the Peabody have used this time to revive and repurpose some of our old collection drawers.

Planting season is in full swing! This drawer is being used to sort out seeds for the Andover Community Garden. It is the perfect medium for organizing the seeds before they are packaged and distributed to those in the community looking to begin their planting season.

From storing artifacts to storing seeds – this drawer is great for organizing and storage.

A little bit of sanding, wood stain, and cabinet handles can go a long way. Revive a drawer into a serving or decorative tray. Pair some bright flowers with that Rae Dunn piece you’ve always wanted and voilà! You have a decorative centerpiece for your kitchen table or coffee table.

Just look at those original box joints on the corners!

The large drawers are great for holding large items or large quantities of smaller items. Add handles and they make a perfect storage feature for your household. These drawers are being used to store artwork. What a great way to stay organized with a little piece of history!

Stay organized with a piece of the Peabody – a beautiful accent to your storage!

We love seeing our drawers revived and repurposed into new creations. Not only do the drawers provide great opportunities for organization, storage, décor, and material design, they provide a unique story and history to share with your family and friends. If you have repurposed some of the Peabody drawers, we would love to see and share your projects! Please share your photos with us at Stay tuned for our next blog update featuring more repurposed drawer ideas!