How can I reuse or recycle old hollow core doors?

Hollow core doorWe’ve had an email from Mary asking about recycling hollow core doors.

I always see doors of one sort or another in skips around here but Mary has come up with an idea for an old one of hers – but needs a little help:

I would like to make a rattan or seagrass headboard for my king size bed by covering an old hollow core door, maybe I can use old matchstick blinds, or I’ll buy some mats, any ideas? I’d also need some kind of edging.

I really like big headboards like that so it sounds like a great idea. Mats would probably be a bit more flexible and may bend around edges – eliminating the need for separate edging – but I do like the idea of “bamboo” blinds – it seems like it would be less rough to lean against.

Any help for Mary?

Or any other ideas about what could be done with an old hollow door?

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13 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old hollow core doors?”


  1. Brian Piper says:

    I know several people that have used these doors as closet shelves!! I think they had to put little spacers in after they cut them to fit their closet, but they work great for them!!

  2. Megan says:

    A friend of mine in college used one as a desk, propped up by some wooden crates. Kind of rustic looking, and the crates were great for storage.

  3. megan says:

    artists use the wooden outer layers (called ‘doorskin’ oddly enough) to paint on, so if you are artistic, or know someone who is just pry that shizz off! because it can be really expensive in art stores.

    • TETWH says:

      The wood typically covering hollow-core doors is not “doorskin”, it’s lauan. If you need the wood to paint on, go to a hardware store or lumber seller.

  4. Elliott says:

    they make good shelves. I have a snake and a large lizard tank supported on one of these bad boys. Can also work for desks (lay one across two filing cabinets).

  5. Chile says:

    We needed to bolt a piece of plywood to our block wall in lieu of a gate. To strengthen the plywood, my husband cut the hollow core door damaged by our dog in half and screwed it to the back side of the sheet. It’s very sturdy now.

    We also used it as a table for our last yard sale by setting it on top of two empty cat litter pails (see your April 2 post!)

  6. Cadan says:

    If the wood was somehow made water-proof, the inner bit could be used for planting small, long-rooting plants. Probably not going to be used much, but still!

  7. Just in the middle of a community art project to make an Ox and have had the armature for the animal made from two hollow doors cut out out and put together 3d jigsaw style, then we will be adding a layer of chicken wire and papier mache
    see blog for photos http://abscraft.blogspot.com/2009/09/ox-for-oxton.html

  8. Beth says:

    Consider cutting the the long portion of the door off at about 2-3 inches from the edge. Fill with coffee beans or whatnot. place candles inside.

  9. Elrod says:

    Attach mirror to it and lean against the wall.

  10. Elrod says:

    Hang it off the ceiling above kitchen table, arrange candles and plants.



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