Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Custom Closet on the Cheap

It's official, my boys have a new closet and I still have all my fingers.

If you recall, this whole project started because my boys had outgrown their little plastic drawers, which had replaced a giant floor space-hogging wide dresser when they started sharing a room.

Closet before:

I was going to go purchase a secondhand dresser and refinish it, but instead I decided to build something a bit more permanent, with even more usable storage space. Our house was built in 1960, so while it might have more closet space than a turn-of-the-century home, it still ranks low by today's storage loving standards.

Not to mention regular closets are probably the least efficient space imaginable for storing things. One shelf? One rod? Pfft. Laaaaaaame.

My Supplies
shelving: $56
 new wood closet rod: $10
closet rod supports: $16ish
help from someone who knows what they're doing: priceless
Caulk, primer, paint: already owned so we're gonna say $0

I admit, I did get help from my trusty brother-in-law with drawing the shelves on the wall, making a plan, blah blah blah. However, I cut shelves (way to conquer my circular saw fear, Anna!), nailed stuff together, leveled important things that needed to be level, and got heckled for my slowness impressive accuracy and deliberation.

I could definitely do it again by myself. It would just take... a while.

The new, improved closet has the same length of closet rod for hanging shirts and coats, but I added cubbies and shelves galore!

Each of the boys has a fabric bin ($3 clearanced at Walmart, holla!) for their socks, underwear, and pajamas.

There's a separate rod for all their coats and hoodies, with plenty of room below for their shoes.

(ahem. My kids never, ever use their shoe basket. Note its near emptiness.)

There's even room for their games, which is great news for me and my sad little coat closet. (remember what I said about our home having limited closet space?) 

Also, as you can see in the above photo we added an extra shelf (12-inches deep instead of 16-inches deep) to help take advantage of the full eight feet of vertical space.

There are roomy shelves for pants and shorts, and yes, I need to do laundry. 

Those tall, pristine stacks? Are the shorts. That my boys can't wear. Because Idaho is freezing.

I even added some "baseboard" to the previously bare closet walls...

Yay for recycled baseboard!

My kids are especially excited that it's caulked and painted, because I know they go to sleep at night with visions of indoor climbing gyms dancing in their little heads.
So, what do you think? 

Update (07/17/2012):I don't have actual plans, but I did finally make a diagram of sorts and found a couple more photos to share. Take a look:

We drew it on the wall with a pencil first and then refined it and decided upon some hard measurements. As you can see in the "key" in the photo below, the center unit was built and placed inside the closet, then the rest of the shelves were built around it and the 1x4s added to the back of the top two cubbies to keep it square.

Closet boards. Caulk, caulk, caulk.

Extra 12" deep shelf to utilize all the extra storage above the closet's door frame:


  1. Beeyootiful! I have been thinking about doing something like this in our master bedroom walk-in, it's cool to see what you can do for so little! It seriously looks professional! Nice work. =)

  2. It looks great! I would love to do something like that in my kiddos closet, but after ripping out my master closet last summer and installing a new closet organizer, I still don't have the motivation to rip out another closet just yet and do it all over again.

  3. it does indeed look professional! great job anna!

  4. Great job Anna!!! Fantastic idea!!!!!

    I need to tell you that calulking story eventually. It's probably a little silly for blog land though =) haha!

    have a fabulous day!

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  5. This looks absolutely amazing! You did a great job! ut-oh... I'm feeling inspired! :)

  6. Heaven in a closet! Wow! Amazing job!

  7. I love love love it! My next project was going to be all the closets - 4 in total - yuck! That all have the one shelf one rod storage. I know - who thought that was efficient! I am totally pinning this on my board for inspiration to come back to! Thanks!

  8. I love it! I'm glad to see that it didn't cost too much because I'll be doing this soon too! Thanks for sharing. :)

  9. What a great job, I would pay for something like that! I need to do this in my closet and my boys! Maybe that will be my summer project, thanks for sharing!

  10. This looks so great and I love the price tag!! We added rods in our kids' closets and it works really well to give you that extra space.

  11. Wow! Love this! I am definitely bookmarking this so I can try it in one of our closets!

  12. That looks awesome! I need to tackle my boys' closets at some point. I would be happy if they look half as great as yours!

  13. Stopping in from DIY Showoff--love the closet! I just redid my boys room closet as well as my own and talk about organization! Doesn't it just feel so much better when you make use of a space in the best way possible! Great job! And I get the whole fear of the circular saw. I always have visions of diced of fingers whenever I use ours.

  14. Loved it! I was thing of using Easy track in my daughters room. I am now rethinking. This is much more budget friendly. I would love a tutorial on how to build this.

    I am having a fine art photograhy giveaway by Melanie Alexandra. She has more than 200 images in her store to choose from. Just leave me a comment telling me which is your favorite image for a chance to win.

  15. I love this. Nice job! I am sharing it on my blog.
    Inspiring ideas for fixing my son's closet.

  16. Nice job Anna!! I've been putting off redoing 3 of our closets because of cost : ( But your post just inspired me to ask my husband to do it! LOL!! (I wouldn't know where to start)

  17. Hi Anna, I found you from Thrifty Decor Chick's link party. I absolutely love what you did with the closet and can't believe you did it on your own. I mean, no store-bought-ready-to-assemble storage system? Awesome! I'm officially a new subscriber. Feel free to check out my blog if you'd like. :)

  18. beautiful! I have been thinking about doing something like this in our master bedroom walk-in, it's cool to see what you can do for so little!

  19. Do you have a step-by-step of how you did the closet? For those of us without a knowledgable brother-in-law? :D PLEEEAAASSEEE?

  20. Love this!! I also have two boys and would love a step by step directions! Thank you for sharing

  21. Love it! You're filling me with ideas of what I could achieve. I have basic knowledge and all the tools... now I just need time, guts and determination!

  22. There are so many great things you can do with closets. The one in my guest room houses my office (which can be closed away when we have company, yay). How did you make the shelves? I wonder if a tall bookshelf would work as a low cost alternative? Thanks for the post. I found your blog through apartment therapy. Love It!!!


  23. What material did you use for the shelving? Were the edges pre-finished, or did you finish edges of plywood yourself?

  24. My boys need this in their life! For reals... if only I had tools and your brother's handiness. :/

  25. Hello!!! Love the closet. Question where did you buy the shelves from?

  26. Our house was built in 1960, so while it might have more closet space than a turn-of-the-century home, it still ranks low by today's storage ... oclosetshelves.blogspot.com

  27. Where do you get the shelving from?

    1. Any home improvement store will have the unfinished shelving she used. I got some at lowes.

  28. I'm wondering how you secured the green vertical shelves and dividers? Just caulk? Thanks!

    1. I would like to know this as well. Looking to build this in my kids closest but not sure the best way to attach the vertical dividers in the shelving unit.

    2. I would guess a few screws from the outside or with dowel pins like I will do to hide the screw heads. You could also use a countersink to sink the heads deeper into the wood and then fill with wood putty, sand and paint.

  29. I like this a lot. Thank you for sharing. I'm always looking for upcycles like this. In the end, you don't know it was a shipping pallet to begin with!
    how to do halloween makeup
    halloween coloring pages for kids
    easy halloween crafts
    pumpkin faces


I ♥ comments. Me + you = BFFs 4VR.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...