How to make a wardrobe closet from scratch

If your home has limited closet space, or even worse, NO closet,  then a DIY Wardrobe closet may be the perfect option for you! A DIY solution is substantially less inexpensive and allows for complete customization of size, look and storage options. It’s also much easier to build than you might think! 

wardrobe closet

It’s week three of the One Room Challenge (aka the ORC), hosted by Calling it Home –  A six-week event that challenges those of us with a love of design to transform a room in just six weeks. It’s a blissfully crazy time but one of my favorite things to do!

ORC-Gold-4oow

Wanna catch up on the progress? It’s all right here! 

Wanna catch up on the progress? It’s all right here! 

week1 |week2 | week3| week4| week5| week6 |

In week one I shared the plan to transform our daughter’s room into a Glam Bohemian dream, with a slight edge, full of gray and silver tones mixed with soft pastels. You can check out the whole design plan and the rest of the nasty before pictures HERE.

Last week I shared with you the new teeny unuseable closet turned closet bed nook. The bed nook gives us so much more usable space, but we had to lose the closet to gain that space! A teen girl without a closet is a bit like a world without air. But a teen girl with this crazy – that’s just as bad!

wardrobe closet - before 1

wardrobe closet - before 2

 

Coming up with a plan was a bit challenging. I knew all along that I was going to want to add a standalone wardrobe closet, but I didn’t know what that was going to look like.

I explored various options, including the PAX system from IKEA, but they were either too small, too large, or too expensive. I’m starting to sound like Goldilocks and the three bears – Let’s say a DIY wardrobe solution for this room was not too small, too large but just right!

How to make a wardrobe closet from scratch

Getting Started

Step one was to measure, measure, and measure. We’d talked about the room dimension issues in week one, but the long and short is that I had one location in the room to place the closet – that makes things easy when needing to make decisions!
wardrobe closet - Where to put closet
Once I had my dimensions, I went on to Easyclosets.com to design my solution. They have a great tool that allows you to plan custom closets and it’s free! They aren’t paying me for this promotion, I just use their tool ALL the time (tiny closets are not a yay kinda thing). Once I put in the dimensions, I played around with the design, adding components such as shoe storage and drawers, before I came up with something that fit our needs. I finally decided on a closet with three columns – one with a single rod (for long clothing) and shoe storage, a drawer bank and a third with two rods. Next up, find some building plans!

Building Plans

For the building plans, I visited AnaWhite.com – everyone knows Ana has the BEST ideas for free and of course, she had something on her site that was workable – the Industrial Style Wood Slat closet system.  I pretty much followed her plans verbatim but adapted it to our needs. The main modification I made was adding a center column of drawers. Having a built-in drawer tower means I can remove the existing dresser in the room, hence giving even more usable space. With the plans figured out, it was time to get to work. The other modification I made was to add cross supports to the bottom and top of each support tower. This allowed me to secure the unit to the wall and floor for a built-in look.

Using Common Wood

Using common wood helped to keep the costs down to reasonable – was able to build the entire unit for around $150, minus the doors – but meant a little more sanding and prep work. I often use common boards for parts of a piece that isn’t visible, such as the inside of a closet, and splurge on trim work. If you’re using common boards, do your best to check each board for straightness and fill any knotholes with wood filler. I started off giving all of the wood a good sanding, then built the framework for all three columns.

The Drawer Column

wardrobe closet - add slides crate

wardrobe closet - add slides column

wardrobe closet - add drawers

Before securing any of the columns to the wall, I completed the drawer column so I could move the center if needed. I’d decided on a depth of 18″ for my closet and as luck would have it, found wooden crates at Home Depot with the perfect dimension to accommodate that depth – score!

At $11 a piece and ball-bearing drawer slides, using the containers was time-saving, economical and functional. I built the supports from the bottom up, adding cross supports at the location of each drawer.

The closet columns

 

The plans from Easyclosets.com helped to determine the placements for the closet rods in both of the more prominent units.

 

wardrobe closet - rod

 

In the closet section with the single rod, I added four half-shelves for shoes, allowing for better viewing of the shoes when stacked.

 

wardrobe closet - shoe shelves

Finishing up

wardrobe closet - kim painting

To help the finished closet blend in with the room I painted the exterior and the columns the same muted gray as the rest of the room, while staining the shelves a warm walnut color. Finally, I secured the entire unit to the back wall, floor and ceiling. 1″x6″ boards act as a kickboard.
wardrobe closet - no clothes

Left to Do

wardrobe closet - trim work

 

Ugh, I hate having to say that this is “mostly” done but I still have to add the trim pieces back in and make mirrored doors – that’s next on my list. Although we could leave the closet open, I want to hide the eventual and inevitable clutter.  Once I’ve got the doors on, I’ll drop by and update this post! Although it’s mostly done and not done, done, I’m going to go ahead and cross the closet off of the TODO list.

TODO:

  • Create space for a larger bed
  • Include additional closet space
  • Provide well-lit make-up vanity
  • Homework desk
  • Add Sitting/hangout area

Still, I’m happy to say that the wardrobe closet is mostly done!

wardrobe closet -closet only

Eeek! There are still more than a few things to get done, and we’re halfway through the challenge! I better get my butt moving! Be sure to pop in next week for hopefully the latest updates on this room. If you are looking for me, you know where I’ll be! In the meantime, be sure to check out the other guest participants in the One Room Challenge and prepared to be wowed! There is much inspiration going on over there!

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rather buy than diy

 

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closet bed nook - feature

10 Comments

  • Susie Lyon Mertl

    Wow Kim! That is one impressive closet. It’s beautifully made and love the soft color, too! So excited to see your progress this week! Half-way to the finish line. XO ~~ Susie from The Chelsea Project

    April 19, 2018 at 12:54 am Reply
  • Vicki and Jenn 2 Bees in a Pod

    Stop it! This is just amazing Kim. You keep impressing us week after week. This is a perfect storage solution and it is beautifully made in a gorgeous color! Great job!

    April 19, 2018 at 8:17 am Reply
  • Ellen from Ask Away Blog

    WHOA!! That’s awesome! You’re so talented!!! I never would have thought from the original pics that it could look so amazing!

    April 19, 2018 at 8:18 am Reply
  • Tee at Beauteeful Living

    You’re rocking it on this challenge, Kim! Loving all these projects you’ve done already. Can’t wait to see this room all done!

    April 19, 2018 at 9:27 am Reply
  • April R - Uncookie Cutter

    GIRL!!! This is AWESOME!!! You killed it, of course!! Great job 🙂

    April 19, 2018 at 10:21 pm Reply
  • Lindi

    Excellent closet solution! It looks like way more closet space too! Good decision!

    April 20, 2018 at 1:35 am Reply
  • Emy

    That’s one impressive closet! So much storage!

    April 20, 2018 at 9:22 am Reply
  • Susanne

    Great job on that closet!! You would never know that it wasn’t there to begin with. I can’t wait to see your progress next week!!

    April 23, 2018 at 7:16 am Reply
  • Diane Rath

    This is a really great DIY project! Love seeing the progress!

    April 23, 2018 at 12:21 pm Reply
  • Jessica | Petal + Ply

    What a fabulous build!! Looks great and ALL.THAT.STORAGE!!!! Yay!

    April 23, 2018 at 4:54 pm Reply
  • Leave a Reply

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