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!
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!
Wanna catch up on the progress? It’s all right here!
Wanna catch up on the progress? It’s all right here!
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!
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
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!
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!
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
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.
In the closet section with the single rod, I added four half-shelves for shoes, allowing for better viewing of the shoes when stacked.
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.
Left to Do
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.
Create space for a larger bed
Include additional closet space
Provide well-lit make-up vanity
Add Sitting/hangout area
Still, I’m happy to say that the wardrobe closet is mostly done!
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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If you are in the same boat, there is a pretty simple solution! Taking the table off the floor – A DIY floating table – allows for ottomans to slide underneath.
We had a three-drawer closet organizer hanging around. Unfortunately, they don’t make the unit any longer, but they make a three-shelf stackable unit that will work just as well or you may be able to pick one up at a thrift store. Mine was about 32″x12″ in dimension. These units are perfect for providing a budget-friendly, clean-lined, modern floating table. All you need is the shelving unit, a 2″x4″ and a 1″x 12″ piece of wood!
Determine where your table will go. Then, use a stud finder to find the location of the wall studs behind the wall’s surface. My table sits 34″ up from the floor to allow for ottomans to fit underneath.
Assemble Shelving Unit
Attach long side panels to the top and bottom panels, using screws and wood glue, skipping the shelves and back panel. Measure the length and width of the inside of your unit from top to bottom and side to side. You will use these measurements in the next steps.
Turn the unit on its side. Attach a 2″x4″ brace to the inside lip of the shelving unit. This support will hold the table on the wall and attach to the studs.
Use a 1″x12″ piece of wood to create doors. To determine the dimensions of the door, you’ll need to do some simple math – or use a carpenter’s calculator, which is what I do because math and I do not get along!
Determine the dimensions of each door by using the following calculations:
For the width of each door:
The width of the unit – 1/8″ = The door width
Door-stop length (using the leftover edge from the width of the door):
The width of the unit = the door-stop
For the length of each door:
(Length measurement of the unit – 3/4″) / 2 = The length of each door.
Cut your doors and the door-stop using the calculated dimensions. Sand, and stain or paint your doors, add a finishing wax or Polycrylic coating for protection. Let dry.
Mount the Shelving Unit
With the help of a friend, turn the floating table on its side, and hold against the wall. Level. Once placed, use 3″ wood screws to secure the brace directly into the previously marked stud to secure.
On the bottom of the floating table, place the door-stop 1″ in from the front edge, securing with wood glue and screws.
Using a drill, attach one end of the hinge to the backside of the door front, and the other to the interior of the floating table. To confirm that these are correctly placed, close the door and make sure it stays closed tightly.
Add Door Hardware
Add a double roller cabinet catch at the top inside corner of each door and mount door pulls to the top of each door.
To cut costs, I used door jamb strike plates positioned as door pulls – 2 @ $5 – as opposed to rather than actual door pulls. They gave the same look at half the cost!
Style as Desired
Add a lamp, a plant and a key-catcher, then slide a few ottomans underneath for seating.
Once mounted on the wall, the floating table, with its clean lines and added doors, gives a nod to mid-century modern, and is just perfect as the base for a floating table, especially in a small space. The doors provide closed storage fabulous for hiding winter hats, gloves and handy dog walking accessories.
Finally, we have a place to drop our keys and put our shoes on in the morning, with a fun design that easily transitions between traditional and contemporary decor!
Got tools? Need builtins? Build these custom eclectic modern wall bookshelves over the weekend for less than $150 – They are the perfect project for a beginner woodworker!
I recently completed a Living Room makeover for the $100 Room Challenge where I shared all kinds of DIY projects for under $100. Storage is essential in this room. We spend a great deal of time in here as a family with a variety of activities. Before the make-over, we had bookcases that held what we needed, but they weren’t exactly easy on the eyes – They were too narrow, too short, and just plain ugly.
I found a unit at West Elm, and was instantly smitten, with a perfect shelving design that hit all of the marks: eclectic modern, with a touch of mid-century, light, airy, and not at all ugly! The one mark it didn’t hit was budget or size.
So, I dusted off my saw, hit up one of my favorite people in the whole world, April at Uncookiecutter.com, and got busy designing a custom, cheap, easy-to-build solution, using plywood. April is so crazy talented that I knew if anyone could figure out how to build these plans, it would be her! We wanted to mimic the metal supports on the original. To do so, we painted 1″x4″s in a faux metal finish. If you’re interested in subscribing to my monthly newsletter, you can download a tutorial on how I painted the faux metal here!
These wall shelves are simple enough that someone with a basic knowledge of tools and building can make them in a weekend and should cost you about $140 for materials.
You will need a few tools though and of course, the plans. You can get them HERE.
Note: I have 8′ ceilings with crown molding. The shelves as suggested will fit directly under the crown. The plans base the center shelf width on the width of my door frame – be sure to measure your ceiling and doorframe, then adjust the plans accordingly.
Ready? Let’s get started making custom wall shelves for your room!
Build Custom Wall Bookshelves
*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through a link, I receive a small commission at no expense to you. Thanks for supporting KnockitOff Kim!
Tip on choosing wood: To keep costs down I used regular plywood and as much “common” wood as possible. To make it easier on myself, I used pre-primed trim boards for the open towers of each shelf unit – these are usually much straighter and they are already sanded and primed, which cut down significantly on time!
Cut your plywood or better yet, have your hardware store cut it for you. Be sure to ask them to check for accuracy. Having them make your cuts will save you so much time and effort!
Use your reciprocating saw to notch out the bottom of the 10″ vertical side pieces to ensure the unit will go over the baseboard and lay flush with the wall.
Sand any rough edges from all pieces.
Prepare your Wall
Measure the location for your open towers on the wall and remove a 4.5″ section of baseboard with your reciprocating saw where the open tower will stand, to ensure a proper fit. Remove a 1.25″ piece of 1/4 round from the area beside your doorframe on either side.
Drill Shelf pin Holes
Measure from the bottom of each 10″x 92.5″ vertical piece and the 4-1×4 pieces, marking your pin holes using the measures outlined in the plans.
To make fast work of adding the marks, I laid the boards out and I used a drywall t-square with a measuring tape to mark the hole location across all boards at the same time starting from the bottom.
Check for pinhole level against each piece. I found it easiest to stand all six pieces upright and place a level across all panels at the center of each pinhole mark. Adjust marks where necessary before drilling.
Use a Kreg jig pin holer to drill shelf-pin holes.
If you don’t have a pin hole jig – I somehow lost mine during this project – you will need a drill stop to ensure you only make an indentation rather than a hole straight through. You can make one by stacking two- 2×4 scraps together and drilling a hole through the center using a 3/8″ drill bit. Center your drill stop over the pinhole marks and use a 1/4″(6.15mm) drill bit to drill the hole.
Add Pocket Holes
Drill three-quarter inch pocket holes on one end of each of the smaller shelf pieces.
Add pocket holes to the eight-1″x4″ shelf supports.
Measure the distance from your ceiling to the top of the door trim you will be framing. Use this measurement for the top support to ensure that the shelves across the entire unit are level. My door frame sat at 9 15/16″ from the bottom of the crown molding – that is where I placed my top shelf support.
Stain and Paint the Pieces
Stain all shelves and the 10″ vertical side pieces in the stain of hope your choice. I’ve included the stain colors I used on my shelf in the supply list.
Paint your 1×4 sides as well as shelf supports. To simulate a metal finish as I did, download this guide I created for my newsletter subscribers!
Assemble the Open Tower
Use a framing square and clamps to assemble the long 1″x4″ piece and two of the 1″x4″ braces into a rectangle. Add two 1″x4″ center shelf supports, pocket holes facing up, using pocket hole screws and wood glue as outlined by the plans and the measurement you took above for the top support. I also added a third support and stationary shelf on the bottom to ensure I could secure the entire shelf properly to my baseboards. attach the open frame to the wall with a pin nailer to hold it in place. You will reinforce this at a later step.
Mark location of Shelves
Prepare to add the shelves by leveling them first on each side. To do this, Lean the solid side in place against the frame. Run each shelf through the open tower support and level against the 10″ vertical piece. Mark the location underneath with a pencil where the two parts meet.
Lay the 10″ vertical side down on the ground and attach a small shelf with pocket holes facing down at each marked line from the previous step. Attach a shelf support (1″x2″) under the shelf with a brad nailer and glue hiding the pocket holes.
Assemble Full Tower
Stand the 10″ vertical side up, and align on the wall. Connect the open tower and the vertical side by running the shelves through open tower shelf supports. Check for level then use the brad nailer to secure all shelves to all supports.
Build Second Tower
Repeat steps above (Assemble the Open Tower through Assemble Full Tower) to build the second tower.
Add Center Support Shelf
Attach 1×2 supports in line with your doorframe on the outside of each tower to support the center shelf. Slide the center shelf into place, on top of the supports and door frame, with pocket holes facing up, and use pocket hole screws to secure into a stud location. Secure to supports and door frame with brad nails.
Secure to the wall
Use the brad nailer to secure the 10″ vertical side to the door frame. Use 2 1/2″ screws to secure the open tower on both sides to the wall or trim.
Add Adjustable Shelves
Insert shelf brackets into the shelf pin holes on all four points. Slide a shelf into place on rest on top of supports. Secure shelf brackets with a 3/4″ wood screw to the bottom of each shelf.
Touch up any stain or paint as needed. Apply a thin coat of finishing wax.
Stand back and congratulate yourself, Master-builder! You did it!
Electic modern style, with a touch of mid-century, light, airy, within budget and not at all ugly! I’d say this wall shelving unit is exactly what this space needed!