Guest post from Jeri Lynn Repp
Are your shoes cluttered? Do you have piles of shoes at the bottom of your closet — getting scratched and ruined? I have been there, conquered the giant, and am here to help you do the same! Don’t have a saw? No problem! To complete this project, the only power tool you will need is a handy-dandy, screw gun! Believe me, if I can do it, ANYBODY CAN!
I will take you step by step through the process of building a wall shoe organizer the easy, YOU CAN DO IT way! Design your own or take the easier way and use my plan.
STEP 1: Choose the size of your shoe organizer.
8 feet tall by 4 feet wide by 8 inches deep ***
Each 4 ft shelf holds 6 pairs of shoes spaciously:
- 4 shelves for flat shoes (24 pairs)
- 8 shelves for pumps and heels (48 pairs)
- 1 large shelf for purses or boots (6 pairs)
Why this size?
The easier, the better! Though I have access to saws, I hate using them. I chose sizes that required the fewest cuts! Boards come pre-cut at 8 feet in length, so the sides of my organizer did not need cutting. For the top, bottom, support and shelves, only 1 cut is required to half the 8 foot board into (2) 4 foot pieces. For those of you, who do not have access to a saw, don’t worry. When you purchase your boards, most hardware stores will cut the wood for you at an extremely, reasonable price. Lowes, for example, will make 1 cut per board for free and each additional cut is only $.25. If someone else is cutting your wood, just emphasize that the pieces need to be exactly the same length because they will be used for shelving with straight ends. If your boards are off, even by ¼ inch, it will cause you problems later!
***The space for my shoe organizer was limited in-depth. I chose 1×8 boards for that reason; however, I recommend using 1×10 boards if you have the space. This will insure that the toes of your shoes do not hang off the edge of your shelf. The 8” or 10” choice is listed on materials list below.
STEP 2: Make a materials list and know what tools are required.
MY MATERIALS LIST
- (10) #2 pine 1” x 8” x 8’ boards OR ***(10) #2 pine 1” x 10” x 8’ boards
- (I paid $4.59 per board, right at $50.00 after tax)
- (Important fact: When you go to the hardware store and ask for a 1x8x8, the actual measurements of the board you receive is ¾ in. x 7 ¼ in. x 8 ft. A 1x10x8 actually measures ¾ in. x 9 ¼ in x 8 ft. Why oh why? A man had to be in charge of that!)
- (58) Wood Screws between 1 ½ and 2 inches long.
- (I used 1 5/8” sheetrock screws from my hubby’s scrap stuff.)
- Wood Glue
- (2-4) 2 ½ to 3 inch screws for securing the shelf to the wall.
- Paint thinner
- Wood Stain with Sealer (I used Honey Oak, Provincial, and a random mixture from a previous project.)
- 1 cup of Black Paint
- 1 piece extra fine sand paper
- TOOLS NEEDED
- Screw gun
- Measuring Tape
- Straight Edge
- Paint/Stain brush (When dealing with stain, I use an inexpensive disposable brush rather than dealing with the cleanup of a good brush.)
STEP 3: Purchase/Gather tools and materials.
The price of wood fluctuates from store to store. It is easier to call for pricing than drive all over town. For whatever reason, hardware store websites rarely include prices for wood. Also be sure to ask about the charge for cutting the wood if you opt for that. It is nice to get home with all your wood cut to size and ready for step 4!
When I called to price the boards for my project, cost of a board ranged from $4.59 to $7.71. Multiply that by the 10 boards I needed, and a few minutes of phone calls saved me over $30.
If you choose to cut your own boards, go ahead and do that as soon as you have purchased your materials.
STEP 4: Stain or Paint boards.
Now that you have (2) eight foot boards for sides and (16) 4 foot boards for shelves and support, it is time to stain or paint your boards. !!!You will only need (15) of the 4 foot pieces: 1 top, 1 bottom, 1 brace support, and 12 shelves. That means you have (1) 4 foot piece to test out your stain or paint!
I mixed approximately 2 cups of paint thinner, 3 cups of wood stain, and 1 cup of black paint. This one coat mix gave my boards an exotic look. The stains I chose were a Minwax with sealer included. The included sealer is important for ease of wiping the shelves clean later.
My boards required drying overnight. Follow the instructions on the can of paint or stain you choose.
STEP 5: Lightly Sand.
If you have chosen staining, you may need to lightly sand the boards using extra fine sand paper. I barely ran the paper over my boards.
STEP 6: Draw a lay out of where the shelves will be attached to the sides.
Don’t skip this step…a stray pencil mark is much easier to correct than glue and screws!
SETTING MY SHELVES
Place the (2) 8 foot sides together on a flat surface to ensure accuracy, make sure they are flush at the bottom and top.
This organizer has 12 shelves, thus you will draw 12 lines in all. The 4 bottom shelves will have a 4 inch space for flat shoes. The 8 upper shelves will have a 6 inch space for heals. This leaves one large space for a support brace below the top of the organizer.
From the bottom of the boards measure up 4 ¾ inches use a straight edge to mark a line. This line represents the bottom of a shelf. From the line you drew, measure up 4 ¾ inches and mark another line. Repeat 2 more times. The 4 lines you have drawn are your 4 lowest shelves which will be for flat shoes.
From the top line drawn, measure up 6 ¾ inches and draw a line. Repeat 7 more times. The 8 most recent lines you have drawn represent the bottoms of the shelves which will be for heels.
STEP 7: Assemble on a flat surface.
Start at the bottom and work your way up. The bottom will be placed between your sides (not under). Make sure the bottom and sides are flush, use glue and attach with two screws on each side of the shelf.
Now you will use the lines from STEP 6. The bottom (not the top) of each shelf will be placed on pre-drawn lines, attach all 12 shelves again using wood glue and 2 screws for each side of the shelf.
Attach the top in the same manner that you attached the bottom, making sure that the top of the shelf is flush with the top of the sides.
Because this organizer is so tall, a brace support is required to attach the shelf to the wall. Just under the top of the organizer, place a board flat on the ground. Attach this board to both the sides of the organizer and the top.
STEP 8: Secure the unit to the wall.
Place the shelf in desired location. Use 2 1/2 to 3 inch screws to attach the brace support to the wall on studs for stability.
STEP 9: Organize those shoes! Step back and admire!
If you take the time to complete this project, no doubt you will be well pleased with your accomplishment. Best of all, you will reap the reward of your effort every time you open your closet to choose shoes. The one thing I like most about this organizer is it holds 72 pairs of shoes, 6 handbags, and 6 pairs of boots on the top! That means I do not have to say “no” to new shoes when out shopping. I always know there is a shelf waiting when I return home with my plunder!
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