Custom Closet Shelf - DIY

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Project by Chris McDowell posted 02-15-2014 09:46 PM 6543 views 13 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Picture #2 is before. Pictures #3 and #4 are after.

My wife has wanted me to add a shelf for our oldest daughter’s closet so that we can get some stuff off of the floor and so that she can have somewhere to hang all of her “dress up” clothes. I didn’t feel good about buying one of those cheap wire rack shelves like we already have in our closets. I decided to build my own. In the end, it cost about the same amount as it would have to buy one of the wire rack shelves and all the accoutrements that go with them which you need to attach them to the wall, but it was more fun and it feels a heck of a lot better knowing I did it myself. Plus, I was able to customize it like I wanted.

I used “premium pine” for the supports underneath. I bought some 1×4 material and cut the back support out and attached it to the wall first.

Then I cut out the other 4 supports I needed. I decided to add some detail to the front just for the heck of it. I drew the first one out, cut it with the jig saw, sanded to my line on the drum sander, then used the first one as a template for the other 3 and used carpet tape and a flush trim bit in the router. I drilled a 1&3/8” hole in all of them first.

I used pocket holes for the two middle brackets then I attached them all.

For the top I was going to make a panel out of some knotty pine and was pricing it all at Home Depot. They have these pre-laminated panels that you can buy and that seemed the easiest so I bought one and cut it to size.

I had previously bought a 1” dowel to use for hanging clothes, but I didn’t buy it long enough so I decided to cut it in half and leave the middle section open, which worked out because it allows room for the little bookshelves she has.

My wife doesn’t want to paint it. I added some pocket holes to the middle brackets so that the top can be secured from underneath, but I didn’t use them yet just in case she changes her mind. Once I know for sure I’ll add some screws there.

Final result:

This was a fun, quick project that I started this morning and finished by 3pm. Of course, now she’s talking about me building a custom closet for her in our walk-in master closet…

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

5 comments so far

View tomakazi's profile


686 posts in 4160 days

#1 posted 02-16-2014 12:03 AM

great idea! Ive installed hundreds of closet poles and shelves, but have never made my own brackets. now I can’t wait for the next one.

-- I didn't go to college, I was too busy learning stuff - Ted Nugent

View Chris McDowell's profile

Chris McDowell

645 posts in 3030 days

#2 posted 02-16-2014 01:01 AM

Thanks, tomakazi!

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

View Fettler's profile


206 posts in 2874 days

#3 posted 02-16-2014 01:04 AM

Sounds like you’ve opened pandoras box there. The honey do list; Always growing, never shrinking =)

Good job and good luck to you sir. ;D

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 3910 days

#4 posted 02-16-2014 03:28 AM

Very Nice indeed Chris! Thanks For Sharing!


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3053 days

#5 posted 02-20-2014 05:40 PM

Looks great and well installed. Nothing beats custom made, perfect fit to the closet. I’m sure wife and daughter were proud. Great job!

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