What do you do with your shoes as you kick them off when you walk into the front door? Aileen Allen, the DIY blogger behind At Home in Love, and her family dumped their shoes in the entryway closet. You can probably guess how that was working out.
That’s why she created a very nifty DIY shoe rack for her entryway. It’s custom built for her space, and even shoe size. It works as a bench, too, to sit on as she puts on her shoes. It’s even on wheels so it’s easy to move out of the way, when needed. And best of all… we have the tutorial so you can make a shoe rack like hers for your home.
This is her contribution to our ongoing DIY Challenge series in which we asked some of our favorite bloggers to come up with a useful DIY project starting with a particular material– in this case, it’s plywood.
Read on for Aileen’s DIY shoe rack tutorial.
When I was brainstorming what to make for the DIY Plywood Challenge, I knew I wanted it to be something practical that we’d actually use in our home. I’ve made my share of DIY projects that later ended up in the “donate” pile, so I was resolved that this project would be one we’d actually use and keep for awhile.
The idea came to me as we were heading out the door for work one morning. We opened up the door to our coat closet and dug around in the pile of shoes stacked on the floor. They were practically spilling out the door, and it was completely disorganized. So I decided to make a shoe rack!
It was a lot of fun to create the concept and bring it to life, and our entryway is so much more organized (and less frustrating) now. The rack isn’t big enough to house all of our shoes, but we can keep our favorites on it…the ones that we wear most often. The rest of the shoes are still in the closet, but they fit in a single layer now, instead of a big, messy pile.
It might be a small thing, but I love being able to easily find the shoes I want to wear in the morning! And the shoe rack also doubles as a bench, for lacing shoes or pulling on boots.
Materials for the DIY Shoe Rack
- One piece of thick plywood
- Wooden dowels
- 4 furniture casters
- Wood screws
- Tape measure
- Sanding block
- Circular saw
The fun thing about a DIY project is that you can completely customize it to fit your home and needs. In the case of this shoe rack, you can make it exactly the right size for your shoes and the spot you intend to put it in (in our case, the entryway).
We started by measuring our entryway and determining how long we wanted the shoe rack to be. Then, we measured the longest pair of shoes to get the depth. Lastly, we measured the tallest pair of boots to get the height.
Once we had all our measurements planned out, we carefully marked the length and depth on our sheet of plywood and cut out two boards at that size, using a circular saw. We then sanded down any rough edges.
Next, we marked the height of our tallest pair of boots on the wooden dowel and cut four equal pieces at that size.
Once we had the top, bottom, and tallest dowels cut, we worked on the inside portion of the shoe rack. We wanted the inside to hold heels, sneakers, and sandals. So we measured a pair of my heeled booties to get the height, and determined the length of the inside shelf, allowing room for a pair of tall boots at either end. We kept the depth the same.
We cut the shelf to the determined length and cut the dowels to the determined height (again, making four equal pieces).
Lastly, we also cut a smaller shelf with four shorter dowels, to hold flat shoes like flip flops, etc.
At this point, we had: two long shelves with four tall dowels, one middle shelf with four medium height dowels, and one small shelf with four short dowels…ready to be assembled!
We pre-drilled holes on either end of each dowel and through the four corners of each board.
Then we screwed the boards and dowels together, starting with the inside pieces and ending with the tallest dowels and the longest boards.
The last thing we did was screw on the wheels.
Then, we brought the shoe rack inside and filled it up with shoes! I may eventually upholster the top so it’s more of a comfy bench, but I’m not sure. The plain wood top is actually a little more versatile–we can always line shoes up along the top if we run out of room, or use it as a dropping off spot for bags, groceries, etc. And I do like the natural look of the plywood!
What do you think? Should I leave it as it is or upholster it?
If you decide to create this project for yourself, keep in mind that you don’t have to make yours the same size or configuration as we did. If you have a larger entryway, you could make yours way longer. If you don’t care about it functioning as a bench, you could make it way taller. Or if your space is small, you can make it just the right size to fit in your closet or a little nook somewhere! That’s the beauty of a DIY project–you can take an idea and put your own spin on it.
See more photos of this DIY shoe rack on Aileen’s blog.
Aileen Allen writes about design, lifestyle and DIY on her blog At Home in Love. She lives with her husband Ben in Seattle.
See other DIY Challenge articles here on The Home Depot Blog, and follow our Style Challenge board on Pinterest for more DIY projects. Our Building Materials Department carries plywood, lumber, and just about anything else you need to make your home better.
Aileen received a Home Depot gift card to complete her DIY show rack. The ideas and opinions she expressed are her own.