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Basic DIY Closet Shelves

How to build basic DIY closet shelves with beginner skills and tools in less than 2 hours for under $80.

Oh, cramped, cluttered closet, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Uh…ZERO! This spot desperately needed some DIY closet shelves. 

I have to confess that while things might have been quiet here on the blog during the holidays, we were super busy behind the scenes working on a few projects that were way overdue.

Basic DIY Closet Shelving | blesserhouse.com | Super awesome beginner home improvement project! And gets rid of those crappy wire shelves. Ew.

To ring in the New Year, the number one to-do on my resolutions list was to get our closets organized, starting with Exhibit A:

Basic DIY Closet Shelving | blesserhouse.com | Super awesome beginner home improvement project! And gets rid of those crappy wire shelves. Ew.

Blech!

UPDATE: See the fully organized craft closet here.

Two years ago when we moved into this house, I kept saying to myself that I would sort through boxes and closet clutter once we got settled in. Well…that excuse probably expired oh…last year, and then here was this dysfunctional closet in our upstairs playroom that never really lived up to its potential.

So I cleared it all out and started from scratch. (That’s the best way to deal with most things in life anyway, right? Reset and start over.)  It needed a clean slate.

Basic DIY Closet Shelving | blesserhouse.com | Super awesome beginner home improvement project! And gets rid of those crappy wire shelves. Ew.

Since getting into crafting and DIYing (thanks to that infectious creative bug that never seems to go away), I accumulated a hoard of supplies that took over our home office. DISASTER is an understatement. The Messy House Tour was only a snippet, y’all. Seriously.

I had to dig through random boxes and bags strewn all over our office if I ever wanted to make anything…which is basically every day. Something had to give. So I made “Organize Craft Closet” the number one task on my resolutions list this year.

I knew this closet attached to our playroom would be the perfect space to contain the chaos. All it needed were some simple DIY craft closet shelves and I would be in bidness!

Supplies

(Affiliate links are provided below for convenience. For more info, see my full disclosure here.)

Steps

1. To start, Robert and I removed the wire shelf already in the closet. (I loathe those things!)

2. Then, we measured and marked where we wanted each shelf to go inside of the closet. We decided to space them 14″ apart to accommodate for the height of the storage boxes we would be using (more on that later this week).

3. We cut the 1×2 strips into 10 lengths at 14″ each for the end supports of the shelves. Then, we placed them on the sides of the closet where we marked, checked them with the level, and used wood screws to anchor them into studs.

4. Since the shelves were 14″ deep, we could only hit one stud, so to secure the other end of the end supports, we pre-drilled the wood and used the drywall anchors for extra stability.

Basic DIY Closet Shelving | blesserhouse.com | Super awesome beginner home improvement project! And gets rid of those crappy wire shelves. Ew.

5. After the end support 1×2 strips were in place, we ran another 1×2 strip cut to size on the back wall to connect the ends. We anchored the strips on the back wall into studs with more wood screws.

Basic DIY Closet Shelving | blesserhouse.com | Super awesome beginner home improvement project! And gets rid of those crappy wire shelves. Ew.

6. We placed our plywood strips on top of the 1×2 supports, screwed them into the top. and that was it! Super easy (and probably self-explanatory but I felt like sharing anyway).

Basic DIY Closet Shelving | blesserhouse.com | Super awesome beginner home improvement project! And gets rid of those crappy wire shelves. Ew.

7. I painted the walls of the closet after we put up the shelves, but it would be much easier if you did it beforehand. (Hindsight is always a bummer like that.)  I just used some leftover gray paint from Olivia’s bedroom makeover, Benjamin Moore Gray Owl to be exact.

8. I painted the shelves with some leftover Sherwin Williams Pure White after the walls. Raw plywood can soak up a lot of paint if it’s not primed, so it took much less time and paint because we used the pre-primed stuff.

Basic DIY Closet Shelving | blesserhouse.com | Super awesome beginner home improvement project! And gets rid of those crappy wire shelves. Ew.

9. (optional) I could have caulked the seams and gaps on the underside of the shelves, but since these are in a closet primarily for utility purposes, I didn’t care too much about appearances. Totally up to you if you’re a caulk and wood filler kind of DIYer for closets.

Basic DIY Closet Shelving | blesserhouse.com | Super awesome beginner home improvement project! And gets rid of those crappy wire shelves. Ew.

I’ll be sharing the full reveal with y’all later this week, but I’m sooooo excited to finally have a little bit of order! Getting creative means getting messy, ya know.

This whole DIY really was quick and fairly inexpensive…around $80 for wood, hardware, and paint (since we only used about a quart’s worth for each color).

Now to tackle two more closets! But this is a huge start. It’s an amazing breath of fresh air to have a space tidy and orderly… which makes me wonder why I don’t organize more often. Could be that kiddo that runs around here undoing all of my organizing, I’ll bet.

Have you had the organizing itch lately to start off the New Year? Have you tackled any chaotic areas of your house yet? Do you have a little bitty that likes to undo all of your organizing too? Cleaning your house when you have kids is like trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos, isn’t it?

signoff

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4 Comments

  1. Looking at the finished closet photo, I would change the upper shelf to multiple smaller shelves along each side of the closet OR I would make the top shelf narrower to allow more space between the front wall of the closet and that shelf. No one likes to cram a bunch of blankets into a space meant to store seasonal items only to have limited access to whatever ended up on top. I would also encourage the use of heavy duty hooks and bungee cords to keep rolled items from tipping off the side shelves.

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