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How to build closet shelving – DIY Customizable Closet

Do you have a closet in your home that is big enough to transform into a more functional space? Maybe you can build closet shelving to make it more functional? Or maybe transform part of it as an office space? Learn how to transform your closet into a customizable closet allowing you to change it up as you please.

How to build wood shelving for a closet. Tutorial to build wood shelving. DIY Customizable Closet.

Build to Organize Challenge

Ever since we started working on Gabrielle’s bedroom, Gabrielle has been asking us when we were going to start working on her closet. Her bedroom is on the smaller side but has a big two door closet.

For years we have told her that someday we would get rid of her dresser and modify her closet so that all her clothing could go in there. The time has finally come, let me explain why.

I will be collaborating for a year with a bunch of wonderful bloggers on DIY project challenges: At Home DIY.

Every month we will have a new DIY challenge to work on. It’s going to be so much fun! This month’s challenge is: Build to Organize Challenge. Which is the perfect challenge to get us working on Gabrielle’s closet!

How to make a customizable closet

The reason behind having a customizable closet is to be able to switch it up easily as the needs may change.

For example, right now we think it’s best to get rid of Gabrielle’s dresser and put all her clothes in the closet. Perhaps in a couple of years we will change our minds, so we rather not do anything permanent in her closet, especially since it’s the biggest closet in our home.

In order to make a closet movable, everything needs to be easily modified: adapted for the current needs.

Here’s the closet before we started working on it:

Empty closet before makeover.

Nice doors right? You can see how they looked before we changed them up and before we painted her bedroom.

Like all the drawings on the walls? Ugh, I can’t believe how many drawings are in that closet. We fixed it all up with some fresh paint and some beautiful wood planks: how to plank a wall with wood paneling.

Makeover a closet with planks. Beautiful planked closet.

Adjustable closet rod

The first thing we did to make the closet customizable was to update the closet rod.

The current closet rod was 8’ long and since it didn’t have a support in the middle, it dropped in the middle.

We opted for an adjustable rod that goes from 4’ to 8’. Which means we can opt to change it back to 8’ easily.

We added a rod support bracket in the middle of the back wall.

How to install rod support bracket in a closet

We attached rod end brackets on each end of the closet side walls. This way if we want to fully extend the rod we can and we can also easily switch sides if we rather have the rod on the other side of the closet.

Installing rod end brackets
Adjustable closet rod

How to build closet shelving

To continue in the movable aspect of the closet, we opted to make open shelves to place clothes on. You could call it an open shelf bookcase even though we are using it for clothing. hehe

We wanted them to be open in order to allow as much light as possible to illuminate what is placed on the shelves.

We made sure to make them in a way that they can be moved in and out of the closet if necessary.

This post also contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

How to build wood shelving for a closet. Tutorial to build wood shelving. DIY Customizable Closet.

DIY Shelving for Closet

Supplies:

  • 4x – 2×2’s 8′ long – Pine
  • 5x – 11/16x16x36″ Edge-Glued Panel “Hobbyboard” – Spruce *
    • *You can also buy longer boards and cut them to size.
  • 1.25″ wood screws #8
  • 1.50″ wood screws #8

Tools:

Cut List:

  • 16x – 12″ long pieces out of the 2×2’s
  • 8x – 10.5″ long pieces out of the 2×2’s
  • 2x – 14″ long pieces out of the 2×2’s
Wood cut list to build closet shelving

Instructions

Step 1: Using our Kreg Jig Mini and a small clamp we made pocket holes in the pieces we cut.

We made 2 pockets on the 10.5″ pieces, one on each end.

We made 2 pockets on the 12″ pieces, one on one end and one on the inside of the opposite end.

Building shelving with Kreg Jig
How to attach shelves

Step 2: With the help of our big clamp, we dry fitted our pieces together.

We placed one 10.5″ piece with the pockets facing up in the middle and placed one 12″ on each end with the bottom pocket facing out (which means the top pocket is facing inwards).

DIY Shelf Legs
Use clamps to attach legs together then use screws to fasten together

Step 3: Time to attach the pieces together.

Using our drill, we screwed in 1.25″ screws into the pockets of the 10.5″ piece. By doing so, we have a big U which we will be eventually attaching the big boards.

We repeated this step until we had made 8 of them.

Fastening legs with pockets and screws
Use clamps to keep project from moving and use screws to fasten

Step 4: We placed one big board face down onto a flat surface. We positioned a U on each end of the board leaving a 1 1/8″ edge.

Leave a space between edge and legs

Step 5: We attached the U’s onto the board using 1.25″ screws into the bottom pockets of the 12″ pieces. You’ll noticed that once attached and flipped over, they look like tables.

We repeated this step until we had made 4.

Drill into pockets with screws
Shelf with legs

Step 6: We took out the 14″ long pieces. We used a drill bit to make three vertical pockets into it, one on each end and one in the middle.

To make sure we didn’t drill too far, we put a piece of electric tape on the drill bit as a guide.

Use electrical tape on drill bit for a guide.
Bottom legs for shelf

Step 7: We placed the last big board face down onto a flat surface. We put the 14″ long pieces on each end, 1 1/8″ edge. We attached them to the boards using 1.5″ screws, inserted into the pockets.

Attaching legs to base
bottom shelf

Step 8: Now the really fun part attaching them all together to make the shelving.

Starting with the last board we worked on, we placed it in the closet. We placed over it one of the “tables”. We made sure to place the feet 1 1/8″ from the edge of the bottom board.

We used the drill to insert 1.25″ screws into the bottom pockets of the legs (they were the originally the top pockets).

Once all four legs were attached, we repeated the steps until all of the tables were attached.

Shelving looks like tables before being assembled
How to assemble shelving

Voilà we have a beautiful 54″ (4.5′) shelving in the closet:

DIY Custom Closet Organizer

DIY Wood Shelving
DIY Wood Shelf
DIY wood shelving for a closet
Closet makeover. DIY Closet Shelving and DIY Planked Closet
How to build closet shelving. DIY Customizable Closet with plank walls.

Isn’t it beautiful? Gabrielle can’t wait to empty her dresser and fill the closet shelving with her clothing. I can’t wait to get the dresser out of her bedroom. hehe

We really love the natural tone of it with the natural plank wall. It adds a beautiful touch with the rest of the closet being white. Don’t you agree?

If you like it as much as we do, feel free to pin it!

How to build closet shelving. DIY Customizable Closet with plank walls. DIY closet makeover.
How to build closet shelving. DIY Customizable Closet with plank walls. DIY closet makeover. #shelving #closetorganization #closetmakeover

At Home DIY

Check out everyone’s projects for this month:

Ready to see everyone’s project for this month’s theme: Build to Organize?

Build to Organize Projects

Hope you have enjoyed this project and all the great inspiration!

Have a GREAT weekend!

Closet makeover. DIY Closet Shelving and DIY Planked Closet

How to build Closet Shelving

Yield: 1 closet shelving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 2 hours
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate
Estimated Cost: Less than $60

Learn how to build closet shelving. Tutorial to build wood shelving for a closet. DIY Customizable Closet.

Materials

  • 4x – 2×2’s 8′ long – Pine
  • 5x – 11/16x16x36″ Edge-Glued Panel “Hobbyboard” – Spruce
  • 1.25″ wood screws #8
  • 1.50″ wood screws #8

Tools

  • Mitre saw
  • Clamps
  • Kreg Jig
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape

Instructions

  1. Cut wood based on the cut list which is listed in the notes below with a mitre saw. Wood cut list to build closet shelving
  2. Make pocket holes using a Kreg Jig. Two pockets on the 10.5″ pieces, one on each end. Two pockets on the 12″ pieces, one on one end and one on the inside of the opposite end. DIY Shelf Legs
  3. Fasten the legs together with 1.25″ screws. Fastening legs with pockets and screws
  4. Attach legs to the hobbyboard 1 1/8″ from the edge of each end with 1.25″ screws. Drill into pockets with screws
  5. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you have 4 sections of the shelving. Shelf with legs
  6. Attach 14″ wood pieces on each end 1 1/8″ from the edge on the last piece of the hobbyboard with 1.5″ screws. bottom shelf
  7. Place shelving pieces in the location you want to assemble them. If you are making them for a closet, assemble it inside the closet. Shelving looks like tables before being assembled
  8. To assemble the shelving together start from the bottom working upwards and use 1.25″ screws in the remaining pocket holes 1 1/8″ from the edge. Measure the edge before assembly
  9. The closet shelving measures 53″ high, 16″ deep, and 36″ wide. Closet makeover. DIY Closet Shelving and DIY Planked Closet

Notes

Cut List:

  • 16x – 12″ long pieces out of the 2×2’s
  • 8x – 10.5″ long pieces out of the 2×2’s
  • 2x – 14″ long pieces out of the 2×2’s

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Allyson

Thursday 13th of February 2020

This is a well-planned out custom closet! Adding the wood to the walls looks great. Visiting from Artsy Fartsy.

mireille

Friday 24th of January 2020

It looks really beautiful! Love the wood panel, adds that little extra that makes it looks so pretty.

Christine

Thursday 28th of February 2019

That turned out gorgeous! I love how the shelving is removeable- or moveable to adjust as desired- its like a convertible closet. Fancy!

STEPHANIE ABBOTT

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

So much better! Who ever decided a simple pole in a closet was enough was a mad man. ;) Can't wait to see how you planked too. Looks very nice.

Jamie @ Southern Revivals

Tuesday 19th of February 2019

This is gorgeous! And I love how you put together the organizer. Taking notes for my own closet makeover!

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