August 4, 2012

Pallet Style Shoe Rack {Tutorial}

When you live in a small house (and let's face it - what New England house isn't small?) you learn to utilize every available space :)
My husband loves his shoes - and because we have one tiny closet in our bedroom, he uses the closet in the kid's room.  So, his oft worn shoes are oft found lying around the bedroom floor - and my pregnant belly does not allow me to see them and so I end up tripping over them! :) 

Enter this handy, minimal space taking shoe rack!  We had this 16" of space beside the dresser and the heating coil, and it was enough!

I ravaged the scrap wood pile at the hardware store, and bought all the wood I needed for just a couple of dollars.  This would be a great project for any kind of scrap wood - so you can make one very inexpensively. 

I started by making something that looked a lot like a ladder.
The width of my space allowed for a 16" wide shoe rack, so each of my cross pieces is 16" wide.
My dresser is a little over 3' tall, so I made the rack approximately that height so that it would be hidden by the dresser. 

To calculate the exact height, I took the width of each cross piece (2.5" for me), plus the width of the gap (3" was a perfect gap to fit the shoes in), and added them together.  I did that until it added up to about the height I wanted.  (This was easier to do visually, on a piece of paper, so that I could see how many boards and gaps I would need to reach the approximate height I wanted). 

I used wood glue and nails to secure each cross piece at the correct position, onto boards cut to the correct height.  As I said, I left a 3" gap in between each board, which was just right for the toe of the shoes to fit into. 

I did the very top and very bottom "rungs" last, because I needed to add an additional piece:
a small piece of 2x4.  I added a piece of 2x4 to the back of all 4 corners, and used longer nails to go through all the boards.  This 2x4 piece allowed me more surface area to secure the perpendicular boards too...
Now do as I say, and not as I do - - make all these boards flush at the top and bottom if you can.  It makes it easier.  It was not as important for me to have things flush at the top, but it is important to have them flush for the bottom part of the "ladder". 

The top might be a bit of overkill :)  This is the part that leans against the wall.  I made it extend out by 6", which is the width of my bottom board.  (see pictures of the bottom board below). 

Here you can see how it leans against the wall.  These are just additional pieces of 2.5" wide boards, glued and nailed perpendicular to the "ladder", with 2x4s in between.  You have to do some calculating to make sure that they are the correct length.

I ended up setting a board on top - as you see below.  It is the same size as the board I use at the bottom of the shoe rack.  I think it looks nicer, and it makes a little shelf to set things on. 

Here is the bottom of the "ladder":  To the bottom I nailed and glued a larger 6" board (also 16" wide, the same width as the rest of the shoe rack). 
 Here it is from the inside (or back) of the shoe rack. 

This board allowed me to rest a brick on it - to keep the shoe rack from toppling over.  You can't really see it, especially when the shoes are all stacked, so it doesn't need to be really pretty. 
I certainly didnt want to secure the shoe rack to the wall, but I needed it anchored somehow.  Now, even if there are only shoes in the top of the rack, or heavier shoes in the top, there isn't a risk of it tipping over. 

Here is the finished product, set against the wall.  Not bad!  I love building things!! (Especially when they turn out!!)

I will probably add felt to the bottom of the cross pieces of wood, so that the wood doesn't scrape up the shoes.  Just a little strip secured with hot glue should do the trick.  Same with the part of the wood that touches the wall.  I did sand all the edges of the wood, but it is still better to be safe than sorry you have scratches all over.

And here it is all filled with shoes!
When my husband got home from work, he walked in and noticed it right away (it was a surprise), and said, "Well, aren't you a clever girl." 
Why thank you :)

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  1. Oh wow! Thia has me wanting to run grab a pallet out of the old barn right now. Cute Idea.

  2. love this idea! thank you for the tutorial!

  3. A great idea for a small space - my husband is always leaving his shoes by our front door and I trip over them too. Thanks for sharing!

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