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How to Build a Closet Organizer {The Reveal!}

Woohoo the reveal!  I love. love. love this closet organizer.  I couldn’t be happier with it.  More importantly Pip is happy with it and she is excited that she can find all her stuff in there now!

The viking hat got a place of honor :)

Dress up jewelry for now!

What do you think?  Was it worth the effort?  Got a spot for one in your house?  I want to do ALL the closets in our house now!

Other posts in this series:

How to Build a Closet Organizer {Post 1} The Plans

How to Build a Closet Organizer {Post 2} Shelf Pins

How to Build a Closet Organizer {Post 3} Building Drawers

How to Build a Closet Organizer {Post 4} Drawer Glides

How to Build a Closet Organizer {Post 5} Drawer Fronts

How to Build a Closet Organizer {Post 6} Assembling It All

Linking up to:

Oganized on a Budget at

Show Us Your House (closet edition) at Thrifty Decor Chick

How to build a closet organizer {Post 6} Assembling it all

The hard parts are over!  Now for our DIY closet organizer, we just put the pieces together.

First put your side pieces into the closet.  Put a shelf in the bottom and at the top of your shelf pin area on each side.  Then use a level to make sure that the shelves will be straight.  Screw the side into the wall at a stud in a few spots.

I had to use some scrap 1/4″ plywood under one side to shim it up and get it even.

Now we put the top on.  Read More…

How to Build a Closet Organizer {Post 5} Drawer Fronts

Normally my mantra during a build is “Perfect is the enemy of done” because I tend to be a perfectionist about things.  Well this closet organizer is done and it sure isn’t perfect.  Had this been anywhere but a closet, the drawer fronts would have been redone.  But my new and improved mantra for this build was “It’s going into a closet for gosh sakes.”  I had to repeat that a lot…

I have had a difficult time in the past assembling framed doors and drawer fronts because you have to cut out a rabbet in the back of the frame to accept the middle piece of 1/4″ plywood.  The first time I built some drawer fronts I used 1/2″ plywood with 1/4″ hobby boards glued to the front because I didn’t know how to use a router to make the rabbet. The second time I made some framed doors, I did use a router but I couldn’t figure out how to make it work with the rails and stiles, so I used mitered corners.  This time I had read how Sandra does it at Sawdust and Paperscraps and decided to give it a go.

I used a router to rabbet out a 1/4″ on the entire edge of my 1×2 stiles and the whole length of the rails, but leaving 3/4″ on each end (if you cut it the entire way it leaves a gap on the outside of the drawer front).

Read More…

How to Build a Closet Organizer {Post 4} Drawer Glides…Uggh.

I’ve told you that drawer glides will be the death of me in the last post, but truly, drawer glides are not all that bad, especially with the trick I am going to let you in on.  In the storage beds they were not fun because there wasn’t a lot of room to work to get them positioned and put in.  But this project had a wide open front and back for working in, and the first time I put in the five original drawer glides it went perfectly.  But I had to go and complicate it.  You see, it was my first time making overlay drawers (I’ve only done inset before this).  I gave myself plenty of room because too much room is much easier to work with than too little.  After looking at the plans, there was all this space!  Space where I could squeeze in another drawer…a jewelry drawer!…And of course,complicate everything.

So after I put together the cabinet carcase

Very top of the bottom shelf is at 4.5" because that is how tall my base moulding is. On the bottom part of the cabinet I attached a cleat at the top and bottom (scrap plywood) to help keep the cabinet square and to use to attach the unit to the wall.

Read More…

How to build a closet organizer {post 3} Building drawers

I love drawers.  I do not love drawer glides.  Drawer glides are going to be the death of me.  It’s going to have to be a write in on my death certificate.  Cause of death: drawer glides.  But those come later…first we need to build some drawers.

I used to build drawers like I did in Pip’s storage bed.  I don’t think I will put them together like that again.  In this version I assembled the sides and then nailed on the bottom, whereas for the storage beds the bottom was inset.  The only cost I had for these was the 1×2 drawer faces, glides, and the knobs–all the rest was scrap plywood from other builds!!  Love. That.

So to build the drawers the easy way, first you cut the boards so that the sides are the width you want the drawer to be.   Then the front and back pieces are the length you want the drawer to be minus your (plywood width x 2).  So I want a drawer that is 14 width x 15.5 length.  My sides would be 14″ and my front and back with 3/4″ plywood would be 14 also (15.5-1.5= 14).

To assemble this quickly, I modified an idea I saw on Pregnant With Power Tools.  She uses scrap wood to make a jig for holding your wood square while you assemble.  I had the idea to use some of these Rockler assembly squares screwed down to my workbench instead.  Use Pregnant with Power Tool’s idea if you don’t have the Rockler squares. If I didn’t have the Rockler version, I would definitely build the scrap wood jig (being sure it is absolutely square) and save it after for future projects.  Very handy!

Read More…

How to build a closet organizer {post 2}

DIY Closet organizer day 2:  Drive to Home Depot, buy the stuff you need, come home, and cut your sheets of plywood.  Go to bed.

DIY Closet organizer day 3:  In the morning, you limp to the bathroom, holding your back the entire way, wondering what the make of the car was that hit you yesterday, and then remember that you are only sore because you cut up two sheets of plywood on the cold garage floor the day before.  Make a vow to start exercising and eating right because you have too many projects to do in this house to be too old for this.

Forget the vow.  Breakfast is coffee with caramel macchiato creamer (there’s calcium in that right?).  Head to the garage, hoping the concrete floor is warmer than yesterday.

It’s not.

Picture the closet before photo in your head which fires you up to get started on some shelf pin holes!


I use a peg board guide, which I used on the built-in cabinets in Pip’s room already.  Kreg has a new shelf pin hole jig that I tried to find locally to use on this project, but no dice.  I used the 13/64 drill bit on these.  In the past I have used the exact size bit as the shelf pin, but I have to use a hammer to get the pin into the hole after painting, which is a complete pain.

Then I determine how far I want the drill bit to go into the wood, keeping in mind it has to clear the peg board also.  I mark it with tape like so: Read More…

How to build a closet organizer {post 1} The plans

Oh my gosh the glitches today!  I’m working hard on Pip’s closet organizer, but all sorts of tiny things (some not as tiny) keep happening.  The final thing was when my hearing protection snapped in half as I was putting it on my head and it cut me a little bit.  I had been wondering lately if they make them with mp3 capabilities–guess I’ll be looking into that really soon!  Until then, I’m going to begin the How to Build a Closet Organizer series with Post 1:  The Plans.

Now I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating:  Don’t rely solely on these drawings and chicken scratches to build your own!  So often I’ll catch a mistake I’ve made on the drawings right before I cut and don’t take the time to correct it–or I change a part completely.   This is to show what I begin with.  You would want to customize this for your own project anyway…

First off, I did play around with some different scenarios on the Easy Closet website.  Pip’s closet is not very big, so there weren’t a lot of options, but it was still fun.  I’m keeping it in mind when I redo my closet.  And I researched how Ana White did her closet organizer as well as followed along with Sandra as she built her executive closet.

This time I chose to use graph paper to sketch it out.  Ridiculously, often times I’ll be surprised when the proportions of my project don’t jive with what I’ve got in my mind and it’s all because what I’ve got in my mind is my sketch.  My very primitive sketch.  Graph paper gives me a much more accurate depiction.

Read More…


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