DIY Closet Makeover

You guys! This before picture makes me so relieved that the closet renovation is complete, well almost, there is always those last minute details you have to wait on. Regardless, the construction is finished and it looks terrif! Stroll with me as I take you on this glorious closet transformation, this is a lengthy one ladies and gents :).

If you’re more of a “show me the pictures” kinda human, scroll on through.

This is what our closet looked like to start with (below) and (above) how it was all jam packed.

I hope you didn’t think I was joking about my sweaters living in a plastic bin. That was no joke! They actually still live in a plastic bin. I most likely will change my mind about where I want everything approx 3-5x before they find their home in a perfectly selected cubby (technical term). Who am I kidding? By that time it will be summer and they will be back in their plastic bin :(.

If you’d like to check out our inspiration for the closet, head over to the Pinterest board. Originally, I was really encouraging of this specific inspiration for a couple of reasons; 1. Cost Effective (reclaimed bookshelf) and B. Minimize labor for Linc.

However, Linc was not having it and wanted to put his saws to use so we discussed, re-discussed and over discussed what our end goal was.

The end goal: cubbies in the middle, with one having higher height so that it could be my jewelry area. The cubbies will divide the closet in half and we will each have upper and lower hanging areas.

Here is where we share the materials used:

  • 1 sheet 3/4″ Birch Plywood (~$30)
  • 2 sheets 1/2″ Birch Plywood (~$30ea)
  • 1 sheet 1/8″ Plywood (the cheap stuff to make a jig) ($20)
  • (4) ~8ft pieces of 1 1/4″ Hemlock ($5ea)
  • (4) Towel Racks (seriously, yes) ($18 ea)
  • 1 gallon Latex Primer ($30)
  • Paint for walls and shelving: Advanced Benjamin Moore (match from Sherwin Williams Pure White in Satin) ($60)
  • Allpro Acrylic Caulk ($8)

Here is where we share the tools used:

  • Safety Glasses
  • Circular Saw (Dewalt)
  • Compound Miter Saw (Ryobi)
  • Router w/ assortment of bits
  • Level
  • Tape Measure
  • Drill
  • Orbital Sander
  • Square
  • Air Compressor
  • Brad Nailer
  • Caulking gun

As a precursor to the project, we removed the sliding doors about a week before we started to allow our ideas to sink in. The sliding doors were over-sized for the closet opening, preventing access to the middle of the closet. They will not be making a come back. Once we were ready to go, the walls and trim in the closet were painted.

Having never crafted shelves out of wood before, Linc sought out a friend for a tutorial on how to create a jig. In this instance, I wish this referred to a fun dance ritual that prepared for shelf-making. Instead it is a guide used to rip straight edges of plywood. You can check out this video, which Linc also used for reference on jig making.

Jig used for the upper and lower shelves (via circular saw)
Jig used to make the cubbies (via router)

In order to provide support for the long shelves, trim was made for the shelves to rest on. The trim is secured with the brad nailer.

Once the trim was in place, the shelves were inserted and the work on the cubbies began. We won’t go into our specific measurements because they uniquely apply to our closet and goals for organizing. If there any questions, just let me know!

The router jig worked out great, and the pieces for the cubbies fit together like butter. Below, you can see the line made by the router for the lowest shelf to slide in.

We did do a jig when the router jig actually worked out!
We did do a jig when the router jig actually worked out! Celebratory jigs are a must.

Besides project manager, I was the point person on priming. I really got out easy on this one! The priming occurred after we were certain all the puzzle pieces fit as they should, but before they were secured via nail gun/screws.

Linc secured hemlock to the plywood edges to give it a more finished look. Notice the difference between the lower shelving vs upper.

We really hemmed and hawed over the type of closet rods we would use. Linc came up with an idea to use bath towel rods and although it is unconventional, it works and looks pretty neat! I hear ya, alright already! Here is the finished product…


Oh right, doors! Well, as true diy novices go, we didn’t realize that we should have ordered closet doors about three weeks before we got started. Whoops! We are waiting on 5 panel bi-fold doors ($195) to arrive and will use the waiting time to organize and re-organize the closet to our liking. There will be photo updates accordingly 🙂

I purchased mini hooks to be placed along the inside of the taller shelf. This will become my new jewelry station!! I can finally get rid of this ridiculous contraption that topples over with a blink of the eye. Boy bye.

Are you looking to start a closet project to maximize organization? Just a heads up, we are normal humans, and by that I mean we had 3 separate visits to The Home Depot before we even started the closet project. All of which we spent considerable time pacing the aisles contemplating our purchase despite having planned the project before we left the house! Please tell me you have been there!? So don’t get frustrated, it’s all apart of the process, we think/hope.

These are some of the things we deliberated on during our Home Depot brainstorming catastrophes, I mean, successful/productive trips.

Martha Stewart Closet Organizer
Using Melamine for Shelving
Ikea Wardrobe    


What do you think about the towel bar turned closet rod?

Earlier this week, the sun was shining as I got home from work and we took a stroll down to Sunset Hill Park to catch the last glimpse of the sunset. Even though we have walked by this tribute to fishermen several times, I felt compelled to capture the moment. On my way to work Tuesday morning, I learned that the Seattle fishing boat Destination was and is missing at sea with the search coming to an end Monday, the 13th. I’ve been thinking about it all week and would like to take a moment to pay tribute to the crew and all the boats out there, risking their lives so that we may feast on the delicacies of the sea.

“Dedicated To The Men Of The Seattle Fishing Fleet Who Reaped Their Living From The Sea And Found Their Final Rest Beneath Its Waves.”

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4 Comments on "DIY Closet Makeover"

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I like your dedication. Also, “boy bye” is absolutely hilarious. It turned out fantastic, cant wait to see how its all set up with clothing etc. Also, like the towel hangers ( fun!) butttt I feel like it cuts out a little hanging up items space. Lastly, i thought the towel hanger was like the iron rod thing you put up the stairs. Impressed with the budget and planning and making it look easy.


Our closet project is going on 2 years now….HEADACHE CITY, amirite?

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