Project Shoeshine: Part 1

Pencil Tuesday, August 9, 2011 clock at 8:16 AM

My closet sucks. It's the one part of my room that I've never liked since day one and always dreaded opening my closet doors. First of all, it doesn't feel like a closet at all, but more like an upgraded dumpster with shelving and a clothing rod. So, over the summer, after perusing post after post of DIY's at Apartment Therapy, I some how came up with the thought that "Hey! I can so build my own closet! It's going to be easy!" Unfortunately, not first try was a disaster and a waste of money, but I've learned a few things.

1. Measure your closet. This is the very first thing you want to do in order for you to be able to plan correctly.  Below are my closet measurements. (It's a very, very tiny walk in closet!)
My Closet

2. Plan your closet layout. I went the easy route and used this website: They have a great selection of closet basics to choose from for your design and it's so customizable to whatever size your closet may be. I was almost tempted to buy right there and then, but the price tag is a big ouch for your wallet. So I just used the design as a idea of where to design from since they give you 3D views  from all angles as well as dimensions and skeletal views. 

3. This is the important part if you're going to make your own closet system from scratch. You  absolutely need a plan....with diagrams! It's a tremendous help and means less mistakes. Thanks to, another blog I've become addicted to over the summer, I've sketched my closet plans in Google SketchUp modeled after the ones from This is where I made my mistakes. I used the ones from EasyClosets as my diagrams and plans but I wouldn't recommend it since it is very general.

Wall B Design using Google SketchUp
I'm not going to show Wall A or C here since you'll see them later on in future posts anyway, but this is just to give you an example of what you want to do. This isn't going to be the final color either, mines will be painted all white in high-gloss paint. 

3. Materials and costs. Once you're done with your plans, SketchUp does a fantastic job of giving you the dimensions using the Dimensions tool. This will help you figure out your cut list. I'm very, very cheap/frugal and couldn't afford to lose anymore money (*cough*lastdisaster*cough*) so I found this site: Otimize Nesting which takes all your measurements and gives you the best cutting layout so you use the least amount of plywood (which saved me tons since I only needed 3 sheets of 4'x8' of plywood for the outer shells). Of course calculate for nails, wood glue, paint, and any other materials that need to be purchased.

4. Make! I'll show you guys this part as I go along. So be sure to check back and check out my closet DIY.

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