- Closetmaid Shelf (Target, Lowe’s, Walmart)
- Small Nails
- Screw Driver, Hammer, Scissors
- Elmer’s Glue
- Iron & Ironing Board (optional)
I’ve been using these for at least ten years for my shoes, adding another shelf as my collection grew and funding allowed for it. This tutorial is for one set of two shelves. These are sized for flats and most heels, but my platforms and boots don’t fit (more on that later). I highly suggest purchasing a large amount of fabric initially if you plan to add to these as I did. Most times certain fabrics are seasonal, just like clothing, and you will never find them anywhere again. You can find large bolts of decent looking fabric at places like Walmart for $.50 a yard! The quality is usually not the best, but for something like this, you’ll never need to touch it once it’s done so it doesn’t matter as long as it looks good. You can generally get three sets of shelves out of one yard of fabric, depending on the width of the fabric.
- Assemble your shelf according to the instructions. Save the box.
- Measure the back of your shelf or check the box for the measurements. In this case, the shelves measure 12×31″. Trace this size rectangle onto your box and cut it out. This will serve as your cardboard backing.
- Measure and mark your fabric to a few inches larger than your cardboard. In this case, 15×35″. Cut this out and iron it if needed. Lay the fabric out flat, face down.
- Apply glue to one side of the cardboard and carefully center it over your fabric, doesn’t have to be perfect, then lay it down so the fabric will now be glued to the cardboard. Quickly flip it over and smooth out any bumps or wrinkles before the glue dries. The glue will seep through a little, but if you’re using Elmer’s, this won’t matter.
- Flip it over again so it is face down. You should see extra fabric around all four edges. Apply glue along one side of the cardboard and fold the fabric down over it. Hold it down a few seconds until the glue adheres, then proceed to do the same with the remaining sides. Your shelf backing is now complete.
- Lay your shelf face down so the back is showing. Center your new backing on top and nail it fast along the top and edges. I used two nails in each corner, three down each side, and four along the top. Feel for the lower shelf and add a few nails along that edge as well. If you’re having trouble with this, you can mark where the shelf is by using the side screws as a guide, then nail along your marking.
You’re all done! As your shelves start to fill up, you can place each pair of shoes with one shoe facing forward, the other facing back. This will free up enough space to add an extra pair to each shelf. If you have platform heels or ankle boots, you can skip the step of adding the lower shelf. Get a couple of shelf brackets from the hardware section of most stores for a few dollars and add the extra shelves to the inside ends of a closet. I added some to my laundry closet to store extra towels and bathroom items. For tall boots, scavenge yard sales and discount stores for old bookcases with adjustable shelves. You can usually get them for a few dollars and spray paint them any color you like. Apply the steps above to make the matching backing.
My boot shelves shown here on the right were made from an old “oak look” bookcase that had decent water damage. You can also see the top two shelves on the left are the ones that I skipped adding the center shelf. In all, I have seven white Closetmaid shelf sets shown here along with the bookcase.
This type of storage system keeps shoes organized and healthy, which means they will have a longer life and you will get more use out of them. They don’t get crushed and damp shoes are able to dry, unlike basket or box storage.
Time Investment: 30 Minutes Per Set