DIY pallet wood shoe storage

The solution to my shoe problems!!

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When we moved into our new home in December, we thought it would be a fantastic idea to go shoe free.  The only problem?  No mudroom!

There is a small but deep coat closet, only closet on the first floor, next to the garage.  My bright idea was to take these shoe racks we had to hold our most used shoes.  Then on the other two walls we put coat hangers up to hold the coats.  The kids loved having hooks at their level to hang their coats.

After a only a month or two, the tower of shoes began to sway dangerously whenever someone touched it.  The closet is also in a windowless area with no light in it.  We installed a battery powered LED light that had a motion sensor.  It worked some, but the shoes seemed to disappear into darkness in the shoe racks.  Since the kids couldn’t see well, they mostly tossed their shoes onto the floor to be easier to find when they come back.  More often then not, the floor was completely covered 2-3 shoes deep!

Here is the old closet setup on a barely messy day!

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I saw this great idea and tutorial on Sawdust Girl!  Now it was my turn to do my own take on this idea!!  Love the clean white look of hers.

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There were a three pallets I picked up a while back to do things with so I had some great rustic wood on hand!

Next I needed to buy pegs!  After a trip to Home Depot yielded very high priced pegs {almost $3 a pair} I searched online. I wasn’t going to make them myself here, I have no woodworking tools. So I found some online. It delayed me getting the project done a week or two, but was well worth the savings as 100 pegs cost $24 including shipping.  The image will take you to American Woodcrafters Supply.

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Now that all the supplies were together it was time to go!

First I decided what height I wanted the shoes to hang from and drew a level line across the back of each piece of wood.

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Next I took a pair of my shoes to measure the hanging distance.  {My niece was on hand to pose for the pictures and help me with the project.  All things are more fun with a partner!!}  My idea was to hang the pegs close together for the pairs with the greater distance between them for hanging.

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I went with 2.5 inches between the pair pegs and 4.4 inches between each pair.  Unfortunately, I did not account for the second pairs width coming towards the first one.  This turned out only a little squishy on my shoes, fine for the kids and did not fit at all when Guy’s size 13 shoes are on there!  We marked up 6 boards with 7 pairs each making room for 42 shoes to be hung.

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One of the men at church loaned me this fab drill press.  I wanted the pegs to hang at a bit of an angle so I put a riser on the plate where the wood sits when drilling.  I also decided to drill my holes all the way through the wood to facilitate a faster project.  Once on the wall you cannot tell my holes go all the way through.

DISCLAIMER – This probably wasn’t the safest practice so I am not advocating this method for obtaining an angle to help your shoes stay on.  The tutorial Sawdust girl did gives some other tips on how to get an angled hole.   I really loved the thoroughness of her explanations and images accompanying them.

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We used wood glue and a hammer to tap the pegs into place.  A few of the pegs are ‘off’ as we did not go back and look for that when they were left to dry.  I’d definitely recommend looking closely before your glue sets.  A level would also be a great tool to check with.  Oh well, it was my first real project working with wood since 7th grade!!  I’m sure my thought process and skills will improve as I keep practicing.  :-)

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The colors of the wood were off quite a bit.  We hung four on the wall the old shoe racks were on and the two lighter ones on the other wall.

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The board with the clamp is one that I split when taking the pallet apart.  The split wasn’t too bad and the shoes will not be very heavy.  After a little wood glue and clamping it, the board was back together.

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We left room at the bottom for boots and a few miscellaneous shoes.  There is a bigger space at the top to accommodate the long mens size 13’s!

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All of the shoes are now easy to see in the low light.  Adults now fit in the closet since the 12 inch deep shoe rack is gone!

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Did I mention before the pallet boards were perfectly sized for the wall with a 1/2 inch of clearance to get them in easily?  That was exciting!!!

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We found that my wedges and flip flops all hang nicely too!  It was an unexpected bonus.

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The kids all find the closet pegs much easier to use.  They hang their shoes without being asked, and have had no trouble finding the shoes they are looking for.

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It looks so much better in there now!!  Maybe we’ll get this no shoe thing down now that we have a useable system.

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Charity - This is awesome! I am going to have to make this at our new house.November 21, 2015 – 3:20 pm

David - Thank you very muchFebruary 11, 2015 – 10:13 pm

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