DIY, East Bay, Featured, Life

Making A Shoe Rack – If you build it, they will come


A few weeks ago I was getting ready for work and was excavating my shoe collection in search of my brown wingtips. Although I had managed to curate a pretty respectable collection of dress shirts, slacks, suits, and shoes, I still relied on a cheap coated wire shoe rack that could likely double as a grilling grate for my bbq. This was amplified by the fact that is was meant for about half the number of shoes I was using it for. I know, first world problems. It’s tough out there. So, I decided to build a two piece unit that I could stack atop one another or use it side by side in the future.

The design was pretty simple, I made some measurements based on my shoe dimensions and then drew a masterpiece on a piece of paper (watch out Charles & Ray Eames).

Materials (for each shoe rack)

1 – 1 x 12 8ft long (pine)
1 – 2 x 2 8ft long (pine)
4 – dowels (bought in a kit with drill bit and depth gauge at Home Depot)
Pocket hole screws and jig (I use a Kreg)
Stain/Wipe-on poly
Wood glue
Felt pads for the legs
I opted for pine as it was the cheapest option and I’ve had some pretty good success with staining it to mimic more expensive hardwoods. Just make sure you inspect each board to make sure it isn’t warped before you get it home.

Shoe Rack Lumber

The cut list is pretty easy – 4 legs each 21.25″ long and 3 shelves each 27″ long.

The assembly is straightforward, especially if you use a pocket hole jig. If you don’t have one, you can countersink the screws from the outside and fill them with putty before staining.

Here are some pictures of the assembly:

Pocket Hole Jig

Setting up the pocket hole jig on the underside of the shelf

Pocket Hole

Pocket hole on the underside of the shelf

Pocket Hole Screw

Assembling the legs using pocket screws.

Unfinished Shoe Rack

Ready for sanding and staining

Next steps were to choose a stain and finish. I selected a Minwax stain in Red Mahogany. After I had stained it, I decided it would be cool to add a bit of color by painting a stripe along the right side of the shelves. I settled on a Robin’s Egg Blue color in an eggshell finish.

Minwax Stain

Applying the Minwax stain

Removing Masking Tape

Removing the tape after the paint dried

Shoe Rack CU

Striped and ready for shoes

Shoe Rack Complete

Time to install them both in the closet

I used about three coats of Wipe-On Poly and added some dowels to keep the top rack from slipping off the bottom. The racks can easily be broken down into two units and set side by side if desired.

Shoe Rack Installed

 Making A Wooden Shoe Rack