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DIY Custom Closet

This week, we tackled our Monica closet aka Reece's new closet. It was a mess and I think cleaning it out took longer than building the closet. Check out the process and the cost breakdown below!

Custom Closet Materials:

Helpful Tools:

Like I said, this closet was a MESS. This room was previously used as a guest room and the closet stored all the crap that had no home (turns out most of it was trash or needed to be donated).

For demo, I removed the brackets and shelving with a drill then removed the cleats with a trim puller.

I saved the shelf and was able to reuse it!

After demo, I recommend taping out your potential layout options. I knew that I wanted a double hanging rod and an additional rod for long hanging items.

Before I could add anything in, I needed to patch where the shelf and brackets were and fill the hole that I accidently created... oops.

I then painted the entire closet with a fresh coat of white paint.

To save time, I used this unfinished 3-drawer dresser from IKEA to use as the base of my tower. Assembly was actually fairly easy and you can customize the look with paint or stain.

1. Sand

2. Prime--I used Kilz Primer

3. Sand

4. Paint

5. Sand

6. Second coat of paint

Lots of sanding is involved, but it is worth it for a smooth finish. I also purchased black knobs to replace the wood ones that come with the dresser.

This shelving unit was designed to sit on top of the IKEA dresser. I wanted a space to put baskets and eventually folded clothes down the road. For my specific closet, I used the following measurements:

  • 2 vertical pieces: 57" tall, 12" deep

  • 3 horizontal shelves: 22.5" wide, 12" deep

One of the sturdiest ways to join two pieces of wood is to use pocket holes. I added four (2 on each end) pocket holes to the bottom side of the shelf. I also created pocket holes on the bottoms of the vertical pieces that would be used to attach the shelves to the dresser. When you use pocket holes, be sure to check the width of your wood and make sure you are using the correct setting on your jig.

In this picture, you can see the beadboard detail behind the shelves and the edge banding on the perimeter of the shelving unit. I attached the beadboard (again leftover from another project) directly to the wall using my brad nailer. Then, I put the dresser in place and attached it to the wall using small l-brackets. Like I said earlier, I used the pocket holes to attach the shelves to the dresser. I also reinforced the shelving unit by adding l-brackets to the wall.

Since I used plywood, the edges were a little rough. I used edge banding which is a thin wood veneer that can be stained or painted. It was simple to install, and I really liked the look of the edge banding with the hanging rods. To install, you cut the edge banding to length, then use an iron to heat the adhesive on the back side. You may need to shave a bit off the sides if you have overhang. I did choose to paint the edge banding so that everything blended in together for a truly built-in look.

After completing the finishing work (caulking, nail filling and painting), this closet is complete! There is so much more functional storage and it looks pretty too!

Cost Breakdown:

  • Plywood: $0 (leftover)

  • Beadboard: $0 (leftover)

  • Hanging Rod and Sockets: $22

  • IKEA Dresser: $60

  • Black Knobs: $11

  • Edge Banding: $7

Total: $100

You could do this too! Make sure to check our Instagram for updates on all of our DIY projects.

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