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Craft Room Closet Shelves DIY


My craft room closet had way too much space between the shelves and because of that things would just get piled on top of each other without any rhyme or reason. I’d just shove things in where I could telling myself I’d sort it out later.

Of course that made it very messy to look at, and it also made finding what I was looking for quite a challenge. So later finally arrived recently when I sorted this closet out.

closet makeover 1

When we moved in 18 years ago this was a clothes closet with a hanging rail and I converted it to shelving for my craft room.

I just used odds and ends pieces of wood that I had around the house, including some awesome barnboard that will be replaced at some point so I can use it for projects.

But I digress. 🙂


closet makeover 2

Just like I did with the shelf area over my desk, where I have my repurposed bakeware storage, I’m going to add a few shelves inside this closet.

The shelf with the wallpaper is the one I’ll be working on for this post.


closet makeover 3

I’m using a piece of waferboard and some pine 1×3’s from our wood stash. I used a hand saw to cut them to the length I needed. All I needed to install my shelf was my power drill and 4 screws.

Because this is just my craft room, and the inside of the closet, I’m more interested in this costing me nothing than I am in how it looks.

Sometimes it’s OK for something to just be functional.


closet makeover 4

This is everything that came off of that shelf. It’s no surprise why everything was piled on top of each other.


closet makeover 5

The first thing I did was measure the height of where I wanted my shelf to be, and then I drew a pencil line.


closet makeover 6

Because the wall of the closet is so thin I had to screw from the outside into the wood brace on the inside.

I did this when John wasn’t home so it was quite the challenge to hang onto the brace on the inside while drilling into it from the outside, but I managed.

Pine is very soft so it’s easy to drill into and that helped a lot.


closet makeover 7

Here’s my brace after a screw was put in place at the front end of the brace, also from the outside.


closet makeover 8

Once I have one brace up I always do a dry fit for leveling purposes. I hold a shelf in place and draw a pencil line under it to mark where the brace will go on the other side of the closet.

I love my adorable little vintage level. 🙂


closet makeover 9

Because this brace is being screwed into the wall I pre-drilled my screws into the wood.


closet makeover 91

This makes it much easier to screw in the brace.


closet makeover 92

And here it is with the shelf in place… along with two shelves that were added in the sections above the area I worked on. I wanted this particular shelf to be low so I can store thrifted wall papers, contact paper etc… Also It’s a great place to store my paint tray,  which was always just crammed in wherever.

The plastic bins are from one of those drawer organizer thingies on wheels. One of the drawers was broken so I removed the other four and used them here.

I’m collecting different things in them for projects, but I can’t show you because that would ruin the surprises. I labelled them after these pics were taken.

A girl has got to have some secrets. 🙂


closet makeover 93

I found these fruit cardboard boxes at my local grocery store. They’re very strong and can be pulled in and out very easily so I can see what the whole box holds. These little things used to be crammed in my vintage bread boxes that I keep in my built in bookcase and I could never find what I was looking for.

I thought about giving the box fronts a makeover but I kinda like the graphics so I’m keeping them as is for now.

In the one in the photo I’m keeping odds and ends for making garden plate flowers… and I use some glass pieces in some of my silverware wind chimes too. The top box holds another secret collection. 🙂

The fabrics that were in these boxes in the before photo have been moved elsewhere. Since I don’t use fabric often it doesn’t need to be in an easily accessible place.


closet makeover 1

So here’s my craft room closet before.

Not the most horrible craft room closet I’ve ever seen, but bad enough that finding things when I needed them was driving me a little bit batty. The real problem was that the closet is quite deep so there was stuff at the back that I often forgot was even there.


closet makeover 94

And the organized, but not very glamorous after. lol.

Not all makeover are gorgeous, but to me organization is a beautiful thing. 🙂

And really this craft room closet do-over was a good excuse for me to share how easy it is to totally DIY shelf installation. You don’ t need any fancy shelf brackets, unless you want them. Just a couple of 1×3’s cut to size will do.

I’m all about saving as much money as I can and the three shelves I added here cost me zero dollars, and that totally works for me.

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time… keep on keepin’ on.


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  1. This looks great Tuula! I’m finally making some progress on my craft studio and I’ll hopefully be sharing soon.

    Those fruit boxes will be vintage one day if you keep them long enough! 🙂


    1. haha! Isn’t that the way with everything? 🙂 Those boxes are pretty cool, and so useful. I’m looking forward to seeing your craft studio. I should really start calling my craft room a studio too. Since that’s where all the creative stuff happens.

  2. Mother Deer says:

    Very nice upgrade, Tuula. You made the shelf installation look easy 🙂 I like projects that I don’t have to ask for help… I also use fruit flats for a number of things. They certainly work well on your new shelves. Someday I think that you ought to paint the entire inside of your closet in hot pink…I’d be tempted to leave the door open all the time!

    1. Thanks Mother Deer! I’ve been tempted to do just that, especially since the inside of my computer armoire and my ceiling are both hot pink. Maybe some day, after the barnboard shelves are replaced with something else. It would be quite wonderful to do that.

  3. Ok. I’m totally jealous and envious and motivated! Back in the day, I built a whole linen closet at the end of a hall in my home. I did it just like you, but for braces? I had pieces of 2×4’s that were left over from having my fence built! If you looked under the shelves, you’d be appalled! I missed and made holes in the sheet rock in someplaces, and the chunks were NAILED in with huge nails! Didn’t have a drill then, and don’t know if I’d have thought to use it! I even put a front and door on it so you couldn’t see all the inner mess. It was still in use when I sold 21 years later. Sigh. Memories. But I digress……your shelves are awesome and I can’t wait to see what those secrets are!! Dona

    1. Thanks Dona! Good for you for building that linen closet. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of building something yourself even if it’s not perfect. I always say what can’t be seen is OK. I built the closet in my upstairs hallway years ago using 2x2s as the framework and I’m sure there are a few extra holes in the wall. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Kathleen! Buying shelves is just too expensive, so I always reuse whatever I can find.

    1. It does Cecilia! When it was a disaster just walking into the room stressed me out. Now it makes me smile, and for me that’s what it’s all about.

  4. Hi Tuula, you definitely made the cupboard more functional and that’s what it’s all about. I have a cabinet with fabrics that needs the same done to it, things just get lost when the shelves are too far apart. Great job! Kelly

    1. Thanks Kelly! I’ve added shelves everywhere in this room because there was too much empty space, which was really wasted space. It feels so great to be organized.

  5. Organization IS a beautiful thing Tuula–great job. Earlier this year, I add some shelves to my pantry, using basically the same process, and it was a real learning experience! I made one area just the right height to hold all three of my [variously sized] crock pots and it has made me so happy 🙂 Everything has a place now…

    1. Thanks Diana! Isn’t it amazing how much space gets wasted in shelving that’s too tall. By customizing for specific things we maximize our storage, and it looks so much better too. My shelves make me happy too. 🙂

  6. Patricia B says:

    Hey Tuula, love this idea! I was just thinking of adding shelves to my closet. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Thanks Patricia! I think you’ll be so glad you did. It’s amazing how much empty space there can be in the top area of shelves that isn’t being used. I wish you luck with your closet. 🙂