My Closet Makeover

Hey Friends! I’ve got a fun post to share with you today! Do you know what is hot hot hot on my blog right now, thanks to Pinterest? (Follow me here 🙂 ) My Master Closet! Maybe it’s all those freezing cold temps keeping us indoors (or 10ft snow drifts for some!) that get us thinking about what projects we want to tackle inside. Evidently, tackling the master closet is on a lot of people’s minds lately.

I redid my closet before I started blogging, and I first posted the makeover in early 2013. Those pictures are just lovely, but I’ll spare you. In January of 2014, I shared how I built it and it and it was my number one post that year and still has the number two slot for my most viewed post of all time. (My Sew-Easy Outdoor Cushion Cover Tutorial holds the number one spot by a landslide!)

So I thought you might enjoy it too if you have a closet you are looking to tackle this year!

Here is the original post:

How to build a closet without breaking the bank

This is the perfect time of year to start thinking about getting organized. One of my all time favorite spaces in my house is my master closet, probably because it is the most organized space in my house!

After I originally shared my Master Closet Makeover,  I was getting questions about it almost on a daily basis.

Today I’m going to share how I built my closet. This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

If you haven’t seen my closet makeover, allow me to set the scene. This is how it started:


Lovely, right? Here is how it looks today:

Master Closet Makeover by Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer


Master Closet makeover by Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer




Master Closet Makeover by Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer




Master Closet Makeover by Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

SO. Much. Better. Right??

It is not a huge space by any means compared to similar sized houses from the 80’s, so it was important that I use every square inch wisely.

Most of the questions I received were about measurements and how I knew what would go where. Hopefully I will answer those questions here:

What are the measurements of your closet?

My closet measures 6′ wide X 4 1/2′ deep and from ceiling to floor is about 8′.

How did you get started?

I sketched each wall of my closet on graph paper, allowing each square to equal one square foot. Then I started penciling in what I wanted to go where.

How did you decide how to divide the space so that everything would fit your needs?

To decide on the height for each space, I used a sample of what would be hanging/stored there. I used a few pairs of pants to determine how tall to make that section. I used a few shirts to measure out that section. I did the same with my shoes and boots. For the spaces that hold baskets and bins, I found the bins first. Then I measured to accommodate them.

Did you paint the wood first?

Yes! I primed and painted everything first. The knots have bled through a tiny bit in a few spots, so I would probably prime any knots a couple of times before painting. I used a six-inch sponge roller to apply the paint and then touched up any areas that needed it with a brush after installation.

Where did you start?

I painted the walls first of course, using some leftover bathroom wall paper scraps on either side of where the shoe shelves would go. Then I built the shoe tower. For the sides of the shelving as well as all the shelving in the closet I used 12″ pieces of pine cut to fit the lengths I needed. Here are the measurements for the shoe shelves:

How to Build a Closet

All of the shelves are about 6 1/2″ apart with the exception of the bottom shelf which is 12″ tall to accommodate a couple of bins. I store my flip-flops and slippers in these. The bottom shelf is at the same height as the molding I used to trim it out.

How are the clothing areas installed?

If you look at my closet closely, you can see a piece of 1X5 pine that is supporting the shelving all the way around.

How a Girl Built her Closet

This was the next step. Installing this piece the length of the wall allowed me to screw it right into the studs. I added another piece the depth of the shelf on the left for support:

How a Girl Built her Closet 11

On the right side, I took the support all the way to the shoe shelving so I could find a stud. Clothes are extremely heavy, so try to take advantage of studs whenever possible.

How a Girl Built her Closet 12 1

I installed the hanging bar next, screwing the rod holder right into the side supports. Then I added the shelf above. Here are some basic measurements I used:

How to build a closet without breaking the bank

The basket shelving was built by adding 1X3 pieces (the depth of the shelves) to the wall, screwing them into studs.

Baskets for closet storage

Then I cut a piece of 1X12 for the right side support in the height I needed. I attached the shelving with a nail gun from the right side, using a level as I went.

Here are my measurements which are based on the size of the baskets, yours may vary depending on your needs.

How a Girl Built her Closet 13 1

To finish this side off, I added 1X5 the rest of the length of the top, and to the right side and added the top shelf. This holds bins that keep everything from books, to photo albums, to jeans I may or may not be hoping to squeeze back into some day 🙂

How a Girl Built her Closet 2

The other side was built very similarly. I started with the support pieces for the hanging bar and shelf. Here are some basic measurements:

How a Girl Built her Closet 10 1

For the left side supports, I took them to the shoe shelving, again to take advantage of the studs. It doesn’t take away from the finished look. Now that pipe is another story…

How to Build a Closet without Breaking the Bank

For the middle shelf, I added supports the same way, only I used 1X3 s. I added my shelf and then to build the cubbies, I cut two pieces of 1X12 to 12″ to act as dividers. They also support the top shelf along with side wall supports. I secured them with a nail gun through the top shelf.

How a Girl Built her Closet 3 1

The shelf and hanging bar appear to be sagging a bit, but it’s just the picture. As you can see the shelf appears to be leaning forward as well, but it’s not. This is a good time to tell you though that if you have a wall that’s any larger than this, you probably want to add shelf brackets in the center for additional support.

Where do you hang your maxi dresses?

I get this question a lot. I made the right side long enough to accommodate my shorter sundresses, but I only have a handful of longer dresses. It just didn’t make sense to me for my space to create an entire area dedicated to them. I hang them on my regular velvet hangers but use these clips to fold them up at the bottom. It’s a solution that works for me. If you have a lot of longer dresses, you may want to include an area for them.

Where did you buy your baskets?

I found these at Michaels for 50% off. Their styles change with the season, but they always have a nice selection. Be careful they’re not made from banana leaves. The first ones I bought were and there’s a bit of an earthy odor to them. Unless of course you like your underwear to smell earthy!

Here are some that are perfect (prettier than mine) that I found on Amazon, click on the photo to see more…
I use them to house my undergarments and belts and such:

Bins for the closet

Ok so there you have it. This is how I built my closet.

Let’s take another look back so you can really appreciate this makeover…

Closet Before and After

The before was so lovely.

Closet Before and After


Closet Before and After

It came a long way! And I think I managed to use every possible square inch. 🙂

Master Closet Makeover by Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer


Master Closet makeover by Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

Want to know what happened to my Hubby’s clothes?

Find out what happened to my Hubby’s clothes here:


Master Closet Makeover Part 2

And you won’t want to miss my 10 Tips to a Better Closet. You can put these to work today!

10 Tips to a Better Closet

10 Tips to a Better Closet

If you have any other questions about my closet, feel free to leave me a comment. This isn’t a huge dream closet, but it is a “real” closet and it is completely do-able!…and it was built by a girl 🙂

Inspired? Pin this image for later! How to build out a closet using every available inch and without spending a fortune!

I hope you enjoyed this post from the past. My closet really does stay so organized… if only I could say that about the rest of my house! 😉





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  1. Your closet is just so awesome. I wish I had that boot storage opposed to mine being all over the floor!

  2. It’s the perfect closet!! Want to come do mine? LoL Just kidding, I just moved so if you saw my closet at the moment you’d probably start to cry! But thanks to you, once I get the rest of the house set up and appearing to be liveable, I can come back here and get all kinds of ideas to make mine look great too! 🙂 Enjoy all that beauty!

  3. Donna Nance says:

    Love your closet! Well done!

  4. Your closet is fabulous. Unfortunately, I don’t possess your wood working skills so I could never build this myself. Great job, as always.

    • Aww thanks, Maggie! It took me a while to get comfy with the tools, but it sure makes projects easier when I don’t have to wait on my Hubby to cut things for me…he’s a slowpoke anyway. 🙂

  5. No way! Those two posts and your landscaping ones are what introduced me to your amazingness! : ) I was completely awed that the same person was doing all these things, and that we seemed to be sharing a to-do list, haha! I’ve only been more impressed as time goes by. You are an amazing person. (…and super sweet, to share all your hard-learned lessons with us.)

    • Oh Becky I wish I could hug you! Just imagine me giving you a big ole bear hug! Thanks so much for following along with my adventures here and for cheering me on, I truly appreciate it and that is what makes me want to keep creating!! XOXO

  6. Good job!!! Do you not have a dresser in your bedroom? If you do…why do you put the bras & panties in the closet…using “precious” closet room? I have 3 dressers (big room) and a smaller closet….so I try to put as much as possible in drawers.

    • Thanks, Addie! I do have a dresser, but that’s where I keep my scrubs (3 drawers full), my jammies and my jewelry. I do like having everything I need to get dressed all together since my closet is right next to the bathroom though. 🙂

  7. There is no doubt you did a fantastic job on the make over! I should be so lucky. But, I have to mention, girl, you have some kind of clothes and footwear! NOW, I should be so lucky. lol!

    • Ha ha thanks, Linda! Shoes aren’t something I buy often at all, but I just can’t seem to let any of them go. As for my clothes, you can blame that on my Mom…she passes things down to me on a regular basis. I really need to purge and donate!! 🙂

  8. Two questions: Did you redo the ceiling? Can’t quite see what it looked like in the “before”. And, what happened to the white pipe in the center of the end wall? Is it behind your shoe storage?

    Beautiful job!! I’m SOOOOOOOOOOO jealous!!!!

    • Thank you, Linda! I did redo the ceiling by adding bead board, and that white pipe was left from something that had since been replaced (I don’t recall what) and was no longer needed luckily! XO

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