We set out to build a closet, one that was safe and would grow with our child.
Okay, so you don’t need the miter saw.. but it helps.
Most everything needed can be pre-cut at the store where you buy your lumber, and/or cut with an inexpensive hand miter box. We started with four pieces of 72” x 18” edge glued pine, a piece of 48”x18” and a piece of 48” x 16” edge glued pine.
Edge glued pine panels are a panel made up of multiple smaller boards, glued together on edge, hence the name. This form of panel can be cheaper than one solid piece of wood in larger widths and, depending on the quality of the joining, can be a very pretty and solid piece. Joined panels, unlike a continuous board, will usually not have knots or large imperfections and will have alternating grain across its surface.
Corner clamps and a flat surface.
With our width selected for our center shelf, we cut sections of one of our 72” boards to length.
The top was set flush with the top of the side panels, while the bottom was raised 2in to form the legs of the kick section.
Pocket holes and glue.
The top and bottom were drilled for pocket holes on the non-visible side ( the top of the top and bottom of the bottom ) and were glued and then clamped in place while the pocket screws were installed.
Prepping for shelves.
A third shelf was cut the same size as the top and bottom and installed with pocket holes and glue centered between the top and bottom shelf. These will be the fixed shelves for support. Note, Make sure the shelves are level and square with the sides.
Next, the shelf was placed upright and the peg holes were drilled for the adjustable shelves. The Holes were drilled using the Kreg Shelf pin guide ( seriously kreg makes some very useful tools )
The guide was started a 2x4 width off the shelf for consistency as we decided anything lower would not be usable for us.
The Shelf holes were drilled front and rear, left and right, for the four corners of the shelving. We stopped drilling the length of the guide from the top, arbitrary but consistent.
A 1X4 was cut to the same width as the shelves and installed below the top and middle fixed shelves as shown. was attached with glue and pocket holes at the top and sides. These braces add triangulation to keep the shelf from trapezoiding and to give a brace to mount to the wall (Important to keep from tipping and load or climbing ).
Finish grade 1x2’s were used as the front trim, forming a lip around the inside and along the bottom the shelves. This step really makes the shelf start to look finished. The boards were attached with glue and 18ga brad nails. The glue is the important part here. Clamps could be used to hold the trim in place until the glue dries, but we like to keep working and the nails allow you to position and hold quickly.
Shelf pins matter.
The shelf pins we chose have a small hole for a screw to go through.
Kids will Climb.
With the shelf in place, A screw can go through the pin and solidly mount the shelf so that it will not accidentally pull out.
Shelves for days.
All of our shelves were made the same dimensions as our fixed shelves. The trim pieces on the shelves are cut to fit inside the side trim pieces. To install and remove shelves they are placed in at an angle and then turned and placed in back to front.
Test fit and Measure.
The shelf was placed in the closet and checked for clearance before anything else was done.
The shelf was centered and marked, then removed so the studs could be located.
We ended up using one stud and then a couple drywall anchors because of the positioning. With the location of the studs and anchors marked on the braces, holes were drilled and long screws installed through the brace and into the wall.
We couldn’t resist.
With the shelf unit mounted, we placed the remaining shelves into position and adjusted things to fit the fabric storage we had chosen.
With the center shelving unit mounted, the distance from the sides to the walls was measured per shelf and then cut to fit. The side shelving was made the same way as the inside shelving and was mounted to 1x2 cleats seen on the sides of the unit and walls.
The top shelves were installed flush with the top to make one shelf across. The top Shelves are additionally the same depth as the center unit.
The middle shelf on the left is 4 inches more shallow than the unit, this was done so that things can easily slide in and out of the closet. The right side was built with only one shelf to accommodate strollers and other tall items.
When mounting the rods, we had to check a few different hangers to make sure they were not too close to the wall. This configuration was designed for what we wanted to store, but to allow adjustment as the child grows. Overall we ended up with plenty of storage for a fraction of what a pre made solution would cost, and with far better building materials.