Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your shoes on and off nice and easy? Sitting down and right by your front door? If the answer is yes, make sure not to miss this easy DIY step-by-step guide on how to make a pallet shoe rack.
Pallets are extremely versatile, and you can turn them into all kinds of furniture. A good example is this shoe rack which includes a storage area with different levels, as well as drawers to keep your shoe cleaning products and accessories at hand. In this tutorial you will learn how to make the whole thing with nothing but pallets.
Tools and materials for your pallet shoe rack
You will need the following tools and materials to build the perfect shoe rack:
- Reciprocating saw
- Reciprocating saw blade for wood and metal
- Orbital sander
- Electric planer
- Mitre saw
- Drill/cordless screwdriver
- Various pallets
- 2 MDF boards measuring 380 x 380 x 3 mm
- Screws and coach screws
- Furniture handles
- Tinted varnish
Cost, time and difficulty
The level of difficulty of this DIY project is medium, as it requires some experience in the use of cutting tools and in assembling furniture.
The approximate cost of all materials is less than £35. Since you need a good amount of pallet slats, the total money spent will depend on whether you can find free pallets around, or you need to buy them.
The time needed for this shoe rack project will depend on the state of the pallets. For this tutorial we spent a day and a half working on the shoe rack, but keep in mind that most of that time was spent removing nails from the pallet slats, and sanding these down.
STEP 1: DISASSEMBLE THE PALLETS
Before you do anything else, you need to disassemble various pallets. This shoe rack project requires a minimum of 26 slats measuring 1 m long. Pallets can be easily disassembled using a crowbar or with a reciprocating saw. The latter option is the quickest way to disassemble them.
In order to avoid the blade from bending, make sure that you fit one that can cut both wood and metal, as you will come across some nails in the pallets.
STEP 2: PLANE AND SAND THE PALLET SLATS
Pallet timber is usually pretty rough, with imperfections, damp areas, splinters, etc. The best way to achieve a smooth and uniform surface is to level it with an electric planer. Then you can sand the pallet slats with an orbital sander to give them the perfect finish.
Bear in mind that if you use a planer, you need to make sure that you have removed all the nails from the pallet slats in order to avoid damaging the blade.
STEP 3: CUT ALL THE PIECES
In the next step you will need to cut the slats obtained from the disassembled pallets with a mitre saw or a hand saw. These are the pieces required for the shoe rack:
- 5 planks measuring 98 cm long for the seat
- 4 planks measuring 46 cm long for the legs, and 6 planks measuring 35 cm long for the sides
- 8 planks measuring 90 cm long for the lower shelf and the shelf under the drawers
- 2 planks measuring 27 cm long and another one measuring 35 cm long, which will divide the shoe rack vertically
- 4 planks measuring 39 cm long and 2 planks measuring 35 cm long for the shelf on the right side
- 4 planks measuring 38 cm long and another 4 planks measuring 34 cm long for the drawers
STEP 4: ASSEMBLING THE PALLET SHOE RACK
After you have cut all the necessary pieces, you will proceed to assemble the shoe rack. These are the steps to follow:
- Assemble the sides
- Place the lower shelf and the one supporting the drawers
- The interior of the shoe rack will be split into two areas to make better use of the space
- Place a shelf on the right side in order to make more storage space
4.1: LEGS AND SIDES
The shoe rack legs have to be extra strong, and to that end you will join 2 slats measuring 46 cm long in a right angle, for each of the 4 legs. Next, join them in pairs with screws, adding 3 planks measuring 35 cm long on each side. This will build both sides of the shoe rack.
Now you need to join both sides with the two shelves and the seat. One of the shelves will be fixed with screws onto the lowest slat on the sides of the rack, and the other one will be fixed onto the upper slat, but this time, to the bottom edge of the slat. You can see this in detail in the following image.
4.3: DIVIDE THE SPACE
We want to make the best use of the storage space, and so we will split it into two different areas:
- The left side will be have more height in order to fit boots and ankle boots
- The right side will have an extra shelf so you can store both heels and flats.
Now you need to build the piece that will vertically divide the rack and support the middle shelf on the right side of the shoe rack. For this, join with screws 2 planks measuring 27 cm long to the plank measuring 35 cm long, in the shape of an “H”.
Lastly, you will build a shelf to store flat shoes and trainers. Join with screws 4 slats measuring 39 cm long to 2 slats measuring 35 cm long, leaving a small space on each side to support it on the vertical piece in the middle and the right side. Once this shelf is in place, the shoe rack will have three different areas to organise your shoes according to their different heights.
STEP 5: MAKE THE DRAWERS
In the next step we will make the drawers which will come in very handy to store and quickly access all your shoe accessories. These are the steps to follow:
- Nail one of the planks measuring 38 cm long to the end of a plank measuring 36 cm long. Do the same thing on the other end of the plank.
- Nail the back plank to the bottom of the drawer.
STEP 6: VARNISH THE PALLET SHOE RACK
It is important to protect the wood to prevent it from getting too dirty from the shoes, so we will apply a couple of coats of dark oak varnish. We recommend that you varnish the shoe rack before nailing the slats that will make the seat. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for the brush to access certain areas and you won’t be able to varnish them correctly.
STEP 7: THE FINISHING TOUCHES
The last step will be to place the slats that will make the seat and the shell drawer pulls to the varnished drawers. First screw the drawer pulls onto the front plank of the drawers, and then nail the 5 slats to the seat.
Bear in mind that the top slats must be so placed as to overhang the sides of the shoe rack by a couple of centimetres, and the front and back by 1 centimetre.
If you have followed all the steps above, you will now have a handy homemade pallet shoe rack to organise your shoes in your hallway.
You can put it by your front door to sit comfortably when you put on your shoes before leaving the house or take off when you come in. All your shoe accessories will be to hand as well, which makes this shoe rack a very useful addition to your home furniture.
You will be able to have all your shoes and boots perfectly organised in the different areas of the shoe rack.