Dwell Made Presents: DIY Shoe Shelf With a Macramé Curtain

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By Jamie Guan
Build a simple, trendy shoe shelf to help declutter your closet with this easy-to-follow video and guide.

In this episode of Dwell Made, Jamie Guan of HomeMade Modern makes a vertical shoe shelf out of plywood. The shelf is paired with a macramé curtain.

Key Products

¾" Sande Plywood

Minwax Polycrylic

Macramé Rope

Step 1: Cut Plywood For Side Panels

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I used my circular saw to rip two sheets of plywood at 21 inches by 15 inches.

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Step 2: Cut Plywood For Shelves

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The top and bottom sheet of plywood measure at 15 inches by 12 inches. The rest of the shelves are cut at 13.5 inches by 12 inches. I made the last section longer to store boots, but you can change that depending on what type of shoes you will be storing.

Step 3: Cut Plywood For Supports and Feet

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For the back supports, I cut six pieces of plywood at 13 and 7/8 inches by 3 inches. The feet are cut from a 2" strip of plywood. 

Step 4: Sand Plywood

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I sanded the pieces of plywood with 220" grit using an orbital sander. I did not round the corners or edges much because I need the edges to be straight for assembly.

Step 5: Drill Hole For Dowel

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I positioned where I wanted my dowel to sit and drilled through both sheets of plywood (side panels) using a 5/8" forstner bit.

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Step 6: Assemble and Glue Up Shoe Shelf

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I lay down some bricks on a table and placed one of the side panels down, making sure the hole was facing towards me.

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I used a speed square to keep each shelf straight and 9-inch two-by-fours as spacers between each shelf. 

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I made sure to glue the larger shelves on the top and bottom. The shorter shelves are inset 1.5 inches from the front edge. 

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Once the shelves dried on the first side panel, I placed it on top of the other side panel and glued them together.

Lastly, I placed in the bottom piece of plywood and clamped the entire shoe shelf to dry.

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Note: Sand inside shelves before gluing on the second side panel.

Step 7: Screw Supports to Back

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I positioned each support and screwed them in place. I made sure to pre-drill to prevent the wood from splitting.

Step 8: Glue and Screw On Feet

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I flipped the entire shoe shelf over and attached the feet.

Note: A smarter way to go about attaching the feet would be to glue and screw them onto the bottom sheet of plywood first, and then attaching that to the main shoe shelf.

Step 9: Cut and Glue In Dowel

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I used a chop saw to cut the dowel to length and then pushed the dowel in place with a dab of glue. 

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I cut the dowel a little bit longer and went back to sand it flush to the plywood after the glue cured.

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Step 10: Apply Finish to Shoe Shelf

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I lay down some towels to protect the surface of the plywood and then applied two coats of polycrylic to seal it.

Step 11: Macrame Curtain

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I measured each strand of rope by first folding it in half and matching the length of the shoe shelf. I took that measurement and matched it six times. If you are going to do more knots, more rope will be needed. For me, six was a little much, but it is always better to have more rope rather than not enough. 

Tip: When you are knotting, leave some negative space in the macramé. It makes the curtain look not as heavy, and the overall design will flow better.

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