I shoulda blogged about this a long time ago. It’s one of those things that just got pushed to the back burner. But I don’t want to forget the little things about the old house…and this little thing was one that needed to come off the back burner before it got charred into oblivion (like the rest of my cooking).
Introducing our former basement closet. We made it extra big because we knew that bedrooms need storage and basements need storage and Bowers need storage. Hence…we built it a little bigger than the norm for the storage space…but as you can see, we lacked actual storage surface area. With no spots to put stuff, we simply slipped things into our filing chest or put them on the floor. Finally we said enough is enough…let’s build some cheap shelves.
So the first thing we did was empty out the space and then run to Lowe’s for some MDF. MDF is uber cheap (under $5 for a big piece) and great for projects like these. And if you are cool you can call it PDF…like me….just don’t go to a Lowe’s worker and ask them where the PDF is…they will give you a look like you are crazier than Charlie Sheen.
For all of the shelves, we paid under $20…which is wicked cheap compared to wire shelving which would have cost well over $100 for all seven shelves.
We simply measured the width and cut the shelves accordingly. We also cut the extra so that we could create supports…I think that this is pretty self explanatory. Afterall, the pictures speak a thousand words, right?
It’s kinda important to make sure that shelf supports are drilled directly into studs…so make sure that at least one of the screws is in one. For our situation, the shelves were only 11 inches deep – making it impossible to hit two studs…so we used Wall Dogs. They are our favorite drywall anchor. If you plan on hanging anything in the near future and can’t find a stud or want your item in a studless spot…this is your screw. And no – the Wall Dog peeps don’t know who we are or care about the Bowers…they wouldn’t show up at a house-warming party even for the free food.
After our shelves were in, it was time to paint. When it comes to painting PDF, (ahem, MDF) it is really important to have a little thing called patience.
PDF is highly absorbant. This makes it a little frustrating to paint because it practically sucks up anything you put on it immediately after applying it…making it seem like your work was a ridiculous waste of time. Do not fret. Or throw things. Or cuss like a drunken sailor…these actions apparently do not do anything except make you want to throw things at the dent you made in the wall from throwing things. It will take two coats of primer and at least three coats of paint…but in the end, you will have painted PDF.
And those painted shelves will hold everything and anything crucial to survival…like several gift boxes, photo albums and boxes filled with bits of ribbon that you pull off from tags on new clothes and rubberbands that come on your newspapers. Collecting stuff is a curse and I blame my mother. Love ya Ma.
The other side had extra deep shelves – we just doubled the shelves to fit the space. And it turned into the perfect spot for sewing and gift bags. Why I have so many gift bags, I have no idea. But gollygee I will be ready if all my friends have babies, birthdays and weddings. Seeing as how most of my friends are already married – that last one could pose a problem.
So there you have it – the skinny on my Master Craft closet.
Nothing too fancy or expensive but it did the job. Now my craft stuff is slung across the house…in the dining room, in the garage, in random drawers in random rooms. It’s total chaos here at the Bower abode…maybe tomorrow I’ll take some photos to show ya what we’ve been up to. Let me tell ya, it’s about as exciting as a root canal. Although there is one thing that really gets my motor running – pun totally intended. But until I find the spare minute to do all that, tell me, what crafts have you been up to lately? Any links you love and want to share? Because there ain’t nothin that I love more when the mess is a tornado in my home than to do something meaningless but oh-so-pretty.
Cait @ Hernando House says
I really need to do something like this in my master bedroom closet. It only has one metal shelf, which is doubling as a bar but is way too high, so it doesn’t do either well. mostly everything just gets piled on the floor. Ooops.
I’m drooling with envy
I’m so glad you posted this even if it no longer contains Bower belongings. I inherited to empty closets that are begging for some shelving and storage. Did you prime/paint the shelves? Is MDF splinter-y?
No it’s not splintery at all…it is compressed particles into a board so it chips. And we did prime the shelves with two coats and then painted them until they looked like white planks 🙂
xo – kb
Hi Katie I love your blog and those shelves are awesome. I was just wondering, though, isn’t that product Particle Board (chipboard)? MDF is usually quite smooth. I’m in Canada and perhaps we have different names for engineered wood products? Great post on creating shelving, which let’s face it, everyone needs more of… all the stuff we store!!
Erin @ Domestic Adventure says
Thank you for sharing this, Katie! I have three bare closets that we just added to our upstairs that need shelving and I was dreading having to go the wire shelf route. This just might be my answer!
Relevant Notes says
Such a pretty closet! I love having so much space to organize.
By the way, I’m loving the blog’s new design! 🙂
candace @ thecandace.com says
Nice job – the perfect inspiration for an organization project! I do not like the wire shelves (I have them in my master closet), they bow and put a pattern in any linens or soft storage, which is annoying. It looks great – thanks for sharing this!
Lori and Ethne at wom-moms.com says
Hi Katie: great, affordable storage idea!
I actually posted a craft today on my blog. Check it out….a tutorial on adding a neck tie to a plain shirt. My Mur-Man looks super cute in it and your Will would look great too! I made this particular tie for St. Patrick’s Day!
Krysta @ Domestic for Dummies says
The closet looks great! Can’t wait to see how the new home is coming along. As far as any crafts I have been doing lately, I redid a couple of very old chairs and a mirror. Here are the links since you have nothing better to do 😉
Love the shelves! I’m like you too and keep every gift bag and whatnot…they reside in a tote under the bed though. I wish I had a giant closet like this to house it all in. 🙂 Great job!
Lyndsay @ Mr. & Mrs. says
my pantry is in need of a makeover for its shelving and i think this would be a great (and inexpensive) idea!
Perfect timing! I was just about to lose my mind trying to figure out how to organize our master bedroom closet. I don’t understand who thought it would be a good idea to have shelves going all around the very top of the closet. I guess whoever did it only needed about six inches of storage space and were 7 ft tall?
Love your shelves in your closet! I’m thinking of doing something like that in my Master closet as I just moved into a new home and need something for shoes!
As for crafts, I’ve been revamping pictures frames lately to update my decor. Yesterday I made two moss wreaths to hang on the front of two pictures frames. Pics are on my blog at http://www.craftiliciousness.blogspot.com
Thanks for sharing all your stories and ideas and daily life things! 🙂
Impeccable timing! I’m going to be doing a similar project in my pantry and the painting tips are so helpful. Thank you!!!
Really great job Katie!
Gillian @ Letters to Liney says
I just discovered how freakishly absorbent p/mdf was this past weekend when I tried to paint the unfinished edge of my above desk shelving. Love how you really utilized that closet space! The faux built-ins are definitely an upgrade.
Ooooh…seeing all that craft stuff so neatly organized makes my heart all fluttery!
sarah ray says
your closet looks guh-reat. your whole blog is great. i am such a fan. will couldn’t be cuter. keep the posts coming!
I love it! I recently turned our guest room into my sewing/craft room. It is not pretty yet, but it is on the way there. I have recently started making pillows and I am addicted!
Great project. Looks like you used Particle Board though, not MDF. Similar products, but MDF is more dense (heavier), costs a little more, is a darker color and paints cleaner/smoother than particle board. MDF is very fine particle waste wood products, much more like layers of paper than wood. Particleboard comes from very coarse sawdust mixed with special glues. Both are HIGHLY absorbant and require multiple coats of paint to really seal. One thing to watch for with both materials is bowing of the shelves with the weight of books/items. One trick to add more stucture to the shelf and make it look more expensive than it is, would be to buy inexpensive pine 1×2 or 1×3 and glue and nail it to the front side of the shelf so that you see the width of the board. This will make the shelves look ‘chunkier’ and more substantial, also, the grain of the real wood will add structural support to the MDF or particle board and prevent too much deflection (bowing) due to weight. We’ve done built-ins with using MDF and 1×2’s and they work great!
I thought it was particle board too…but the sign at Lowes said MDF. And I don’t argue with Lowes.
xo – kb
I’m currently obsessing about building an upholstered bed for our master this summer. Check out this beautiful one at Ana White:
Who knew that with patience, time and some elbow grease you could save hundreds compared to buying one!?
Thanks for the post! I’m looking to redo my linen closet and this is a great alternative to spending lots of moolah at The Container Store!
Cait @ Hernando House says
That sounds about like whoever put the shelves in my master’s closet!
Maggie @ Cheneyhome says
Looks great, and you’re right – can’t beat that price for functional storage!
Beth in Utah says
Love the shelves! So much storage.
My question is about the Wall Dogs…they look amazing. (I hate using those plastic anchors!)
Are they available at major retailers (Home Depot, Lowes, etc) or only available through sales
Thanks for your time,
I love these shelves!! Definitely something I need to organize all my crafty goodness – especially things for my Silhouette machine (totally love that thing!! 🙂
Oh yes they are available at most major retailers…
xo – kb
Eeeeeee I love a good closet makeover. And storage. Makes me feel giddy! Maybe it’s because my apartment majorly LACKS storage! 😉
I actually did a post yesterday on crafts/projects I want to do. http://mustaddfabricsoftener.blogspot.com/2011/03/things-i-want-to-make.html if you want to check it out.
You guys did an awesome job on the shelves. Our storage space needs a huge overhaul so I might steal your idea. I’ve never worked with MDF before; from the sound of it I’d want to spring for the preprimed if they have it.
I was also thinking that’s not MDF. MDF is often used for [cheap] furniture. It’s very smooth, takes paint very well for a nice finish. I have a sheet in the garage.
ok, had to comment! i used “PDF” and foam to make a headboard and was telling a friend all about it…so after going on and on about how easy and totally DIY it was, she asked…what is PDF??? i’m a graphic designer so PDF/JPEG/PNG is my second language! and how could i forget “apple z” (also known as edit undo)?!?! i sooooooo wish i could apple z the armoire that i started glazing in the garage that is not looking anything like i wanted it to!!!!!!! 🙂 love your blog, by the way!!!
So glad I’m not the only one who collects bits of ribbon and the rubber bands from my produce.
Courtney @ reckless-glamour.com says
Awesomeness! Total perfect timing for this post. I am turning a closet into a hidden desk and have been thinking of how to build the shelves & desk…I’m totally going to do this, easy & cheap (like me!) ha ha just kidding!
Off to get some PDF! You rock Katie!
Courtney @ reckless-glamour.com says
I forgot to ask did you screw the actual shelf piece to the supports?
We didn’t because we figured that we could remove the shelves if we needed to store something extra tall!
xo – kb
These look amazing! How do you think they would hold up in a kitchen as an open shelving concept?
I wouldn’t use them for that unless you used some decorative trim around the edges and used supports that were better looking… but just as the shelves themselves – sure why not?!
xo – kb
Hi Katie ! Just discovered your blog through the great Young House Love, and I’m happy I got here just in time so I can follow your progress in that GORGEOUS new house of yours !
But I have to say, I had the same thought about the material you actually used in that project. This is absolutely particle board. MDF, just as Paula said, is way smoother. You don’t see the particles at all. HDF (High Density Fiber) is even smoother and stronger and almost looks like laminate. So MDF is supposed to stand in between… But anyways, this is a great project, everyone needs storage ! Always ! More ! 😉
Where did you buy those white storing boxes from? Looks very cute.
Some of them are from Ikea and some are from Walmart 🙂
xo – kb
You guys need to tell those Lowe’s people this…they obviously are misinformed 🙂
xo – kb
Cecily T says
Great job! I’m in the middle of a huge painting job…a full-wall built-in that we are doing in the kiddos’ playroom. We are using oil-based paint b/c, well, my dad told me to. It’s a mess, and it’s smelly, and hard to clean up, but he said anything that gets a beating like a shelf needs the oil-based, that latex will rip right off…sooo, did you use latex or oil on these shelves? I have had trouble with a bookcase that I painted with latex: the books ‘stick’ to the paint a little bit; and I think the oil-based prevents that. It was hard to find the oil-based, and it cost a pretty penny, too!
We are actually creating a pantry and we are kinda unsure about what or how to approach the shelves, how sturdy would you say they are because that looks AMAZING!
Would these “PDF” (lol) be strong enough to be made into shelves for a kitchen pantry?
Yes! I think that if you make sure they are well supported and into studs!
xo – kb