Closet shoe shelf

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Many decades back I made a closet shoe shelf for my wife's shoes. I had some E. red cedar with no specific project, so I used that. It got a lot of shoes off the closet floor, at least for a while. Dimensions are 25" high, and about 25" wide so its perfect for a project that uses up shorts of stock suitable for drawer sides and such. I used the KV 255/256 shelf track because it adjusts every 1/2".
Recently I came across some rather good plywood that had been laminated both sides so I used some of that for a closet shoe shelf for my son's household. When I delivered it, both he and his wife loved it plus it seems suitable for their toddler daughter's many shoes.
Its one of those rather easy but un-elegant projects that offers high daily utility but has low visibility (read: if you do a quick crappy job, no one will notice).

1   shoeshelf - 1.jpg
The original made decades ago from Eastern red cedar cut offs.

1   shoeshelf - 2.jpg
Latest version made from laminated plywood. Five pocket screws per joint on the top and bottom shelves makes for a sturdy carcass. The back is 1/4" birch.

1   shoeshelf - 3.jpg
Last edited:


Senior User

This gives me ideas. I need to grab some of that shelf track and start making my own shoe racks. GF has a "few" pair of shoes that I'd like to see more organized.

Thanks for posting.


Board of Directors, Vice President
Staff member
Corporate Member
Nice I might a bigger version but I will add a sign to the top "Imelda's closet" .... :D

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Imelda's shoe collection was pretty much made up of new shoes. I suspect these shoe shelves will be storage shelves for worn out shoes that should have been replaced but still had the potential of being useful for gardening or other such tasks. The shelf is one of those workarounds for a problem that will never be solved a little more livable.

I'm making two more of them right now.
  • Like
Reactions: Oka

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
I decided to sort of cheat like I've seen in children's furniture and some other plywood panel furniture. While the plywood wasn't Baltic birch, the inner plies were solid and closer than a lot of plywood these days. I took a 3/4" round over bit and moved it up in the base so it would cut a slight arc. I did this on both sides of the plywood so it gave a round-ish edge. Sanding the edge eliminated the flat where the bearing had to ride. I sprayed the edges with lacquer to give it a sheen.

If the inner plies has been lousy, I would have had to use white iron-on edgebanding that would have resulted in an 'Ikea' look, something I'm glad I didn't have to do. I used five pocket screws per joint to join the carcass and that rankles my sensibilities enough even though it made a very rigid assembly.

I've used this router method before on solid wood edgebanded panels covered with laminate. Below is a child's table top I did but in this case I used a 1" round over bit.

1   shoeshelf edge - 1.jpg

1   shoeshelf edge - 2.jpg

1   shoeshelf edge - 3.jpg

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Since I'm making a couple more, here's some shots of the edge treatment. I sprayed the edges with a touch-up gun so as to minimize overspray.
I'll cut the shelves and top and bottom shelf later. If this were regular plywood, I'd edgeband with matching species. That would be faster.

1   shoeshelf edge II - 1.jpg
The stack. I put a sheet over the table saw and the parts on a lazy Susan rig because other places in the shop had other projects.

1   shoeshelf edge II - 2.jpg
Close up of the edges. The rounded edged parts are the sides that have sort of a rounded over corner in the front.


Senior User
Thanks for sharing. Your 'un-elegant' project with your techniques has the elegance of simplicity.

Our Sponsors