Instructables
A cheap, easy, and decorative solution to keep shoes organized and off the ground.

This Instructable was inspired by both the original (which was the wrong size) j-me rack and the other two floating racks that have been making the DIY scene recently. (neither of which were really my style).

Note on materials: I use PVC primarily because it's dead simple to work with and white was the color as I aiming for. It would work just as well (maybe better) in copper, brass, stainless or any other style you can get pipes and fittings. Choose the material that best fits your style.

And PVC is a great choice if you want to go cheap. Total cost of materials was $4.89 (including 8.5% tax).

 
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Step 1: Survey the situation

The back story:
The only practical place I have to keep shoes by my front door is a tiny weird place between my door and kitchen cabinets. It can only hold about two pairs of shoes before it overflows and gets into traffic.

Much like the other floating shoe racks here on Instructables I couldn't find premade solutions and I don't have much of a workshop to work with. I really liked the j-me shoe rack but it was completely the wrong size.

Walking through the hardware store on other business I stumbled into the plumbing aisle and became fascinated with the fittings and the idea hit me. It would only cost a couple dollars, it would look nice and work great! As an added bonus it would cost me under $5.00!

First decide how long you want/need your shelf. If you have a wide open floor plan each pair of adult men's shoes takes up about 10 inches. I only had 17 1/2" to work with, but if I went into the molding I could get 20 inches or so. With the open pipe framing of this project, the asymmetry wouldn't be too noticeable so I decided to go for a whole 20 inches.

(I'll note this as we go along, but my photos don't match the written words because one side of my shelf is 3/4" deeper to allow for attachment to the molding.)
rfidler1 year ago
Genius!

I have 5 children all 8 and under and their shoes are crazy. The front entry way is un-passable at times. Thanks for the cheap alternative to making them all wear a single pair... no matter what occasion.
gewthen5 years ago
Does it crunch the shoe from the pressure? If you leave it there a long while will a mark or impression appear on the front of the shoe?
There are sponge tubes( in the plumbing dept. of Lowe's or Home Depot), that are meant for insulating copper pipes. One of these slipped over the pvc might relieve any pressure that would make a mark on the shoes.

Nice 'ible. I'm going to mount a few of these very high in the closet to get off season shoes out of my way.
Grathio (author)  gewthen5 years ago
Normal shoes really should show any squishing. Boots have more weight in the back (which causes more pressure in the front) and might squish a bit if left in there a long time. I wouldn't use it for fine suede or patent leather because of the danger of scuffing. It's also not great for strappy heels, but for everyday shoes it's fine.
Genius, I feel inspired as my shoes are all over the place inspite of the purpose made stairs
Love this idea. I started to work on the wood version also on here. But the amount I would need it would get quite $$$$. This is going to be much cheaper. Thanks!
Obediah5 years ago
Love this shoe rack idea. I recommend a PVC Cutter. About $10 to $12 and it cuts without burrs, and fishes the job in your hands with no vise in about 10 seconds. one downside is the cut is never perfectly straight, which sometimes is important. I also use Acetone instead of sandpaper to get rid of markings, but that just depends if you'd rather have PVC dust or Acetone smell. But to paint you'd need to sandpaper anyway. I love PVC.
Grathio (author)  Obediah5 years ago
You're right, PVC is great stuff to work with. This was my first original project with it and it's certainly not my last. A PVC cutter is a great, specialized tool, but I think it's overkill for this little project. It would easily double the cost of the materials for only minor benefit. Just about any serrated edge will cut PVC well enough for this project. The acetone is a good idea that others have suggested. Having a smooth finish is definitely an advantage since it makes it somewhat easier to keep clean.
pencilwit6 years ago
FABULOUS! Always love a good use of PVC. So good for small spaces, apts, Europe! Thanks!
pete smith6 years ago
great idea ookseer ...ive been looking for something that perhaps my son will actually use ...ill check the garage for the stuff or suitable alternatives first tho ..thanks a lot
If you wish to save a bit of time and/or don't want a matte finish on your PVC pipe, the lettering can be removed with acetone, aka nail polish remover. Some of the newer, "gentle" removers no longer contain acetone, so simply head for the least expensive store brand. A 12 oz bottle just cost me $1.50 and would have enough acetone to do dozens of these projects as well as handle my nail polish removal needs for many months.
Bigdawg7 years ago
I like the others and was considering the wire rack, but this looks like the easiest and cheapest way to accomplish the floating shoe rack. Great idea/improvisation. I'm going to do this one. Thanks for posting!
(removed by author or community request)
Considering that we have a dedicated section of the page called "Related Instructables" there's no reason for comments such as this.
I didn't realize that we do.
Grathio (author)  Weissensteinburg7 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
It was an honest question, not a flame.