Introduction: How To: Build Your Own Inexpensive Closet Doors!
I'm very picky when it comes to closet doors, I don't really like any of the options out there. First you have the rolling closet doors that, always, cover half the closet half the time and are a bit of a nightmare to install, nope, hate em. Then you have the old fashioned kind of closet doors where its basically just two interior days side by side that open out, I like this idea but they're usually really heavy. Bi-fold closet doors are probably my favorite kind (if I had the choice) but they're also rather a pain to install and complicated to make. What all closet doors have in common is that they are all VERY expensive. I priced out bi-fold closet doors for this whole house a few months ago and it was just shy of $1,000! And that wasn't even the real wood ones but the fake "wood looking" closet doors and that's just outrageous to me, there is no way in heck I was going to pay that kind of money for closet doors. (When I mentioned it to Joe I believe his answer was "Why do we even need closet doors?" And, at that ridiculous price, the man had a point!) What I really don't like about closet doors is just how substantial the doors are usually... It just seems odd to me. Will I be hiding in my closet someday and the strength of those doors the only thing that will save me from the zombie hoards? I really doubt it. It just seemed to me like there needed to be some kind of alternative, something that was light and so easy to use it never seemed to be in the way. SO (as you might imagine) I got to work!
Step 1: Take Your Measurements and Get to Cutting!
First I sent Joe to the lumber yard to get me some 2x2s. They came tied together (very tightly) so we brought them in to warm up and acclimate while still bundled together. (It is winter here and 2x2s are notorious for twisting and warping.) Then, I took my measurements. Take note: whenever you're measuring for doors, give them some breathing room to swing about. Make sure you don't build them so tall that they will ever catch on the floor etc. I took my measurements and my bundles of 2x2s to the garage and got to cutting. I built two sets of doors at once, one set for our entry/coat/shoe closet and one set for our laundry room closet.
Step 2: Lay Out on a Flat Surface and Assemble.
From there I laid them out on my flat garage floor and used it to help me keep the boards as level and straight as possible. Note: 2x2s WILL SPLIT! You must pre-drill all of your holes and yes this does double the amount of time but you have no choice. I designed them so the all four of the center slats would go inside of the two vertical slats. Remember when you measure the width of these four horizontal slats that you must account for the width of the 2x2s on either side of them.
Step 3: Hang and Then Paint!
I decided to hang the doors immediately after assembly and before paint. No, I would not of done this normally but it is VERY winter here so I had to paint them inside regardless so, it was just easier to hang them and then paint them hanging. I just taped off the hinges. With the two coats of white paint dry I grabbed my stapler and started to hang the fabric. (I purchased two curtain sheers from amazon for only $6!) Now you can use absolutely any fabric you want here, you could even just tack plywood to the back of your frame too and paint it all any color you would like, or chicken wire for a country look, or screen for a screen door look! The options here are just limitless and I love that if I get sick of these sheers I can just rip them off and replace them with something new!
Step 4: Choose Your Fabric and Staple It on the Back Side of the Doors.
I chose to use curtains/fabric because it keeps the doors incredibly light and easy to handle. To get them as even as possible I put one staple in either side and then found the center and stapled that and then found the center and stapled that and then did that again and again and again and again and again and again until the top was done and then I did the same across the bottom before cutting off the excess. I also added a couple of staples down the sides just to help keep it all in place. (Yes, I definitely should have ironed these curtains before using them... but I don't actually own an iron...)
Step 5: Finished!
We are SO happy with our new closet doors! I added the hardware that I use everywherewhich I had to actually counter sink so the screws would be long enough. Most hardware you buy will not come with screws that are long enough for 2x2s, just get a larger drill bit (at least as large as the head of the screw) and drill in up to an inch so the screw can go farther into the wood. I also added a stop board across the top of the doors so they have something to land against when they close. And there you have it guys! It didn't take me very long, just a couple of hours after work over a couple of days and we finally have closet doors!