Introduction: Iron Pipe Shoe Rack

Picture of Iron Pipe Shoe Rack

First project at the new house completed!

Step 1: Empty Space!

Picture of Empty Space!

Lot's of open space under the staircase?
Time to get busy!

Step 2: Dimensions & Layout

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The first step was to measure the closet space: each wall length and angles.
Next I found it helpful to outline a layout with masking tape to help visualize the final product.

Step 3:

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All connectors/pipes/flanges are available @ Lowe's.  Black iron pieces are cheaper than galvanized ones, but you will need to clean them of oil to prep for paint (household vinegar works well).

Step 4: Spray Paint Time!

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2 coats for each part was plenty.

Step 5: I Can't Control My OCD

Picture of I Can't Control My OCD

Sort of like lego pieces, no?

Step 6: Shelves

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Pre-cut, 1x8x8 pine.
Sanded to get rid of any imperfections.
2 coats of wood stain, brushed on.
2 coats of satin top coat, sprayed on.

Step 7: Assembly & Installation

Picture of Assembly & Installation

Yep, everything fits.

Step 8: Done and Done

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Shoes live here...


warrenaz (author)2017-10-25

What a nice project. Can you take close up pictures of the flanges please? Or maybe just provide me with the part numbers. I am doing something similar but for books.

WhiskeyWafflez (author)2017-04-04

What is the length of the nipples you used? (Main upright supports and bottom of shelf supports)

Um, I don't recall, sorry. They varied in length, I don't see any reason to use a specific length - just whatever makes sense based on your measurements during planning. Just remember that they don't screw all the way in, usually, so plan for having some of the threads showing and account for the length based on how much of the pipe will screw into your fittings. Good luck!

NSP35 (author)2016-01-09

What color spray paint is that? I'm making a lamp out of black steel and this is the color I want!

alextardif (author)NSP352016-01-09


NSP35 (author)2016-01-09

What color spray paint is that? I'm making a lamp out of black steel and this is the color I want!

NSP35 (author)2016-01-09

What color spray paint is that? I'm making a lamp out of black steel and this is the color I want!

BenjaminF1 (author)2015-07-01

Great project, and great choice on two tone paint. But, no, nothing like Legos :)

moonchylde (author)2013-08-11

Love this! Of course, I only own one pair of shoes, so I'd use it for books.

alextardif (author)moonchylde2013-08-13

Yup, my original thought was to do something like this for my home office shelves, I wanted to practice the idea with the closet (so if it turned out hideous I could just close the closet door and no one wold ever find out!) so I might come back with something similar for the books shelves down the road.

isychia (author)alextardif2015-06-17

If you end up doing this for books could you post a pic of it's awesomeness? I'll be looking into bookshelves in the future so I'd love to see a finished product!

NorEaster (author)2015-04-29

Lining it all out with the tape first…… Thank You. My new first step to every build!

raine.arzola (author)2015-04-12

Did you screw in the base pieces into the floor?

alextardif (author)raine.arzola2015-04-12

Nope, the top section of each leg that sits on the floor is screwed into the wall so it's more than sufficient to hold things in place and gravity takes care of the rest. No need to screw anything to the floor.

lukasz.siewior (author)2015-01-31

Hold on... Are you telling me that you gave up space for Pinarello for shoe rack???!!!! :-)

meistre (author)2015-01-24

is that 1 inch pipe?

alextardif (author)meistre2015-01-25


TerriR1 (author)2014-12-21

do you have a cost estimate for this?

alextardif (author)TerriR12014-12-22

I don't recall anymore, but... not cheap. I'd guess about $175, at least? You can probably do under $150 if you use small diameter pipes/connectors that would be more than strong enough, just wouldn't look as industrial. Good luck!

Tex Arcana (author)2014-03-04

@l0wr35: try a plumbing supply. the piping is iron gas pipe, and the flanges are made to attach piping to walls (usually for hanging pipe with hangers, but you get the idea).

l0wr35 (author)2013-10-23

Brilliant idea i'd love to borrow. I'm in the UK and can find nothing like the pipework you bought from Lowes. Any ideas?

frecuency (author)2013-09-04

omg yes

Picturerazzi (author)2013-08-21

Amazing! Awesome! Incredible!

Android And (author)2013-08-19


tpumphrey (author)2013-08-18

Also, what brand and type of pipe did you use? I just want to make sure i do it right from the beginning.

alextardif (author)tpumphrey2013-08-18

No idea on the brand, but these are industry standard black iron pipes that you can get at either Home Depot or Lowes. Keep in mind, these things aren't cheap, so do some # crunching before committing.!

ferdiveo (author)2013-08-13

what model is your camera?, I loved your pics!

alextardif (author)ferdiveo2013-08-17

Thanks, camera is Sony A77 with the 16-50 kit lens. Nothing too fancy.

tpumphrey (author)2013-08-17

what diameter of pipe did you use for the project?

alextardif (author)tpumphrey2013-08-17

Hey there, everything was 1". I'm sure 3/4" or even 1/2" would work just fine.

flyingpuppy (author)2013-08-15

That's a beautiful piece of functional art!

fzumrk (author)2013-08-15

Those turned out great. It looks like the painted pipe fittings make a pretty convincing faux bronze. I'm sure real bronze fittings would be super expensive.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-08-14

I love this shelf and all of your pictures are just so awesome!

Eh Lie Us! (author)2013-08-14

Great use of space. Heck you still have quite a bit left over! Hate to know how much the pipe fittings cost. Yikes!

midsummermuse (author)2013-08-13

These are some incredible shelves!! I don't have many fancy heels, but I'd still love a set of these shelves and fill them up...

prosend (author)2013-08-13

Nice. Very Steampunk.

Kiteman (author)2013-08-10

Very nice project, but I'm at a loss to understand how anybody could need so many shoes...

alextardif (author)Kiteman2013-08-13

Ha! That's actually about half of the shoes we have.

Kiteman (author)alextardif2013-08-13

Gosh, I thought I was being excessive with seven pairs!

AJMansfield (author)Kiteman2013-08-11

Well, I have 5 pairs of shoes: One pair of heavy work boots, one pair of regular tennis shoes, one pair of dress shoes (wear with my tux), one pair of old shoes for doing things in that would otherwise ruin the pair (like painting a ceiling or mucking around in a puddle of mud), and a rather weird pair of shoes I made for a project in my materials science class.

snotty (author)Kiteman2013-08-11

Some people have an entire room just to store their guns. Some have shoes. And then there's the Flight of the Conchords use of women's shoes:

danzo321 (author)2013-08-13

very cool, but inefficient use of $$ black iron.. I'd like to see how little pipe & fittings I could get away with to support very light shoes. Like if shelves fit through upright pipes..

alextardif (author)danzo3212013-08-13

Valid point, the cost was higher than I originally planned, and probably not practical for everyone, but was really a non-issue since I was more concerned about the form as much as function :)

DustySeven7 (author)2013-08-13

I hope you checked for studs before screwing in or used drywall anchors

alextardif (author)DustySeven72013-08-13

Good point. This was a non-issue as directly behind the drywall there is a flat 1" wood board that served as a solid anchor. The screws I used were 2" heavy duty ones.

FWACATA (author)2013-08-13

This is awesome, but i see this doing great beyond shoes! For retail display it's a smart move too.

cblue (author)2013-08-13

Very nice! Seems a shame to hide it in a closet!

Carleyy (author)2013-08-13

This is SO amazing!!!

Spyridoula Nemesis (author)2013-08-13

If I hadn't already made a shoe closet, I'd be all over this idea (also, our house is only one story). I think I would use the space on the other side of the wall for accessory storage! (Scarves, hats, maybe a few shelves and hooks for jewelry.) :)

foobear (author)2013-08-13

Most beautifully done instructable I've seen in a while! I'm gonna be doing this fo sho

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