Introduction: Wooden Wardrobe

Picture of Wooden Wardrobe

After having a look at some wardrobes and seeing the exorbitant prices I decided to have a stab at building one. Custom made, for our room. In this instructable you can see the wood and tools I used, the steps and the outcome.

It ended up costing about £100 GBP (about $150) for sustainably sourced wood and a few drill-bits.
So here's the BOM (Bill of Materials):

flat-sawn red pine

- 8 pieces of 195mm x 19mm x 75mm
- 11 pieces of 175mm x 19mm x 38mm
- 10 pieces of 25mm x 19mm x 38mm
- 4 pieces of 50mm x 25mm x 75mm.

About 30m of 50mm x 19mm x 38mm

Some other stuff you'll need:

* plenty of Screws for wood of different sizes
* panel pins (or small nails)
* some reclaimed wood
* two metal bars (mine were found in the skip and cut to the right size with a hack-saw)
* glue

Step 1: Chop and Measure Some Wood

Picture of Chop and Measure Some Wood

The best option is to have the seller cut the wood for you.
But some of the wood was found so I just I improvised a semi-stable table (remember to wear gloves to prevent any cuts!)

Cutting with a wood saw should feel smooth, with little effort (if you feel like you have to push the saw into the wood then relax your arm and let the saw do the cutting!)

Check every now and then that your pieces are of the right length (accuracy would deteriorate when I compared A to B, then B to C, C to double of D etc ...)

I started assembling it on the floor. Keep an eye on screwing too close to the edges for the thin pieces of wood.

Step 2: Mount the Structure

Picture of Mount the Structure

The pictures are pretty much self-explanatory, but make sure to use the bubble level and some measuring tape to keep everything aligned. So far everything is screwed (and I'm not talking about the global economy).

Step 3: Shelves and Bars

Picture of Shelves and Bars

the shelves are made with the  50mm x 19mm x 38mm pieces, and nailed to the inner railings (as shown in the first picture).
As everybody knows, ice-cream containers were also made to catch saw-dust.
The hole which is visible from the side of the furniture was only drilled half way, and the opposing hole was drilled all the way to allow sliding the bar  through (as shown in the last picture).

Step 4: Glue and Saw-dust

Picture of Glue and Saw-dust

I glued the bars in to give more stiffness (the funny-shape of this bar made me and the file sweat).
the short middle shelves are glued in.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Picture of Finishing Touches

I fixed the top of the wardrobe to the wall with an L-bracket and a screw.
That's it! I hope it helps to you come up with cool open wardrobes (makes it easy to organize and access the clothes)


Naw Soe MyaT (author)2017-07-04

i love this wooden wrdrobe style.

phuc05 (author)2015-07-03

Is it just me or there is something wrong with the measurements.
- 8 pieces of 195mm x 19mm x 75mm (19.5cm x 1.9cm x 7.5cm)
- 11 pieces of 175mm x 19mm x 38mm (17.5cm x 1.9cm x 3.8cm)
- 10 pieces of 25mm x 19mm x 38mm (2.5cm x 1.9cm x 3.8cm)
- 4 pieces of 50mm x 25mm x 75mm (5cm x 2.5cm x 7.5cm)

It should be
- 8 pieces of 1950mm x 19mm x 75mm (195cm x 1.9cm x 7.5cm)

- 11 pieces of 1750mm x 19mm x 38mm (175cm x 1.9cm x 3.8cm)
- 10 pieces of 250mm x 19mm x 38mm (25cm x 1.9cm x 3.8cm)
- 4 pieces of 500mm x 25mm x 75mm (50cm x 2.5cm x 7.5cm)

rgarcia35 made it! (author)2015-05-18

This was really helpful. I created one to fit my needs. This really helped me.

abd hadih (author)2015-03-02

will try

cbg3868 (author)2011-11-13

I only wish that the measurements worked in hardware stores in the USA

static (author)cbg38682011-11-15

This looks like it mostly been built of dimensional lumber common for their area. In the event you aren't familiar with dimensional lumber the chart in this article could help  Your likely to waste lumber,time, and effort trying duplicate this by unit conversions, probably  to  start from snatch designing it to fit your space, and the lumber available to you. Perhaps some need  to bake some very,very,very basic beginner how to articles to place at instructables.

joselynmujica (author)static2014-07-21

I'd really like to try to build this wardrobe but I'm sort of a novice. The whole thing is going to be an adventure and I'd like to start with the right size pieces of lumber. Is converting this or, as you suggest, starting from scratch, something you have done or could easily do? I'd be so grateful if someone could convert this list to something that would work in an American hardware store:

- 8 pieces of 195mm x 19mm x 75mm
- 11 pieces of 175mm x 19mm x 38mm
- 10 pieces of 25mm x 19mm x 38mm
- 4 pieces of 50mm x 25mm x 75mm
- About 30m of 50mm x 19mm x 38mm

Thanks in advance!

8 pieces of 7.6772in X .74803in X 2.9528in

11 pieces of 6.88976in X .74803in X 1.49606in

10 pieces of .984242in X .74803in X 1.49606in

4 pieces of 1.9685in X 9.84252in X 2.95276

about 98.4252ft of 1.9685 X .748031 X 1.49606

This is why i don't like to convert.

JonathanMurray (author)2011-11-10

Surprised no one mentioned not putting two screws in the same place in the grain pattern on that board. Everything else aside, you stressed the same weak point twice in doing that. Offset your screws - combined with pilot holes and countersinking. Otherwise, nice work - and to the ikea suggestion, you don't get custom fit shelving by buying pre-packaged.

Najjar (author)JonathanMurray2015-01-20

u can use a drill to make a hole before screw to avoid the cracks

alphydan (author)JonathanMurray2011-11-16

Good points about cracks ... pre drilling and not getting two screws in the grain ... I learned a bit as I went but fortunately the little crack was hidden in the back :)

nanaof2 (author)2014-08-01

Thank you for the instructions for a great and sturdy build, much better than store bought closet organizers. I look forward to making this as soon as we get bedroom built for our cabin. Looks great.

eneka (author)2013-09-20

thanx 4 the idea. I modify some of ur design to fit my house!!

axiesdad (author)2011-11-11

That is one fine looking wardrobe! Congratulations on a job well done. As for getting something like it from a store, no one ever pointed at something and said "I bought that," with anything like the same pride you will feel when you point at yours and say "I built that." Enjoy your shelves and your accomplishment.

One suggestion for future projects. When you need multiple identical pieces for a project, put some extra care into measuring and cutting the first piece and then mark it as the "master." Then use that piece as a pattern to measure all the rest. That way your dimensions won't "creep."

alphydan (author)axiesdad2011-11-16

good point about the "master" piece. Will keep it in mind for next one. :)

bwaugh (author)2011-11-10

Or... Go to IKEA and for about the same price, buy pre-made shelves almost identical to this and assemble them with a few screws (included in the pack) and be done with it. Sorry to be a 'parade rainer' but for the cost of buying, cutting and assembling the wood bits and 'nailing and more nailing' you could buy pre-made sections and assemble them in half the time and have a similar end product. Not meaning to be harsh, but that looks similar to an already produced product for around the same price.

alphydan (author)bwaugh2011-11-16

hi Bwaugh, you're perfectly right.
you can get something similar in IKEA or ARGOS for a bit cheaper. However, ...
* the measurements were not right (plugs, light switches in the way, etc) and it's quite tall (over 6.5ft)
* I bought sustainably sourced wood (IKEA is not know for that one)
* IKEA has also had some labour exploitation issues, so here I can feel proud of my purchase.

but as other mentioned below, the best part is the satisfaction of having done it myself (as I had never made furniture before).

ampersand2006 (author)bwaugh2011-11-11

Yeah—but, then you lose the sense of satisfaction that comes from designing and producing something from the ground up. AND, IKEA's stuff is known for being made of crap wood that breaks easily.

Actually, IKEA has some nice stuff in pine wood (not pressed boards). Interestingly, the pine stuff is some of their cheapest products. But the issue is not that the stuff isn't well made, it's that it is designed to be shipped in a flat box and assembled by the consumer. So the joinery ends up being weak. Looks good when the furniture is stationary, but you gotta be careful when you move it because the corners don't have any strength. That's where DIY furniture has the advantage.

That, and IKEA's been nailed (no pun intended) in the past for using pine from illegally-logged forests in Siberia and Eastern Europe. Ethical sourcing is not something they're good at.

actionjksn (author)bwaugh2011-11-12

I do remodeling for a living and I had one customer buy some Ikea cabinets for me to install, I have done cabinets from the lowest range to the really high end stuff, I will tell you right now Ikea cabinets were the worst quality I have ever had the displeasure of working with. They put bottles of wine in one of the upper cabinets and it started sagging. That stuff is a bunch of Junk with a capital J. I didn't have the heart to tell them while I was installing it, they bought the worst crap I had ever seen, but after a short while they figured it out for themselves.

villageidiot33 (author)bwaugh2011-11-12

I do a lot of carpentry and furniture building. IKEA has some cool designs but the quality just isn't there. I've had 2 of my friends ask me to replicate some of ikea stuff with solid wood. Sure IKEA is fast and easy but if you want something it yourself. I'm not hating on IKEA. Heck I'm sitting on a chair form IKEA with the matching footstool. :-)

jean v (author)2011-11-15

looks great and i imagine its pretty sturdy as well... thanks for sharing

crowsfromgod (author)2011-11-12

Beautiful design! Very nice work. like the asymmetry.

mr.incredible (author)2011-11-07

Very good look. I like this much better than the wire shelves.

Pre-drill and screw together with finishing screws to keep from splitting. (and annoying the neighbors)

Mix a small can of desired color wood stain, a quart of gloss or semi-gloss varnish and a gallon of decking wood sealer in a gallon pump up sprayer for a quick spray finish. Obviously do this outside or well ventilated and on plastic. It is messy but painless. (I have also used mineral spirits instead of the deck sealer)

If you want you could do the spray finish before you assemble. Especially if you are building it indoors where you can't move it (closet)

JuicySpoon (author)mr.incredible2011-11-11

Agree, pre-drill the wood with a drill bit before driving the screws in to prevent cracking.

actionjksn (author)2011-11-10

I do carpentry professionally, if you want to avoid splitting the wood like in the pic. Invest about 5 dollars in a counter sinking drill bit. It will not only put a hole for the screw it will cut a cone shaped indention in the surface of the board so that the screw will go just below or flush with the surface without having to force it and split the wood. And like he said don't drill too close to the end of the board.
When you place a board on something to cut, don't have the other end of the board resting on something like in the pic with the saw. It will cause the wood to pinch your blade which will cause your saw to bind half way through the cut and be difficult to cut. So the piece that will fall off after it's cut should not be resting on a saw horse or anything like that. If you do that with an electric circular saw it can bind up and kick back at you. Also if you have wood glue on wood that you want to stain, even if it's so thin you can't see it. the part with glue will not take stain unless you scrape and sand off all the glue. If you use a circular saw don't use gloves unless they are really thin mechanics gloves. Thick gloves can get caught in the blade and pull your hand into the blade, it's very dangerous! But they are fine for a hand saw if you have delicate hands. HA HA.

mary candy (author)2011-11-10

I love easy and cheap ideas ;)

DJ-AS (author)2011-11-10

To prevent crack first make a drill guide too much little than the screw size.
Great job.
Thanks for sharing.

Para evitar que se rompa la madera, primero realizar un agujero con una mecha mucho más fina que el tornillo.
Saludos, y excelente idea!.

ajmckay (author)2011-11-10

Very nice!!! I wish I would have seen this a week earlier I just finished building a very similar structure, but I had a different concept in my mind. I would have borrowed some ideas from you though!

Another suggestion for some may be to use pocket hole screws, which might take a little longer to prep the wood, but assembly would go pretty quick. You could use high quality wood if you wanted and hide the holes too with plugs. An added bonus the pocket hole screws will keep everything tight and provide a strong joint.

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