Introduction: Suspended Makeshift Apartment Closet

Old buildings that now house apartments make beautiful, interesting places to live, although they are often not equipped with proper storage. When moving into an old victorian home (converted apartments), we were forced to live in shame with a makeshift closet made out of a moving box and bar (see picture).


Build a closet.


  1. Not my place (Renting), so I can't make any major changes... thus it must have minimal impact and be able to come out in a moment's notice if we must flee in the night.
  2. The area is small and odd shaped... thus the solution must be custom and multi-purpose.
  3. Must fit with our feng shui, which is a hint of DIY trendy aww and a certain je ne sais quoi.


A suspense shelf system with a barn door. If possible, have confetti fall from the sky each time opening.

Step 1: Plan

  • The plan was, no real plan... making decisions on the fly.
  • Solicit help from others. In this case, a puppy is in a blanket is most helpful.

Step 2: Make Shelves

  • Choose wood. I chose cedar; it smells like a classy closet.
  • Measure available space for the shelves and cut wood to desired shelf length.
  • Line up the cut planks together and use two cross boards help hold it together. Screw together.
  • Drill holes in the corners of the newly assembled shelves. Key tip: Make sure the holes are big enough for the rope to go through.

Step 3: Make the Portal Door

  • Used barn wood for main panels. Barn wood is a proven aphrodisiac, for the DIY partners.
  • Make door in a very similar fashion to the shelves, but larger.
  • Sand the rough bits/cuts on the face of the barn boards. These can catch on delicate clothing and people.
  • Stain if desired.

Step 4: Hang Shelves

  • Cut two braces from 2x4 that will spans at least 2 beams of the ceiling.
  • Use a stud finder to locate dry wall screws in the ceiling, which will indicate a beam. (My stud finder was going haywire every time I touched it.)
  • Screw the 2x4s to the ceiling, in the stud-ly locations.
  • Put an eye bolt in the both 2x4s along the center line that you want the shelves to hang.
  • Begin stringing the rope through the corners of the 1st shelf. Make sure your solicited help pulls the rope in random directions. Once the shelf is in place, level the shelf and put knots below the shelf to hold it in place.
  • Repeat several times until you have the arrangement you want.
  • Small chair leg pads can be put on the wall side of the shelves to prevent unwanted thumping on the walls. Nobody wants the neighbours to misinterpret thumping noises when nothing is going on.

Step 5: Hanging Closet

  • Cut a piece of black iron pipe the length of the door and travel path.
  • Buy a couple of clothes line wheels (make sure the black iron pipe can fit between the wheel and wheel hanger/brace. Also need a couple of flat bars (fence brace) and screws/bolts. Assemble (see picture) it all on the back of the closet barn door.
  • Put two other 2x4s on the sidewalls. Make a notch for the bar to sit in. Hang the closet on the bar and place the bar on the notch of the side 2x4s. If you position the "non-closed" side of the bar slightly higher, the marvels of gravity will atomically close the door when left unattended.

Step 6: Inhabit

  • Make sure the door works. Push right, then left.
  • Put all the lovely things the box once held in the new fancy closet.
  • Get approval from loving partner. If no --> take it down. If yes --> victory dance.