Introduction: Hellish Shoe Tree Reincarnated As Heavenly Pot Rack in 12 Awkward Trips... I Mean, Steps

About: Tinkering with stuff. Low overall success rate, but undeterred!

Preface: My wife and I married a year ago and merged two existing households into the condo-equivalent of a "tiny house," 480 square feet in total. I'm constantly thinking of ways to utilize our limited space most effectively. My tendency to hyperfocus on trivial, domestic troubleshooting tactics keeps me busy, industrious, and typically content - particularly when a project comes together as well as this one!

Why: My sister gave me a seemingly awesome Chrome (plated?), three tiered, revolving shoe tree I was so excited about! My wife tends to explode when she comes home from work. After the dust from the spontaneous combustion settles, her crap is everywhere, but most of it's shoes... I'm not even sure where all of these shoes are coming from.

I thought this bad boy was going to solve at least our shoe storage issues, but after a good two months of forcing it... I just couldn't. See Step One to Understand my Irreconcilable Impression of this horrible scrap heap product.

Some of the mechanical features were still useful in theory, so I dismantled it and let the pieces marinate with my other rando trash-treasure stew and inactively spitballed ideas to combat existing spatial restraints. We have four cabinets total here at the Barbie Dream Condo-Super-Minimum, and we were given a brand new Cuisinart cookware set fer gettin' hitched. Those beauts deserved to be on display!

And... they wouldn't fit into any conceivable cabinet configuration.

It was evident with only superficial tinkering that my inventory lacked a few integral parts for the project, so I put it back on the backburner until the missing links were made available.

See, I don't have what people call, "disposable income." So, I normally build my trash treasures over long, undeterminable periods of time. Delays in production are part of the creative process and work resumes only when "Fate" (or whatever) facilitates my project goals by providing the missing components in some mysterious way, at no Earthly cost to me!

These fluctuations make strategic planning kinda tricky, but I'm going to attempt to break it down for you retrospectively, INSTRUCTABLES style (complete with my own imagery, now), with the long-winded, overly detailed How-To outlined below. Follow my steps or innovate your own rendition of this DIY!

In my play-by-play, you'll vicariously enjoy experiences like:

  • a whole mess of cosmically convenient coincidences that allowed for material acquisition,
  • accounts of experiential knowledge obtained throughout my journey,
  • a couple good "Derp" moments that have left me a little embarrassed,

Laugh nervously while you forensically profile my odd character with clues provided in the content of this Easy to Follow, 12 STEP, Convoluted, Anecdotal Memoir recounting one of many faulty product reconfiguration efforts.

Spoiler Alert - This time, I was successful in my endeavors :)

Read more to find out how!

Step 1: Hunt and Gather, Come and Grab...Same Thang

Materials I Used & Product Info Links:
Three Tiered Revolving Shoe Rack Product

IKEA Dignitet Wire Curtain Set

Evriholder Hang N' Store Accessory Organizer

Cuisinart Cookware Set

Minimum Tool Requirements:

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Measuring Tape
  • Step Stool or Wonky Chair

Ideal Tool Accessibility:

  • Power Driver
  • Stud Finder
  • 16mm Drive Size Extension
  • Ratchet

If you are not a self-proclaimed scavenger, you likely won't know where to acquire all of these things for free. My favorite place to start is locally, by perusing Facebook Marketplace Free and Curb Alert Posts. All but the Shoe Rack my sister gave me came from one FB post. These photos are screenshots of that listing. Look at all that potential... OMG.

I literally just googled dude's name and the address (so I can properly cite my source) and turns out, he's affiliated with the nonprofit organization Artisan Alley, depicting itself as:

"... Artisan Alley is a rich and bustling creative environment where individual artistic pursuits come together into a collaborative and energizing space. This is where creative ideas become reality! We offer many different services, including resources and spaces to creative entrepreneurs, as well as a diverse community of like-minded Bloomingtonians (Nahas, A. et al),"

Works Cited

Nahas, Adam. "Welcome Page." Artisan Alley, . Accessed 13 August 2018.

* Note: I don't really know who the author of the about section is for their website, but whoever you are, I love everything you are laying down, broseph(s). Serious props to you guys, for sure.

You too can easily search for and find FB marketplace ads in your area.

This ad inspired me to dumpster dive like I've never dumpster dove before! Because, well... I needed stuff.

And then today, I learn that my scavenged treasures came from a cool af charity that I'd never heard of (I'm new here), seemingly like-mind mystery cats, filing the role of fairy Godmomma(s) to my project, totes unbeknownst... All of these events have aligned so serendipitously with my DIY MISUSE PROJECT.

Including the required edits <3

YOU, however, can utilize the following available options:

  • Peruse Social Media and sites like Craigslist, local classifieds, etc. to acquire Free items for restructuring.
  • Utilize existing materials in your junk pile. Use my listed parts to analytically identify comparable components in your personal, available inventory. Hell, write me and I'll help you if I can :)


  • Trade hard-earned cash monies to a mass manufacturer for parts via retail transaction. However, by doing so, you acknowledge that you are forfeiting at least half of the overall "cool points" by virtue of no longer being a cost-free endeavor. That's the truth, yo.

WARNING: Only acquire the items in which you see potential future use to avoid adversely developing hoarding behaviorisms! It is one of very few, potential side-effects from scavenger lifestyle acclimation. You have been forewarned!

Step 2: Shoe Rack Dissection

Before I tell you the hows, let me first tell you the whys.

I mentioned already that it was bulky and in the way... But, it also was an eyesore I couldn't just cram in a closet because I don't have the room. Our shoes don't "stink," per se, but while perched on one tree, whatever aromas they have individually culminate in the wind-tunnel churn created in the middle of this poorly designed structure. In these perfect-storm conditions, mild odors blend and fester into an exacerbated abomination to my olfactory sensitivities. Ultimately, this accidental "stank-system" not only smells horrendous, but looks horrendous to boot!

Hahahahahahahahaha. I'm funny.

Really though, I'd rate this beast with negative stars if I could re-code the Yelp interface to properly express my discontent. All that wordy complaining I wrote is only slightly embellished...

YOU, however, should proceed as follows:

  • The tiers are easily removable by first unscrewing the bolt from both the base and the pole, unscrewing the plastic adjustment knobs beneath each tier and it sliding off the pole.
  • Each tier will slide off as you loosen and remove each adjustment knob.
  • The pole disassembly will result in three parts: two lengths of pole and one handle bar.
  • To continue, you need to keep one rack tier, one bracket, the bottom pole piece, and the bolt from the base.

Step 3: Other Disassembly Required

The remaining products that I used are again, the Hang n' Store byEvriholder and the Dignitet Curtain Wire from IKEA.

If YOU have coincidentally acquired these products as well, proceed as follows:

  • Take all five rings from the Hang n' Store by applying alternating pressure on either side of the clasping mechanism and unhinging to allow for removal.
  • The two parts I used from the Dignitet are easily procured by unscrewing the wire fixture from the support fixture. Super simple.
  • Add these pieces to your pile o' pertinent project parts, along with:
    • two 3 inch wood screws,
    • two washers
    • and nut for the bolt.

*Note: the last two items may or may not be necessary for overall functionality. Use your discretion to determine what works best for your version of this DIY.

If YOU don't have access to these products, there are plethoras of other available components that would be equally suitable. Let me know what you came up with :)

At this point, your living room floor should look roughly like the photo above.

Step 4: Not So Private Parts Defined in Goofy Video Montage - Watch NOW!!

The video breakdown shows the freshly scavenged project pieces, labels each, and is listed in an early engineering phase chronologically for installation. The main modification to this proposed method stems from knowledge acquired regarding torque washers and washer purposes in general. Turns out, they have no business here and therefore were omitted during actual assembly.

**Note: Not pictured in montage: I used 3 inch, reclaimed wood screws to install the base plate, instead of the tiny lil nublet screws that came with the kit.

Pots and Pans are heavy and I simply don't trust ya, nublet. Sorry...

Step 5: Installation of Redesigned Product Assembly

Here's how I installed all that junk into the ceiling!

  • I did not have a stud finder, so I Googled joist spacing regulations, and decided that I would measure outward from the nearby window 16 inches, and use that joist to mount my contraption.
  • It lined up right above/in front of the fridge, still allowing the cabinet doors above to open freely, just like in a dream.
    • Of course, I didn't find the joist my first several attempts, as seen in photos... lots of misses. Finally got it though.
  • Once I had tested and marked the screw holes, I drilled them out and installed parts 1 & 2, like depicted in the first photo.
    • Parts 2,3 & 6 were phased out, because they were unnecessary to reassembly.
  • Photo 2 shows this configuration installed and with Part 5 (Deco Cap) snapped atop.
  • Photo 3 shows Part 7 (Deez Nut) being affixed with a ratchet & socket extension w/16mm drive size.
    • In retrospect, I feel like Part 7 was not a crucial component either... but it's there and there it will stay.
    • So, likely, this assembly could have been effectively installed by using only Pieces 1,4, 5 & 8...

"Ya learn something new everyday..."

  • Wait, never mind, I remember why I did that. Without the nut, the bolt just spun while I tried to tighten the pole onto the bolt... There was no room between the ceiling and the plate to hold it still. Yassss, it's all coming back to me now.
  • Finally, photo 4 shows full assembly of base structure after pole is tightened by hand to the bolt.

Step 6: Ascension and Enlightenment


    • Slide Shoe Rack Tier onto pole and sturdy with one hand while following with plastic adjustable knob thingy (this is probably the furthest thing from this piece's God-given name, I apologize).
    • Tighten that apparatus by twisting the knob. (The final position of mine is lower than in the photos because of an adjustment made after completing the next step)

    Step 7: Ring Ring Do Your Thing!


    • Attach all hinged metal rings from the Hang N' Store to the Shoe Rack Tier at evenly spaced intervals.

    Step 8: Test Driving for Dummies

      • Do a trial run by attaching the longest skillet in your Cuisinart set to one of the rings.
      • Give'er a hearty twirl! WHOA, WATCH YO FACE!
      • Now answer the following questions HONESTLY, to the best of your ability.
      1. Did the tier rotate unobstructed without collisions with surrounding fixtures and faces, namely yours?
      2. Did you properly prevent the future potential of cookware concussions by ensuring that your screws are head-deep in the joist?
      3. Does the assembly appear to be capable of withstanding the test weight of the skillet, completely devoid of crackling sounds, moans, and groans from strained infrastructure?
      4. Can she take more?
      5. Do you feel like you did (at the very least) an "Okay" job choosing any component substitutions?

      If you can answer YES to all these questions, you're cleared for the next step!

      Step 9: Make Yourself Useful and Hold These Lids, Lazy Susan.

      • Position Cuisinart lids around the interior of the Shoe Rack by sliding the handles over the tier's various metal rungs. Again, my terminology is likely flawed. Bear with me, we are almost done!
      • The Cuisinart lids fit almost perfectly, although some finagling might be necessary until you feel right about weight distribution and symmetry (which is unachievable, i should add).
      • Play with your lids/feel good about their placement.

      Is the ceiling still above your head and not all over your linoleum?


      Splendid! Keep on cruisin'.

      Step 10: Everything's Zen in the End

      1. At this point, you'll distribute your Cuisinart Cookware around to the other rings, however best facilitates your kitchen's feng shui.
      2. Keep an open line for communication between all integral project administrators. For shittz and gigz, here are a few after-project followup conversations had between me and my team:
        1. Me, Senior Project Executive Head B*tch in Charge: "Hey yo, Lazy Snooze'n, wake up, we got company coming over to celebrate your new promotion." Susan Tier AufShoeTree, Sr. Project Executive Manager: "I'm up, gee wiz..! I'm dressed and ready, except...I cannot find my shoes anywhere.”
        2. Me: "Because of the recent workload increases, I know some of us are a little stressed beyond normal ranges. I still need everyone to remain accountable. If any of you are cracking under the pressure, please alert me of your needs and resources will be made available to assist you. Are any of you planning to abandon the project now or in the near future?" Lucile Ling, Executive Project Safety Manager: “Namaste right here, boss. Everything’s Zen and I can handle the heat in this kitchen.”
        3. My home office is swarming with goofballs, I’ll tell ya!
      3. Once you are convinced that your family is LEGITIMATELY in no danger of falling cookware, step down from the ladder and take a deep breath.

      Step 11: Taco Bout Successful Misuse :)

      If you were able to clean up your materials and tools without hearing the clamorous ruckus of a Cuisinart cookware catastrophe, you good sir/madam, are done here for the day.

      Nicely done!

      Pat yourself on the back and whip us up some celebratory tacos, would ya?

      Step 12: Whoa! We’re Done and I’m Out.

      Thanks for reading!

      I’ve got to go address this shoe problem now, so I’ll make sure to instructable any accidentally awesome outcomes with that! I’m elated about the shoe tree’s new purpose.
      I like it sooo much better this way :)

      If you made one, how’d It turn out?

      No... the tacos? Can I get one, I'm hangry.

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