From Old Locker to Hip Wardrobe




Introduction: From Old Locker to Hip Wardrobe

I recently moved into a Montreal flat, which means there are no closets in the bedrooms. Frustrated with the lack of style and quality found at Ikea and the high cost of an actual wardrobe anywhere else, I happened upon a set of old lockers at junk store, and thought I could transform them into the coolest wardrobe imaginable. I got my set of 3 full-sized lockers for $150 Canadian and then added about $30 of wood. So depending on the cost of the lockers, this is good value.

Step 1: Gathering Parts

Start by gathering the necessary materials.

My materials and spec are according to my design, but can be modified as necessary. I decided to go with two lockers for hanging shirts, pants and coats and one locker as a shelf for t-shirts, underwear, jeans and the like.


1. A locker or set of lockers, of course.
2. Either an old wooden mop or broom (if you wanna go eco), or wooden dowel/curtain rod that can be cut to size for hanging clothes.
3. Long and narrow wood to create a frame for the shelving.
4. Thick pine or the like for the shelves themselves.
5. L brackets to support the shelves.
6. Plastic ties (or metal) to hang the wooden rods.

1. Measuring tape.
2. Screws.
3. Screw driver.
4. Saw.

Step 2: Preparing the Locker and the Parts

TIP: I would start by giving the locker a good clean up if it needs it. Afterall you will smell like it does pretty soon.

Next take some measurements. First measure the inside width of the locker to cut down the mop handle or wood dowel you bought for hanging. Measure, mark and saw the wooden dowel down to size. In this case make two. I would recommend measuring both lockers, just in case they are not the same. You never know right?

Take the plastic ties and wrap them around the dowel partially near the end. Don't pull fully as you'll need to get them around the hooks on either side of the inside locker. Position the dowel inside the locker, hook the tie onto the the locker hook (lower part) and pull tight. For aesthetic reasons, clip the excess and rotate around. I have had this system for a while now and it seems to do fine for the weight of the clothes.

Step 3: Shelving

For the shelving I created a skeleton of 4 wooden poles that would support the shelves inside the locker, but is not in any way attached to the locker. This allows for me to (1) preserve the nice green inside colour of the locker and (2) allow me to take down and change the shelving if necessary at a moments notice.

For the skeleton, measure very carefully:

1. The height of the interior.
2. The depth from the lip under the locker shelf to the back of the locker.
3. The width.

For the shelves, measure very carefully the same width and depth, but be sure to accound for the wooden skeleton which will take up some space.

Cut down the poles and shelves to size, giveing a little 2-5mm of breathing room. I had the hardward store do mine for me to save me time.

TIP: Also because my measurements were so accurate, I was able to wedge the poles in place and shelves in place, meaning it doesn't jiggle inside and feels very secure.

With the poles cut to size, insert one into the locker and make marks where you want your shelves to go. Mark the remaining poles and affix brackets on each one.

Wedge the poles in place and insert the shelves. Your good to go!

Step 4: Organise Your Clothes!

Voila! A smart looking wardrobe if I do say so myself.

NOTE: I think I will add small shelves at the bottom of the two right lockers to but a few extra levels of shoes to make the most use of the space.

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    you can purchase used lockers online from stores that sell them to schools, offices and gyms. just google it!

    lockers make awesome clothing storage -- i have a set of 6 stacked half-lockers. unfortunately, they're jsut for folded stuff like sweaters and jeans -- they're not deep enough to contain hangers. mind if i ask how deep yours are? i hadn't considered getting another set as i figured they're all a standard depth ...


    13 years ago on Introduction

    awesome use for old lockers, I would do the same but there kind of hard to come by.


    15 years ago on Introduction

    I'm lucky enough to have a pretty big closet in my apartment, but this is going to go on my "too cool not to do one day" list.


    15 years ago on Introduction

    I love the idea. How much weight could this take, roughly?


    Reply 15 years ago on Introduction

    I think it could take a fair bit of weight. The plastic ties are quite strong, and the width of the locker is not very wide, so you can't fit too much on each one. If you are in doubt or having something else in mind to hang, try pipe brackets. They are metal and are adjustable by a screw, and can perform the same function. The plastic ties are the cheaper option.


    15 years ago on Introduction

    very cool! i will definitely try this at some point in my life... as soon as i find some good lockers. nice instructable!


    lol, thats cool! but i sadly dont have random lockers sitting in my room :-\ heh.