Introduction: Upcycled Shoe Rack

We have had a cheap shoe rack for a while, which has been annoying me a while now as it is very wobbly and sometimes falls apart! It was time for a new rack.

It was made from two plastic end panels with 10 metal tubes spanning between the ends. I didn't want to use too much additional material so I re-used the metal tubes and used some wood I had from a mantel piece I removed from my front room from when I moved in to my house. I think the mantelpiece was made from pitch pine.


Old shoe rack

Wood - 4No. 50mm x 20mm x 750mm (2" x 3/4" x 30")

4No. 50mm x 20mm x 100mm (2" x 3/4" x 4")

Oil for finishing


Table saw

Drill press


Pocket hole jig


Step 1: Dimension the Timber

I started off with a quite large bit of pitch pine that was cut from a mantel made with a railway sleeper. I first ripped four lengths to 50mm (2") wide and then to 20mm (3/4") width all with the table saw.

I then determined the length of the part running between the two vertical pieces by measuring the existing shoe rack to keep it about the same. I set up a block of wood against my fence to make repeat accurate cross cuts.

To get them to exactly the same thickness I passed them through the thicknesser (planer) a few times.

Step 2: Fix Wood Together

I decided to go rough and ready to fix the wood together so opted for pocket hole screws. The easiest way to do this is with a bought jig but I have seen videos where people make there own. I have a Trend jig so got my cross pieces and added two holes either side to them.

To line them up I used a locking clamps which has a large flat surface area to one side which helps keep the surfaces of the joining pieces level. All you need to do is lock and screw.

As you can see by the photos my new stand is taller than the original one.

I also made a cross piece which ran between the lower cross piece. This added quite a bit of stability to the overall frame which was mainly just metal tubes running loose between the two ends.

Step 3: Fit Metal Tubes

I then needed to fix the tubes to the main frame which I decided would be fine being loose. I measured one of the tubes with a vernier caliper to determine the correct drill bit diameter (9.5mm / 3/8").

I marked a few points up the height of the frame ends and set up a fence on my drill press so the horizontal alignment would be the same with no additional measurement required.

Once they were all done I test fitted all the bits before finishing.

Step 4: Finihsing

As I thought the rack would be up to quite a bit of abuse I only sanded up to 120 grit which seems completely fine. Once it was nicely sanded I used hard wax oil to finish the wood. I then put it all together and put all the shoes back on to it. As we had a couple of umbrellas and kids bike helmets I added a couple of hooks I had lying about which I added to the side.

Step 5: Finished

Here are a few before and after pictures. I do think the new rack is much nicer than the old one.

Thanks for reading and please vote if you liked it!!

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