So I have the problem many of us are faced with, especially in a city where space is tight. Too many shoes and not enough storage. o_0 So I decided to build a shoe-rack and had the idea to use some parts from an IKEA MIKAEL desk hutch that was no longer being used and some scraps of wood I got from the hardware store for $2. My design was pretty rough and just from an idea in a sketch, yours could be bigger and more complex, or simply one level. So I will concentrate more on the process than the schematics of this project. However, follow closely and you'll be on your way to creating a beautifully simple, antique whitewashed looking shoe rack of your own!
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Step 1: Design Your Version & Get the Supplies...
What you will need: (*This is specific to my build but I will break down ratios for other builds)
5 - Wire 'U's from the MIKAEL Hutch (2 or more will do)
2 - Pieces of wood at least 8" wide
6 - 10-24 Acorn Nuts (2 for the top of each 'U' on bottom)
14 - 10-24 Lock Nuts (2 for each 'U' on bottom & 4 for each 'U' on 2nd level)
20 - 10-24 Washers (4 for each 'U')
- A drill
- A torch
- A small amount of white paint
- A Rag
- & A 10-24 Die to thread the 'U's
Then create your dimensions:
This of course will depend on the size of your boards you plan on using. Each 'U' is 6.5" wide so each shelf needs to be at least 7" or so. I first measured the width of a few pairs of shoes to get the average of my size. This way I allowed for wide enough sections to actually fit a pair or two. Using these dimensions I then went on to design an a-symmetrical design and plot out my specifics.
Here is a simple equation to figure where to mark your holes:
Width of board - 6.5" / 2 = Distance from edge of board to each hole
Once you've got the plan its time to start building!
Step 2: Mark Up Your Shelves Then Cut & Drill Them Out...
Using your design cut your shelves (if needed) and markup your holes:
I used a 10-24 bit to drill all of my initial holes, and then counter sunk the underside of each shelf a little to allow the underside lock nut to be flush and out of sight (granted that 'out of sight' is for someone who is like 9" or shorter). I'm nitpicky.
Then I filed all of the edges down to make everything nice and smooth. I actually did it intentionally fairly uneven, to add to that worn feel.
Once your shelves are done it's time for some texture!
Step 3: Time to Beat It Up & Set It on Fire...
I used a few different things to distress the wood. A few different ideas are:
-Or anything hard enough to leave a unique mark
Then I got out my torch and added a little burnt patina:
I paid attention to the edges, corners, and in between where the wire "U"s mounted to create the look of use and wear. Also moving in a back and forth motion along the grain creates almost a worn lacquer effect.
When you have reached your desired look its time to whitewash! (Remember the burns will lighten drastically with the wash, so some DARK spots are a good thing)
Step 4: Now Whitewash Your Shelves...
Mix your paint:
For this what I did was dilute some white exterior house paint 1:1 with some water so it's fairly runny but still opaque.
Start applying coats:
Use two rags to sort of "wax on, wax off" the paint in coats. Rub it in with one rag, let it sit for a while, then rub it off with a dry one. Continue this until you reach the shade you desire.
Now its time to make your legs & supports!
Step 5: Thread Your Legs & Supports...
Using the 10-24 die you will need to thread your MIKAEL 'U's:
What I did was measure the thickness of my shelves and then add the height of each hardware to be on each part. For example if you have a 1/2" piece of wood + the height of 2 washers & 2 nuts (I used the lock nut height for both it and the acorn nut). My total was just over an inch, so I threaded each side of the 'U's accordingly using the die and a little cutting oil (not required, but recommended). Make sure to thread forward then back then forward then back rather than force the die continually.
**Remember if you decided to counter sink your holes like I did you will have to factor that depth into your threading equation**
Once you're done we can assemble it all together!
Step 6: Ok, Put This Thing Together...
First we can take it from the top:
I started by pressing my first 2 'U's through the top of my top shelf downward and attached it to the top of the bottom shelf. Where the threaded part of the 'U' attaches to the bottom shelf the sequence is from top to bottom:
Lock nut > Washer > Bottom Shelf > Washer > Lock nut (pretty simple)
This will be repeated in the reverse order to put the bottom legs on from the underside:
Lock nut > Washer > Bottom Shelf > Washer > Acorn Nut
Now you tighten everything and using the threads make your shelves level:
Mine were within an acceptable margin after just tightening everything down. You can play around with the threading and level yours out if its too far off.
Time to put it to use!
Step 7: Now You Can Fill It Up!
BAM! You're done, now you can kick off your shoes and have somewhere to put them:
Time to start saving space and easily seeing & accessing your shoes on your awesome new shoe-rack!
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