We have a problem in our house and that problem is that we have a lot of shoes and nowhere to store them. Something our lovely home doesn’t have is a mudroom, so for the past 3 years, we have been throwing the kids shoes all in a pile by the backdoor. It worked but it did not look good. So why not create an industrial shoe rack using pipe and wood?
What do you think of our industrial shoe rack? And guess what it was pretty simple to create. This method could also work for a bookcase, I will be making one because I bought all the pipe! How about I show you how I did it? Some links in this post are affiliate link for your convenience, click here to read our full affiliate policy.
DIY Industrial Shoe Rack
First I gathered my supplies, I have found that the pipe and pipe fittings are cheaper from Essential Hardware, plus their shipping is fast. I had my boards cut at the hardware store to 22″. NOTE: You can make your shoe rack have more shelves. For each additional shelf, you would need: one more wood board, 4 more pipe tees, 4 more 7″ pipe nipples, 2 more 10″ pipe nipples, and 4 more conduit straps with screws.
Once my pipes arrived, I washed them with dish soap because they are dirty… make sure you dry them right after so they do not rust. If they do rust, take a wire brush to them or rub them with Ketchup, yes it works!
Then I started to assemble the pipe frame. I took the pipe cap and attached it to the 1 1/2″ pipe nipple. I then attached the pipe tee to the pipe. Look like this.
Next I attached the 7″ pipe nipple to the tee. After I attached the 90 elbow, this was facing the same way as the tee. I did this four times. The legs looked like this.
Note on attaching pipe: You want to tighten the pipe by hand as far as you can. Then tighten slightly move with a wrench.
After attaching, I then took my tape measure and measured the distance of the 7″ pipe from the fitting to fitting. You will want to make sure all of the 7″ pipes is spaced the same (you can also place them side by side to see!). If they are not the same, tighten them until they are.
Then I added the 10″ pipe to the pipe tees on one leg. This was the easiest way I found to attach everything together was by doing it this way but if you know another way please share! I then tightened these pipes as tight as I could with the wrench (but making sure they were still the same length).
After I placed another leg next to the just added 10″ pipes. I found it worked best to have the leg placed on just one of the top or bottom 10″ pipe. So that the legs are going different directions, like this.
I then screwed (rotated) the leg to one of the 10″ pipes, until the legs are equal.
Then taking the wrench, I untighten the 10″ pipe but tightened it onto the other leg. I did this for both 10″ pipes, alternating back and forth between the two pipes. The trick is that you want the 10″ pipe threaded the same amount on both sides. I did this same process for the other leg frame.
I found my leg frames to be a little wiggly but after I attached the boards to the frame it was sturdy.
For the boards, I cut them the length I wanted my shoe rack, 22″ because that was the amount of space we had available. After cutting the boards, I sanded them smooth with #220 grit sandpaper. Wiped them with a damp cloth to remove any dust but I have also found it helps when applying the stain. So after wiping the wood, I applied my stain (I used Provincial by Minwax).
Once the stain dried, I applied one coat of Polycrylic to the board just to help sill the board from water damage. After that coat dried, I then marked the board to drill holes for the brackets/straps.
I decided I wanted a slight overhang of the wood from the pipe frame. So I measured 1/2″ away from the board edge and 1.5″ from the side of the board. I placed the bracket there and marked the two holes. Then drilled a small hole onto the marked spots, making sure not to go through the wood.
I did this 4 times for one board but I did both boards at one time. In the end, the board looked like this.
I added the top board first. To do that, I placed the top of the board on the floor (the drill holes will be facing out) and attached the conduit straps to the pipe (2 on each). Then I screwed them into place using the 1.25″ screws.
For the bottom board, I attached one screw, with the strap attached, to the inside drill hole on the board (there will be 4). I did not tighten the screw that way it would still have room to insert the pipe. I then inserted the pipe onto each strap. Then I added the other screw to the strap using the predrilled hole as my guide. I tighten all the screws.
I then turned the shoe rack over and adjusted the legs (caps) until the rack was level (not wobbly).
UPDATE 2/2017: We were having issues with the shoe rack collapsing so to solve the problem we adding some metal bars (called a strap tie). I found the metal in the plumbing section of the hardware store (2 of them) then added them using screws on each corner forming an “x”. Here is what they look like.
This solved the problem because now anyone can sit on the rack without it falling over.
What do you think of my industrial shoe rack? The process was pretty easy and it looks a lot better than what we had before. But how about I give you a cost breakdown?
- pipe – $29.00
- 10″ wood board – $8.90
- conduit straps – $1.55
- wood screws – $5.25
- stain & polycrylic – FREE
- sandpaper – FREE
TOTAL COST – $43.15
Hope this tutorial will help you create your own shoe rack that looks great! Side Note before you go: My kids like to sit on the rack but be careful if you set it without an “x” brace because the end will fold. I am looking into metal bracing for the back to make this not happen anymore. I will update the tutorial once I do!
PS. You can also spray paint the pipe! What do you think? Any place you want to put the shoe rack in your house?