Shoe Shrine Shelves

| Print this plan

Free, simple, easy, DIY, step by step plans to build the ultimate shoe storage cabinet. Inspired by Ballard Design's Sarah Storage Tower, you can think beyond the boots and shoes and handbags - this beautiful storage cabinet would work anywhere from the Nursery to the office, the entryway to the dining room.

Thank you to our readers for requesting! The main thing on this one, build square, use square boards, take your time and measure out every single joint. We don't have the room in our small home for such a marvelous piece, but I can't wait to see the Shoe Shrine Tower in yours!

One thing to consider, you can alternate placing the larger "boot" cubbies to the top instead of the bottom if you prefer that look.

Have a great weekend, Happy Building!

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

6 - 1x12 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x6 @ 4 feet long
1 - sheet 1/4" plywood

Common Materials
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

8 - 1x12 @ 25 1/2" (Shelves)
2 - 1x12 @ 84 1/2" (Sides)
12 - 1x12 @ 8" (Small Dividers)
2 - 1x12 @ 25" (Large Dividers)
1 - 1x6 @ 25 1/2" (Footer)
3 - 1x12 @ 8" (Optional Shelves, Boot Cubbies - see last step)
1 - 1/4" plywood @ 27" x 84 1/2" (Back)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

The trickiest part about building this shoe storage cabinet is going to be getting the joints done when there is limited clearance. You will need a Kreg Jig to join some of your shelves. Start by drilling pocket holes as shown in diagrams along the top edge of your dividers. Then attach two short dividers to the top shelf as shown above.

Step 2

Now you won't be able to get a regular drill in there to do pocket holes along the bottom edge of the dividers. Apply glue, mark joints, and attach with either 2" finish nails or screws from the underside as shown above.

Step 3

Now you can add another row of dividers, this time you will have to use the pocket holes. A word to the wise, don't eyeball the location of your dividers - measure and mark 8" from the outsides and place, if you eyeball, over the course of several rows of shelves, you might just start to notice you are getting "off".

Step 4

Continue alternating adding dividers and shelves until you are out of the short dividers.

Step 5

Step 6

And finally the bottom.

Step 7

Measure and mark your sides as shown above, marking the location of each shelf. Measurements shown are to the tops fo the shelves. Line sides up with shelves and attach, using 2" finish nails and glue.

Step 8

Attach footer as shown above, with 2" finish nails and wood glue. Use the measurements above to help you draw a pattern. Cut pattern out carefully with a jigsaw.

Step 9

Adjust cabinet for square and attach back with 1 1/4" finish nails and wood glue.

Step 10

These shelves as done by Ballard Designs on their Sarah Storage Tower are adjustable. Use shelf pins to place shelves.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Fri, 06/17/2011 - 22:41

to get the holes all to match up you would just have to put all the 84 1/2 boards together and and drill through except your two outer boards so you don't see the holes. I am not really handy with the Kreg in fact i don't own one yet but it looks intimidating lol but i am willing to give it a shot lol.

Guest (not verified)

Sat, 06/18/2011 - 10:12

Haha! What an awesome name given to a shoe shelf. You are right, it could look like a shrine :D

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 06/20/2011 - 20:54

Just a note that if you are considering using shelf pins for every shelf I would recommend screwing the top, middle and bottom shelf to the outsides. This would prevent the sides from bowing out under it's own weight.

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 07:48

Are the shelf dividers, listed as 1x12, 1" by 12"? Wouldn't the width of the shelves be 26" with 3 shelves of 8" and 2 dividers of 1"? Or are the dividers 3/4" thick for the 25 1/2" length shown?

I assume there's no worries about using 3/4 pureblond plywood for this similar to the smiling mudroom if they're going to be in the same room. I also assume that this can be done with no plywood backing as long as it's attached to some blocking...



Sun, 12/25/2011 - 15:46

This would be cool if you slapped some doors on it that made it "look like" an apothecary cabinet so that the shoes, purses and boots were hidden in the entry way of the house. I might just do that :)

Sara (not verified)

Thu, 01/05/2012 - 09:29

Ana do you think this plan could be easily adapted to lay sideways instead of standing tall? I've been looking for something like this but would rather have it long and low...and this would be my first build :) Any tips?

Wynne (not verified)

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 06:26

I might alter this plan to be suitable for craft storage and to hang on the wall; I have tons of little bottles of alcohol ink, metallic powders, small tools, etc for working with polymer clay so I need some storage that I can hang on the wall as well. It'll thus be easily accessible as well as pretty! I think a whitewash finish or natural-stained wood.

I'd make it half as deep for starters, and consider adding in a dowel at the bottom from which to hang s-hooks for tools I use frequently.