Cutest Mudroom

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 08/15/2011 - 09:52
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Inspired by the cutest mudroom from Better Homes and Gardens, make your own from scratch with this free, step by step DIY tutorial.

When you go to assemble, screw together the base and towers with 1 1/4" screws in hidden spots. Also attach to walls to keep from tipping forward.

On Sunday, I went shopping for a new mudroom.

At my favorite shopping center. I ran into some friends, moms_adventures, CleverlyInspire, ThroughMyLense_, BDInfluence and PBJstories, also out shopping at our favorite shopping center.  Pinterest of course.
And here's a few mudrooms that I really considered.

Source: via Debbie on Pinterest

I absolutely adored this one from Better Homes and Gardens. So pretty, and loved the lower cubbies for the children.  Ultimately nixed it because we needed an open base for access to our crawl space from our mudroom.  Well, it's about to become a mudroom.  

And this one from House Beautiful . . . It would be simply the same as building a longer one of these.  Just add two cubbies and go.  Tempting tempting.  

Source: via Stephanie on Pinterest

And this one from Better Homes and Gardens seemed to be the most popular.  I just kept coming back to it.  But ultimately, we nixed this one too because there's just not enough hooks for this Alaska family.  That, and the closed bottom.  *Sign*

I will show you in a few days what we ultimately "bought" (unless you follow me on Twitter then you already know) and are working on DIYing, but I thought today, because this system is so popular (and I so badly wanted it myself) I'd show you how I would have built it.  And for those of you who are more comfortable assembling flat pack furniture, Better Homes and Garden's goes into details on how they put this system together here.
But I'm of course partial to building from scratch.  Then you can paint it all the same color, build it from PureBond Formaldehyde Free Plywood, and make it as sturdy as you want.  
Dimensions are shown above. Of course, you can modify to fit your space and needs.


Shopping List

3 - Sheets of 3/4" Plywood, MDF or Particle Board cut into 15 3/4" x 8 foot long strips
1 - sheet 1/4" plywood or hardboard
1 - 7' long piece 3 1/4" base moulding
1 - 36" long piece 3/4" edge moulding
2 Knobs or Handles
2 Sets of Hinges

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

Towers (for 2 Towers)
4 - 1x16 @ 72"
14 - 1x16 @ 16"
4 - 1x16 @ 7 5/8"
2 - 1/4" Plywood @ 17 1/2" x 72"
2 - 3 1/4" Base Moulding @ 17 1/2"

1 - 1x16 @ 36"
1 - 1x16 @ 34 1/2"
2 - 1x16 @ 17 1/4"
1 - 3 1/4" Base Moulding @ 36"
1 - 3/4" Edge Moulding @ 36"
1 - 1/4" Plywood @ 18" x 36"
Doors cut to Fit

Cutting Instructions

I thought a 16" depth is better for a mudroom because it's more storage and a wider width bench for sitting on with coats behind you. But of course you could simply use all 12" width boards instead. For the 16" widths, simply have your home improvement store rip your plywood into strips 8 feet long and 15 3/4" wide. We'll call these 1x16s throughout the plan.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
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

We'll just be going through the plans for the bookshelves and the seat base, but wanted to give you a quick diagram on the other components. You could also do a quick Board and Batten Wall Treatment on the back to save time and money.

Step 2

Build the towers as shown above. You are going to want some fixed shelves because it keeps the towers sturdy - at least one in the center. But by all means, you could simply use shelf pins to make all other shelves adjustable.

Step 3

I have cubbies in my closet and love them for shoe storage, so took the time to make the extra step to show you how to do that. For those of you who have a Kreg Jig, you could simply build the + and slide it in so it's removeable.

Step 4

Now add a back. I highly encourage you to back your towers because it will keep them square, as these towers are frameless.

Step 5

Step 6

Now the bench is really simple too, but a word of warning . . . don't go any wider without some center partitions on the bench to avoid sagging. Build your box, you can use pocket holes or 2" screws or nails.

Step 7

Add a back. This is really important because the back will keep it all square.

Step 8

Now the base moulding. I personally would ad edge moulding as shown (as opposed to edge banding) because this is a high wear area.

Step 9

And now doors. Simply take some leftover 1x16 material and cut down to size for doors. Fit in the openings, leaving 1/8" gaps all the way around. When you are happy with the fit, add some decorative 1/4" x 2 1/2" hobby stock to dress up the doors and some pretty knobs.

Step 10

But if doors intimidate you (or cubbies are your preference) simply place a center divider in there with 2" finish nails and wood glue.

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.


Ari Z (not verified)

Mon, 08/15/2011 - 12:51

Who says a mudroom has to be unorganized and cramped? I applaud you for taking on the daunting task of organizing your family's "catch all" room. I think every home could stand to have a few more shelves and hooks!

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 08/15/2011 - 13:54

I was wondering if you could show the plans for the mud room that you showed that you "absolutely adored". This is exactly what I am shopping for too and I love that one. Thanks!

Guest (not verified)

Tue, 08/16/2011 - 07:36

I think that just such places in mudrooms for coats and shoes and boots like any of the above are amazing. Directly across from my back door when walking into my mud room, I have a 48" wide space into which I will be designing just such a organizational space. When the time comes, I will post pics. Thanks for showing inspirational pics Ana!

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 08/25/2011 - 11:16

I keep trying to download PDF of the "Cutest Mudroom" and keep getting:

TCPDF ERROR: [Image] Unable to get image: file:///home/anawhite/public_html/dev/acquia-drupal-1.2.33/sites/default/files/bhg%20mudroom%202.jpg?1313424674

Are others having this problem or is it my computer?

Ksenia (not verified)

Tue, 09/27/2011 - 19:25

You referred to Hobby Stock to dress up the doors. What is that exactly and where does one buy it?

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 10/24/2011 - 22:34

How would you attach the wainscotting and such to the rest of the furniture pieces? And how could I make it to where it would be easy to disassemble for moving? Thank you! Looks amazing!

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 10/24/2011 - 22:34

How would you attach the wainscotting and such to the rest of the furniture pieces? And how could I make it to where it would be easy to disassemble for moving? Thank you! Looks amazing!

BobR (not verified)

Sun, 11/20/2011 - 16:51

I've started prepping to build this project. There are several firsts for me in this project - first time using a router, first time (buying/)using a Kreg Jig, and a first time working with MDF (3/4"). I have some questions.

1) I used the router to create a notch along the inside edges of the back of the towers so the backing would be recessed (flush actually) and the towers could be flush against the wall. I hate seeing furniture with a backing where the unfinished edge of the backing is showing. I guess this isn't really a question, but more of a thought for others thinking about doing this project.

2) I'm using 3/4" MDF. The front edges of the towers(vertical members and horizontal shelves) are going to have exposed edges. I've tried sanding/sealing and sanding/sealing again to try to create nice edge, but it doesn't seem to want to hold a nice, smooth edge. Is there a trick? Or do I need to use screen bead or something on the edges?

3) I'm playing with the Kreg Jig, experimenting some. I was thinking I would use it to create pocket holes to attach the shelves and to build the box for the center. But, I've been having trouble with the MDF splitting (on the side with the pocket hole) when I put the screw in. The scrap I'm using to test with is about 1.5" wide...maybe that's too narrow for pocket hole in MDF?

4) Along the same lines, I was thinking I would use the pocket hole inserts to cover the holes. Try as I might, however, I can't seem to get them to seat all the way. Is there a trick? Or do you just sand them down the last 1/16"? (And should glue be used to hold them in?)

I appreciate any responses!

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