Floating Shelves Pull Out Drying Racks and Hanging Rods

Floating Shelves Pull Out Drying Racks and Hanging Rods
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These floating shelves have a secret!  They hide drying racks and closet hanging rods!  Build your own with free tutorial by ANA-WHITE.com

Floating Shelves Pull Out Drying Racks and Hanging Rods
Floating Shelves Pull Out Drying Racks and Hanging Rods
Floating Shelves Pull Out Drying Racks and Hanging Rods
Floating Shelves Pull Out Drying Racks and Hanging Rods

Disclosure: I worked with Liberty Hardware to bring you this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.

We took on a laundry room makeover several weeks back and it has changed my life.

In the twenty years that I've been the responsible party for doing laundry, I have never been able to keep up.  There have always been piles - yes, piles with an "s" - no matter what I did.  I simply could not keep up.  

Fast forward to a few overly thought-out projects and a brand new laundry room machine - I call it that, since the room itself is more of a laundry doing machine than just a room - and there isn't a pile anywhere.  In fact, the closets are so full of clean, neatly put away clothes that I've started weeding them out and donating.  

I'm not necessarily putting in more time doing laundry - although it is much more enjoyable doing laundry - it's just the time I do put in is so efficient, everything gets done quickly and easily.  Make a process too easy not to do.

One of the big suprise impact projects was these floating shelves over the washer and dryer -

I knew I needed something above the washer and dryer for storage, but didn't want closet cabinets for clutter to grow in.  I really wanted floating shelves.

But with this small of a space, I couldn't live with myself if the floating shelves didn't do something ... that's my big issue with floating shelves, they take up alot of space.  I've just lived in small spaces too long, call me a space tightwad.

So I thought, why not throw a drying rack in the lower floating shelves?  Perfect for delicates, sweaters, and other things you don't want to tumble dry.

For the upper floating shelf, another drying rack seemed like a bad idea since it would be so difficult to reach.  So I thought, what about pull out closet rods for hanging clothes before I they get put away?

This feature has turned out to be one of my absolute favorites in the laundry room.  I hang each person clothes on a rod (instead of everyone's clothes on the same rod).  Then the entire row can be put away without a second step of sorting through who's clothes go where.  What a time saver!

It's the little things that add up.  It's those little processes, that take a few extra minutes, even a few extra seconds, but added up over a lifetime of doing Every. Single. Day. that will get you.  

I'm so excited to share how we built these guys in the tutorial below.  Build and share! XO Ana

PS - Check out this laundry room tour and videos here.

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Floating Shelves Pull Out Drying Racks and Hanging Rods

Our shelves measure 17-1/2" deep by 72" long - I wouldn't go much bigger without using additional support or perhaps using 2x4s for the framing.


Shopping List

Liberty 16" Full Extension Drawer Slides (one set per drawer) 

2x3s for shelf framing

1x4s for shelf fronts

3/4" plywood for shelf top

1/4" plywood for shelf bottom

1x2s for pull out racks

2-1/2" Kreg Jig screws (we used the HDs)

1- 1/4" Kreg Jig screws for building the racks

3" screws for attaching to wall

1-1/4" and 3/4" brad nails for attaching plywood to framing

The stain I used is Varathane Dark Walnut

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


Step 1

NOTE: If you can do steps 1-5 first on a workbench, and then install the completed shelf, and add the bottom in place, it will be much easier.  Due to our alclove installation, we had to build in place which was much more difficult.

If building in alclove, attach back 2x3 to wall with screws suitable for your wall type.  For a standard framed wall, 3" self tapping wood screws should suffice.  Mark studs and attach securely to studs, two screws per stud. You want to place your screws toward the top and bottom edges of the 2x3s to maximize shelf strength.

Step 2

The top plywood should not span more than about 32" - so you'll need dividers about every 32".  

If you can attach the supports from the back with 3" self tapping screws, that works.  We had to build in place so used the Kreg HD screws to attach supports to the back. Do not attach to any side walls until after step 3.

Step 3

Place 3/4" plywood on top of 2x3 framing and attach with 1-1/4" brad nails and wood glue.

Make sure everything is square - if not, the drawers will not slide right.

After the plywood is attached to top and glue dried, you can attach 2x3s to side walls, just shim if needed to make sure you keep the 2x3 framing square.


NOTE: we prestained the 3/4" plywood before installing.

Step 4

Measure the insides of the 2x3 framing.  Build racks 1" less overall in width for Liberty drawer slides linked in shopping list or to suit your drawer slides. Rack depth should match your drawer slide length.  I used hardwood 1x2s and closet rod dowels to build, using Kreg Jig on 3/4" setting with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

Step 5

Step 6

Nail 1/4" plywood to bottom of 2x3s using 3/4' brad nails.  Nail 1x4s to front of slide out trays with 1-1/4" brad nails and wood glue.


NOTE: We prestained the 1/4" plywood and 1x4s before installing.



Mon, 01/21/2019 - 16:18

I have visited the link for the Liberty drawer slides and tried to search for both online and local places to purchase. Nothing can be located. Is there an online retailer to buy these from?

Brian Famous

Tue, 01/22/2019 - 05:10

You can get the Liberty drawer slides on Amazon

Of course, Liberty is just the brand.  The important things you want to look for in a side mounted drawer slide are:

  • Length, so it is shorter than your shelf
  • Full extension, so you get maximum reach when it pulls out
  • Soft automatic close, so it doesn't slam shut, but does shut completely.
  • Load rating, how much weight can it handle. If you're hanging wet clothes on it, you need it sturdy.



Thu, 09/10/2020 - 06:13

Where do you buy your wood? The 2x3s at Lowes and Home Depot are always so warped, I don't see how they could be used to mount drawer slides on and come out remotely straight.


Sun, 09/13/2020 - 07:22

You and I have the same timing! I was just fussing about the same thing last night after screwing everything together to find out my 2x3's looked like a spiral staircase. My drawers feel quite stuck.


Thu, 09/10/2020 - 06:13

Where do you buy your wood? The 2x3s at Lowes and Home Depot are always so warped, I don't see how they could be used to mount drawer slides on and come out remotely straight.


Thu, 03/04/2021 - 10:14

I was curious about the limits on the depth of the shelf if I choose to use 2X4s instead of 2X3s. I would like to make my drying racks a little deeper and I think the extra inch is just the thing, but I know it adds extra weight. You have a tutorial for hanging shelves that use 2X4s, but they're much shallower. Any idea? I don't want it pulling off of the wall from the additional weight.


Wed, 06/30/2021 - 09:52

Newbie here! I'm hoping to make these for my laundry room. From what I can tell, for my laundry baskets to nicely rest on the shelves it would be best for them to be 20 inches deep. But I don't want them opening/pulling out that far due to doorway constraints. Does it work to go with shorter drawers slides and making the inner drawer portion shorter than the shelf itself? Otherwise, my space is relatively similar to this design in dimensions.