Master Closet Tower for Sewing Mom Momplex Unit

Difficulty
Intermediate
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About Project

Closet tower plans from Ana-White.com

So we've been saying for months - make that years - that when we get one Mom moved in at the Momplex, we are going to take a break, not touch a tool, and do nothing for weeks.

Well, I lasted exactly one whole day.

One whole day of hanging out around the house, folding laundry, watching tv, and making sure every dirty dish got immediately put in the dishwasher ... and that's about all I could take.  It was torture for me.

I cannot just live a life of maintaining.  I have a fundemental need, addiction, whatever you want to call it, to improve and make things. 

My aunt always says everyone needs a creative outlet. 

Some of us might need a creative eight lane freeway.

So after a day of not working, guess where I went?

Back to work.

Yes, I have a problem.  I know.

There's no closet organizer in the master closet up at the Momplex.

And that just keeps me up at night.

So first, I measured the closet,

And sketched out a quick layout for the closet.  It's a long, narrow closet, so I decided to just do shelving along the one wall.  The opposite wall has a window, and the door swings into it, so it's pretty much not going to do much work. 

On the far wall, I could have turned the corner with the closet, but everything I've ever heard is corners in closets are very difficult to use.  So we'll put a mirror at the end of the closet.

With an overall closet span of over 9 feet, we'll need something to break the span up - and also provide more organization and shelving for Mom.

So I sketched up a tower using plywood sides and a face frame with a little decorative header.  I know this is just a closet tower, but really, it's not a ton more work to make it look nicer, be more structurally sound, and last longer - so I put in the extra effort.

The plans for this closet tower follow - so scroll down if you want to build this tower for your own closet.

I opted to use PureBond plywood for this closet, to match the rest of the Momplex, and because it's formaldehyde free, made with soy-based adhesives instead, and made right here in North America - and it's pretty!  

I ripped it down into strips, 15 3/4" wide on the table saw.  My friends at 3MDIY.com sent me a set of 3M™ Tekk Digital headphones so I can listen to my favorite tunes (wondering if I can tune it to a baby monitor too???) while working - and of course eye protection.

We have a dust collector hooked up to the table saw so there's not a big sawdust problem where we cut, but I'd also recommend a 3M™ mask(especially if you were cutting plywood made with formaldehyde in it).

Once all the pieces were cut, I used my Kreg Jig to build the basic box and face frame,

And then tacked some trim on with my Ryobi nailer.

And what do you know???

I built a closet tower!!!

No matter how big or small the project, I love that feeling of seeing your finished project all put togehter.  But we all know, building is the easy part.  It's the finish that takes the time and work.

Even though I had taken my time cutting the header out with a jigsaw, it's a jigsaw - it doesn not cut a perfectly smooth curved cut.  You still have to sand it.

Using a power sander can quickly take off too much, leaving you with an uneven header.  A sanding block is square, so it's difficult to sand curved cuts with it.

3M Sanding Pads to the rescue!

Now that's more like it!

Where I nailed the face frame and trim on, there were some nail holes showing.  A little dab of 3M Wood Filler ,

And then a quick all over sanding after the wood filler dried (used 3M Advanced Abrasives Sandpaper in varying grits)

And she's ready for paint!

Oh yes, she's definitely a she!

Since I'm preggers, and we live in Alaska where it's currently -30F and painting outdoors in not an option, the Ram was kind enough to paint this project for me, and haul it up to the closet ....

I squealed when I saw it in the closet!!!  

Yes, I am that girl that squeals about closet organizers instead of what is IN the closet organizer.  

The shoes can wait, I'm checking out the pretty moulding, and how it fits over the baseboard.

You get me.  

With the tower in the closet, I then determined where to place it.  I wanted about 2 feet on the far side for dresses and long coats, and then the remainder for two rows of hanging storage for shirts and pants.

So I took a measurement, and cut and Kreg-jigged holes on top of the shelf,

And then attached the shelf to the closet side.

On all the studs in the walls, I attached the shelf using L brackets underneath.

The shelves are just plywood, so the edges aren't the prettiest.  I can fix that!!

I had the Ram also prepaint me some 1x2s, that I just cut down to size,

And nailed it over the front exposed plywood edges. This also helps support the front of the shelf.

And then I used 3M Wood Filler in white for filling the nail holes.

Almost done - just need a few closet rods hung!

These pole sockets were about $1 a set, so I opted to use them.  It's just a matter of finding where you want the closet rod to be centered, and attaching - here I attached the pole sockets first to wall cleats,

And then attached the wall cleats to studs in the wall.

The opposite cleat is just attached directly to the tower,

And then I cut the closet rods to fit and hung them in place.

Tingles, I tell you!!!

Perfect for hanging shirts and pants on the left, larger side,

And then just enough space on the far side for dresses and longer pieces of clothes.

Hope Grandma likes it!

I certainly enjoyed building it!

Sending out a shout-out to my friends at 3MDIY.com for helping me keep safe while building, and helping me finish out this project with ease and collaborating with me on this post!



This post is a collaboration with 3M DIY. To keep up-to-date on projects, products and sampling visit 3MDIY.com.

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Check out the free plans following!!!

XO Ana

Dimensions
Dimensions shown above

Preparation

Shopping List

1 - full sheet 3/4" plywood cut into three strips 15-3/4" wide and 8 feet long (you'll need more for additional shelving - this will only cover the tower)
1 - full sheet of 1/4" plywood (you won't need this if you do fixed shelves, but if all of your shelves are adjustable like mine, you will need the back for support)
2 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long (I used poplar)
1 - 1x4 @ 2 feet long (I used pine for my header)
1 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long
1 - 3/4" x 3/4" inside corner moudling for trimming out header (optional)
about 6 feet of base moulding
1-1/4" pocket hole screws (recommended) or 2" self tapping wood screws
1 - 1/4" finish nails for attaching face frame
recommend smaller nails for attaching back but you could use the 1-1/4" - just be careful when shooting them
wood glue
Shelf pins
Plywood Edge banding and an iron

Cut List

BOX
2 - 3/4" plywood @ 15 3/4" x 72" (sides)
6 - 3/4" plywood @ 15-3/4" x 22-1/2" (Shelves**, top and bottom)
1 - 1/4" plywood @ 24" x 72" (back)

FACE FRAME
1 - 1x2 @ 24"
2 - 1x2 @ 71 1/4"
1 - 1x2 @ 21"
1 - 1x4 @ 21"

BASE - Optional
4 - 2x2 @ height of baseboard
2 - 2x2 @ 21"
2 - 2x2 @ outside depth of tower MINUS baseboard depth
baseboard trim cut to fit

**For shelves that are adjustable with shelf pins (as mine are) you may need to trim the shelves down by 1/4" in width and depth to allow for edge banding and shelf pin spacing)

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Drill
Circular Saw
Jigsaw
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!

Instructions

Step 1

Start by building the basic box - I used my Kreg Jig with 3/4" pocket holes and 1-1/4" pocket hole screws, placing pocket holes on the outsides (top and bottom of top and bottom).

Step 2

I used a shelf pin jig to drill shelf pin holes for adjustable shelves. If you do this, you will need to trim your shelves down so they fit the shelf pins (for my shelf pins this ended up being 1/4" in overall width) and also trimmed off 1/4" to allow for edge banding and easy shelf placement from the overall depth of the shelf.

For fixed shelves, the shelves can be placed at any height. You will still need to do something to finish off the front plywood edges. For a painted finish, you can apply wood filler to the front plywood edge, sand, and paint. For a stained finish, edge banding is recommended (although I've seen lots of stained plywood edges on modern furniture an it's really works too!). Another option is to integrate 1x2s into the face frame that will cover the front plywood edges.

Step 3

If you don't do fixed shelves, you will need a back to keep the tower from splaying out in the center. I attached my back with nails and glue.

Step 4

The face frame really helps make the front look nice and finish out the front plywood edges. I built my face frame first with pocket holes, and then attached the whole thing to the front of the tower with glue and finish nails.

Step 5

Step 6

Then I trimmed out the base of the tower in matching baseboard to the closet baseboard, mitering corners and using a finish nailer and glue to attach to the 2x2 base.

I also added the 3/4" x 3/4" inside corner moudling to the top header and cut the top header out with a jigsaw to add detail - but this is all just for decoration - not sturctural.

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.

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