Typically, we use shoes every day and if you have a big family or a lot of shoes, you need to have them neatly organized. If your shoes are all over the place and you want them organized, I’ll show you how to build a DIY Entryway Shoe Rack that will solve this problem. Not only it keeps your shoes organized, but it’s also a good seating bench for your entryway to sit and put your shoes on. And best of all, it costs only $35 of material to make it. Here is a great and inexpensive DIY project to try for your home.
One of the most critical aspects of organizing your shoes is where you store them. Having a shoe rack bench at your entryway or mudroom is one of the best ways to keep your shoes organized. A seating bench that is designed as a shoe rack is very convenient for family members to sit and put on the shoe before leaving the house. By placing the shoe rack in a convenient place as possible, family members have no excuse not to put their shoes away where they belong and out of harm’s way.
Time to Complete
Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size. See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.
Step 1 – Cut all Pieces for the DIY Shoe Rack Bench
To build this DIY shoe rack, you will need five 2x6x8’ boards and one 8” long 4×4 piece. You could find these boards at your local hardware stores such as Home Depot or Lowes.
When purchasing the lumber, it’s important to choose the boards that are straight and not warped or twisted. Taking more time to find good boards will save you much frustration later on in the project.
From the lumber that you purchased at the store, pick out the best few boards for the top of the shoe rack. Construction lumber is not the prettiest lumber out there, so you always want to have the ugly side of the board facing down and the pretty side up.
Using a miter saw, first cut the best boards for the top of the shoe rack. Then cut the rest of the 2×6 pieces as shown on the cut list. You’ll notice that there are 3 sets of boards for each dimension, except for the 4×4 piece.
Step 2 – Drill Pocket Holes Using a Kreg Jig
Adjust your Kreg Jig settings for a 1 ½” board thickness and drill pocket holes as shown on the cut list. Make sure to drill pocket holes on a 4×4 piece as well.
If you’re planning to place heavy loads on the shoe rack bench, then you might want to add more pocket holes on the long pieces. But if it’s used for sitting and storing shoes, then the current pocket hole layout should work.
For reference, see an article I wrote on how strong the pocket hole screws are.
Step 3 – Sand all Boards
Once the pocket holes are drilled, using a random orbital sander, sand the boards on all sides. It makes the job much easier to sand the boards separately on the workbench as oppose to sanding when everything is assembled.
Step 4 – Join the Boards Together with Pocket Hole Screws
When using pocket hole screws for joining the boards together, try to use a clamp whenever possible. The clamp will keep the boards from shifting when you drive in the screws. A finished project with uneven boards does not look good, especially the most visible top section. But if you’re planning to do a rustic look, then it will be ok.
Place the pipe clamps on the workbench. Then arrange the boards inside the pipe clamps with pocket holes facing up. Apply wood glue between the boards and then tighten the pipe clamps. Use 2 1/2″ pocket holes screws to secure the boards together.
Step 5 – Stain and Paint All Sections
Now that we have the right size boards connected together in pairs of three, it’s time to stain. You could stain the shoe rack when it’s completely assembled, but it’s much more difficult to do that.
Since we’re using regular construction lumber, the boards need to be pre-stained before applying the stain. Typically construction lumber is derived from softwood such as pine trees. So when staining pine wood, the soft areas of the wood will absorb more stain and make it darker than the harder areas of the wood. Pre-staining blocks the pores in the soft areas of the wood to prevent the stain from being blotchy.
If you want to make a whitewash effect, after staining the boards, take a dry brush and dip the tip of the brush into the white paint. Then take that brush and wipe off any running paint with a shop paper towel. Swipe the brush across the boards applying very little pressure. Repeat the process until you reach the desired look.
Step 6 – Assemble Sides of the Bench
After staining and painting, take the top section of the shoe rack bench and place it on the ground upside down. Then take the 7 ½” section and 18 ½” section and attach them on each side using 2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws.
Step 7 – Assemble Middle Section of Entryway Shoe Rack
Next, take the middle 33” long section and place it on the ground upside down. Then attach the 8” section using 2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws.
Step 8 – Place Temporary Blocks for Assistance
Go back to the top section and stand two temporary 7 ½” tall blocks on the boards as shown in a picture. This will be used temporarily to hold the middle section.
Step 9 – Attach Shoe Rack Middle Section
Then take the middle section (assembled in step 7) and place it over the temporary scrap blocks. Attach the middle section using 2 1/2″ Wood Screws. Next place 8” long 4×4 board about 11” from the edge and attach it using 2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws.