Shoe Dresser

A narrow tilt out shoe storage unit that looks like a console table, acts like an entire shoe closet!

Special thanks to Niki for sharing her photo.


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!


The boots are still there, but the shoes are gone.

It was indeed odd, seeing our Alaska entryway free of shoes and outfitted with a green dresser.

Mom, where are my Uggs?  In the dresser, honey.

Hey, that's not a dresser!

That's a shoe bin!

Yes, this is a shoe bin.  And these are the plans for it.

Someone once asked me: Why do women love shoes?   I responded "because they always fit, and when nothing else does, your cute shoes will distract from your jeans not fitting."  Have your dessert, and buy some cute shoes  :)  And build  :)

Modern Mod

If your taste is more on the modern side, save yourself some knobs and cut handles out.

This shoe dresser is designed to work with tight hallways and tons of shoes.

Shopping List: 

4 – 1×8, 8 foot length
2 – 1×6, 8 foot length
scrap 2x2s for the feet
3 – 1×2, 8 foot length
4 – 3/8″ wood dowel pins, 1 1/2″ long or two sets of traditional hinges
2″ screws or 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
1 1/4″ Screws
2″ Finish nails
wood glue
4 magnetic cabinet clasps
knobs or pulls
A used fabric belt or strap
Finishing Supplies

measuring tape
hammer (can be substituted for brad nailer with a nail punch)
safety glasses
hearing protection
General Instructions: 

I have marked this one Advanced not because it is difficult to build, but because it could be easy to mess up. Please don’t tackle this as a first project.

Dimensions are shown above.
Cut List: 

4 – 1x8s @ 47″ Door Faces (measurements differ from diagrams to conserve boards)
1 – 1×8 @ 47 1/4″ Middle Shelf (measurements differ from diagram to conserve boards)
2 – 1x8s @ 48 3/4″ (Top and Bottom (measurements differ from diagram to conserve boards)
2 – 1x8s @ APPROXIMATELY 31″ (See step 2) Sides
2 – 1×6 @ 47″ (Bin Bottom) (measurement differs from diagram to conserve boards)
6 – 1×6 @ 14″ (Approximate)
4 – 1×2 @ 47″ (Bin Backs)
1 – 1×2 @ 47 1/4″ (Cleat)
2- 2×2 @ Your Base Board + 1″ (Legs)
1 – 1×2 @ 44 3/4″ (Front Apron)
2 – 1×2 @ 5″ (Side Aprons)

Step 1: 

Door Faces

Cut your door faces. If you have a Kreg Jig™, attach door faces to make two doors. If not, that’s okay, I got you covered in the next step. Measure the overall height of the doors and take note of this. 1x8s differ from mill to mill, so be aware and build according to your board widths.

Step 2 Instructions: 


Start by attaching the 1×6 to the bottom of the doors as shown above with 2″ screws or pocket hole screws. Use glue. Then cut your bin dividers according to the height of your doors and round corners off. Attach in place. If you did not build your door faces in step 1, you can use finish nails and glue to attach the door faces to the dividers. You can use more dividers to add more support for the door faces (and more division of your shoe storage).

Step 3 Instructions: 

Bin Backs

You need something to keep the shoes from tipping out. How about a couple of 1x2s? Screw and glue in place.

Step 4 Instructions: 


The box needs to be build around your bins, with a 1/8″ gap around the door faces. We’ve aleady accounted for the gaps on the sides of the doors, but not the top and bottom. As shown in the diagram, figure the exact measurement of the sides and cut. Build your box.

Step 5 Instructions: 


Attach the cleat to the top inside of the box. Use screws and glue. This one also helps firm up the top. You will screw through the cleat into the wall to secure the shoe dresser in it’s final home.

Step 6 Instructions: 


Now this is the tricky part. Not so much trick to do but trick for me to explain. Clamp the bins centered in their box, with a 1/8″ gap around all sides. If you don’t have clamps, 1 1/4″ screws could do the trick from the inside of the bins. Drill a 3/8″ hole at the bottommost front corner of your bins, careful to make sure the hole drills into the bins and does not miss the bins. The hole needs to be the depth of your wood dowels. Insert the dowels and test the bins out. Alternatively, you can use traditional hinges.

Step 7 Instructions: 


Attach the footer to the bottom as shown above.

Step 8 Instructions: 

The Used Belt

Have someone give you a hand, because this one is tricky to handle here. There’s only two front legs and the bins keep flopping open . . . I know Tilt the bin out to the desired max opening. Cut a piece of the belt to and screw it to the bin and the shelf below the bin. Make two straps per bin.

Step 9 Instructions: 


Keep the bins shut using the magnetic clasps. I used them on the sides for a nice tight fit. Screw the cleat to a stud in the wall behind the shoe dresser to keep it in place and to keep it from falling forward when the bins open.

Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 


I love this! I have a CD/DVD organizer that works on the same principle and it is my favorite piece of furniture. I love that you found a way to make this work for shoes!

Another great project. I swear you read minds. We all must be sending you psychic messages in our frustration and need. Lucky for us, we have you to lead the way! Awesome!

I have been wanting a shoe dresser for three years! Almost broke down at Ikea last week and bought one for $100. Sooooooo glad I didn't! Everything on my to-do list is now pushed back; I'm making this this weekend!!! Even though I am not advanced, haha! Thank you Ana!!

THANK YOU!!! The pile of shoes has been driving me crazy but didn't have enough room to store them. This will work perfect!!! You're an angel!

Genius, Ana! This can be made to look like a vintage dresser or console, and nobody would know! Faux apothecary drawer fronts would look awesome on this too. Love the tilt-out bins instead of just an open cavity.

I think I neeeeeeeeeeed this. With a literally MAN-made closet (super-long length, but just deep enough for hangers and narrower-than-standard door, and I rent, so I can't fix it or it would totally be worth knocking out some wall) I've had a cheap over-the-door rack to contain my enormous amount of shoes! But with that tiny space, it gets crammed and snags on the door while closing, and on clothes while opening. But MEANWHILE, I have plenty of wallspace! If I can rig this to where I can add a bookshelf to the top and it not fall over... I always need space for more books! THANK YOU ANA!

I, too, have been coveting the shoe dresser at Ikea. I am not ready to build this yet (need a little more practice) but I love it and I WILL do it eventually!

This is so awesome. I'm always getting on my kids to put their shoes in the front hall closet instead of taking them off where ever they happen to be. Although, I really do need something for boots- big, break- your- toe- when- you- trip- over- them- Army boots. Since my husband has been gone for the last 6 months, it hasn't been a big deal- since they all stayed where I put them after he left. But he'll be home soon and my toes are already in pain. I was going to make him grace's shelves and maybe put some doors on it. I have one cut up in my garage right now that I hope to be able to assemble this weekend.

I've had an Ikea shoe dresser for a few years. The shoes have migrated a bit and I have an empty drawer. It works great for a filing station too!! Right there in the entry for mail and papers and such.

I have loved so many of your posts, but this one is something that I really need and not just want. So perfect for our narrow hallway in from the garage when we dump shoes. The nearest Ikea is 313 miles and you can't order the shoe cabinet online so I will build this one!!! Thanks so much.

I always know if I wait long enough you will provide me with what i need. Call me lazy if you will. I too saw th Kiea shoe bins and have wanted them but didn't want to shell out money for something that may not fit. This is perfect and I can modify it to the new addition we are putting on!

Holy freakin' cow! And I was just thinking that I really need to cut back on my shoes because I have no storage space. Anna, you're such an enabler!!! :)

This is so clever! I saw something like this in the new Storage magazine but yours is mucho better because:
B)I can build one myself!
Now I'm excited we have tons of shoes & no place for them! I'd prolly have to make a smaller one due to our small house &less space.
Oh, also in storage magazine is the Pottery Barn Day bed but I was like HAHA! I can make one cheaper! I'm debating on which bed to make my 2 1/2 year old she likes space; to move around & the toddler bed isn't working. But we got a tiny room because she shares with her sister. I'm also gonna build the closet storage because a tiny room deff. needs more storage! Thanks so much for the plans! I look forward to your posts everyday!
Karin Marie:)

So exciting! I saw a similiar thing at Ikea but didn't want to pay what they were asking. This is a must do project for us! Thanks!

I think your shopping list off. I think it needs another 8' 1x8.

I was making a cut sheet for this so I could make one this weekend.

Fabulous!!! I'm smack in the middle of building the kids locker for my front hallway w/ the shelf on the bottom for shoes instead of the top for bins. This, however, I NEED! I'm already thinking where it will go! Love it!!!

OHHH I sooo need this too! 5 of us in a teeny tiny house with no storage and too many shoes! We've looked at the Ikea one every time we are there but never bought it. I would way rather build it anyways! Brilliant...thank-you.
Lisa P

Thank you Thank You THANK YOU!!!

With eight of us in the house, there's a serious shoe-storage problem around here. lol This is the perfect solution . . . and for many times less than premade options. Now, to figure out where to put it in this rental . . .

Perfect for me!! We just had a "disagreement" about how we are not going to build a coat rack to go by the door (since you come right into the dining room & hubby thinks it looks tacky, but I think it is tackier to have a constant pile). But the kids STILL put their coats and shoes by the door. This way, they can be truly HIDDEN and handy!

Hi Ana! Thanks for this wonderful plan! We're planning on building it this weekend but I noticed some parts of the instructions were cut off of the pdf as well as on the website. Am I right? Thanks again, you're the BEST!

Heels and flats can go stacked . . . I would say about 12 pairs of smaller shoes (heels/flats) and perhaps 8 pairs of sneakers. This is per bin, so double that. It's huge.

looking at the plans...the "shelves/drawers" look like the bookcase/shelves from the inside view! he he just my randomness there...! ;)

Ana, I have shamelessly begged for this, and now it will be MINE!!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of making apothecary drawer fronts! Will be distressing the you-know-what out of it... move over Ikea and PB!!

I just started this on Friday! You need to buy 5 1x8 x 8ft long. (you will have 1/2 of it left over. For the faces though I am using a 1x16x 96in paint grade panel, but I am leaving it natural. I love the checkerboard look on it.

You are a genius! Thank you so much for these plans. This is exactly what we need for our tiny entry area. My husband, who is never excited about new projects, is about this one.

I'm not sure I understand the dowel part but otherwise, I am in love with this plan. I have a TINY entryway and finding something that could fit in it is almost impossible but THIS would fit!

Okay, so here's the deal. I love, love, love your site and you've inspired me in so many much so that I asked my own personal Santa for a Kreg jig for Christmas and I got it! (So, as soon as my garage gets a bit warmer, I've got a long list of things I'll be building!) With regard to this shoe dresser, the problem my family always runs into is that we're tall. Seriously tall. My husband and two sons each wear size 13 shoes (and growing in the case of #2 son) 11-year old daughter is wearing an 8 1/2 or 9 and I stopped at a 10. These folding drawer things NEVER fit our shoes (let alone boots). So, how would I modify this to fit OUR shoes? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I love this! Made it immediately, only took a few hours to cut and assemble! My 6 year old started using it before I got the hinges installed! I made it 32 inches to accomadate my entryway, still loads of space. I have modified the plans to make a storage unit for my bathroom. Will have 3 bins, top will be a 1x8 and then 2 1x12 panels. perfect for makeup, hair products, and all those hair dryers, irons, etc. littering my bathroom floor. Hope to build it this week!!!!!

I have an IKEA shoe dresser, and the cubby/drawer section is so poorly designed all four were broken within a week. I'm going to retrofit the cubbies using this method! So much better

I started building this last night. Here are a couple of thoughts along the way. No matter how I figure it, I come up short on the 1x8's for the shopping list. So I had to run back to orange this morning. I think 3 foot 1x8's and 1 10 foot 1x8 should work. If you plan on using dowel pins, be careful about the placement of pocket holes in the outside box. I happened to put pocket holes right about where I need to do the dowel pins for the bottom bin.. OOPS!

For some reason, I was intimidated by the thought of the dowel pins. So I bought hinges, but while I was dry-fitting the drawers, it started to look like the hinges were going to be even more trouble. The dowel pins were a piece of cake. I had some shims that I wedged on all sides to keep it centered. So easy!!

As I get to cutting, I'm coming up short on the 1x8x8's as well when comparing the required cuts to the shopping list. The diagram makes it look like the 31" pieces might even be 1x6x8's vice 1x8x8's? HALP!

Just an FYI. I purchased the equipment list for this dresser in the Stock dimensions. In North Texas in the current market the lumber and supplies cost around $110 USD. This may help others as they plan.

I will be providing images of my modified application of the plans once I am complete. Love the plans.

These instructions are fantastic, and I've already procured the bulk of the wood needed to build it. Nevertheless, there's one thing I don't get.

Is anyone able to elaborate on how the dowel mechanism works for opening the drawers? I'm sure it's just something obvious I'm missing... but as the dowels are a moving part, it seems like unless there's a perfect fit, the dowels can eventually pop out (if too loose) or seize up (if too tight) in the holes drilled for them.

Additionally, the plans call for an eighth inch reveal/gap between the drawers and dresser casing. The plans don't seem to indicate whether any sort of spacer should be inserted to maintain this eighth inch gap. I'm sure normally there's only very little lateral movement of the bins when opening and closing them. However, I imagine over time they'll move far enough that one side ends up with a quarter inch gap while the other side starts rubbing up against the case. Has anyone experienced this?