Industrial Locker-Style Closets

Make a multifunctional closet that has a locker room aesthetic.

Industrial Locker-Style Closets

Make a multifunctional closet that has a locker room aesthetic.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Materials

For the Shelves
(4) pieces of plywood, 96" × 24" (or an appropriate size for your space)
(2) pieces of plywood, 96" × 31" (or an appropriate size for your space)
(6) pieces of plywood, 24" × 18" (or an appropriate size for your space)
Drill
Pocket hole system
Pocket hole drill bit
Tape measure
Pencil
Safety glasses
Wood glue
Quick square
(48) 1¼" screws
(40) ¾" screws
Driver
Appropriate drill bits
Plywood edging
Iron
Craft knife
Wood putty
220-grit sanding pads
Stain
Rags
Gloves

For the Desk
(8) L-brackets
(1) piece of ¼" plywood, 30" × 20" (or an appropriate size for your space)
(1) piece of plywood, 30" × 18" (or an appropriate size for your space)
(32) ½" screws
Level
Tape measure
Pencil
(2) 23" closet rod, 1 5/16" in diameter (or an appropriate size for your space)

Steps
    Making the Shelves
  1. Set the pocket hole system to the ¾" setting. Clamp one piece of 24" × 18" plywood into the pocket hole system so that the 24" side will be drilled into

  2. Drill four holes into the 24" side using the pocket hole drill bit. The exact placement of these holes does not matter, as long as they are relatively evenly spaced. Flip the plywood 180 degrees and drill four more holes directly opposite of the first set of holes

  3. Carpentry Tip: Not all drill bits will work for this step. The pocket hole drill bit should have a protrusion to indicate when to stop drilling. The tip is also specialized to create the specific hole needed. Because of this, it is important to have the right drill bit for this project!

  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for one other 24" x 18" piece of plywood
  5. Lay out the 96" × 24" piece of plywood. Measure and mark where to place the 24" × 18" plywood shelves. One will be 18" from the bottom 24" side of the 96" × 24" plywood, and the other should be 72" from the bottom 24" side of the 96" × 24" plywood

  6. Apply wood glue along the 24" edge of the 24" × 18" plywood. Then adhere it to the 96" × 24" plywood at the 18" mark with the drilled holes facing toward the bottom 24" side

  7. Use the driver to insert four 1¼" screws into the holes made by the pocket hole system to secure the 24" × 18" plywood to the 96" × 24" plywood. Use a quick square to make sure it is at a 90-degree angle before doing so

  8. Repeat steps 2 through 6 for two more 24" × 18" plywood shelves. One of the shelves should be placed at the 72" mark, and the last one should be placed flush with the top edge of the 96" × 24" plywood

  9. Design Tip: If you accidentally attach the shelves with the drilled holes facing upward instead of downward, it’s not the end of the world. Plugs are available at any hardware store to make the holes less visible.

  10. Move the entire project aside for a moment. Lay a second piece of 96" × 24" plywood on top of the table, and then rest the first piece back on top so it forms a ladder with the second 96" × 24" plywood

  11. Measure the 18" and 72" points again on the new 96" × 24" plywood to ensure that the shelves will be straight. Turn the first 96" × 24" plywood 90 degrees to apply wood glue to the 24" × 18" shelves before adhering it to the appropriate markings

  12. Turn the project again so you can insert four 1¼" screws into each of the pocket holes of the shelf at the 18" mark to attach the 24" × 18" plywood shelf to the second 96" × 24" plywood. Repeat for the remaining two 24" × 18" plywood shelves

  13. Sand all exposed surfaces of the project

  14. Cut two 96" strips and three 23" strips of the plywood edging. Use the iron to adhere it to the edges of the front shelves. Be sure to iron the strips for at least a few minutes so they become completely attached to the shelves

  15. Trim excess edges of the plywood edging with a craft knife. Sand down if necessary

  16. Apply wood putty at the intersections where each wood piece meets

  17. Cover exposed surfaces with stain using a dry rag

  18. Apply stain to one side of the 96" × 31" piece of plywood
  19. Once all pieces of plywood have dried, lay the 96" × 31" plywood, stained side facing down, onto the 96" × 24" plywood shelves. Make sure it is flush with the side of the shelves that does not have plywood edging
  20. Pre-drill about eight holes on the 96" sides and two additional holes on the 31" sides of the plywood. Then insert ¾" screws into the pre-drilled holes to connect the 96" × 31" back piece to the shelves
  21. Repeat steps 1 through 18 to create a second set of shelves
  22. Installing the Desk
  23. Stain the 30" × 20" and 30" × 18" pieces of plywood and the two closet rod pieces. Set aside to dry
  24. Stand the completed shelves upright and place them into their desired location in the room. Leave about 30" of extra room between the two shelves for the desk

  25. Measure and mark 30" from the floor on both shelves. Make additional marks as needed to make sure the desk will be level

  26. Use two ½" screws to secure an L-bracket to the side of the shelves at the 30" mark. Repeat so that there are two L-brackets on each side of the shelves. Although the exact horizontal placement of these L-brackets does not matter, make sure they do not exceed 20" from the back of the shelves, since the desk piece is only 20" long
  27. Place the 30" × 20" piece of plywood on top of the L-brackets. This will be the desk top. Drill two more ½" screws into each L-bracket to secure
  28. Measure and mark 28" above the desk. This will be where the additional shelf will be installed
  29. Install L-brackets following the same instructions described in steps 22 and 23 using the 30" × 18" piece of plywood. Make sure the L-brackets do not exceed 18" from the back of the shelves
  30. Position the closet rod 12" into the closet and slightly below the upper shelf. Drill a 1¼" screw horizontally into either side of the rod through the 96" × 24" sides

  31. Carpentry Tip: Transfer the measurements for the position of the closet rod onto a scrap piece of wood and use it as a template as you measure and mark the remaining three sides of the rod.

  32. If you would like, install hooks into the back of the closet for additional hanging space