Closet Makeover + How We Made Custom Built Ins!

Hi Friends! Happy, happy Tuesday! I’m SO excited to share today’s post. As most of you know, we have been fixing up our home room by room since the day we bought it. Yesterday, I shared another House Update, and today, we’re taking a closer look at one of our most recent projects… our closet makeovers!

When we bought this home, one thing we really liked was the size of the master bedroom. Compared to other houses we had seen in this style, our bedroom was bigger. Of course, it wasn’t our “dream” bedroom with the “dream” walk in closet and bathroom attached. But it was a decent size space that we knew we could make our own! Plus, it had a his and hers closet… which was perfect! We both have a lot of stuff.

But, when we moved in all of our furniture, we realized there was really only one way to set up the bedroom. We also realized that with a bed, night stands, vanity and dressers, the room quickly felt cramped. So, in typical Savannah fashion, I grabbed a pencil and some paper and started to day dream of ways we could fix up the space to work for us without making any crazy changes. It was pretty much common sense to know that the first way to make the space feel bigger was to remove some of the large pieces of furniture. But to be able to make it without dressers, we needed to upgrade our closets.

I decided right then and there I wanted to do closet makeovers and give us built ins. But, I wanted to do it on a budget. So I immediately started looking up Ikea hacks. Pinterest was full of pretty Pax Hacks that gave you a built in look from a standard bedroom closet. I followed a few plans and priced it out and honestly, I was kind of shocked it was going to cost us so much money. So I took it to Trev and told him what I was thinking. And he said “I can build that… for cheaper.”

And guys… he did. And our closets are SO FREAKIN’ BEAUTIFUL.

Didn’t he do amazing?! We spent HALF what we would have on pre-made pieces from Ikea and we were able to customize it to our specific needs! Let’s take a bit of a closer look 🙂

My closet has my dresser and shelves in the middle, with two rods for tops/jackets and one for dresses on each side. Trev’s is off centered because he has an access panel in the back of his closet that can’t be covered up.

So how did he DIY our built ins? He loosely followed these plans! The drawers and shelves are made to the exact specifications from Fix This Build That. The dresser and hutch ended up being a bit taller than we expected but since we didn’t need the room on top, it didn’t bother us. For the hanging spaces, Trev used the same method as described in the plans, but cut the length down to the measurements of our closets.

Because he followed someone else’s plans, I’m not going to go into full details of how he built them! But I am going to share some pictures of the process 🙂

This is the closest thing I have to before photos! As you can see, my closet used to be on the left and his was on the right. Fun fact, his was pink because he refused to paint it when we moved in and put all his clothes up! We switched closets because I needed my drawers to be in the middle so I had a space for my dresses to hang!
First photo Trev snapped of the project!

This wasn’t a quick process… we started our closets in November and finished them up early last month! However, we weren’t in a rush and Trev was just working on them as he had time. Depending on how comfortable you are with woodworking, you could probably get them done (both closets) in a week or two!

I asked Trev if he has any tips or tricks to help make this process easier and here is what he said!

  • Get your power tools ready. You can’t make these without a circular saw, table saw, pocket hole jig, drills and a sander. However, Trev used all sorts of things to make this process super smooth. He recommends using a Kreg Drawer Pull Jig, Kreg Rip Cut, clamps, dowel guide, and shelf pin jig too!
  • Measure, measure and measure again. Make sure you having accurate measurements and make accurate cuts. Small inaccuracies in the beginning can lead to alignment/squareness/flushness issues at the end.
  • Label your wood pieces! Just like you would see from Ikea, if you label the inside of your wood pieces it will make the assembly much easier!
  • Invest in a drawer pull jig. It makes your life way easier!
  • Unless you plan on rearranging your shelves a bunch, just drill enough holes to set it at a designated height. We put our shelves in the exact spots we wanted and don’t plan on moving them. So really, Trev wasted a bunch of time drilling the holes.
  • Take your time with the paint! We used Behr Premium Plus Interior Semi-Gloss Enamel in Ultra Pure White. He put 3 coats on and sanded everything with a fine grit (220) sand paper between each coat. The paint tends to raise the grain of the plywood, but a light sanding between coats will give you a nice smooth finish.

And if you’re hoping to make these too, I’m linking the exact products we used below.

Can you even believe that Trev turned a few sheets of plywood into these gorgeous closets?! I still can’t get over it. 😍 We completely transformed our closets for just over $200 a piece! (The Ikea hacks were going to cost us almost $400 a piece!) We love them and they are so functional. We don’t miss our old giant dressers… and love the extra space in our bedroom!

Alright my loves. I’m signing off for the evening, but I’ll be back for another #WhatUpWednesday tomorrow! Have the best night!


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