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build a wooden wardrobe

Ive been looking at options for storage for a bedroom  because it lacks a closet (very old home) and I found something that is somewhat suitable in style.



Id like to actually build this however because the only ones Ive found in stores happen to be "trendy" styles but the materials are questionable and build quality is typically lacking.



any recommendations on building something thats similar to these?


I did manage to find one locally for $120 and its decent in meeting my needs but the material and buil does not feel very sturdy.


it looks like this



same brand as however I do not see any dimensional drawings. the dimensions at the store are listed as 

47-1/2W x 20-1/4D x 72H


I do like this style as well


the main emphasis would be functional hanging space for stuff that needs to be hung (suits, etc) and cant be folded into a dresser. Also, an overhead storage compartment would be a nice set as well, especially with a locking compartment for firearm storage.


so, am I in over my head and better off purchasing the local unit and modifying it or can I realistically build something like this?


I would like to build a quality unit that I can take with me and hopefully bring to a newer house, one that will last and be able to be taken down and reconstructed if need be in the event of moving. I am pretty comfortable using tools. I have been doing all refinishing (drywall, electrical, painting, etc) in my house so I would rate myself as pretty capable of most home projects.


any chance someone can provide a plan to help me on this project?



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Posted 2012-01-29T05:44:39+0000  by Aleksander Aleksander

I didnt put doors on all the boxes since for the sake of discussion it would have been a bit redundant and you wouldnt see the options available. you can make the boxes as wide as youd like, it wouldnt change the concept any. your only limitation would be the amount of space you have available. you could make one box, for the sake of discussion, big enough to have two upper sections sitting on it. that lower box could be for hanging clothes. if you didnt want it on the bottom, simply reverse the idea to have the wider box sitting on two lower units.


the best way i can describe this type of thing is lego blocks. simply mix and match units together to get the design you want.


as for turning the shotgun rack 90°, that wouldnt be that big a deal to accomplish, it would still be done the same way as ive shown in the example. you may want to make that box a wider unit. the only drawback would be the depth you'd lose. the wider box with the false back and shotguns sliding out from the side wouldnt be able to support hanging clothes, unless you turned the closet rod 90 and lessen the quantity of items hanging in that unit. maybe make a wider box with the shotguns in back used for shelves. that way you can provide extra supporting cleats for the longer shelves to prevent sagging.

Posted 2012-03-23T01:47:10+0000  by Paul

Paul, I like your idea a lot.


I would like to keep everything that you proposed in the sketchup and just add a horizontal top shelf for some extra storage.


the modular idea sounds great as well. I imagine that dowels will hold most of it together and the top and bottom piece will function like a "cap" that holds it all in one piece. 


tomorrow I will measure out the area available and give you an idea of the outer dimensions that I think are possible/ideal. I will also photograph the space available so that if you have any recommendations/suggestions or see something that would get in the way, you can let me know as well. 


after doing so, I'd let to see if we can assemble a materials list and possible dimensions for all the parts/pieces I need so that I can get started on this.


currently Im refinishing an old antique dresser for the room, so I should be able to hopefully start in a week or 2. 


I am really looking forward to this and the modular idea sounds like a great and simple setup as well.


Thank you for the help.

Posted 2012-03-24T08:50:22+0000  by Aleksander

Click Here!

see if this will help!
Posted 2012-03-26T21:29:33+0000  by cotylee

I've been playing around with some ideas that could easily be adaptable to different measurements for a required space. Here's another take on the whole Lego Wardrobe concept. Again, I haven't shown it with doors, but they can easily be added to the face of any box. Also missing are the adjustable shelves, but you can see the holes in the large and medium boxes ready to accept them.




Posted 2012-04-03T22:09:24+0000  by Paul


that last idea looks great. where would you incorporate that firearm/shotgun storage with the barrel lock that you had shown earlier?


in one of the units on the left side?


Thanks again.


Heres the photos of the area. If all goes well with this. I may be able to eliminate needing a dresser on the perpendicular side of the room (foot of the bed) and be able to free up more space in the room this way.


I hope these photos give perspective of the space to work with. it is a rather small bedroom.

Ive included the following measurements as well.



the length of that wall is approx 128"

when the door is open (into the room) it gives 91" from the door to the wall where the heat/ac exit is. There will be a register cover here as soon as I find a place that makes them to the size of older houses.


from the shoe molding of this long wall pictured to the bed frame is 57"

from this same wall to the night stand/end table pictured is 36"


the height of the wall is 96".


Im trying to figure out optimal depth with walking space still available after as this side of the room contains primarily all of the walking space. Im not sure if the doors should be sliding or swinging for this reason as well.

Posted 2012-04-06T02:16:08+0000  by Aleksander

well if you want doors on the boxes, your clothes are going to have to be completely inside the box. that's going to mean about 24". no doors and we can do 15" depth

Posted 2012-04-06T09:11:13+0000  by Paul

I think I would want the doors there mainly to keep dust out and to give the room a less cluttered look. With doors its easier to hide whatever is in there if its not necessarily the most organized or neat lol.

Posted 2012-04-06T17:18:02+0000  by Aleksander

Ok, give me a week or two to come up with something.

Posted 2012-04-07T14:49:41+0000  by Paul

Here is what I've been working on for you Aleksander. I took your measurements and made a grid to give me something to work from.



It is all based off of the final width of the whole thing being 84". That should give you some clearance on the wall side and on the door side. Each cube is roughly 24" deep (not including the door), this should allow for clothing to be hung completely inside.


Maybe this will provoke some input from others:


Wardrobe 4 in progress.jpg


Cubes can be stacked on top of each other to form whatever configuration works best. Any cube, 21" or more high, has shelf peg holes spaced every two inches. As you see, you can add drawers, if desired. UPDATE: There's also no reason why you couldn't make something two units wide, like a bigger cube for hanging clothing.


Wardrobe 4 in progress.jpg

Since I just made the change while rereading my post, I didn't add in the second door on the bigger clothes hanging cube.


We need to talk about construction of the cubes. So far, I've done each of the cubes using rabbet joinery. This would mean using a router. If you don't have a router, we'll need to switch to something like a biscuit joiner. Butt joints alone would work for awhile, but their longevity would be in question.


Next we need to think about construction material. First thought would be baltic birch plywood. Clean, easy to work and easy to finish. There's also edge banding available to hide the plys along an exposed edge. Another option would be MDF. Typically, you'd paint this, but there are ways of staining it. Staining MDF is not really staining, but more of a faux technique, since MDF has no grain. Using gel stains and spray stains, or multiple colors of paint and/or glaze, you can create a wood grain look. Finally, you can buy glue up panels or make them yourself (back to the biscuit joiner or using dowels). Real, solid wood - stainable, paintable, easily worked with whatever joinery you desire. Cost to buy or making them is the issue with the panels. 

Posted 2012-04-10T21:19:05+0000  by Paul

sorry to butcher up your rendering, did it quickly in paint, this is what I could come up with, unless anyone else has ideas for better storage?


the bottom is a shoe rack type of deal. middle is drawers. above the clothing hanging area is a double wide shelf, on top of another double wide shelf. by double wide I mean twice the width of the original units in there, or a combination of the 2, then it is simply repeated for the second shelf above it.


The gun area has been left alone, it looks good. All in all it looks like a solid storage unit.


As for materials/tools.


I found a local guy who has a ton of wood in his storage. some used, some new, plywood, poles, etc.


I dont know if its worth buying to refinish the wood, or buying new wood just to stain. Some of the wood that I saw he had already would need some work. What depth would you say the wood sheets would need to be?


otherwise, the baltic birch sounds good. Im not familiar with how to make MDF look like wood, if you can elaborate on this.


Also, I do not have a router, but can investigate into buying/borrowing/renting one.

What do you suggest is the best way of doing this, or most efficient? Im guessing router, but wouldnt mind a little extra work if it means saving money in that regard, while still making a quality product.


also, please explain construction of those panels a little more as well. Im trying to fully grasp both techniques.


Should be ready to build soon. Working on restoring a solid pine dresser right now I picked up on CL as well. I love the quality of furniture built with real wood, its amazing how it holds up to time and age.

Posted 2012-04-17T09:51:37+0000  by Aleksander
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