Making a Simple DIY Shoe Rack

Shoe collections can get problematic, regardless of your gender. Of course, you can always go with a commercial option, but for those of us with some real DIY inclination a self-made shoe rack is a fantastic idea.

While you could just build a series of box shelves, a lot more fun can be had if you do something truly creative.

Read on and we’ll show you a quick and easy way to prepare a unique rack with a distinctive look, and anyone can do it.

Victoria, Homethods Author

1.) Tools and Materials

You’re going to need to make sure you have all of this together in order to build the rack properly. For your tools, almost anyone will have what they need lying around.

You’re going to need the following:

A Hacksaw or Chop Saw

  • Sandpaper
  • Measuring Tape
  • PVC Pipe Cement
  • Clothespins
  • Paint(optional)

Once you’ve got all of that together, head down to the nearest hardware store and pick up some lengths of PVC pipe with a 6” diameter.

In order to determine just how much pipe you need, you’ll want to measure your largest shoe lengthwise, decide how many pairs you want to be able to store, and multiply by that amount. If, for instance, your biggest shoe is eight inches long and you want to build a small rack for by the door holding eight pairs of shoes, you’ll need 64” of pipe.

Most people will want to build a bit more than that of course, but it’s up to you.

2.) Prep the Pipes


First things first, you’re going to have to cut the pipes. A hacksaw will be easier to make a straight cut with, but if you’re planning on creating a truly large rack it’s going to take some time. Some chop saws will be able to reach high enough to cut the 6” pipe without much difficulty, but don’t try with a table saw or standard circular saw.

Once you’ve gotten the pipe chopped and in pieces, the real fun starts.

Sand the edges of the pipe in order to deburr the plastic and provide a smooth finish. Afterwards, you’ll probably want to wash them. Just throw them in the shower and run the water for awhile and get all the dust off of them.

At this point, you’ll want to decide whether you’re going to paint them or not. A little bit of paint can go a long way in making sure it fits in with your home’s aesthetic but it can also take a considerable amount of time.

The choice is yours, just make sure that all of the pipes are a uniform length and the cuts are straight on each of them.

3.) Assembling the Rack

At this point, you’ll be getting ready to glue them together, but grab a shelf or something first in order to block off the point where you want them to go. Make sure any paint is already dry at this point if you decided to finish them in that way.

If you didn’t paint them, try to place the rows in such a way as to hide the markings on the pipe as you lay things down.

As you can see in the picture above, you’ll be creating alternating rows in order to add a little bit of visual flair to the final aesthetic. A book shelf should work just fine, but even a couple of nailed together 2x4s should provide enough support for you to quickly and easily assemble things.

The main obstacle here is going to be patience. Make sure that you set each piece of pipe deliberately. PVC glue is usually brushed on to the surface, cover the entire facing side from front to back to make sure that you have a tight fit. Try to keep the glue from spreading when you attach the pipes.

For side to side fitting, place the glue at the 90° points. This will help to ensure a strong bond and a minimal amount of leakage. Keep a rag handy in case you lay down too much glue and it gets squished out during the fitting.

For vertical fits, establish where the points of contact are then put glue down in a thin line along the points. A carpenter’s pencil can be quite handy here, just mark on the edge of the pipe where things are going to be touching. You can always turn the rack around later if you don’t want to bother removing the marks.

Now, technically you’re done at this point but…

4.) Adding On

This set up is truly modular, meaning you can add on to it extremely easily if you decide that your initial construction wasn’t large enough. Just figure out how many more shoes you want to stick in there, and get some more pipe. You can keep adding to it however you might like.

You can also get a bit creative with this design if you’d like, it’s relatively simple to make a complex shape like an arch if that’s what you’re going for. If a design isn’t balanced, however, you’ll have to weight the bottom.

You can weight the bottom easily enough with a couple of bricks at key places. For instance, if you make a half arch you can slide a few bricks into pipes on the side which forms the “base” of the arch as a counterweight.

You can also screw it off to a few boards and into the wall if you really need all of the pipes for your shoes.

Either way, you now have a unique new addition to your home and a handy place for shoes. Not bad for an afternoon’s worth of work.


No need to shop around for the best prices on a shoe rack, you can put this together easily for a small amount of money and you’ll be able to add and subtract from it as you see fit. Anyone can pull this off, so give it a shot and make a truly novel place to hide your footwear.