Whether it features red-bottom heels or special edition sneaks, everyone loves an amazing shoe collection. Unfortunately, shoes are one of the trickiest items to organize in your home. They take up a lot of space, they don’t stack neatly, and they need to be easy to find when you need them.
That’s why having a solid shoe storage system is essential.
Store-bought systems can be expensive, and they don’t always fit the space that you have. Luckily, DIY shoe storage systems are easy and fun to create and can be customized to fit your needs.
Looking for ways on how to store shoes neatly? Below, we’ve collected 9 of our favorite creative and practical DIY shoe storage ideas to help you maximize space, declutter your closet, and take good care of your favorite footwear.
Types of Shoe Organization Systems
When it comes to shoe storage systems, you have several options to choose from depending on your shoes, your home’s layout, and where you have the most space.
- Wall-mounted systems – Wall mounted racks, shelves, or cubby systems that attach to a closet or entry wall are ideal for those who are short on floor space but have vertical space to spare.
- Underbed shoe storage – This option utilizes otherwise wasted floor space under the bed. Plus, rolling storage options can make it easy to pull the storage system out to find the shoes you want.
- Shoe storage bench – Benches with built-in shoe rack or cubbies are ideal for families who are often on the go.
- Free-standing systems – These include stand-alone shelves, ladders, and cubbies. This option is good for those who want a vertical storage system without installing wall-mounted hardware.
- Over-the-door shoe storage – Over-the-door shoe organizers are usually made of fabric or clear plastic and can be hung on the back of a door or on a wall. They’re an inexpensive option that’s easy to install without any tools—just hang it over your closet door, and you’re ready to go.
9 Best DIY Shoe Storage Systems
Of course, you can buy any of the above storage systems ready-made. But if you’re the creative type, it’s easy to make a DIY system that’s customized to your space. To give you some inspiration, we’ve put together some of the best DIY twists on each of these storage systems.
#1 Floating Shelf System
Shelf systems that install directly onto a closet wall are a sturdy and versatile option. You can buy shelf supports and shelves in a variety of lengths and depths at any home improvement store. To install a DIY shoe shelf system:
- Use a level and pencil to mark the height of your lowest shelf.
- Screw the first set of shelf supports to the wall, and set the shelf in place.
- To determine the height of your next shelf, measure the height of your shoes, but be sure to add a few inches of height to make them easy to access.
- Continue adding supports and shelves as needed to hold your full shoe collection.
This simple system can be tailored to fit any space, and you can easily add more shelves in the future as needed.
#2 Coat Hook or Peg Shoe Hangers
Rows of coat hooks or pegs make for an easy and fun way to hang your shoes from your closet wall. You can space the hooks however you prefer, and you can always add another hook or two whenever your collection grows.
#3 PVC Pipe Cubby System
If you’re feeling a little more handy, you can create an eye-catching honeycomb-style cubby system using 6” diameter PVC pipe purchased at any hardware store or lumberyard:1
- Start by cutting the PVC pipe into 10” or 12” sections, depending on the length of your shoes
- Use PVC glue and a set of clamps to glue the pipes together along the sides
- Continue adding sections of pipe, arranging the sections into any shape that fits your wall space—rectangle, hexagon, square, triangle, etc.
Each pipe will hold one to two pairs of shoes, depending on the type of shoe.
#4 Repurposed Step Ladder
This shoe storage solution doesn’t require any woodworking or advanced DIY skills. All you’ll need is an old ladder (and perhaps some paint if you’re feeling artistic!). Then, follow these steps:
- Give your ladder a thorough cleaning to remove stains, dust, and grease
- Paint if desired (or sand and refinish if using a wooden ladder)
- Lean the ladder against a wall or in a corner, then place your shoes in rows on the steps
With a few decorative touches like a potted plant, candles, or a lamp, your repurposed ladder can become a statement piece in your room.
#5 Wooden Letterbox Cubby
A wooden cubby organizer modeled after a vintage mail sorter makes for a beautiful piece of home decor, as well as a practical shoe storage option. To make one yourself, you’ll need some basic woodworking skills and the following supplies:2
- A miter box and handsaw
- Screws or nails
- Wood glue
#6 Crown Molding High Heel Storage
If your shoe collection includes a lot of shoes with stacked heels or stilettos, this storage solution is for you. You won’t need fancy tools or tough-to-find supplies, but you will need wall space and wall-mounting hardware, such as screws or wall anchors. Then, you’ll be ready for the following steps:
- Purchase a few lengths of crown molding from your local home improvement store. Most stores will cut these to length for you in-store, so measure your wall and decide on the lengths you want before you buy.
- Sand, seal, or paint your crown molding if desired.
- Use a level and measuring tape to mark the placement for each strip of molding on your closet wall. Twelve inches between rows is typically enough space.
- Mount each piece of crown molding using screws or wall anchors. If your shoes are light and the crown molding pieces aren’t too long, you may even be able to use repositionable glue strips to install the molding.
- Hang your shoes by the heels on your new crown molding shoe rack and enjoy your organized closet!
#7 Underbed Shoe Storage Drawer
Under-the-bed storage for your shoes is an ideal solution if you’ve run out of closet space. Not to mention, crafting a wheeled shoe storage drawer can be a simple weekend project that only requires a 2’ x 3’ piece of plywood, 4 pine boards, 4 furniture casters, wood glue or screws, and a drawer pull.
- Glue or screw the pine boards to form the four sides of the drawer. Clamp while the glue dries.
- Mount the sides to the plywood drawer bottom using wood glue and screws.
- Use screws to attach casters to four corners of the drawer bottom. This makes it easy to pull the drawer in and out from beneath your bed.
- Attach the drawer pull to the front of the drawer.
- Add dividers to the inside of the drawer if desired, or use as-is. This roomy storage system is perfect for boots and other large shoes.
#8 Shoe Bench
If your household tends to have a pile of shoes in the entryway, a bench with built-in shoe storage can keep things organized and accessible. Even better? Any long bench can be used for this purpose. To customize your bench for shoes, simply:
- Add a row of baskets or shoe storage boxes that fit underneath your bench
- Label the front of each basket or box with each family member’s name to make it easy to remember whose shoes go where
#9 Geometric Cardboard Shoe Rack
If you have a stockpile of cardboard boxes you’ve been saving for a rainy day, this is the perfect DIY project for you. All you’ll need is plenty of clean cardboard, strong tape, glue, a utility knife, and a straightedge.3
- Cut pieces of cardboard into 12” x 24” rectangles.
- Use your utility knife and straightedge to score each rectangle into thirds, roughly 8” wide by 12” long.
- Fold along the score lines to create a three-dimensional triangular tube.
- Tape along the long edge and at the front edge to give the cardboard a clean, finished look. Keep folding cardboard triangles in this manner until you have your desired number.
- Stack triangles in rows, starting with a row pointing upward. Fit the next row between, points downward. Tape or glue along the sides for extra reinforcement. Continue adding rows as desired.
Which Storage System is Right For You?
With so many options available, you might be wondering which DIY shoe storage system will work best for you and your shoe collection. Luckily, we’ve created this simple guide to help you hone in on your perfect shoe storage solution:
- If your closet offers more vertical space – Go for cubbies, a DIY shoe rack, or a shelving system that can be expanded as your shoe collection grows.
- If you have limited closet space – Stackable units that can fit maximum pairs of shoes into the least amount of space are your best friend. Geometric honeycomb-style units made of PVC, wood, or even cardboard are both compact and customizable.
- If you have lots of large shoes or boots – Underbed shoe storage might be the best solution for you, especially if you don’t need to access all of your shoes frequently. A customized under-the-bed pullout can be adapted to hold tall or large shoes that don’t fit well in cubbies or a rack.
Add More Shoes to Your Collection with Vionic
DIY shoe storage can be as simple and practical as cubbies made from upcycled cardboard or as decorative and beautiful as a handmade wooden shelving unit. No matter what kind of system you choose, your new storage solution will help you maximize space, keep your footwear in top condition, and add some personality to your home decor.
At Vionic, we understand how much you love your shoe collection, because we believe that comfortable, stylish, and supportive shoes are the foundation of every great outfit.
That’s why we offer a range of shoes suitable for any lifestyle, from performance and recovery shoes to stylish work shoes. Our collection includes sandals, sneakers, and more, all designed with our signature Vio-Motion™ technology for maximum foot health and comfort. The Vionic commitment to quality means you can trust that your feet are in good hands, no matter where life takes you.
Shop our collection to add to yours today.
- “How to build a recycled pvc wall mounted shoe rack.” Ideas2Live4. 19 July, 2018. https://diyprojects.ideas2live4.com/2018/07/19/how-to-build-a-recycled-pvc-wall-mounted-shoe-rack/
- Baesler, Amy. “How to build a vintage mail sorter diy shoe cubby shelf.” Remodelaholic. https://www.remodelaholic.com/build-vintage-mail-sorter-shoe-cubby/
- “Super space saving DIY shoe rack.” A Piece of Rainbow. 5 November, 2020. https://www.apieceofrainbow.com/diy-shoe-rack/