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DIY Closet Built in Plans: How to Create a Custom Closet With Drawers and Cabinets

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Are you tired of struggling with a chaotic, disorganized closet? Imagine waking up each morning and stepping into a beautifully organized, custom-designed space that makes finding your favorite outfit a breeze. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the exciting process of creating your dream custom closet with drawers and cabinets, transforming your closet from cluttered mess to an organized haven using closet built in plans. Let’s embark on this journey together and turn that dream into a reality!

Key Takeaways

  • Create a custom closet tailored to your needs and preferences.
  • Equip yourself with the essential tools and safety gear needed for successful DIY construction.
  • Give your closet the perfect finishing touches with painting, staining, hardware installation, and final adjustments!

Planning Your Custom Closet Built-In

A DIY closet organizer with pocket holes and wood glue

The success of a DIY closet organizer is rooted in meticulous planning and thoughtful design. Assess your needs, measure your diy master closet space, and create a layout to maximize storage and functionality in your custom closet. With a well-designed DIY closet system, you can achieve the perfect organization solution for your space.

Imagine the satisfaction you’ll feel when you walk into your new closet, knowing that every inch has been tailored to your specific needs and preferences. It’s time to bid farewell to clutter and disarray and embrace a well-designed, organized space.

Assessing Your Needs

Prior to construction, you should identify the items that you plan to store in your custom closet. Consider your:

  • Wardrobe
  • Shoes
  • Accessories
  • Other personal belongings

Evaluating your storage needs guarantees a designated place for every item in your walk-in closet, simplifying your life and enhancing organization. After all, a custom closet is all about catering to your specific needs and preferences.

As you evaluate your needs, think about the types of storage solutions that would suit your belongings best. Adjustable shelves, built-ins, and drawers can all play a pivotal role in keeping your items neatly organized and easily accessible. With a clear understanding of your storage requirements, you can confidently create a custom closet that not only looks great but also functions seamlessly.

Measuring Your Closet Space

Precise measurements are pivotal in crafting a custom closet that seamlessly fits into your space. Here’s how to measure for a custom closet.

  1. Begin by clearing out your closet and removing any existing shelves or closet rods. This will give you a better idea of the actual dimensions you have to work with.
  2. Measure the height, width, and depth of your closet. Be sure to measure at multiple points to account for any irregularities or obstructions, such as baseboards.
  3. If you have baseboards, be sure to add their thickness to your measurements for a precise fit.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to accurately measure your closet and ensure a perfect fit for your custom closet system.

Taking into account any irregularities or obstacles during the measuring process is crucial to prevent potential issues during the installation of your DIY closet organizer. For example, you need to cut a notch in the bottom of the MDF pieces with a jigsaw. This will ensure that the pieces fit seamlessly against the baseboards in your closet. By taking the time to accurately measure your space and make the necessary adjustments, you’ll avoid any unpleasant surprises during the installation process.

Creating a Layout

Armed with precise measurements, you can now craft a functional and aesthetically pleasing layout for your custom closet. Consider factors such as accessibility, organization, and aesthetics when planning your layout. For example, you might want to include:

  • Hanging clothes rods
  • Adjustable shelves
  • Drawers
  • Shoe storage

Don’t forget to think about shoe storage, too! Shoe shelves and cubbies can help keep your footwear organized and easy to find.

As you design your layout, also consider the materials and tools you’ll need to bring your custom closet vision to life. Here are some essential items to consider.

  • Plywood sheets
  • Screws
  • Circular saw
  • Power drill

With a well-planned layout and the right materials, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your entire closet into a beautifully organized space, full of walk in closet ideas.

Built-ins Cabinets

Built-ins cabinets are a popular choice for homeowners looking to maximize their storage space while maintaining a seamless and customized look in their homes. These built-in cabinets are designed to fit seamlessly into the existing architecture of a room, making them an ideal solution for both aesthetics and functionality. Whether you need extra storage in your living room, kitchen, bedroom, or even a home office, built-ins cabinets can be tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

One of the key advantages of built-ins cabinets is their ability to optimize space. Unlike freestanding furniture, built-in cabinets can be customized to fit into awkward corners, utilize vertical space, and incorporate features like pull-out shelves, hidden compartments, or specialized racks for specific items. This versatility allows you to make the most of every square inch in your living space.

Choosing Materials and Tools

A variety of materials and tools for building a custom closet

The choice of appropriate materials and tools is key to constructing a sturdy and attractive custom closet. From the type of wood you choose to the hardware and accessories, every detail plays a part in the overall success of your project, including the selection of the perfect closet door.

Thoughtful consideration of your options and selection of top-quality materials and tools will guarantee a custom closet organizer that is durable and meets all your needs.

Types of Wood

The type of wood you choose for your custom closet built-in can greatly impact its overall appearance and durability. Here are some popular options:

  1. Plywood: versatile and affordable, but may be susceptible to warping.
  2. MDF: incredibly straight and smooth, making it ideal for building shelves, but its strength may not be as great as solid wood.
  3. Solid wood: more expensive, but offers excellent durability and resistance to warping.

When selecting the type of wood for your custom closet, consider factors such as cost, appearance, and durability. Each option has its own unique qualities, so choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences. With the right type of wood in hand, you’ll be well on your way to constructing a beautiful and long-lasting DIY closet organizer.

Hardware and Accessories

In addition to selecting the right type of wood, you’ll also need to choose hardware and accessories for your custom closet built-in. Some essential components to consider are:

  • Drawer slides
  • Hinges
  • Handles
  • Closet rods

When selecting hardware and accessories, consider factors such as ease of installation, quality, and style to ensure a cohesive and polished look.

As you shop for hardware and accessories, don’t forget to think about the little details, such as shelf pins and edge banding. These small touches can make a big difference in the overall look and functionality of your custom closet. By carefully selecting the right hardware and accessories, including the proper placement of shelf pin holes, you’ll create a closet organizer that’s both stylish and practical.

Essential Tools

To build your DIY closet organizer, you’ll need a variety of essential tools. Power tools, such as a circular saw, jigsaw, and drill, are crucial for cutting and assembling your wood pieces. A pocket hole jig and drill bit are also necessary for creating strong and secure connections between your wood components. In addition to power tools, you’ll also need basic hand tools like a hammer, screwdriver, tape measure, and level to ensure proper alignment and installation.

Safety equipment, such as safety glasses, dust masks, and hearing protection, are also important to have on hand during construction. These items will help protect you from potential hazards while working with wood and power tools.

By equipping yourself with the right tools and safety gear, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle your custom closet built-in project with confidence.

Building the Closet Structure

A closet structure being framed with wall studs

Now, having planned your custom closet, chosen materials and tools, and designed a practical layout, you can begin building the main structure. This process involves constructing the frame, installing shelving, and creating support systems to ensure stability and longevity.

Following instructions step-by-step and paying close attention to details will set you on the path to creating a beautiful, functional custom closet that meets your needs for many years.

DIY Built-In Cabinets for Your Living Room

If you’re looking to transform your living room while optimizing space, DIY built-in cabinets living room projects are an excellent choice. These DIY built-in cabinets living room ideas can add both style and functionality to your space. By customizing the design and dimensions, you can seamlessly integrate these cabinets into your room’s layout, making the most of every available inch. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner, with the right tools and materials, creating your own DIY built-in cabinets for the living room can be a rewarding and cost-effective home improvement project. In this guide, we’ll explore various design options, step-by-step instructions, and tips to help you get started on your DIY built-in cabinets for the living room journey.


The frame of your custom closet built-in serves as the foundation for the entire structure. To build a strong and stable frame, you’ll need to use wood studs and plywood panels, ensuring proper weight distribution and support for your shelves, drawers, and hanging rods. Begin by measuring and cutting the wood pieces to the appropriate sizes, following your layout plan closely. Then, assemble the frame using screws or nails, making sure all connections are secure and level.

As you construct the frame, be mindful of any irregularities or obstacles in your closet space that may impact the installation, such as baseboards or uneven walls. By making necessary adjustments and ensuring proper alignment, you’ll create a sturdy frame that serves as the backbone of your custom closet built-in.


With the frame in place, it’s time to install adjustable shelves within your custom closet built-in. Here’s how:

  1. Start by cutting shelf boards to the appropriate sizes, based on your layout plan.
  2. Next, install shelf supports, ensuring they are level and securely attached to the frame.
  3. Once the supports are in place, position the shelves on top of the supports and fasten them securely.

Adjustable shelves are a great feature to include in your custom closet, as they allow for flexibility in storage options and can be easily modified to accommodate your changing needs. By taking the time to carefully install your shelves, you’ll create a versatile and functional storage solution within your custom closet built-in.

Support Systems

Incorporating support systems, such as cleats and brackets, is essential for ensuring the stability and longevity of your custom closet built-in. These supports help to reinforce the frame and shelving, preventing sagging and other structural issues that may arise over time. When installing support systems, make sure they are securely attached to both the frame and the shelves, providing ample reinforcement.

As you add support systems to your custom closet built-in, be mindful of any potential obstacles or challenges that may impact their installation. By addressing these issues as they arise and ensuring proper alignment and secure connections, you’ll create a sturdy and reliable custom closet that stands the test of time.

Adding Drawers and Cabinets

Drawers and cabinets being installed in a custom closet

Drawers and cabinets are excellent additions to your custom closet built-in, providing extra storage and organization for your belongings. In this section, we’ll guide you through the process of constructing and installing drawers and cabinets within your custom closet, ensuring they are both functional and visually appealing.

With the right materials, tools, and attention to detail, you’ll be well on your way to creating a beautiful and practical custom closet that meets all your storage needs.

Building Drawers

To build drawer boxes for your custom closet built-in, follow these steps:

  1. Cut and assemble plywood pieces to create the sides, front, and back of each drawer.
  2. Install drawer slides, ensuring they are properly aligned and secure.
  3. Attach drawer fronts to the drawer boxes using screws, making sure they are level and properly spaced.

As you build your drawers, pay close attention to detail and follow your layout plan closely. This will ensure that your drawers not only look great, but also function smoothly and efficiently within your custom closet built-in. With properly constructed and installed drawers, you’ll enjoy a stylish and practical storage solution for your belongings.

Constructing Cabinets

Building cabinet structures for your custom closet built-in involves the following steps:

  1. Measure and cut the plywood pieces to the appropriate sizes, based on your layout plan.
  2. Assemble the cabinet boxes using wood glue and screws, ensuring all connections are secure and level.
  3. Create doors for the cabinets.
  4. Attach hinges to the doors.
  5. Install the cabinet structures in your closet.

Next, create closet doors by cutting plywood pieces to size and attaching hinges. As you construct your cabinets, be mindful of any challenges or obstacles that may impact their installation, such as irregularities in your closet space or the need for additional support.

By addressing these issues as they arise and ensuring proper alignment and secure connections, you’ll create beautiful and functional cabinets that enhance your custom closet built-in.

Installing Drawers and Cabinets

Once your drawers and cabinets are constructed, it’s time to install them within your custom closet built-in. Here’s how:

  1. Begin by positioning the drawers and cabinets in their designated locations, according to your layout plan.
  2. Make sure they are level and properly aligned before securing them in place using screws and brackets.
  3. If necessary, make any final adjustments to ensure smooth operation and a snug fit within your closet space.

By taking the time to carefully install your drawers and cabinets, you’ll ensure that they not only look great, but also function seamlessly within your custom closet built-in. With these stylish and practical storage solutions in place, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a beautifully organized and clutter-free closet.

Kitchen Built Ins

Kitchen built-ins are a versatile and practical solution for maximizing both storage and functionality in your culinary space. These “kitchen built-ins” refer to custom-designed cabinets, shelves, and storage units that are seamlessly integrated into your kitchen’s layout. By incorporating kitchen built-ins, you can optimize every inch of available space, from floor to ceiling, ensuring that your kitchen not only looks organized but also operates efficiently.

One of the key advantages of kitchen built-ins is their ability to cater to your specific needs and preferences. Whether you require extra pantry space, a designated area for your appliances, or a stylish display for your cookware and dinnerware, these built-ins can be tailored to accommodate all your requirements. They not only enhance the aesthetics of your kitchen but also provide a clutter-free environment, allowing you to cook and entertain with ease.

Finishing Touches

A custom closet with drawers and cabinets installed and hardware added

With the completion of your custom closet, it’s now time to apply the finishing touches that will truly make it stand out. Some of the finishing touches you can consider include:

  • Painting or staining the wood
  • Installing hardware such as handles or knobs
  • Adding decorative elements like trim or molding
  • Applying a protective finish to the wood

Every detail counts when it comes to creating a polished and professional-looking final product.

Investing time in carefully applying these finishing touches, such as pocket holes, will transform your custom closet from a mere DIY project into a stunning and practical masterpiece.

Painting and Staining

Adding a coat of paint or stain to your custom closet built-in is a crucial step in achieving a polished and cohesive look. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Begin by preparing the wood surfaces, sanding them smooth and filling any nail holes or cracks.
  2. Next, choose a high-quality paint or stain in a color that complements your space and style.
  3. Apply a coat of primer, followed by one or two coats of your chosen paint or stain, ensuring even coverage and a smooth finish.

When selecting a paint or stain, consider factors such as the overall aesthetic of your space and the durability of the finish. With the right color and application technique, you’ll transform your custom closet built-in into a stunning and long-lasting addition to your home.

Installing Hardware

Once your paint or stain has dried, it’s time to install the hardware that will complete your custom closet built-in. This includes handles, pulls, and the closet rod. Choose hardware that complements the style of your custom closet and adds a touch of elegance to the overall design. When installing the hardware, ensure it is securely attached and properly aligned for smooth operation and a polished appearance.

As you install the hardware, take the time to carefully measure and mark the placement of each piece. This attention to detail will ensure a professional-looking result and a functional custom closet that meets your every need.

Final Adjustments

 A visual representation of the closet built in plans for the final adjustments.

With your custom closet built-in nearly complete, take a moment to make any final adjustments that will ensure optimal functionality and appearance. This may include leveling shelves, adjusting drawer slides, or fine-tuning door alignments. By taking the time to address any minor issues and perfecting the details, you’ll ensure that your custom closet not only looks amazing, but also functions seamlessly for years to come.

With your custom closet built-in complete and all finishing touches in place, you can now enjoy the beautiful and organized space you’ve created. No longer will you struggle to find your favorite outfit or accessory; your custom closet built-in will make getting dressed each day a pleasure.


In conclusion, creating a custom closet built-in with drawers and cabinets is an exciting and rewarding DIY project that can transform your disorganized closet into a beautifully organized space. By carefully planning, selecting materials and tools, constructing the structure, and adding finishing touches, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a stunning and functional custom closet that meets your every need. So why wait? Embark on this journey today and turn your dream closet into a reality.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to build a built-in closet?

The cost of a built-in closet can range from $1,000 to $2,500, but can go as high as $3,000-$30,000 depending on the size and complexity.

Reach-in closets are usually more affordable than built-ins, but may need renovations to create a suitable space.

Do closet built ins increase home value?

Closet built ins offer both enjoyment and accomplishment, resulting in an average return on investment of 56%, increasing the home’s value by $2,000.

This is a great way to add value to your home and make it more enjoyable to live in. With the right design and materials, you can create a custom closet that will last for years to come.

How do you turn a closet into a built-in?

Transform your existing closet into a functional and stylish built-in by removing the door and trim, adding a frame, drywall patch, shelf cubby box, adjustable shelves and face frame.

Finish up with a back support and open shelves to give it a polished look.

What types of wood are best for a custom closet built-in?

Plywood, MDF, and solid wood are all excellent choices for a custom closet built-in; consider cost, appearance, and durability when selecting the right option for your project.

Cost, appearance, and durability are all important factors to consider when selecting the right material for your custom closet built-in. Plywood, MDF, and solid wood are all viable options, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Consider the cost of the material, the look of the material.

How do I accurately measure my closet space for a custom closet built-in?

To accurately measure your closet space for a custom built-in, start by clearing out your closet and measuring the height, width, depth, and any irregularities or obstructions.

Andrea Michelle Hunter
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