How to build a free-standing wardrobe closet

Written by michael straessle
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How to build a free-standing wardrobe closet
A wardrobe closet solves the problem of stuffed closets. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Free-standing wardrobe closets fit the bill for homes with little or no closet space. Build your own wardrobe closet to solve the problem and add to the room's décor at the same time. Wardrobe closets as extra closet space also come in handy when friends or relatives come for an extended stay. Some wardrobes fit into corners nicely while others include drawers in the bottom section. Whether you build one that fits in the corner or one used for extra closet space, a free-standing wardrobe closet is the right choice.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 2 pieces 50 by 180 by 2 cm plywood (21 by 72 by 3/4-inch) plywood
  • Framing square
  • Wood glue
  • 2 pieces 75 by 50 by 2 cm (30 by 21 by 3/4-inch) plywood
  • 3-penny finish nails
  • Hammer
  • Damp cloth
  • 2 pieces of 75 by 10 by 2 cm (30 by 4 by 3/4-inch) plywood
  • 1 piece 80 by 182 by 0.6 cm (31 1/2 by 72 by 1/4-inch) plywood
  • 2-penny box nails
  • 1 piece 51.5 by 75 by 2 cm (20 1/4 by 30 by 3/4-inch) plywood
  • 2 pieces 2.5 by 5 by 75 cm (1 by 2 by 30-inch) lumber
  • Variable speed drill
  • Philips head screw tip
  • Inset hinges
  • 2 pieces 36 by 178 by 2 cm (14 1/2 by 70 by 3/4-inch) plywood
  • 2 knobs
  • 4 heavy-duty casters
  • 1.6 cm (5/8-inch) wood screws

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place the 180 cm (72-inch) pieces of plywood on a work table. Measure from one end (becomes the top edge or the wardrobe) and make a mark on 27 and 29 cm (10 3/4 and 11 1/2-inches). Place the framing square on the marks and draw lines across the material. These are the sides of the wardrobe closet.

  2. 2

    Apply a bead of glue on the two 50 cm (21-inch) edges of the 75 cm (30-inch) pieces (top and bottom of wardrobe). Secure them between the sides at the top and bottom with the finish nails. Clean up the glue with a damp cloth.

  3. 3

    Put some glue on three edges of the 75 by 10 cm (4 by 30-inch) pieces (stabilisers). Secure one on the bottom side of the top and the other on the top of the bottom pieces with the finish nails. Clean up the glue as before. Set the wardrobe on the worktable so the stabilisers are on top.

  4. 4

    Run a bead of glue on the 2 cm (3/4-inch) edges of the sides and shelves. Place the 80 by 182 by 0.6 cm (31 1/2 by 72 by 1/4-inch) plywood (back) on the wardrobe. Secure it with the box nails. Turn the wardrobe over and clean up the excess glue with a damp cloth.

  5. 5

    Secure the 51.5 by 75 by 2 cm (20 1/4 by 30-inch) piece (shelf) between the sides and the lines in the same manner as the other shelves. Stand the wardrobe so the top is on the bottom. Fasten the 2.5 by 5 (1 by 2-inch) lumber 2 cm (3/4-inch) from the front edge of the top with the finish nails.

  6. 6

    Turn the wardrobe upright and repeat this on the bottom of the wardrobe with the remaining 2.5 by 5 cm (1 by 2-inch). Install the closet rod according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  7. 7

    Install the inset cabinet door hinges on the two pieces of 36 cm (14 1/2-inch) plywood (doors) according to the manufacturer's instructions. Install knobs on the doors in the desired location according to the manufacturer's instructions. Install the casters in the corners on the bottom of the wardrobe closet with the 1.6 (5/8-inch) screws.

Tips and warnings

  • Set the nail heads with a nail set and fill the holes with putty.
  • Sand the entire wardrobe closet before applying a finish.
  • Do not leave power tools within reach of children.
  • Do not apply a finish to the wardrobe closet without proper ventilation.

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