Take a standard sized bedroom closet with bi-fold doors and turn it into a little place of organized Zen with a built-in closet system and a vanity that gets hidden away when the doors are closed.
A standard closet with bi-fold doors is 60”wide and 24” deep, but the height varies. With this example, we’re using a closet that’s 90” tall.
Using a stud finder, mark the studs on all three walls and then use a piece of painter’s or masking tape to mark the same stud location on the ceiling and floor for easy reference during the install.
HELPFUL HINT: If you’re installing your closet with hardwood floors you can use exact measurements, but if your closet has carpet, you will need subtract up to ½” to accommodate the thickness of the plush flooring.
Using a saw, cut two pieces of the ¾” x 15.75” melamine to 90”. Attach to the outside closet walls fitting snug to the back wall.
Tip: Pre-drill on the stud line with a counter sink bit to avoid damaging the surface of the melamine. You can also add construction adhesive to the back for extra strength. If there are no studs, pre-drill with the board in place, remove and then add drywall anchors into the holes before installing the outer boards.
HELPFUL HINT: Melamine has a nice smooth surface perfect for closets plus it has one finished edge that’s great for a final look that doesn’t require painting or banding.
Cut two pieces of the 4x8 sheet of melamine to 16.50” x 90”.
Using a pocket hole jig, add four sets ¾” deep pocket holes to the outer edges.
HELPFUL HINT: Have your home store rip the 4x8 sheet of melamine down for you before you take it home.
Dry fit the 16.50” panel to back wall fitting snug against the outer 15.75” panel from Step 1. The Pre-drill holes on stud line.
Using the pre-drilled pocket holes, attach the 16.50” melamine panels with 1-1/4” pocket screws to the 15.75” panels of melamine first. With the pocket screws in first, attach the panel to the back wall with predrilled holes on the stud line.
Cut the last two pieces of 15.75” melamine shelf boards to 90”.
Butted up against the back panel, install the inner panels using the pre-drill pocket holes and 1-1/4” pocket screws from Step. Use a buddy and a scrap piece of wood to push against the joint while the self tapping screws do the rest of the work.
*Make sure the finished edge of the melamine is facing outward!
HELPFUL HINT: Don’t worry, these panels might feel a little wobbly until the shelves are added later. You can also trim out the bottom with quarter round to add stability.
Before moving on to the shelving, patch the pocket holes in the melamine. You can use pocket hole plugs, melamine specific patch kits or just a good application of latex caulk.
HELPFUL HINT: Want to add a little character to the shelving units? Add peel and stick wallpaper to the back panel over your patched pocket holes.
Cut six pieces of 1x12 lumber to 16.50” and add ¾” pocket holes to the bottom side of both ends.
Cut three pieces of 1x12 lumber to 24 and add ¾” pocket holes to the bottom side of both ends.
Sand smooth and stain or paint to desired finish for shelves.
Cut six pieces of 1x2 to 16.50” and two to 24” and paint or stain to match the shelves.
Using the leftover pieces of 1x12, cut two pieces to 3.50” x 10.50”.
Pre-drill two sets of ¾” pocket hole.
Sand smooth and stain or paint to desired finish for shelf dividers.
HELPFUL HINT: If you don’t have enough scrap, you can substitute this divider material with a 1” x 4”
Use the 1x2’s from in Step 7 as a ledger board. Measure and mark at 16” for the lower shelf, 28 ¾” for the middle shelf/vanity and 76” for the top shelf. Use a level for best results and tack the 1x2’s in with a brad gun.
Using the 1x2 ledger boards in Step 8 for support, install the six outer shelves and the top 24” center shelf using the pre-drilled pocket holes.
HELPFUL HINT: Use a level and a speed square for support to make sure all of the shelves are level during installation.
Attach the two 3.50” x 10.50” shelf dividers to the bottom of the 11.25” x 24” vanity top with 1-1/4” pocket screws. Mount the dividers flush with the front of the vanity leaving a ¾” spacer to make room for the ledger board on the wall.
Pre-Drill the other 11.25” x 24” board to attach to the bottom of the vanity dividers.
Using the ledger board for support, attach the vanity top and dividers using 1-1/4” pocket screws.
Attach the bottom of the vanity with the pre-drilled holes in Step 11 to the bottom of the drawer dividers and attach to the side panels with the pre-drill pocket holes with 1-1/4” pocket screws.
Cut a 1-1/4” wooden dowel rod to 16.25” and install closet pole sockets at the desired height for the clothes rod.
HELPFUL HINT: The recommended height for the clothes rod for this build is 72” from the floor. Use a hanger with a shirt to determine where to center the clothes rod on each side.