How to Build a Free Standing Closet


Build an "out of the box" free-standing closet to maximize your wall space and to create an alternative way to divide your living space. A free-standing closet gets its support from its cubicle construction upon a very strong foundation. When your free-standing closet is done, enjoy walking around your new storage solution.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-by-4-inch wood studs, several
  • 1-by-12-inch wood, 10 feet
  • 1-by-2-inch wood, 12 or more feet
  • Pneumatic air nailer and 2 ½ inch nails
  • Compound miter saw
  • Drill
  • Masonry screws, 2 ½ inches
  • Wood screws, 2 ½ inches
  • Drywall screws, 1 ½ inches
  • Sheetrock, 5/8 inch thick
  • Insulation
  • Utility knife
  • Joint compound
  • Paper or mesh sheetrock tape
  • Putty knife
  • Feathering knife
  • Chalk
  • Staple gun
  • Paint
  • Door
  • Door Framing
  • Hanger rod
  • Hanger rod hardware

Building the Closet Base

  • Measure the desired area--width and length--of your free-standing closet.

  • Cut pieces of 2-by-4-inch wood to frame the base of the closet on the floor. Leave an opening for the door--the door's width plus 6 ¼ inches for the wood studs and door framing.

  • Cut the same length pieces of 2-by-4-inch wood, without leaving an opening for the door, for the top or roof of your free-standing closet. Set this wood aside.

  • Line up the 2-by-4-inch wood on the floor and screw it into the floor with a regular power drill for wood floors or with a hammer drill for concrete floors. Pre-drill the holes and place anchors in them before screwing them securely to the floor.

Framing the Walls

  • Build each side wall of the closet on the floor. Use the height measurement of your closet wall, minus 4 inches for the base and 2 inches for the top--to cut your wall studs. Cut as many wall studs that are necessary to space them every 12 inches along each wall.

  • Cut a base piece and a top piece of 2-by-4-inch wood for each wall using the same width measurement as the base plates already secured to the floor.

  • Lay the 2-by-4-inch wood wall studs in between and perpendicular to the top and base pieces, space them 12 inches apart and nail them into the top and base pieces of 2-by-4-inch wood.

  • Lift each wall onto its base plate secured to the floor. Screw these into the base plates at several places using heavy-duty 3- or 4-inch deck screws or bolts.

  • Reinforce each closet corner with an extra 2-by-4-in-wood stud aligned against each wall's end 2-by-4-inch wood studs. Screw the corner wood together, and screw the extra 2-by-4-inch wood into these studs.

Frame the Top

  • Measure the length across the top of the free-standing closet from one side wall to the opposite side.

  • Cut enough 2-by-4-inch wood pieces to space them every 12 inches across the top.

  • Bolt them through the top framing of the side walls and screw 2-inch-wide 90-degree-angled metal plates into both sides of the ends of each ceiling stud and into the top of the side wall framing.

Insert Door Frame

  • Build the door header just above the height measurement for the door by inserting a piece of 2-by-4-inch wood cut to the door's width measurement and nailing it into the side studs.

  • Measure the height between the base of the door header and the closet's top plate. Cut three to four 2-by-4-inch wood pieces and evenly space them into the door header and nail them into place.

  • Cut two pieces of 2-by-4-inch wood for the two sides of the doorway opening. Nail these into their adjoining wood studs.

  • Insert the door framing into the closet door opening. Nail the framing into the wood studs.

  • Hang the door to the door framing using hinges and screws. Bore a hole into the door framing for the door handle latch and screw the strike plate over the hole.

Finish the Free-Standing Closet

  • Cut sheetrock to finish the walls and ceiling of the free-standing closet. Transfer each wall's width and length measurements to the sheetrock, draw a straight line with a straight edge and a pencil and then score the line with a utility knife.

  • Bend the sheetrock on the cut line until it snaps in two, and then cut through the backing with the utility knife to separate the pieces.

  • Line up the sheetrock to the wall with each end falling on a wood stud and screw along each wood stud that the sheetrock covers.

  • Smooth joint compound over the screw holes and the seams. Smooth paper tape over the seams, tack corner beads over each outside corner of the closet. Feather a smooth layer of joint compound over the paper tape with a putty knife and a feathering tool.

  • Prime and paint your new free-standing closet.

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  • Photo Credit babies closet image by jedphoto from
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