How to Build Shelving in a Linen Closet


If the closet you use to store linens doesn't have well-spaced, study shelving, it will be difficult to organize your sheets, towels and tablecloths and access them easily. A set of simple, built-in wooden shelves can be built it a few hours with basic tools and a few supplies. Be sure to sand shelves to keep their edges from snagging your linens.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Yardstick
  • 1-by-4-inch wooden boards
  • Circular saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • 1-by-10-inch wooden boards
  • #6 finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Measure up from the floor along the backside of the closet, marking the wall with a pencil at 3 feet, 4 feet and 6 feet. This will give you space for objects of varying sizes, like hampers or baskets. You may want to use different distances, depending on your needs and the size of your closet. Consider the objects you will be storing when spacing your shelves.

  • Place a yardstick parallel to the floor at the bottom edge of each mark. If you have a very narrow closet, use something smaller, like a ruler or a piece of board. Place a level against the yardstick, ruler or board and draw a level line across the back wall of the closet, terminating the line at the side walls.

  • Cut six 10-inch long strips of 1-by-4-inch board with a circular saw. Sand the ends of each piece to remove splinters.

  • Place each strip on the side walls of the closet, with the top edge even with the lines you've drawn. Level each strip, and screw it into the wall with wood screws. You now have three strips on each of the side walls, positioned at 3, 4, and 6 feet above the floor.

  • Measure the distance across the back wall of your closet and cut three 1-by-10-inch boards to match the distance. These will be your shelves. Sand the ends of the boards to remove any splinters.

  • Lay the boards across the closet so their ends rest on the 1-by-4-inch strips. Nail the boards together with finishing nails.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can paint your shelves to match or contrast with the color of the linen closet interior.
  • Wear eye protection when working with power tools.


  • "Carpentry for Dummies"; Gene Hamilton, Katie Hamilton, and Roy Barnhart; 1999
  • "Home Storage Projects: Creative Solutions for Every Room of the House"; Paul Anthony; 2002
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