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Closet Door Organizer

Add storage to the back of any closet door. Use lightweight boards for this easy-to-build project.

Closet door organizer

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Miter box and hand saw
  • Cordless drill with 1/16-in drill bit
  • 5/8-in Forstner bit
  • Carpenters square
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer


  • 2 - 1/4-in x 3-1/2 x 4-ft poplar boards, #1222
  • 2 - 1/2-in x 3-1/2 x 4-ft poplar boards, #1432
  • 2 - 1/2-in x 1-1/2 x 4-ft poplar boards, #1327
  • 5/8-in x 4-ft round poplar dowels, #19383
  • 1-inch wire nails
  • #8 x 1-1/4-in pan head sheet-metal screws
  • 10-oz cans Valspar satin white aerosol paint

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Designed to hold lightweight items that are hard to store, this easy-to-build storage unit hangs within easy reach on the back side of a closet door.

Assemble the Shelf

Step 1

Cut the sides (A), dowels (B), shelves/cleat (C), and shelf stops (D). When cutting multiple parts to the same length, stack and tape them together before cutting the ends of the boards for a perfect match (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Lightly sand each part with 220-grit sandpaper.

Step 2

Stack the parts and drill holes for perfect alignment

After cutting the sides to length, mark the locations of the dowels and drill the holes (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). When drilling holes, put a scrap under the board you are drilling to avoid damaging your work surface.

Step 3

Tape the sides together while the glue dries

Mark the locations of the shelves on the inside faces of the sides. Mark the top and bottom edges. Fit the dowels into the holes on both sides -- the sides are flexible enough that you can add the shelves with the dowels in place. Glue the ends of the shelves and position them between the sides where the shelf locations were marked. Wrap each connection with painter’s tape and allow the glue to dry.

Step 4

Repeat to install the cleat. (This rail braces the shelf unit once it’s hung on a door.)

Step 5

Add the shelf stops using glue

After the glue holding the shelves dries, remove the painter’s tape. Glue the shelf stops to the front of the unit. Painter’s tape holds the stops while the glue dries.

Step 6

When the glue is dry, remove the tape and drill 1/16-inch-diameter holes through the sides into the shelves and cleat. Lightly hammer the wire nails into the holes to reinforce the joints.

Step 7

Lightly sand the entire project with 220-grit sandpaper and wipe clean. Apply two coats of spray paint, lightly sanding with 220-grit sand paper between coats.

Step 8

Place the organizer against a closet door with the top of the organizer 1 inch below the top edge of the door to clear any door trim. Drill holes through the top cleat of the organizer into the door; then drive two screws.