DIY Makeover: Coat Closet To Homeschool Closet

by Janny Jackson

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When we moved into our house a year ago, I knew right away that there were two spaces I needed to have organized immediately. Those two spaces were the kitchen, and an area for our homeschool supplies.

We sold almost all of our belongings and furniture with our previous house and moved in with only the essentials. We had zero furniture or dedicated space for homeschool supplies, and I wasn’t ready at the time to commit to buying bookshelves and trying to figure out where I wanted them.

I did know that we would mostly be entering and exiting the house through the garage, that there would be no shoes in the house, and since this is Florida we had literally no reason for a coat closet. That’s when I started brainstorming about a homeschool closet.

I put together this mock up, using the free version of Canva, of what I envisioned my closet looking like. And then I got to work on gathering the supplies I needed to make it happen.

With this house I wanted to take more chances and try new things with the overall design. My husband and I completely transformed our Michigan farmhouse in the year and a half we were there, so we had gained a lot of skill and experience. I decided to try something I hadn’t done before with this project, wallpaper.

Again, I wasn’t ready to commit to painting anything, but a peel and stick wallpaper was exactly what I needed to transform this plain white coat closet. See all that empty space? This was not working for me.

This is the wallpaper I chose. I did make a minor mistake though. This is the pattern I wanted. I originally bought one roll of a different color that I loved and when I went to order more I purchased this gray color on accident. I was too anxious to finish my project to return it and wait for the original one I wanted, so I installed it. Color aside, this wallpaper is outstanding.

The adhesion to my textured walls was perfect, even after having to peel off and realign many times. The paper is thick and sturdy. The pattern completely covers the texture of the walls, and the glue is strong enough to stay on, but not strong enough to leave a residue. For my first wallpaper job, this wallpaper made it incredibly easy and foolproof.

The next step was to build shelves.

After measuring the closet and deciding on placement, making sure I left enough room for my rolling carts, I decided on just three shelves.

I used 1x2s, wood glue, and brad nails to build the frames for the shelves.

Once those frames were mounted using either anchors or studs, I cut down and sanded some plywood for the top and bottom of the frames, and added a poplar board to the front. I absolutely fell in love with the natural look and did not feel the need to stain or paint them.

And here is the final result! It’s constantly changing and being rearranged, but you get the idea.

I have had the blue rolling cart for over two years now and it’s still good as new. I purchased the ten drawer rolling cart, used, from a local seller, this one is very similar.

This closet transformation gave me the structure and space I needed to be able to get my kiddos back onto a school schedule, while being able to slowly get the rest of our house in order (something we are still slowly working towards).

What do you think? Is this something you would attempt as a quick weekend project? Let me know below! And as always, thanks for being here!

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