How to Make a Homemade Hanging Shoe Organizer

Your shoe collection belongs in a museum, not jumbled in the bottom of your closet or shoved under the bed. But shoe racks ranged around the room along the baseboards are as impractical as they are visually busy and cluttered.

Solve the problem with a portable hanging shoe rack that displays your kicks to advantage, lets you find them with ease, and looks like an inventive sculpture. Grab a beat-up wood ladder -- or a decorative one made of bamboo or fine hardwood -- scuff-proof it slightly, and lean it against any empty wall.

  1. Clean off an old, used ladder; sand any rough, splintery bits; and coat it with clear, protective sealer for as-is rustic decor. Whitewash it for shabby chic-style or sand and paint it in bright enamel to complement bedroom decor. If you are working with a decorative ladder in good condition, just wipe it down with a soft cloth.

  2. Cut thin strips of chamois cloth or suede cloth and glue them to the tops of the rungs with strong adhesive. The cloth protects your shoes as they rest against the rungs but should not be obvious. Just cut the strips wide enough to cover the top of each rung and use a color that blends with the finish on the ladder for greater camouflage. Glue two more very small pieces of the cloth to the backs of the top rails of the ladder where it will rest against the wall. Allow the glue to dry.

  3. Lean the ladder against the wall and hook the heels of your shoes over the rungs. Stagger the pairs of shoes on different rungs until the ladder starts to fill up; then arrange the shoes in groups of dress, day and casual styles to make them easier to find.

  4. Tip

    A step ladder with broad flat rungs or steps works to hold boots and sneakers, and "matches" the hanging shoes ladder. Use "S" hooks suspended from the rungs to hold flat sandals or thongs that don't have heels.