Make your own mud room lockers…

Mudroom Lockers made from IKEA Bookcases - IKEA Hack

I really really love IKEA… I think I’ve said that here before, but it’s worth repeating.  The thing that I realized I like about IKEA is that most of their stuff is simple, making it very easy to adapt to different purposes.

Since my motto for the month on the blog is resourceful I thought I’d share with you how we made lockers in our mud room easily and inexpensively using bookcases I found at IKEA.

The photos are not great, it’s a very narrow room with terrible light and even with a separate flash is very hard to take photos of.

This is our mud room right after we moved in, it was not working for us. It’s a combo mud room/laundry room and is way to small for our family.

This is it before…. It’s just a hallway that leads from the garage into the house.  It drives me crazy and is the one thing I would change about my house if I could…
Now I will say, the laundry side of this room is still NOT working for me. It’s one of my big projects for  2011 to figure out what to do with it, but I have NO idea… open for suggestions on that one.
the mud room side thankfully is now working for us. I’ll show you what we did about a year ago, and it’s still working great.
IKEA Hack: Mudroom Lockers from bookcases
such a narrow room it’s really hard to get a good photo of it
Since the room is narrow and most “pre made” lockers are wide at the base, none of the ones that I found  online and in stores would work for us.  They would all just stick out too much from the wall and you could not walk through the room.
Then one evening while I was perusing my IKEA catalog I saw this… It’s the Billy bookcase, and it’s only $34 for the size I needed.  It would have been ideal to have someone come and build us custom lockers but it wasn’t in the budget at that time.
So what we did was buy 5 Billy Bookcases (it’s what would fit and there are 5 of us) and install them next to each other. I also installed a hook at the end for long coats that would not fit in the lockers.
Then instead of putting the shelves spaced evenly throughout the bookcase we left a space in the middle to attach a hook for backpacks and coats. It worked great because the bookcases have holes all up the side so we could put the shelves exactly where we needed them. If you had really small kids you could install the hooks even lower.
We then left 2 shelves on the top for things like lunchboxes & books.
how embarrassing, now you can see what shoes we all wear :)
and 2 shelves on the bottom for shoes.
If you want to tackle this project I’ll give you a few tips.
-After you have the bookshelves where you want them, screw them together. So you have one large piece, it will help with stability.
-The bookcases come with a precut notch in the back to make them lie flat against the wall, if your baseboard is taller than the notch you will need to cut the notch larger. It’s very important that they fit flat against the wall.
-The back of the bookcases are just particle board, not strong enough to hold a coat hook. You will need to buy a 1×4 piece of wood and cut it to the width of the shelf and place it behind the bookshelf. Then you will screw your coat hooks through the back of the shelves and into that wood.
-Use the anti tip kit that comes with the bookcases so no one will try to climb up and pull the whole thing onto them. (make sure you install them into a stud in the wall, we installed as many as we could just to be extra sure).
I had plans to use the bookcases only temporarily then get custom lockers made later, but it’s been over a year and they work so well that I don’t think I’m going to do that. I’d rather use the money for another project in the house.
 Mudroom Lockers made from IKEA Bookcases - IKEA Hack


See how the other side of the room turned out– check out the Laundry Room Shelving Post Here




  1. says

    Awesome idea! What a great solution for your family! Is there no end to the fabulousness of Ikea? Thanks for sharing your mudroom – love it.

  2. says

    Such a great idea. I can’t wait until we have a bit more space when we move. I am filing this idea away for future use. So inexpensive and really perfect. Accessible and simple and easy to use for all your storage needs.

  3. says

    one thing that a friend of mine had in her laundry room was a wall full of cubby cubes and each person had their own cube that had their clean laundry folded waiting for pick up, there was room for the detergent and baskets and so forth. What about something like that hanging on the wall. it would match what you just put up for the mud room area.

    fyi, I like y’alls shoes, they are cute

  4. says

    Oh I am so very excited. My husband and I were going to tackle my mud room last weekend but we ran out of time but this totally has me motivate. Wish Ikea weren’t 3 hrs away!!

    Thanks!!! Oh and glad you’re enjoying the UT Mtns!!!

  5. says

    Oh my goodness..Wonderful! How many times have I stared at Billy bookcases and never would I have thought to do something this clever! It makes me wish I had a mud room! :)

  6. says

    Thanks for the idea. I designed built-in cubbies for our mudroom in our last house. Our current house has no mudroom. The foyer contains the front door, garage door, two tiny closets & the basement door. The kids just weren’t using the inadequate system I had set up.
    We put together the Billy cubbies last weekend and installed them in the study….starting to look like we homeschool in there! The cubbies are great and the boys are putting their things away!!

  7. says

    Excellent, someone has already done what I just thought of doing! I initially intended getting rid of my Billy bookcase and creating a nice little mudroom with bench seat etc. but this is such a better idea and you’ve told me how to hang the hooks! Fantastic idea, thanks so much for sharing :)

  8. says

    I love this idea and would like to use it in our mudroom. But can you possibly tell me how the board works that goes behind the bookshelf? Doesn’t this make the entire thing stick out from the wall by the thickness of the board?

  9. says

    Ola! Melissa Mortenson,
    I know what you mean, I own a 1985 CJ7 Jeep Renegade that I used to take camping and four wheel drive trips in. It has air lockers, a 4 1/2 lift, mud tires, etc. I bought a bolt on kit to convert the jeep from a carborator to fuel injection system, but then this project was stopped in its tracks by a divorce in which I needed to leave my jeep at my ex’s house as I moved out to a different city with no room or time to complete the project. Now my jeep is just sitting in a garage 80 miles away and I am not sure how can sell it. There is no place to tow it to and no budget for that. My ex is cooperative and does not care that the jeep remains in his garage and it is clearly and legally mine and registered in my name only. I just don’t want it to sit there and would like someone to get some use out of it. Anyone have any suggestions how to deal with this situation or how much to ask for. Since my project was interrupted, the jeep is not running currently, but someone who knows what they are doing should be able to get it running quickly. It has 90,000 miles on it. Thanks for your imput!
    Keep up the good work

  10. Erica says

    I had a similar question to another follower: I love this idea and would like to use it in our mudroom. But can you possibly tell me how the board works that goes behind the bookshelf? Doesn’t this make the entire thing stick out from the wall by the thickness of the board?

    Thanks so much!

    • says

      The board does not run down the length of all of the lockers hooked together.
      The backing of the bookcases comes in 1/2” from the back side of the bookcase so there is a space there that you an put a board in.
      In each bookcase there is a separate board that is cut to the width of that bookcase. I hope that helps.

  11. Dawn says

    I do not have a mud room but I did create the lockers (3) in my garage. I followed your directions exactly. After installing them, I screwed the cabinets together, put the 1×4 pieces of wood in the back to hold the hooks (Home Depot cut the wood to size for me) and secured it to the wall with the IKEA kit provided. My kids love it! Thank you so much for posting this!

  12. Angela says

    I love this idea! we bought the BIlly bookcases tonight to give this a shot! I have a question though… what do you do about that “fixed” shelf right in the middle? It’s right in the middle of where we want the big vertical space for coats to be

  13. Clara says

    We made these but used under shelf hooks that hang down like those I
    n school lockers. Just screwed them to the bottom of shelf, no need for a board!

  14. Denise says

    This will work in my mudroom – and I don’t have to wait for hubby to build it! I’m wondering how the material stands the test of time, being that it’s particle board and melamine. How do you keep wet boots and mitts from ruining the shelving? Is it chipping or warping at all? Thanks!!

  15. April says

    I wanted to thank you for this awesome post! Those Ikea bookcases fit my space exactly. Our laundry/mud room dimensions are very similar, except mine is more narrow, with the washer coming right up to the door molding. Plus I have a door to my back yard out the back. I was able to fit 7 of the lockers with about an inch to spare (I wish I could have 8). And the depth was absolutely perfect. You saved me a fortune in custom cabinets. I searched and searched for a solution to making a place for my 6 kids to put their stuff (besides all over the floor), and this was perfect! We had to rip out some hideous/useless cabinets to do it, but that was worth it. I was also able to put one in my front coat closet in this awkward spot where a vent comes up or something and created dead space. So now I have all this really useful shelving there! Thank you thank you! I love the internet/pinterest :)

  16. Mandy Whitehurst says

    In the middle of this very same project. Assembled the units but have a few questions about attaching.
    1) Where did you screw the units together?
    2) Regarding the 1×4 cut to the size of the shelf to go behind for screwing the hooks into, did you use one long piece the length of the whole unit or did you cut separate pieces to go behind each Billy. I’m wondering how you accounted for the 3/8 in. recess between back of unit and wall. Thanks!

  17. Erica says

    I built a two locker unit tonight – thanks for the awesome idea. I was wondering if you could elaborate on how you screwed the units together. I not a particularly handy or imaginative person so the more details the better!

  18. Kia says

    So what size were the shelves that you picked? Someone said that you could use the under the shelf hooks at the top, could you also just use the shelves on the sides and then not have to worry about putting a board at the back? Thank you

  19. Michele says

    Ok, getting ready to get 4 of these, can someone comment on the fixed shelf issue in the middle?
    Does it have to be in the middle? Thanks!

  20. judy says

    How wide are these shelves? 11 inches? Does it come way out in doorway? My laundry room looks similar with only about 3 inches to wall behind the door. It looks great..exactly what I wanted to do. Thanx ..just concerned about space.


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