Do-It-Yourself Storage Lockers

Studio 5 Contributor Kiersten Blanchard gives a tutorial in how to create them for a fraction of what you would pay in high-end catalogs.

Here are a couple of steps to organize your locker creation:

1. Create a design:

I looked at lockers that my friends had built, and visited the Pottery Barn’s website and took what I like from each. (You can find Pottery Barn’s at Click on “Product Info” to see their measurements. Decide if you will build your lockers somewhere inside your home, or out in the garage. Keep your accessories in mind as you decide on the height and width of each cubby.

2. Gather Supplies:

This is a comprehensive list of all the things I purchased at Home Depot (and their cost). Home Depot employees were extremely helpful. My favorite part was the option of getting all my wood cut to the exact dimensions I needed, so that I didn’t need to do any cutting at home. If you need something cut, ask for Jeff. The first two cuts are free and are $1/cut after that. If I had purchased 2- 2 locker sets and 2 drawers at Pottery Barn, I would have spent around $1300.00. From Home Depot it cost about $200 plus another $50 for containers.

• ¾ x 15¼ x 97 BULLNOSE PARTICLE BOARD ($10.67 ea.)

• ¾ x 23¼ x 97 BULLNOSE PARTICLE BOARD ($16.98 ea.)

• 4 x 8 PANEL OF 2″ BEAD BOARD ($21.75 ea.)

• ¾ x 49 x 97 MDF BOARD (if you are installing a bench) ($30.76 ea.)

• 11/16″ x 1½” x 6′ PRIMED MDF (support strip for shelves) ($1.62 ea.)

• 3/8″ FLAT HEAD PLUGS ($3.97 ea.)

• ¼” FLUTED DOWL PINS ($2.97 ea.)

• WHITE CAULK ($2.18 ea.)

• LIQUID NAILS FOR PANELING (if you are installing bead board) ($3.47 ea.)


• 2½” WOOD SCREWS ($5.94/1 lb. box)

• 1 or 1 5/8″ WOOD SCREWS ($5.94/1 lb. box)

• Paint (Varied)

3. Tools Needed:


Counter sink bit

¼” drill bit

Philips head screw driver bit

Tape measurer

Caulking gun

4. Assembly:

• Measure and mark all of your drill holes. You will need 2 dowel holes and 2 or 3 holes for screws on each board. Drill where you’ve marked with a counter sink bit.

• Remember: Every time two boards (a horizontal and vertical) are joined together you will use the dowels pins to connect from the bottom and screws from the top.

• If you are using bead board, use a calking gun and liquid nails to secure the bead board to the wall.

• Place the base board down. If you are installing a bench, this will act as your base.

• Using the dowel pins from the base, place your side boards and screw them into the wall. Then use dowel pins to place each divider. Lay your horizontal board on top, and secure each divider with screws.

• For extra support, install a small strip of wood underneath the ends of the horizontal board and secure the strip into the side board.

• Continue to build upward in this manner (using dowel pins from the bottom and screws from the top) until you have completed your design.

5. Finish Work

• Caulk any gaps.

• For extra support, install a strip of wood along the back of the locker where you will place your hooks.

• Insert flat top plugs into the screw holes and sand down to match the surface.

• Paint.

6. Accessorize

This is the fun part. It’s time you make your new space practical and beautiful. Here are some of my favorite container finds and prices. When choosing containers there are a couple of things to keep in mind; If you are storing shoes, you may want to have something with holes or a basket that can breathe, so the container doesn’t get stinky. If a container will be up high, make sure it isn’t going to be too heavy to lift down easily. Make sure it slides in and out with ease. Magnetic metal containers can be fun for sticking on notes or papers your kids need to remember for school.

Sage plastic container with holes from Smith’s Marketplace ($8.99 ea.)

Closetmaid Fabric Drawers from Target (2 in a pkg. for $12)

Ikea is a great source for containers with everything from baskets and colored boxes, to metal and fabric boxes. Many of them come with lids and cost between 4.99 and $16.99. Most of the larger containers are $12 and up.

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