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Small Closet Shoe Organization with a DIY Shoe Rack

I was perusing the isles of Target last week when I had an “aha” moment about a closet organization project. I had this crazy idea that I could repurpose a curtain rod and create vertical shoe storage.  You know me, if it’s cheap and easy I’m willing to try it! Come along and let me share my DIY shoe rack from a curtain rod! Or should I say shoe rack hack, LOL! Let’s get those pairs of shoes off the closet floor and onto the wall!

Here we are four months living in our rustic beach cottage and I STILL haven’t organized our master closet. Maybe I just don’t know where to start because our old closet was the size of a small bedroom and our new one is about 1/8 of that size.  Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t need a closet as big as our old one (it had too much open space), but our new closet is presenting some organization challenges.  I thought about buying shoe organizers, but sadly we just don’t have the floor space for anything else. Also, we have lovely old bifold slider doors so a door shoe organizer is out of the question. 

Shoe Organization rack with a curtain rod

I have learned that sometimes the more space you have, the more crap you accumulate.  This, in turn, means more things to clean and keep up with! Please tell me you can relate!

I’ve had to get creative with a few spaces in our home due to this. I created a DIY family charging station in our kitchen which works beautifully.  I even decided to organize our car with a few dollar tree supplies. 

I have to admit I was (sort of) looking forward to losing a little (or a lot!) of closet space so I could really work on organizing and purging. Let me show you the current state of our closet:

small closet space

What you can’t see is the plastic boxes that line the floor with our shoes.

The problem with keeping shoes tucked away in a box is that if I can’t see them, I won’t wear them (I’m sure the same issue goes for my husband too). I needed to find a way to display our shoes. 

But where? 

The clothes are already stuffed in this little room as it is.

Before I share my little shoe organization hack, I had to organize and purge a few clothing items. 

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After our clothes were a little more organized, it was time to try out my new shoe organization idea with inexpensive curtain rods.

Supplies for DIY Shoe rack with Curtain Rod 

  • I purchased four of these curtain rods at Target (you can buy similar rods at any big box retail store).  You can also use tension rods if you are placing them between two walls. 
  • Drapery hold backs (for belts and purses etc)
  • screw driver
  • screws
  • spray paint (not necessary)
curtain rods from target
hold backs from Target

I hurried home to make sure they fit ok on the wall and actually held one of my shoes.

curtain rod turned shoe rack
curtain rod turned shoe rack

​When you are measuring the space, make sure there is enough surface area on the wall. Also when adding different rows, measure enough space between the rods so your shoes slip in and out without hitting each other. 

I also had the idea to hang a few drapery hold backs to hold belts, ties, scarves and maybe even small purses!

This small closet shoe organization idea might actually work!

How to create your own shoe rack with curtain rods

  1. Spray paint the curtain rods (optional)
  2. Decide where you want your curtain rods to hang and make small marks on the wall
  3. Use your screw driver and screws and attach the curtain rods to the wall
  4. Start to organize your shoes on your new shoe rack

Note: when measuring for where to install your curtain rods, make sure you leave enough room to get your shoes in and out of the rods.

You know me and you know I want my closet to look semi decent, so I decided to spray paint both the curtain rods and the hold backs the same color.

spray painting shoe rack
spray paint for shoe rack

I used an oil rubbed bronze spray paint from Rust-Oleum.

Once they were dry, it was time to hang these repurposed curtain rods.

curtain rod turned shoe rack

Before I hung the “shoe organization holders” I made sure I left enough room to slide the shoes in from the top. You can see I placed my high heels with the point towards the wall. You can also place them the other way around. 

DIY shoe rack from a curtain rod

Next I hung the curtain hold back and added all my belts and scarves. I removed the finial so I could slide the belt ends down the rod.

I also hung a flip flop hanger in the middle between the two hold backs so I could display my flip flops. It’s starting to come together!

Small space organization hack with repurposed curtain rods 

DIY shoe rack

I love how my small closet space is becoming more organized! Is this a high quality shoe storage solution? Not really, but it works! 

Shoe organization with DIY shoe rack

One thing I get asked about is; “what about the wall? Don’t the shoes scuff it up?” If you are worried about messing the wall up, a good idea is to add some peel and stick wallpaper behind it so you won’t damage the wall. 

Shoe organization

These are great shoe storage options for RV owners and other small home owners with limited space. Like I said, you can use a closet tension rod if you have a small space between two walls to adhere it to. 

What do you think about this DIY shoe rack?

As cliche as this sounds, it really is easier to get ready in the morning when I can see all my shoes!

Did you enjoy this post? I would love for you to Pin the image below to Pinterest.

Small Closet Shoe Organization with Curtain Rods

Thanks for stopping by!


Shoe organization with a DIY shoe rack

Small closet organization ideas with curtain rods

Learn how to make your own DIY shoe organization with affordable curtain rods and drapery pull backs.

Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost 15 dollars


  • Curtain rods
  • Drapery hold backs
  • screw driver
  • screws
  • spray paint (not necessary)


  1. First, spray paint the curtain rods if you choose
  2. Decide where you want your curtain rods and make small marks on the wall
  3. Use your screw driver and screws and attach the curtain rods to the wall
  4. Attach the drapery hold backs to the wall
  5. Start to organize your shoes on your new shoe rack and your belts and scarves on the drapery pull backs


When measuring for where to install your curtain rods, make sure you leave enough room to get your shoes in and out of the rods.

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  1. Quwwne says:

    How did you Mount the rods to the wall so that they can withstand the weight of the shoes?

  2. DR says:

    I was thinking of doing this but I had a question. Won’t the wall get dirty? How do you handle that?

  3. Anonymous says:

    How many flip flop hangers do you need? Do you need regular clothes hangers for the flip flops?

  4. Maria says:

    I think it’s a great idea but I would really really really really hate to see how dirty the walls would be after taking the shoes down. Or the scraping of the wall from the shoes going in and out

  5. Deb says:

    Great idea but what about getting the wall dirty from the shoes?

    • I’ve had a few other people mention that. If you are worried about getting the wall dirty I would suggest hanging peel and stick wallpaper behind the wall so if you ever remove the shoe rack you would remove the wallpaper too!

  6. Lou Dailey says:

    This is a great ideal. I am going to try it. Thanks-

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think it might work until you take your shoes down and see all the “dirty” marks the soles of your shoes have made on the wall. I think it might be a good idea to protect the wall with something. Not sure what would be the best, cheapest “something”, but I’m sure it’s out there. Also, it might depend on the construction of the walls in the closet, but if your shoes are heavy it might make the curtain rod supports want to pull out of the wall unless you use a toggle bolt or can screw or nail into a stud in the wall.

    I remember in one of the houses I lived in the curtain rod supports were right next to the window frame , on the outside, in the sheet rock. They were fine when used with a light-weight curtain, but if there was something more substantial hung up then the nails would start pulling out of the wall.
    Since you will be putting shoes in, and taking out, and putting in, and taking out, etc. there could be a problem with “stress”; might need to keep that in mind.
    Just my two cents worth.

  8. I love my large walk in closets but I know in a few years when we downsize that I probably won’t have the luxury. This is definitely a great idea to pin for later. Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty

  9. Liberty says:

    I’ve been looking for a letter station/ organization thing to hold shoes in much the same way you have done– for our camper. I can’t find what I saw a few months ago, and your idea just might do the trick instead!! Thank you!! The spray paint makes them look so much nicer.

  10. Jann Olson says:

    Such a very clever and functional idea! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  11. Those are great ideas for shoes and belts. I don’t have a super small closet, I just have too many clothes, LOL.

  12. Sandi Magle says:

    Brilliant! …and inexpensive—Closet stores—eat your heart out!

  13. Barbara says:

    Quite ingenious, I wish I had this trick in my old closet. I just moved to a house with a much larger closet so I now have more space.

  14. Brilliant!!! #bloggerclubUK

  15. Anne says:

    What a fabulous idea, I’m sure I could put this to use, it would be so much easier having the shoes on the wall like this. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Lanae Bond says:

    I have unused rods in my home and now I know what to do with it! Thank you for sharing this post because I trying to make the most of my small closet!

  17. I have some unused rods hanging around here somewhere, and I’m going to try this!! Great idea!

  18. Sherry Darlington says:

    Love it! I too am struggling with a down sized closet. What is this flip flop hanger you speak of? Thank you for this wonderful idea!

  19. Melena Schlote says:

    What a wonderful idea! I live in a small condo and this will work perfectly for me!

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