How to Turn a Basket into Shoe Storage + Bench
Over the winter, we’ve been struggling with a new way to stash shoes by the back door. We thought we’d eventually make a small bench or even a cupboard to hide them in, but we needed something in the interim. The hunt was on and eventually led to the hefty basket pictured above. Found at Target, the Smith & Hawken basket ($39.99) had the perfect dimensions. It just needed a little tweaking and it became the perfect solution to our shoe problem.
First, it had to have some sort of structure on the inside to keep the shoes from becoming a heap. We used a couple sheets of acrylic we had in the garage, but thin plywood or even MDF would do just as well. We simply cut into the acrylic into 2 sheets, then cut them half-way through the center and slipped the two sheets together. I also cut a piece of rubber (left over from a truck liner, if you can believe it) to protect the bottom of the basket.
Next, we needed to make a lid for our basket. For this, we chose to use a 3/4″ piece of aspen. Sweetie Pie cut it to size and then milled around the handles. I took over from there and painted it with General Finishes Lamp Black. I sanded the edges to expose the raw wood underneath (which coordinated with the color of the basket) and then put 3 coats of poly over it.
The great thing about our new shoe storage basket, besides making the back door area tidy, is that the basket has a wire frame making it sturdy enough to sit on when taking off/putting on shoes. We like it so much that we don’t think it’s a temporary solution anymore.