Gorm Double-Decker Shoe Rack Hack

Materials: two Gorm uprights, four Gorm shelves, two Gorm corner brackets, Gorm bolts, hammer, screwdriver, saw, miter box, nails, electric drill

Description: My house has just been renovated and I’m working out the best way to store things. I decided this space 56″ long by 12″ wide by 24″ tall in my new walk-in-closet/extra library space would be perfect for a double-decker shoe rack. Because of the length, none of the ready made racks I looked at made efficient enough use of the space or had enough room for all my shoes and boots, plus they all cost more than the zero dollars I wanted to spend.

A few weeks earlier, I’d added corner shelves to one of my old Gorm units and found myself short one upright. My local Ikea no longer sells single uprights so I bought a whole Gorm unit (4 uprights, 4 shelves) to get the one upright I needed. This left me with three uprights and four shelves I had no immediate plans for. I realized the leftover Gorm pieces would be perfect for the shoe rack since they would require little in the way of tools or technical skills to achieve the desired result.

The main modifications were narrowing and shortening the shelves and then cutting down and splitting the uprights for the left and right sides. To narrow them, I pried off one of the three planks from each shelf using the flat head of a screwdriver while being careful not to puncture myself on the nails. To shorten them, I used the same prying technique to remove one support piece from each shelf and then I used a miter box and a saw to cut down the planks to the needed length. Then both support ends were trimmed to reflect the narrower size, and after reattaching the shortened planks, new holes for the bolts were drilled where required.

I then cut three equal length pieces from two of the uprights, making sure the bolt holes all lined up. I only cut three pieces because the one thing I don’t like about Gorms is how much of the shelf is obscured by the width of the upright. To avoid that, I decided to split two of the cut down pieces between the holes to make four one-hole uprights for the left and right sides. After taking about 2 hours to split each 17″ upright using a hand-saw, I highly recommend using a power saw if you have that option! The third piece was for the back and wasn’t split since both rows of holes are needed to connect the left and right shelves. I used some leftover brackets from the corner shelves to connect the pieces in the front so the front would be uninterrupted.

Then it was just a matter of using the standard bolts to put the pieces together. Lucky for me, I had managed to measure everything correctly and make the proper cuts so everything came together as it should and fit the space perfectly. After years of living with unfinished Gorm and Ivar shelves, I’ve made a solemn vow to change my ways so I gave the completed shelf a couple of coats of amber shellac.

As it turns out, I probably could have cut the uprights shorter, but on the other hand, the extra height means I can adjust the shelves. Also, based on the space, I really only needed to shorten two of the four shelves, but at the same time I knew if I did that it would look unbalanced and drive me crazy, so I just took the extra time while I had the tools out to make all four shelves the same size.

~ RStapp, Washington, DC

Jules Yap