How can I reuse or recycle a wooden shoe rack?

There was a neighbourhood “give and take” event near me at the weekend – people took along their unwanted items and took home anything other people had donated that took their fancy — all for free. It was mostly small things – crockery, household knick-knacks and books – but there were some larger things too – old TVs and other electronics, rugs and other bits of furniture.

We didn’t “take” anything in the end: I was tempted by a pretty coffee pot from the kitchenware table until John pointed out that we already have one which we don’t use, and I was also VERY tempted by a lovely black cat who was keeping an eye on the proceedings, though I’m not to sure he’d have been happy to be taken. But we did give away a box of things we no longer needed, and it felt good to have a clear-out.

I did though rescue a simple wooden shoe rack from the “to go” pile at the last minute. I thought it had been thrown out when we replaced it in the porch with built-in cubbies but apparently it had only made it as far as the garage. As it hit the “to go” pile, I declared I could think of “a thousand” uses for it here and demanded to keep it. Thankfully John didn’t ask me to list the full thousand but my brain did start ticking away.

My first ideas were it being a shoe rack in other places in the house — something that’s especially useful coming into winter where there are invariably muddy boots and shoes near every door. Or there is always stuff in the kitchen to go into the garden – I could put shoes on one shelf and have the other shelf for flower pots and what not.

Speaking of the garden & pots, my greenhouse staging is awash with empties at the moment – some extra (albeit small) shelving would be useful in there, and in the spring/summer, it could be useful for holding plants – hopefully the slats would discourage some slugs too. Or I could mount the shelves from the shoe rack onto a wall with strong bracket to make a new potting bench – perhaps with tool hooks underneath.

I made a similarly slatted “tray” for drying homemade soap and before we moved here, I used the very shoe rack in question in the “jumpers” part of my wardrobe as an additional shelf (so they all weren’t piled up in one big heap and the slats allowed air circulation).

Flipped onto an end and lined with an old pillow case, it could be used as a laundry basket and if it was sturdier, it might make a good bench for children.

So that’s about nine alternative ideas – any suggestions for the other 991 reuses? :)

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18 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle a wooden shoe rack?”


  1. Stephanie says:

    Goblet rack on top, wine bottle in middle, pots hang underneath!

  2. Melinda says:

    -If you were assured of the slats being clean enough, it could serve as a dryer for small hand washables.
    - Tipped on end, it could corral umbrellas (with a tray underneath), large rolled up maps and other long things. Possibly some use could be made of the slats for flat things- trays and cutting boards in a closet, for example.
    - When it is beyond indoor use, it could go in the garden as a small trellis- good for balcony use, maybe.

  3. anna says:

    If I had an extra shoe rack now, I’d use it (well, first as a shoe rack as I really need one) probably as a food dryer. Like build a passive one around it, using the rack as a structure. Just add net around it, and a door for opening it. And the build some drying trays inside it, again using some rescue materials if possible – e.g. any old lace curtains around?
    I made a food drying rack years ago to use on top of my mum’s massive wood burning ovens that heat her living room. It gets warm on top of it, but not too hot, so the drying rack worked great for herbs and plants.
    Or of course, use it on the balcony as a chair or for gardening.

  4. Ulechka says:

    Remove the legs and two parts can be used to shade the window.

  5. Stephanie’s on the right track there. Looks like the start of a decent wine rack.

  6. Layla says:

    We actually bought a shoe rack identical to the one pictured to use to keep our pots and pans on as we’re a bit short of kitchen cupboards.

  7. Olia says:

    Use as support for the plants.

  8. Shelves are infinitely useful! You can put them anywhere! What about a CD/DVD rack?

  9. Janet says:

    I would like your wooden shoe rack; it looks just right for my purposes -shoes. Will pay you something for it too.

  10. CHRIS says:

    I am about to use mine for extra shelving inside an alcove which is being converted into a cupboard to house my dvd player, record player, etc. etc. Ideal

  11. I’ve got a pre-loved one that I brought home from the SPCA Jumble Sale. We’ve lined it with rags and our cats sleep on it now.

  12. I once had one of these – I ran a piece of wood horizontally below the shelf between two big Ikea shelf brackets and screwed hooks along it – made a perfectly serviceable shelf for hats etc with coats hanging under from the hooks.

  13. Hi says:

    re your wooden boot rack

    hang it upside down from your kitchen ceiling, put some large hooks on bottom rack, and use it to hang
    pots
    kitchen tools
    oven mits
    put pot lids on the top rack,close to ceiling

  14. Nirav Shah says:

    Can be used to make some decoratives out of it or wall hangings.

    Recycling & reuse is the best option for all,including plastic bags & non woven bags also.

    We can do our bit to save Planet earth.

  15. Steve says:

    Thank you for the info – There really is some great posts.

  16. Fantastic article I have some in the garage and this has given me inspiration!

  17. Great post, thanks! Shleves are always needed, I could use this rack in my kitchen for spice containers – I love spices and don’t have enough room for them to be nicely organised.

  18. Oliver Smith says:

    I have the same shoe rack and I am thinking to change it with new. I will use it in my garden



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