Home Improvement | 9 January 2017Make a Shoe Rack from a 5-Gallon Bucket Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Colder weather is upon us, friends, and so is the season of snowy, drippy, muddy, icy shoes and boots. Say farewell to soggy shoe puddles, and say hello to dry, organized footwear with this easy DIY shoe rack made from a 5-gallon bucket. Yep, you heard me: a bucket. You’ll probably have most/all of the tools you need to make this shoe rack at home, and as Chris Peterson reminds us in his book 5-Gallon Bucket Book, “The best price for anything is free. Finding free five-gallon buckets is easy when you consider the many ways this exceptional resource is used. The trick is to hit up businesses that receive raw materials in the buckets but then have no reason to keep them. Try talking to: restaurants; bakeries; food retailers; building contractors; supermarkets; schools; car washes; and gas stations.” Not only does a shoeless interior mean less dirt, mud, and muck tracked across carpets and wood floors, it’s also a matter of home hygiene. Studies show that removing shoes can improve indoor air quality by keeping allergens and other particulates out of rugs and carpets, where they might otherwise exacerbate allergies, asthma, and related conditions. Photo credit: 5-Gallon Bucket Book With an open-weave metal top surface, this rack is ideally suited to sit on top of a plastic tray or other portable, waterproof, and washable surface. A tray meant for underneath a dish-draining rack can be an excellent option, as can a large sheet pan that is too battered for kitchen duty. The rack itself is easily cleaned whenever it becomes too dirty. Just drag it outside and give a good blast from the hose. Let it dry and it will be good as new. You can also spruce it up by painting the bucket a handsome color, and you can even paint the steel top surface a contrasting color. Or paint the whole rack bright white or black to blend right in with your mudroom decor. Whatever the look, this will serve as perhaps the most durable shoe rack you’ve ever had. As a bonus, it’s super easy to fabricate and assemble, needing no fasteners or modifications other than cutting. To make things even easier, the instructions here include different methods for making the cuts. Choose whichever suits the tools you have or the technique with which you’re more comfortable. What You’ll Need for a DIY Shoe Rack Time: 30 minutes | Difficulty: Easy | Expense: $ TOOLS: Ratcheting tie-down strap Sharpie Measuring tape Straightedge Cordless drill and bits Jigsaw Metal-cutting jigsaw blade C-clamps Hot glue gun and glue Hacksaw (optional) Cordless angle grinder (optional) MATERIALS: 5-gallon bucket with lid 60-grit sandpaper 24×12×¼” expanded metal sheet How to Make a DIY Shoe Rack Fasten the lid on the bucket, and lay the bucket on its side on a work surface. Secure it with tie-down strap to keep it stable. Photo credit: 5-Gallon Bucket Book Draw a cut line straight across the center of the bottom, parallel to the work surface. Draw another line, parallel to, and approximately 3 ½” down from, the top line. This will be the bottom edge of the shoe rack. Measure the distance from the point where the bucket contacts the work surface up to the bottom line. Mark this measurement on the lid, and draw a bottom cut line on the lid. Measure up from this line 3 ½”. Draw a top cut line parallel to the bottom line. Use the straightedge to extend top and bottom cut lines along the bucket’s sides. Drill a pilot hole on the top cut line. Use this to start the jigsaw cut. Repeat with the bottom line, sawing along the sides and finishing with the lid. Make the cuts with a hacksaw if you have problems sawing through the lid with the jigsaw. Sand all the cut lines smooth. Measure the dimensions of the cut bucket top opening (the width will be slightly different end to end, due to the bucket’s taper). Subtract ½” and use the Sharpie to transfer these dimensions onto the expanded metal sheet. Photo credit: 5-Gallon Bucket Book Clamp the expanded metal sheet to a work surface with the edge sticking out so that the cut line is unobstructed. Cut along one marked line using the jigsaw with the metal-cutting blade or an angle grinder. Rotate the sheet and repeat for each of the remaining three lines. Position the cut expanded metal sheet over the top bucket opening and carefully press it down. Press the edges down evenly until the sheet is stuck in the opening. Dab hot glue at several of the contact points—the more, the better. Sand any high points on the bottom edge as needed to ensure the rack sits flat. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: About 5-Gallon Bucket Book: Why just reuse a bucket when you can reinvent it? Five-gallon buckets are ubiquitous and cheap (indeed, they are often free). But did you know they can also be hacked, hot-rodded, reengineered, and upcycled to create dozens of useful DIY projects for homeowners, gardeners, small-scale farmers, and preppers? 5-Gallon Bucket Book contains 60+ ideas that put these humble and hard-working mainstays to work past their prime and keep them out of landfills. Simple step-by-step instructions, as well as parts lists and images of the completed projects, make sure you will have fun and love the results of your work. Projects include perfect additions to your yard and garden, tools to care for your animals, useful innovations, handy home helpers, and even family-oriented designs! They range from simple things such as chicken feeders to much more complex projects (small room air conditioner, anyone?). For anyone who doesn’t already have fifteen of them cluttering up the garage, 5-Gallon Bucket Book also offers advice on where to get cheap and free buckets and how to tell if a bucket is safe to use for food. About the Author: Chris Peterson is a veteran home improvement and design author living in Ashland, Oregon. Among the many books he has written for Cool Springs Press and other publishers are Building with Secondhand Stuff, Manskills, four books in the Ideas You Can Use series, and many Black & Decker Complete Guides. He has also authored several books in the food and cooking area and he has co-authored numerous home design books with noted media celebrities. 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