Several weeks back, I posted plans for the storage towers I intended to build for our oldest son’s room. As I mentioned before, these were inspired by a bedroom set from Pottery Barn, but we added some of our own details to make them unique. I finally got them built and installed in the room, so I wanted to come back and share the build with you. These turned out great and look really good in the room. They are also very functional, providing practical storage without taking up a lot of floor space.
If you want to build these yourself, read through this post and be sure to get our exclusive 19-page DIY plan:
I started by cutting all of the plywood pieces that make up the “boxes” of the storage towers. I used birch veneer plywood that was sanded smooth on both sides. Next I drilled pocket holes in the horizontal shelf pieces.
Before assembling the boxes, I drilled holes for the shelf pins in the side panels of the towers. I made a template from a 1×4 board and carefully measured and marked lines on the plywood sides to position the template.
I drilled a hole through a scrap 2×4 to make a stop block that would prevent drilling the shelf pin holes too deeply.
The boxes were assembled and the face frames installed according to the plan. However, I did stray from the plan in two areas. The first was the addition of a cleat across the top of each of the towers. I wanted a sturdy way to attach these things to the wall (ever seen two little boys jumping on a bed when mom isn’t looking?) and the 1/4″ plywood on the back didn’t give me any warm fuzzy feelings. So I cut a piece of scrap plywood to length and attached it with pocket hole screws and glue as shown below.
The trim along the bottom was made from 1″x6″ boards, mitered, then attached with pocket hole screws and glue.
The bottom trim piece was held in place with clamps then glued and screwed to the bottom of the “box” with 1-1/4″ general purpose screws.
The bottom trim is wide so that 4″x4″ feet could be installed on the bottom with glue and 3″ wood screws. As I usually do, I made sure to predrill holes in the feet to prevent splitting.
The top trim was installed in the same manner as the bottom trim. I strayed from the original plan again here. I had originally planned to trim the top with a 2×4 for a more substantial look, but opted for a 1×3 instead.
To finish off the towers, I added a cleat to the sides for attaching the shelf.
The shelf was built from two pieces of plywood that formed an “L” with a 1×2 to cap the front. Pocket hole screws and glue held all of these pieces together.
Next, I turned my attention to the shelves. Rather than buy another board, I used the remaining plywood. These were the pieces that were left after cutting the sides of the towers to length. I ripped them in the table saw to be slightly narrower so that they wouldn’t fit so tightly then cut them to length.
To hide the raw edge of the plywood, I attached edge banding. I used the self-adhesive kind that gets heated with an iron. Once it had time to cool, I trimmed the edges with a razor blade and smoothed the corners with 150 grit sandpaper. The shelves look like they are made from a piece of solid wood when installed in the towers, but cost significantly less.
I built doors as shown in the plan, which is identical to they way I built them for the bookcase upcycle.
After all the pieces had been built I filled nail holes and other imperfections then sanded all of the surfaces with 150 grit sandpaper until everything was smooth. I took everything to my paint booth (a tarped-off corner of our basement) and sprayed two coats of satin latex paint.
Once the paint had dried, I went over everything with 400 grit sandpaper to knock down any roughness due to overspray. Finally, I lightly distressed the corners and edges with 150 grit sandpaper.
I started the install on one side, leveling and attaching the tower that would set in the corner. I used a scrap piece of baseboard behind the tower to space it away from the wall, and screwed through the cleat into a stud with a single 3″ wood screw.
Next I set the second tower roughly into position and put the shelf into place. I attached it to the cleats using two screws on each side. Then I used one more 3″ screw to attach the second tower to the wall.
Finally, I attached the doors. I used some painter’s tape at the hinge locations to make sure I wouldn’t mark up the face frames during the process.
The Big Reveal
This was a pretty big project. Overall, I probably have more than 25 hours into it. But the end result makes all of the work worth it. These towers provide a lot of nice storage space. And the style is neutral enough that it should be able to grow with our son as he gets older. Total cost was less than $180, which easily beats the cost of an equivalent purchased piece of furniture.
The doors provide a great way to store some of our son’s “less display-worthy” books out of sight.
The trim at the top and bottom adds some nice detail without being too fancy for a boy’s room.
The shelf between the two towers makes good use of otherwise unused space.
I’m pretty happy with the distressing on this piece. We thought about glazing everything with stain after distressing, but decided against it. We’re glad we did.
This room has come a long way. So far, between Jess and I we have:
- Trimmed Out the Windows
- Installed Crown Moulding
- Created some Lego Wall Art and DIY Poster Frames
- Made a Cornice for the Window
- Built this Storage Tower System
That’s it! Thanks so much for reading. Be sure to get our 19-page plan and you can build these towers for yourself or a loved one as well.
Pin this page to make sure that you can find it again when you’re ready. Or follow us on Pinterest to keep up with all of our projects!