How to Create A Mudroom Inside a Closet

If you follow me at all on Instagram, then you may have seen my comments about having taken the summer off of home projects and that I was going to kick start them this past weekend while Andy was in Vegas. Well, folks! I did!


I am so excited to be able to share this project with you today!! With a little know how, some time, a couple bits of material and my own two hands (…and perhaps a knee…and I may have leveraged the wall a few times), I transformed our hallway closet in the den into a mudroom closet!



  • 2×4 pieces of wood for bench frame
  • 1×8 pieces of wood for top shelf frame
  • 1x16x72 pine wood boards for bench seat and top shelf
  • decorative stair brackets for top shelf
  • fashion wainscoating wallpaper & wallpaper primer
  • coat hooks
  • spackle
  • paint
  • stain

Time: Roughly 15 -18 hours

Skill Level: Beginner

Cost: $150 (excluding paint, stain and spackle which I already had)


First things first, I wanted to draw out a sketch of what I was seeing in my mind as the final product. I always do this. It’s never a hard-nosed design, but more of a guideline. After drawing the sketch, I took measurements of the space. If your house is anything like mine and built long ago, then you find nothing is ever squared off or level. My advice is to always measure multiple times and at different heights of the wall.



Once I got my measurements done, I went out and bought the wood. I buy wood at both Home Depot and Lowe’s. It just depends on what else I need or want to peruse. Because of my required lengths, I needed 3  pieces of  96″ 2x4s, 2 pieces of 72″ 1x8s, and 3 sheets of 1x16x72 pinewood boards. I also purchased the other items listed in materials save for the paint and stain, which I already had at the house from previous projects.




With all the materials, I set up shop. I cut the boards to length with my DeWalt Circular Saw and installed them with regular 2.5 inch screws. If you aren’t adept at cutting wood or don’t have the tools, then people at the home improvement store can do it for you. The cutting and building of the frame and shelving took the longest! To help me make sure I don’t mess up, I usually lay out all the pieces in the fashion that they will be installed.


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Once the boards were cut and it all fit, I deconstructed it a bit for painting, staining and wallpapering! This was my first time working with wallpaper. Let me tell you….it’s incredibly sticky and flimsy. I got paste all over not only my hands, but also my hair. Still, I was surprised at how easy it was to install and it looked great!! Definitely well worth the extra washing of hair needed to remove the paste.




After everything was dried, I was able to put the finishing bits all together. I installed the bench seat, which had gotten stained, the top shelf, which had gotten painted, and the coat hooks! Then, I was finally able to do the decorating part, which is always loads of fun.


So, this is what it looked like before…


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And, this is what it looks like now!


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Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I found all the pillows and baskets at Target. The top baskets will be used for scarves, hats, gloves and other miscellaneous items. The circular basket underneath the bench is for kick-off shoes. I also reused our old boot tray for boots and garden shoes.  And, that all folks!!




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7 Comment

  1. Reply
    August 15, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    You amaze me! I need to do this to our closet in the living room!! It’s such a mess right now…maybe I will do this and use your direction!

  2. Reply
    Mary Shoff
    August 16, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Brilliant, practical and beautiful! Love your crafty ways and how you engineer to make it happen…your Grandfather Engelberth would be so proud of you as we are!

  3. Reply
    January 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    What a fantastic idea! How wide was your original closet (i.e. How wide is your bench now?) Thank you!

    1. Reply
      January 18, 2017 at 2:51 am

      Hey Amanda! The closet is 64″ across and 26 3/4″ deep. When I built the bench, I wanted it to come out a bit further into the door frame so the seat in the door frame area is actually 28 1/4″ deep.

  4. Reply
    May 25, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Hey, how did you attached the front horizontal 2×4 to the existing door frame? Looks like you used a bracket? Or did you just screw in diagonally? Thanks!

    1. Reply
      May 25, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      Hey Andy. I used a drill bit to create a diagonal hole just deep enough for the screw to sit in and then screwed in. Then I filled the hole. If you bring your seat out more into the frame, though, I assume brackets would work here too.

      1. Reply
        May 25, 2017 at 9:50 pm

        Thank you! And great work – looks awesome. About to start my own.

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