Someone Made A Shoe Rack Out Of An Old Fan. Don't Do That. Do This Instead

Repuposing everyday objects can be a great way to exercise creativity, help the planet's ever-growing landfills, and save a little money compared to buying new. This is no more true than for those projects that take something destined for the trash and transform it into something both stylish and useful. YouTube DIY-er @sarrellablog5377 showed off a fun tutorial for how she turned two inexpensive metal fans into a cute and functional shoe rack by making a few modifications and adding some new pieces. The fans, which had seen better days, were painted and assembled into a perfect compact storage solution for shoes that can fit neatly in a closet or a corner out of the way.

While @sarrellablog5377's storage solution is ingenious and a great way to repurpose unused appliances, there are also some other great ways to reuse household materials no longer needed for their original applications that are a bit easier to master. These include assembling similar shoe organizers from old PVC pipe and everyday cardboard, as well as more elaborate storage systems using larger furniture pieces as shoe organizers. All are cost-friendly alternatives to new racks and eco-friendly in their use of upcycled and repurposed objects. 

Making fans into a shoe rack: pros and cons

This shoe organizer DIY is great if you have multiple old fans that are no longer working or rusted out. You will need at least two to complete the DIY, as well as an assortment of thicker and thinner plastic lids. Begin by disassembling the fans into pieces, setting aside both a lower base and pole from one fan and the adjustable upper pole for the second. You can discard the fan motor and remove the cords, but keep the unconnected cords to use later in the project. You will have four baskets that will form your shoe rack, which fit over the pole assembly at regular intervals. 

The DIY works well if you can get a hang on the DIYer's system of stringing the discarded cord to create tension and friction to hold the basket aloft, but that may require some trial and error in engineering the plastic washers to grip the pole to keep the baskets in place, so you may want to have additional plastic lids on hand to experiment with hole sizes. Loose baskets may be fine for smaller or more lightweight shoes, but it may have a hard time staying together for heavier boots, which can lead to the shoe rack tipping or falling apart. Because the shoe rack is higher, there is also more danger of it tipping over if it's too top-heavy.

Other great repurposing ideas for shoe storage

While @sarrellablog5377's DIY project is a great reuse of hardware and materials, there are other fantastic and far more easy-to-assemble options if you don't have discarded fans lying around, utilizing materials that are both plentiful and inexpensive. Another great TikTok DIY for easy shoe storage comes from @thecardboardqueen, who transforms some simple cardboard boxes into a stylishly appointed bench with some glue and some paint to make the cardboard look like wood. You can build the DIY project sideways for lower-profile shelving or upwards in a corner or small closet for a more vertical arrangement.

Another great repurposed and affordable shoe rack idea from TikTok's @pro_craft_world is to use leftover PVC piping. If you don't have some already, you can often find it available for free or cheap on platforms like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. You can make a cool, retro-looking shoe rack by adding a few dabs of hot glue to create a fun little hive of shoes. Add some paint or decorative peel-and-stick wallpaper to elevate the organizer in color and style. Like the cardboard organizer, this project can be scaled up or down as needed. For larger shoe rack systems, consider transforming an old dresser into a shoe rack, which can often hold large amounts of shoes completely out of view. Or re-use an outdoor planter box, which are often deep enough even for the tallest boots.