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DIY Playroom Organization

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This playroom organization was such a fun project!  For us, the basement of our little rowhouse acted as a kids playroom, a guest room, and a second living room.  Therefore, keeping the playroom organized was a must!

playroom organization

While our boys were young we managed toys in a storage ottoman.  However, as they grew, the truck count in the house grew and we needed more toy storage!  But in addition to needing storage there was also a bland wall space that needed a face lift!  When thinking of playroom organization ideas, I knew I wanted to create something fun but also something that would be aesthetically pleasing that would fit around our mounted TV.

Step 1: Measure & Design your layout

I started by finding center on our TV and then measured out to determine how far out I wanted the long shelves to go.  Then I measured from the outer point to the TV.  I wanted the outer edges of each of the shelves to line up; I felt this gave it a more built-in look.  

playroom organization

For my design I knew I wanted to use wooden crates.  I wanted solid storage that would hold up with toys being tossed in and dumped out regularly!  I had always walked by the tall pile of crates at Michael’s and wanted to use them for a project. 

For my final toy organization design, I settled on 4 shelves; 2 long shelves and 4 short shelves set to either side of the mounted TV.  With a total of 8 crates, 4 on each long shelf.  

I needed the shelves to be about 12 1/2 inch wide since the crates were 12″ wide.

playroom organization

Step 2: Go Shopping & Get your Materials

While shopping at Home Depot for supplies things got a bit creative! 

Based on my design layout, I have initially intended on my shelves being longer but while standing in Home Depot I immediately made a change to that.  The standard size for a sheet of plywood is 96 inches long.  I had my long shelves at 105 inches long but was willing to lose the 9 inches to make the shelf a single solid board.  

Now, the standard width of a sheet of plywood is 48 inches.  If I ripped this board into quarters this would make each board only 12 inches wide which just wasn’t going to wide enough to safely set the crates on.  I really didn’t want to get two sheets of plywood to end up with so much extra cutoff from each!  So as I wandered the aisles a bit, I ended up walking down the trim and moulding aisle.  I knew this would not only make a very nice finished edge but also could add enough edge for the crates to sit comfortably!  I was using a 3/4 inch plywood sheet so I grabbed a moulding that I liked that would fit the 3/4″ edge of the shelves.  

In all, I grabbed one sheet of 3/4 inch sanded plywood, and 5 – 96 inch long 3/4 inch moulding/trim pieces.  I ended up spending less than $100 on lumbar supplies! 

Then I headed to Michael’s and grabbed 8 crates and paint in red, green, blue, and yellow. I spent more in Michael’s than I did at Home Depot! 

Lastly, for the shelf brackets –  I ordered these from Amazon, so I had them waiting at home for me.   

Step 3: Build Your Shelves

To build my shelves, I started by cutting down the sheet of plywood on a table saw.  I set my measurement at 12 inches and ran the board through three times until I had 4 pieces that measured 12 inches X 96 inches.  I set two of the boards aside and then cut the other two down to make 4 – 24 inch pieces.  

Then cut the trim pieces at a 45 degree angle for each of the edges and attach using a brad nailer

Fill the nail holes with a stainable filler.  

playroom organization

Step 4: Stain your Shelves & Paint your Crates

This is by far my favorite step.  I was able to recruit my Mom to help with this step and we had so much fun with it.  

Like most of my other projects I choose to use the General’s Finishes stain and top coat for the shelves.  I used my favorite color; Brown Mahogany.  I did one coat of stain and two coats of top coat.  Allowing the shelves to dry for about 6 hours between each coat. 

playroom organization

For the crates, I used craftsmart acrylic paint in 4 colors; bright blue, grass green, red, and yellow.  I painted two crates inside and out in each color.  I used disposable paint brushed to get in between the slats and a small craft rollers to help smooth and cover the rest of the crate.  We did two coats on each crate to cover fully. 

Step 5: Hang your Shelves

To hang my shelves I made sure to find the studs with my stud finder.  For the shorter shelves I was only able to get one side into a stud and the other side I used the wall anchors that came with the brackets.  For the long shelves I offset the brackets slightly to ensure all brackets were in studs.  I knew this would be important to support the weight of the toy filled crates.

I first hung the bracket onto the wall and then laid the shelf on top of the brackets and attached the shelf from below to the bracket. 

Step 6: Place & Fill your Crate Storage Bins

I maintain that the painting and staining step was my favorite but gosh is it a good feeling organizing all the toys! I love when everything is in it’s  proper spot so having an organized playroom is a dream come true for me.  After I finished, the space was ready for the boys to play!

Want more Kid DIYs? Check out more kid friendly DIYs & design tips!

*Disclosure: We only recommend products that we regularly use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission.


playroom organization

DIY Playroom Organization

Prep Time 4 hours
Build Time 8 hours
Dry Time 1 day
Units 1


  • Brad Nailer
  • Table Saw
  • Stud Finder


  • Gel Stain
  • Gel Topcoat
  • Wooden Crate
  • Plywood
  • Trim/Molding
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Shelf Bracket
  • Disposable Brush
  • Craft Roller


  • Measure & Design your layout
  • Go Shopping & Get your Materials
  • Build Your Shelves
  • Stain your Shelves & Paint your Crates
  • Hang your Shelves
  • Place & Fill your Crate Storage Bins
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