Homemade DVD Rack - combine two smaller racks to make a tall one

DVD rack in the corner.

My new DVD rack isn't really new, but it's new to me because it used to be two smaller DVD storage racks that I combined to make a single rack with twice the capacity for storing DVDs and VHS tapes. It uses the same surface area that a single rack would require, so I get twice the storage capacity in the same footprint.

Like many other things, the racks I used in this project came from garage sales...they cost $2 each. Those who got rid of these racks had likely gone out and purchased larger and sexier commercial racks of some sort and no longer had need for these lowly wooden racks. At a couple bucks a piece, I find them to be a good value for holding my collection of videos, many of which are in VHS format.

I know I'm not supposed to watch those older format videos because of the reduce video quality, but it's just not cost-effective to upgrade my entire video collection to DVD.

Planning for DVD Rack Construction

For starters, I measured the width and height of the racks to make sure they were compatible. Both measured roughly 24 inches across, both were roughly 38 inches high, and the depth only varied by about half an inch. If they were identical, that would be ideal, but a quarter inch difference in width and an inch or so difference in height won't make any difference when trying to put these racks together to make one unit.

Basic tools necessary to accomplish this DVD rack project.

The main idea was to fasten both racks to a set of rails, made from studs. Since videos don't weigh much at all, it doesn't take stout construction to hold everything in place, it only requires some level of consistency in terms of how the racks are positioned on the rails.

Next, I verified that with both racks on top of one another, it would allow sufficient space for videos on the top of the lower rack while still allowing clearance from the floor to the ceiling when I had DVDs on the top of the upper rack. My measurements had me clearing the ceiling by a couple of inches, so I was set to proceed.

Measure carefully so everything fits as you'd like it to.

(Photo upper right shows the basic tools that I used to complete the job.)

Next, I decided which DVD rack would be placed on the bottom. I choose the one that was the deepest, widest, tallest and had the best feet. I then took the feet off of the upper rack since they weren't going to be used.

Assembly Steps for the DVD Rack

I placed a set of studs on the floor and put the back of the lower DVD rack on them such that the bottom of the studs were flush with the bottom of the feet of the rack. I centered the rack and then drove one screw upward at an angle from underneath each foot, through the frame, and then into the stud behind it. This anchored the lumber to the frame of the lower rack.

Screws fastening the DVD rack were recessed using a countersink.

To do this properly, I drilled a pilot hole and used a countersink (shown above) to make certain the head of the screw didn't protrude below the bottom surface of the feet.

Each DVD rack was screwed to the studs such that the screw would penetrate the frame and the cross members.

The next step involved securing the DVD rack to the studs, so I carefully turned the rack over such that the studs were on top and the front of the rack was facing the floor. After carefully centering the studs, I secured one side at a time by drilling a pilot hole through the stud and into the frame of the rack, and then sinking a deck screw to fasten the two together.

To center the rack on the stud, measure the overhang of the stud on the outside of the rack. I let it overhang about half an inch. When securing the stud to the back of the rack, I worked my way up and adjusted the overhang so the rack stayed centered. Then, I repeated the process for the other side. I used four deck screws on each side to secure the rack to the set of studs.

To determine where the pilot hole needs to be drilled, add half the width of the DVD rack frame to the overhang measurement, and that ought to put your pilot hole right in the middle of the frame member when measuring from the outside of the stud. Be sure to use a properly sized drill bit that goes deep enough to make a good pilot hole so you don't split the wood.

(Photo upper right shows the screws penetrate the frame of the DVD rack and the cross members of the frame for good strength.)

When I sunk the screws in place, I used a right-angle impact driver. It twists the screws in place and then uses impact force as necessary when the screw starts to get difficult to turn. An impact driver isn't necessary, but I like to work with this tool because it sinks screws tightly a little at a time with each impact the tool delivers. A cordless drill or a manual screwdriver can also be used, but when you use a motor, you can get the job done faster and with less wear and tear on yourself.

Spacers used for the DVD rack project. They keep the bottom of the upper and the top of the lower rack far enough apart to allow a DVD to be placed between them.

Next, I used two scraps of stud as spacers between the racks. Creating space is necessary to make sufficient room between the top of a DVD in the upper rails of the lower rack, and the bottom of the upper rack rails. If you don't allow sufficient space, the top of the lower rack will be too close to the bottom of the upper rack, and it won't be able to hold a DVD.

To be sure, check your spacing using the largest video case you have.

Repeat the fastening pattern described above for one side of the top rack, then move your spacer over to the other side and repeat.

The finished rack should have sufficient space between the upper and lower racks to allow a DVD to be stored on the top rail of the lower rack without interfering with the lower rail of the upper rack. The photo below shows adequate spacing between the racks. Note that the feet of the upper rack have been removed.

Adequate spacing between each DVD rack makes it possible to load a DVD on the upper rail of the lower rack.

The last step was to cut off the excess stud even with the top of the upper DVD rack.

Two dollars for each DVD rack makes this a frugal piece of furniture in my house.

And, there you have it, a homemade DVD storage rack for under $10. Each DVD rack cost me $2 at garage sales, each stud was about $2, and the fasteners couldn't have been more than 50 cents.

Be bold, be adventurous, make you own DVD rack from two or more smaller racks. Why not? Happiness comes from personal achievement, even if you're the only one who benefits from it.

Done with Homemade DVD Rack, take me back to Do it Yourself


Frugal Living Tips

Building your own furniture or shelving, or even just refinishing or modifying something you already have, can give you a nice feeling of satisfaction. Plus, it saves you money.

Of course there are times when only a commercial product will serve your interests. Just in case, here are other items to consider.