If you haven’t seen Josie’s room tour, one of the standout details of the room is her nursery closet. As a fashion lover myself, I was so excited to transform her nursery closet with a pretty simple DIY project to not only make it cute, but also more functional than the builder grade unit that was originally installed. In my initial nursery inspiration, I fell in love with this custom closet and wanted to recreate it. After getting quote for a simple custom closet and searching high and low for an affordable closet unit, I decided to DIY the project instead for a more budget friendly option. Today, I’m sharing all the details on how you can DIY your closet on a budget using the Ikea Pax wardrobe.

* * Thank you Mom & Dad for bringing my closet and nursery vision to life!

DIY Nursery Closet with the Ikea Pax Wardrobe


The longest process with this DIY closet was waiting for the items to be in stock. It took months…and a few incorrect orders thanks to pregnancy brain :) to finally get everything in and begin the project. The gold rods also took some patience and consistent checking to watch for a restock. You can order directly from the supplier, but the shipping was very high.

What you need for this DIY nursery closet


The first thing we did was remove the existing builder grade closet and patch the holes with caulking. We went ahead and painted it Sherwin Williams Intimate White to match the rest of the bedroom.

We decided to remove the large double closet doors. They took up so much wall space, and I knew I wanted to show off the closet anyway so we simply removed them and lightly painted over the holes using the trim color Behr Ultra White in a satin finish. We decided to do that versus fill them in because we know the next owner of this house will likely want doors on the closet, and once you patch them in it’s nearly impossible to install them again. Removing the closet doors opened up so much more space in the room and I don’t wave to worry about them knocking the crib.

DIY nursery wallpaper


When measuring for wallpaper, always order more than you think. We got really lucky having just enough (literally 1 inch to spare) to cover the back wall. Math is not my forte ;) Depending on the pattern, you will need to have excess to line it up correctly. So measure twice and order an extra roll to be safe. If you end up needing to order more, there’s a chance it won’t come from the same dye batch and it may not match perfectly.

There are many different types of wallpaper and installation techniques to choose from. This was a pre-pasted wallpaper, and my Mom and Uncle installed it for me after watching a quick tutorial on Youtube. Luckily it was a small, easy space to DIY it, but if I was doing a larger space or an area with more cuts it would be worth it to me to just hire out. You want to measure the space and get a general idea of how you want the print to lay on the wall as far as centering it correctly. With pre-pasted wallpaper, it already has the adhesive on the back and you just spray it with water and let it sit for 2-3 minutes before applying it to the wall. You can slide it around once on the wall to lay the pattern perfectly, which is why I went with this option over peel and stick wallpaper. They used a razor blade and wallpaper smoother to cut the excess once in position.

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DIY Ikea Pax Wardrobe

Measure your closet to determine the appropriate size Ikea Pax wardrobe for your space. You can also use the customizer on the Ikea website to visualize it with your own dimensions. I decided to go with the 29 1/2×13 3/4×79 1/8 unit to have enough rod space on both sides and the shorter depth would be easier to reach inside. If I had enough wallpaper, I would have applied it on the back panel of the Ikea closet.. but we didn’t have enough for that so it’s just left open in the back. It’s secured to the wall in the back plus the rods add extra security, too.

Ikea Komplement Shelves

The shelves are very easy to put in and there are peg holes all along the side to adjust it to preference. I haven’t fully committed to this placement yet, but when I do I’ll add molding and trim sealant to the holes and along the shelves to give it a more finished look. You can also buy peg holes at Ikea if you would prefer. I don’t think the caulk will be difficult to remove with a screwdriver if I change my mind and want to change up the placement down the road. I have the shelves evenly spaced with 7 holes between them.

My initial plans included adding a shelf above each rod for extra storage, but once it was finished I didn’t think it was necessary at this time. You can use these wall shelves and cut them to size if you want to add that to your custom closet.

Gold polished brass curtain rods

The gold polished brass closet rods were an additional cost, but they were 100% worth it to make the closet look more custom. I purchased 2 6ft brass rods and used one for each side of the closet. Measure the rod length and mark with a sharpie to make an accurate cut. The heavy duty flanges used to hang the rod gives you a little room for error because it sits on top of a ledge on one side. My Dad used a hacksaw (bless him) but if you have a power tool I’m sure that would be much easier :) When placing the flange pieces, make sure to account for the hanger size you need versus placing it in the center of the unit. Ours is set closer to the front of the unit to fit a regular-sized hanger versus the baby-sized hangers. We also eyeballed an adult dress shirt when placing them vertically, but this is all personal preference!

Josie’s Nursery Tour

I am so excited to finally share Josie’s nursery tour! It’s been a work in progress, that’s for sure, and even though it’s still not officially complete, I can’t wait any longer to share it with you! Her nursery was..

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Ikea Komplement Drawers

I added 3 Ikea Komplement drawers to the bottom of the unit to tuck away extra storage items. I did a tour on Instagram (check the nursery highlight) if you want to see inside the drawers. But essentially this is where I store extra diapers and wipes, toys, and random extra nursery items. The drawers are soft close and provide a nice hideaway for storage items.

bow drawer pulls

You don’t have to add drawer pulls for the Komplement drawers since there is adequate spacing for your hand along the top, but it sure adds an extra touch! We added two bow drawer pulls on each unit. I originally bought one for each drawer, but I ended up ordering more once I saw how small they were and it fills out the drawer space better.


nursery closet organization

With the Ikea Pax wardrobe, you can create many different organizational components based on your needs. I decided to go with three drawers to hide away most of the extra backup items such as diapers, wipes, first aid items, and toys for tummy time. I added in shelving and used prettier looking gift boxes to tuck away everyday items like extra bibs, burp cloths, and swaddles. This Ikea unit can evolve as she grows to fit her closet needs, such as adding more shelves to store shoes or adding doors to the unit if I want to hide clutter. For her clothing, I purchased these baby hangers and have things hanging in each section based on size to keep everything organized so I know exactly where her 0-3 month, 3-6 month, and so on. I also have clothing size dividers, but I don’t have an overwhelming amount of clothes in here to where I thought it was necessary. I didn’t purchase clothing significantly far in advance, but it’s good to have a few staples, like pajamas, in the next size up on hand because they grow so quickly.

I used one of my jewelry stands to organize her bow headbands, but I have a feeling we’ll outgrow that pretty soon. This scalloped jewelry stand I have is sold out, but these would be a really pretty option! I have them in my office and they’re amazing quality. The scalloped glass jar is old from Target, but these are very similar and in my opinion even cuter! The gold gift boxes were purchased a few years ago at Target, but these are similar. I’ve also seen a similar gift box at Hobby Lobby, too. They usually come out with the boxes I have around Christmas, so look for them around then!

I share more about closet organization in this post so be sure to check it out if you want more tips on how to organize your closet.

Be sure to check out Josie’s nursery tour, here!

shop the nursery closet



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