Bathroom shelving unit
Cut the middle spacers and the shelves 12
in. long. Cut the bottom spacer 11 in. long to
allow for a decorative 1-in. reveal. Cut the top
spacer to fit (ours was 7-1/4 in.). Measure 1 in.
from one edge of the backboard and draw a
guideline for the shelves and spacers along its
length. Nail the bottom spacer in place, leaving
a 1-in. reveal at the bottom edge. Center
the first shelf by measuring 3-1/4 in. in from
the edge of the backboard and nail it in place.
Work your way up the backboard, alternating
between spacers and shelves (Photo 1).
On the back side, use a 1/8-in. countersink
bit to drill two holes, one at the top and one at
the bottom of each spacer. Drill two holes
spaced 1 in. from each side of the backboard
into each shelf ledge. Drive 1-1/4-in. drywall
screws into each hole (Photo 2). Paint or stain
the assembled unit. If you'd like to clearcoat
it, use a wipe-on poly or spray lacquer—using
a brush would be really tough. Mount the unit
on the wall with two 2-1/2-in. screws and
screw-in drywall anchors (E-Z Ancor is one
brand). Drive the screws where they won't be
seen: right below the bottom shelf and right
above the top shelf.
Adjustable spice shelf
This in-cabinet spice shelf
puts small containers at eye
level and still leaves room in the cabinet
for tall items. The materials
you less than $10. You'll need a 4-ft. 1x3
for the top shelf and a 4-ft. 1x2 for the
bottom ledger. You can find shelf pegs at
home centers in two sizes, 1/4 in. and
3/16 in., so measure the holes in your
cabinet before you shop. The secret is to
assemble the shelf outside the cabinet
and then set it on the shelf pegs.
Measure the sides and back of your
cabinet and cut your shelf and ledger
pieces. Subtract 1/8 in. from all sides
so you can fit the unit into the cabinet.
Attach the sides to the back of the bottom
ledger and put two nails into each
butt joint. Then nail the top shelf sides
into place and pin the shelf back at the
corners to hold it flush (Photo 1).
To install the shelf unit, carefully fit
one end of the “U” into the cabinet,
holding it higher at one end, and shimmy it down until it sits firmly on top of
the shelf pegs (Photo 2). Shift the pegs
up or down to adjust the shelf height.
We sprayed a quick coat of lacquer on
our shelf before installing it.
Cabinet door message board
A sheet of metal and a dry-erase board can
turn any cabinet door into a convenient
message center. You'll find 2 x 2-ft. lengths
of plastic-coated hardboard (often called
“whiteboard”) and sheet metal at a hardware
store or home center. Larger hardware
stores will cut the sheet metal to
your specifications. Be sure to get steel
instead of aluminum so magnets will
stick. Including a can of spray adhesive,
this project will cost you less than $20.
If you cut the metal yourself, wear
gloves to protect your hands and use tin
snips carefully. Use a metal file to smooth
any ragged edges. If you don't have a table
saw to cut the whiteboard, flip it over,
mark your measurements and use a jigsaw
to cut it from the back to prevent chipping
or splintering. To get a straight cut, use a
framing square as a guide (Photo 1).
To mount the metal sheet and whiteboard
to the inside of the door, take the
door off its hinges, lay it flat and carefully
mask off the area where you want to spray
the adhesive. Follow the directions on the
can to apply the adhesive to the door,
metal and whiteboard (Photo 2). Mount the
pieces, press firmly and let dry.
Cutting board rack
You can make this nifty rack for less than
$10 and mount it inside a cabinet door to
stash your cutting board out of sight. It
goes together in a snap since it only
requires a 6-ft. 1x2 and two L-brackets.
Measure between the door stiles to get
the maximum width of your rack. Make
sure the rack will be wide enough for
your cutting board (or spring for a new
one). You'll also need to mount the rack
low enough so it doesn't bump into a
cabinet shelf when the door closes. Cut
the bottom and face rails to match the
space between the cabinet door stiles.
Cut the sides 7-1/4 in. long. Nail the
sides to the base. Then nail the two face
pieces at the top and bottom to complete
the rack (Photo 1). The easiest way to
mount the rack is to take the cabinet
door off its hinges and lay it down.
Predrill the screw holes for the L-brackets
and mount the rack to the cabinet
door using a 1-in. L-bracket centered on
each side of the rack (Photo 2).
Magnetic office supplies holder
Here's a perfect way to organize all those
paper clips, rubber bands and pushpins.
All it takes is a magnetic knife/tool
holder strip, small jars with lids and a
few fender washers. (The strips cost $15
to $25 at bath stores, hardware stores,
home centers and online retailers.) You
don't even need the fender washers if
you buy jars with steel lids that will
stick to the magnet on their own.
Clamp the magnetic
strips to the underside
of a shelf or cabinet.
Drill pilot holes
and screw the strip
into place (Photo 1). If
the jars have steel
lids, fill them with
office supplies and stick them up on the
magnetic strip. If the jar lids are aluminum
or plastic, use cyanoacrylate
glue (Super Glue is one brand) to attach
a fender washer to the top of each lid
(Photo 2). After they dry, fill the jars, stick
them up on the magnet and think about
some other project to do instead of the
work waiting for you on your desk.
Tie, scarf and belt organizer
Clean up a messy closet by hanging your ties,
belts and scarves on our 3-in-1 closet organizer!
All you need is a 2 x 2-ft. piece of 1/2-
in. plywood ($10 to $15), a wooden hanger
and a hook (we took ours out of the hanger).
Our organizer is 12 in. wide and 16 in. tall,
but yours can be taller or narrower. To get a
nice curve at the top, use the wooden hanger
as a guide. Center it, trace the edge and cut it
out with a jigsaw. Make a pattern of holes,
slots and notches on a piece of paper and
transfer it to your board. Use a 2-in. hole saw
to cut the holes, making sure the board is
clamped down tightly to keep the veneer
from chipping (Photo 1). Use a jigsaw to cut
out the side notches. To cut the slots, punch
out the ends with a 5/8-in. Forstner drill bit
(or a sharp spade bit) to prevent chipping,
and then use a jigsaw to finish cutting out the
center of each slot (Photo 2).
Sand the hanger and apply several coats
of sealer or poly to smooth the edges so your
scarves and ties don't snag (this is the most
time-consuming step). Using a 1/4-in.
round-over bit with a router makes the sanding
go faster. Drill a small hole into the top
of the hanger for your hook, squeeze in a bit
of epoxy glue to hold it and then screw it in.
Back to Top
Laundry room ironing center
To keep your ironing gear
handy but out from underfoot,
make this simple
ironing center (about
$25). All you need is a
10-ft. 1x8, a 2-ft. piece
of 1x6 for the shelves
and a pair of hooks to
hang your ironing board.
Cut the back, sides,
shelves and top. Align the sides
and measure from the bottom 2 in., 14-3/4
in. and 27-1/2 in. to mark the bottom of the
shelves (Photo 1). Before assembling the unit,
use a jigsaw to cut a 1 x 1-in. dog ear at the
bottom of the sides for a decorative touch.
Working on one side at a time, glue and
nail the side to the back. Apply glue and
drive three nails into each shelf, attach the
other side and nail those shelves into place
to secure them. Clamps are helpful to hold
the unit together while you're driving nails.
Center the top piece, leaving a 2-in. overhang
on both sides, and glue and nail it into
place (Photo 2). Paint or stain the unit and
then drill pilot holes into the top face of
each side of the unit and screw in the hooks
to hold your ironing board. Mount the shelf
on drywall using screw-in wall anchors.