Closet rod and shelf
Closet rod and shelf
You can get these great-looking chrome brackets and rod at home centers or on-line.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 1: Fasten the brackets to studs
Draw a level line about 78 in. above the floor and locate the studs behind the drywall. Fasten at least two of your closet rod brackets into wall studs (4 ft. apart) and then center the middle bracket with two 2-in. long screws into wall anchors.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
If you can’t find a stud, use heavy-duty screw-in anchors.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 2: Screw the shelf to the brackets
Fasten your 12-in.-deep Melamine shelf onto the tops of the brackets with 1/2-in. screws. Next, insert your closet rod, drill 1/8-in. holes into the rod, and secure it to the brackets with No. 6 x 1/2-in. sheet metal screws.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
This project will save you hours of ironing and organizing. Now you can hang up your shirts and jackets as soon as they’re out of the dryer—no more wrinkled shirts at the bottom of the basket. You’ll also gain an out-of-the-way upper shelf to store all sorts of odds and ends.
Just go to your home center and get standard closet rod brackets, a closet rod and a precut 12-in. deep Melamine shelf. Also pick up some drywall anchors, or if you have concrete, some plastic anchors and a corresponding masonry bit. Follow the instructions in Photos 1 and 2.
You can buy a soap dispenser in the kitchen section at home centers.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 1: Drill the hole
Drill through the backsplash of your acrylic laundry tub with a hole saw. Measure precisely so you’ll have clearance for the soap bottle below. Choose a hole saw just a bit larger than the threaded base of the pump.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 2: Thread on the pump
Insert the threaded pump base into the hole and tighten the retaining nut to the underside of the backsplash. Fill the soap bottle with the liquid soap of your choice and thread it onto the base of the pump.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Get rid of that gross bar of soap that sits on the backsplash of your sink. Buy a soap dispenser at a home center and mount it to your acrylic tub. You’ll need a drill, a 1-1/4 in. hole saw and liquid hand soap. Keep in mind you can put any liquid soap in the dispenser. A spot remover would be handy for prewash scrubbing.
If you’re looking for a basic towel bar like ours, your best bet is to go to a hardware store.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 1: Mark the holes
Mark the location of your towel bar on the thick rim near the top of the sink. You may need to shorten the bar first by pulling the bar from the ends and trimming it to about 16 in.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 2: Attach the ends
Drill clearance holes at your marks and fasten the towel bar ends to the sink with bolts, washers and acorn nuts.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Stainless steel acorn nuts and bolts
Acorn nuts cover sharp bolt ends and give the project a more finished appearance.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Get those messy rags out of the sink and onto a towel bar so they can actually dry. Shop for an easy mounting towel bar that you can shorten if you like. We picked one up at the hardware store that had easy mounting holes right on the face of the mounting plate and a removable bar. We cut the bar with a hacksaw so it would fit nicely on the side of the sink. While you’re at the hardware store, buy stainless steel mounting bolts, washers and acorn nuts to mount the bar. We used 7/8-in. No. 8-24 bolts.
Make use of the space under the laundry tub.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 1: Cut angles for the shelf
Using an aviation snips, cut two lengths of suspended ceiling channel to support the undersink shelf.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 2: Attach the angles
Clamp pieces of ceiling angle or aluminum angle to your sink legs (about 11 in. from the floor) and drill through with a 3/16-in. bit. Insert 1/2-in. long No. 8-24 bolts from the inside and thread on acorn nuts to cover sharp bolt edges.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 3: Add the shelf
Cut a shelf from 3/4-in. Melamine board and drop it onto the angle braces. You may need to notch your shelf if the sink trap is in your way. Paint the raw edges of the board to protect them from moisture.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Tired of moving all that stuff under the sink every time you mop the floor? Just buy a Melamine closet shelf from a home center and a length of suspended-ceiling wall angle (sorry, it only comes in 10-ft. lengths, but it’s cheap and you can have it cut for transport). Also pick up four 1/2-in. No. 8-24 bolts, washers and nuts. Follow Photos 1 – 3.
Fold-away laundry folding table
Fold-away laundry folding table
You may need to order the clever fold-away brackets for this project from a woodworking supply store.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 1: Cut the backsplash off
Buy a 6-ft. plastic laminate countertop blank from a home center. Measure in 1-1/2 in. from the back side, and draw a straight line. Cut this section away with a circular saw equipped with a sharp blade. Trim the countertop to length, cutting from the backside. We cut ours 5 ft. long so we could support it with only two laundry table brackets. Longer tables will sag without an additional bracket. Space the brackets no farther than 32 in. apart.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 2: Attach pine supports
Glue and screw 3/4-in. thick pine supports to the underside of the countertop. Use a 1×4 along the back and 1x2s at your bracket locations. The supports will stiffen the countertop and provide better backing for the bracket screws.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 3: Screw the brackets to the wall
Draw a level line 1-1/2 in. below the finished height of your laundry table. We made ours 33 in. high including the thickness of the top. Screw 1×3 pine strips to the wall into the studs behind. If you have a concrete wall, predrill holes for anchors and then screw the steel laundry table brackets to the strips and wall with 2-1/2 in. screws.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 4: Fasten the top
Set the top onto the brackets and screw them into the pine cleats (use 1-1/4 in. screws) under the table. Remember to keep about 1/8-in. clearance between the wall and the end for wiggle room as you lift and close the table. This will keep your wall from scarring each time you lift and close the tabletop.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 5: Glue the filler strip
Glue and screw the 3/4-in. thick filler strips to the exposed bottom edge of the counter. Align the filler strip so it’s flush with the edge of the top.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 6: Iron on the end panel
Trim the laminate end cap with aviator snips to fit the size of the end panel. Set your iron on medium heat and slide it across the whole end panel until the glue bonds. Ease any sharp edges with a smooth-cutting metal file.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
This 2 x 5-ft. laundry folding table is a handy option for any laundry room. Located right across from the washer and dryer, it’s the perfect place for sorting colors before washing and folding the clothes as soon as they’re dry. We chose heavy-duty brackets that’ll hold more than 100 lbs. and neatly fold the top down (preventing future clutter).
You can get the countertop (and end cap) at a home center or maybe you can salvage one from a friend who’s getting new countertops. Also buy three 8-ft. pine boards—a 1×2, a 1×3 and a 1×4—as well as some wood screws. You’ll need 1-1/4 in. and 2-1/2 in. wood screws for mounting the wall cleats and the countertop stiffeners. Follow Photos 1 – 6 for clear step-by-step instructions.
All-purpose wall cabinet
We chose an easy-to-clean Melamine wall cabinet from a local home center—no painting required.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 1: Mark the vent location
DRAW a 6-in. diameter circle 2 in. in from the back edge of your cabinet to correspond with the location of your dryer vent. Flip the cabinet upside down and draw the same circle to correspond with the top.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Mark as shown for a 4-in. dryer vent.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 2: Cut the back of the cabinet
Cut slots 6 in. apart on the backside of the cabinet that align with the edges of the semicircles. Set your circular saw for a 2-in. depth of cut. Once the back is cut, use a jigsaw to cut along the circles at the top and bottom of the cabinet.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 3: Attach the liner
Nail a 4-in. steel duct to the cabinet to act as a heat shield for the dryer vent. Use No. 17 wire nails 3/4 in. long. This shield will prevent heat buildup inside the cabinet and allow the contents of the cabinet to stay cool.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 4: Hang the cabinet
Level and screw a temporary 1×4 cleat to the wall studs with 2-1/2 in. drywall screws. The cabinet will rest on the cleat and your partner will be able to slide the cabinet left or right to align it. Once you have it where you like it, screw it to the studs with the cabinet screws provided.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 5: Finish up
Reattach the cabinet doors and drill holes for your door pulls. You’ll need to cut your shelves for the cabinet with a jigsaw to fit around your new heat shield.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
You can make that wall space above the washer and dryer into a valuable dust-free storage space by adding a utility wall cabinet. We chose a 54-in. wide, 24-in. high and 12-in. deep cabinet available at home centers. It’s prefinished inside and out, so it’ll be easy to clean.
Chances are, you’ll have a dryer vent or some other obstruction right where you want your cabinet. To solve this problem, we simply cut away the back and inserted a 4-in. galvanized duct as a liner to give the cabinet a 1-in. clearance from the dryer vent, preventing heat from building up inside the cabinet. With the liner in place, the vent is isolated behind the cabinet, keeping everything inside cool and clean. Follow the step-by-step how-to in Photos 1 – 5.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
- Circular saw
- Cordless drill
- Framing square
- Hole saw kit
- Tin snips
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.
- 1 x 3 pine
- 1 x 4 pine
- 4-in.-dia. steel duct
- Closet rod brackets
- Folding shelf brackets
- Melamine shelf
- Metal angles
- Plastic laminate countertop
- Soap dispenser
- Towel bar
- Wall cabinet