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Picture of Floating Multi-Use Wall Storage
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This instructable will teach you how to make a floating metal grid that can be used as a magnetic bulletin board, a play to display artwork, a jewelry organizer, craft organizer or whatever else your crazy little heart desires!

I originally came up with this idea in my freshman year of college to display pictures. In the dorms we were not allowed to put holes in the walls, so I instead stapled some wire mesh behind an old ladder that we had sitting around. The picture ladder was perfect for us because we could just rearrange our pictures whenever we wanted by moving the magnets. While in the dorm we also made an earring holder that hung over the door with the extra wire mesh (we ended up hating the over the door aspect because every time we shut the door earrings would fall..so save yourself the time and don't try that idea).

Realizing the many things that we were able to do with the wire mesh, I decided that I should reincarnate it once more. This time I went to Home Depot and let myself go crazy finding all sorts of goodies to pimp it out to its full potential.

The new and improved floating multi-use wall storage is a great addition to any room of yours, or any friend's home. It makes a particularly good gift because it can be used in so many different ways. If your friend is a crafty individual, it could easily be used to store his or her craft supplies. Use it to display pictures and memories, or even to showcase products for retail stores--the possibilities are endless! And, best of all, you can constantly rearrange and recreate it with minimal effort!
 
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Step 1: Gather it up!

Picture of Gather it up!
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Get in your car (or better yet on your bike or go by foot!) and go to Home Depot. Then, get a basket and gather these things.

*NOTE* you may want to look ahead to the final steps and decide how you want to use your board before going to the store.

Materials needed for basic construction:

-The mesh--1/4" hardware cloth
(the smallest size you can get is 2'X 5'. That is sufficient.)
-4 rod coupling nuts (5/16"-18 x 7/8")
(the package only has 3... Sorry, you have to buy two packs.)
-4 pan head phillips screws (#10 x 2")
-8 washers (1/4 SAE washer)
(the size of the washer isn't that important, just make sure that the screw fits through the washer and the head of the screw will be larger than the hole in the washer.)
-1 nail
(pretty much any nail that is a good bit skinnier than the screw will do. It's just used to make the pilot hole for the screw.)
-a pencil
-a friend for step 6

Things to gather up at home:

-gardening shears or some sort of wire trimmers
(I have used scissors before to cut the wire, but it is a little more difficult.)
-drill
-phillips head screw driver bit
-hammer
-yard stick
-level

Step 2: Prep the mesh

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Open up the package of hardware cloth (wire mesh). Usually it is tied up with some wire--use your wire cutters to snip this wire until you can unroll the mesh.

We are going to cut a piece that is 2ft x 18". Since the mesh is 5ft by 2ft, we are going to use the existing 2ft width and make a cut 18" into the 5ft length. The mesh will want to stay rolled, so weigh down the edge with some heavy books. Now that the mesh is secured, measure out 18" of mesh.

Grab your wire cutters to cut the mesh. Cut the mesh along the wire line that is closest to 18". **The wire is VERY sharp after you cut it, so keep your fingers away from it.** Make sure you are cutting as close to the wire line as possible so as not to leave any prickly pieces of wire along the edge. (see image)

Now you should have a free piece of 18" x 24" mesh. The mesh will probably roll up. Try to roll it the opposite direction to bend it into a somewhat flat sheet. It doesn't have to be perfect.

Step 3: Measure it all out

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Okay, our piece of mesh is 18" x 24" the screws that will hold it into the wall will be placed 2-7/8" into each corner. That means 2-7/8" horizontally from the corner, and 2-7/8" vertically from the corner (see the drawing).

Once you decide where you want to place your floating mesh piece you will need to mark it out as follows. Start by making one small light pencil mark to indicate where the top edge of the mesh will be. Then measure 18" down and make another mark. Now measure down 2-7/8" from the top mark and make another light mark. Then, Measure up 2-7/8" from the bottom mark and make another mark. You can now erase the first two marks you made. Place your level horizontally at the top mark and draw a light level line that will function as the top green line in the first image below. Now repeat with the bottom mark.

Now you need to make the vertical lines. Measure out where you want the 24" width and make a mark at each end of it on the top line. Measure 2-7/8" to the right of the left-most mark and make another mark. Measure 2-7/8" to the left of the right-most mark and make another mark. Place your level vertically and draw a vertical level line for each of the marks. These lines will serve as the vertical green lines in the first image.

You should now have a rectangle just like the green one in the drawing! Measure the difference between the top and bottom line. Make sure it is 12.25" Then, measure the difference between the left and right line. It should be 18.25"

Now erase the lines leaving only little plus signs at each corner of the rectangle.

Step 4: Nail time

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You will now create pilot holes for the screws. Hammer the nail into the center of one of the X's. Be sure to keep the nail as close to perpendicular to the wall as possible.

Pull the nail out now and repeat the process for each of the X marks. This should leave you with four holes.

Step 5: Screw Prep work

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First, you have to understand how the screw and bolt combination will work. Look at the first picture to understand the order. It should go like this:

screw head, washer, mesh, rod coupling nut and then another washer then the remainder of the screw will screw into the wall.

Grab your Sharpie. You will end up having four marked squares to indicate where the screws will go in the mesh. You are going to mark the square that is 12th from the top or bottom of each corner and 12th from the left and right of each corner (see picture #2). When you measure vertically and horizontally in from each corner, the center of that marked square should be 2-7/8"

Step 6: Screw it in!

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Now you should have the mesh marked where the four screws will go and have four pilot holes in the wall.

Plug your drill in and get the phillips head bit locked in place. Grab a buddy and have them hold the mesh in place so that the marked squares line up with the pilot holes. Thread a washer on to your first screw, and then put the screw through the mesh in the marked place. Place a coupling nut behind the mesh and then another washer behind that see image to make sure you have it right). Now, with your friend holding the mesh in place, set the point of the screw in the pilot hole, make sure you are holding the drill level and screw that sucker in!

*Be careful not to keep drilling after it is tight because it may strip the dry wall.
*If you hit a stud it will be more difficult to screw into. Make sure you apply enough pressure into the drill to keep it from stripping the screw.

Repeat this until all of them are screwed in and then you should have yourself a floating wire mesh thing to use however your happy little heart pleases! :D

Step 7: Jazz it up

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Congrats! You are done with the tedious part!! Now for the fun! Here are some different ideas for things to do with your mesh board and a list of extra things you could use for each.

1: Jewelry Storage (see picture and tags)

-Multi tool rack (light duty for 6 tools is what I used)
-Double-prong straight peg hooks (I used 1/8" x 2")
(These first two items will be located on the isle with other things for peg boards.)
-Some 3/4" S-hooks
(You can get larger ones if you have chunky jewelry that may not fit within the curve.)

2: Craft Storage (see picture and tags)

-Multi tool rack (light duty for 6 tools is what I used)
-Double-prong straight peg hooks (I used 1/8" x 2")
(These first two items will be located on the isle with other things for peg boards.)
-Some 3/4" S-hooks
-Sewing pins
-Magnets (I got the basic ones from Wal-mart)

3: Photo Collage (see picture and tags)

-Some 3/4" S-hooks
-Magnets (I got the basic ones from Wal-Mart)

These are just a few starter ideas - the possibilities for this mesh are endless. Be creative with it, and have a blast!
sgrossman21 year ago

PS-Love the tutorial. Thank you.

sgrossman21 year ago

A couple thoughts--I definitely prefer the floating look, but I suppose using drywall screws/anchors would allow the mesh to hold more weight. I'm just wondering whether it's necessary. I guess maybe trial and error?

Also--I'd love to combine this idea with an idea for bead storage/organization by "My Girlish Whims"-- bit.ly/magboard -- & use magnetized clear-lidded containers. I was planning to buy window screening, but I like the look (& versatility) of this mesh more.

Have metal shears; they should work.

StarFace6 years ago
LOVE IT!!!

I did this today but I did it quite a lot bigger - It's 100cm by 60cm. I've been meaning to collage the wall for some time but was scared of losing all my treasured photos, gig tickets, postcards etc when I move out or decorate but now I don't have to worry!

Just a little tip that some of you might like... If you have a glue gun (or even just some super glue) old keyboard keys/badges/brooches/unwanted earrings/scrabble letters/coloured counters etc really jazz up the small magnetic dots and fill up the board a little more.

Like 'Jentheducky' I also did a rip of coloured tape around the edge but not for the safety feature... The thicker the edge the more it winds up looking like a frame.
Great idea!! Those flattened glass marbles found with floral stuff also work nicely to dress up magnets and thumbtacks!
sequins and stickers and jewels and beads... embellishing magnets is so much fun!
dannibambi4 years ago
great tutorial! I love the industrial look! Thank you!
Nifty 'ible. You know, if you are just using the rod couplers as spacers, you can get just zinc plated steel spacers, without the threads. They're a heck of a lot cheaper.
llallazn4 years ago
excellent idea i love it, THANK YOU!
Inventive.  Looks cool too!  thanks for sharing
rorrn5 years ago
I was just about to spend ~$60 bucks on a over-th-door/wall hanger jewelry organizer!!  I'm so glad I checked this out beforehand.  I'm a fledgling jewelry-maker and wanted something to display my things in my home. 
Thanks so much for something so easy and inexpensive.  Why couldn't I have thought of this.  I know I was thinking much too hard. :-)
This is really cool! I could really use this except the dry wall in my house is so old if you put a hole in it, it crumbles...any advice?
My house is plaster walls very brittle and a pain to repair, I did a peg board wall and I just attached it to wooden legs and it leans against the wall . you could try framing the wire and adding legs mine is behind my desk so you don't even see the legs
I have that crumbly problem too.  When I hung my big jewelry case I used those plastic screw anchors (I'm sure that's not the official name for them) and it has not moved in months.  It is a lot heavier than this, even fully loaded.
leesamurmur6 years ago
I love this but I have a question... Can you think of any way to keep this from being nailed into the wall? I'd love to use it in my dorm, but unfortunately I do not have an "old ladder" hanging around and I can't put holes in the wall. However, it's one of the best ideas I've seen! Anyone who has done this, do you think a medium sized one could be held up any other way?
lcockerilla bit further down has a great idea!
jentheducky6 years ago
i did this instructable today for my room. it worked excellently! the only thing i did instead was put a line of tape against the edge and then folded it over. i tried cutting the mesh along the edge, but the wire is still sharp and i know how clumsy i can be when i don't pay attention. the tape doesn't stick well to the wire at first, but when you fold it over, it sticks to itself pretty well
It is a lot more trouble, but I'm clumsy too.  I think I will cut the mesh halfway between the lines and then bend them over with some pliers to safe-ify it for myself.
hishealer5 years ago
You can also cut wire with nail clippers, but it will ruin them for anything else.  It will nick scissors blades too, for that matter.
andrea07016 years ago
I've been meaning to make this for quite some time now -- I've had allthe parts for over 2 months. Finally, it's up. I need to get another set of hooks (or 2) for the necklaces/bracelets and I'm going to get some bins to put at the bottom for my post/stud earrings but this was super easy to put together! My measuring was off, so it's a little loose in the middle, but...and super easy to put up without a drill, too :D
jewellery.jpg
also, the s-hooks for hoop earrings is a must -- I have quite a few!
JessG5166 years ago
Do you have to screw it in to the wall? Could you possibly just tie ribbon to the top and let it hang from a wall hook?
Delijagirl6 years ago
Yeah its a really good idea i was thinking about buying one of those magetic boards but this is much more creative and its not expensive :) Ill update u with pictures when im done :)
eskeele6 years ago
Have been looking for something for my kids to get organized. This is perfect. I'm going to put paper mache around the edge and then we can paint it in wacky colors.
This is awesome. Now I'm wishing I didn't buy that peg board... heh...
redxrush7 years ago
Great instructable...But I was wondering if there was an alternative to drilling holes in the wall? or something for a glass surface?
For glass, you might pop the nubby bit of a suction cup through the mesh and then suction the cup to the glass... not quite as strong as screwing it in, but it should be fine for earrings/photos/small magnets....
txdesignerd7 years ago
JIBA?
seymoor7 years ago
Thanks, its a great idea, just what I was need
nobodysfool7 years ago
I love it.
ausetkmt7 years ago
Neat and Quick
adidame7 years ago
Great idea! I have been thinking about ways to hang my jewelry.
Tvman7 years ago
SWEET!! thanks for the idea i was thinkin about what i could use to put on my wall to make my (soon to be) magnets like in the ransom note magets instructable :) thanks
msthursday8 years ago
Very cool. Great way to keep small spaces organized.
voodooduck (author)  msthursday8 years ago
Thanks! Yeah, it has been great for me. It's really a bunch of fun. I am working on doing a really large one in a friend's kitchen! Should be cool!
Ohhh, I hope you post it! I love this, very cool idea. Thanks. I like the ladder too. ingenious.
Awesome.
voodooduck (author)  BLACKROD8 years ago
Thanks! It's always encouraging to know that I'm not the only one that thinks I have cool ideas! ;)
jessiep8 years ago
If you'd like your project to be included in the Sew Useful Contest, be sure to add a link to your storage unit's Etsy page.