Introduction: How to Make a Tool Organizer

Picture of How to Make a Tool Organizer

Need a simple, easy to make tool organizer? I had the thought that it would be better to have a vertical tool organizer instead of having the tools lie all over the work area. Using styrofoam and cardboard, an effective tool holder is made.

Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials

For this simple project, you will need cardboard, styrofoam (EPS foam, actually) a craft knife or box cutter, a hotwire machine if possible, some glue and a rubber band.

Step 2: Prepare Foam Blanks for Cutting

Picture of Prepare Foam Blanks for Cutting

Here, a piece of foam is selected to be the holder for the pair of pliers shown. With a pencil or sharpie, trace silhouette onto the foam.

Step 3: Cut Out All Tool Holders From Foam

Picture of Cut Out All Tool Holders From Foam

In this step, all pieces are cut with the hotwire machine. A craft knife can be used also, you are just limited in thickness of foam. Use many strokes to cut with a knife, taking care not to tear foam.

Step 4: Glue Foam to Cardboard

Picture of Glue Foam to Cardboard

For each tool piece, cut and glue appropriate foam piece to the pre-cut cardboard. For this project, I had four tools to organize, hence four pieces of foam and four pieces of cardboard.

Step 5: Complete Pieces for Each Tool.

Picture of Complete Pieces for Each Tool.

The four tools in this project and their foam pieces cut and glued to cardboard.

Step 6: Complete Project

Picture of Complete Project

The final product...Note how footprint of holder is about equal to the space one tool occupies. This way you can tell at a glance if all tools are in place, and they are easily grasped for doing your work. I used a rubber band to hold the modules together, but they can be enclosed in a "box" made of cardboard, masonite, matboard, or so on. I left it at this point as I might want to add to it in the future, but don't want to make it too big.

Step 7: Tool Organizer Makeover

Picture of Tool Organizer Makeover

I decided to update, improve and decorate my tool holder....time on my hands!


elbardalet (author)2012-01-09

Great idea.Thanks
I will use, but I will try to use a some plastic instead of carton.
I live close to ocean, and carton or paper in contatc with with tools produce corrosion. (paper absorb humidity)

Kesthie (author)2009-08-28

You could make over an old toaster to have it hold your tools too. I somehow had thought your picture was a toaster until I clicked on your instructable and saw the much bigger picture.

Bushie (author)Kesthie2012-01-02

I like that idea, as it had also looked like a toaster to me as well ~ stripping out a defunct old toaster and fitting a foam holder like this inside could produce a nice lightweight hybrid ~

a tough stainless steel exterior to protect the foam and hold everything snug; and maybe rivet a handle on one end to make it easy to carry.

A nice and neat way to carry 12 - 15 commonly-used tools around ~ and zero cost, for those who already have a few scraps kicking around their w'shops...

ArtsyFartsyGirl (author)2011-10-02

I've been thinking about styrofoam strips lately, and what i could do with it. This is great except I'm gonna do what Lord Vek did. YaY!

tlh-in-tlh (author)2011-06-14

This is a really great idea! And, if you never permanently attach them together, you can just pull out the tools and holders needed for a particular job.

aashilrv (author)2011-04-01


Screwerman (author)2011-03-10

wow is fantastic.
is simple,
is fast,
is usable.

Creativeman (author)Screwerman2011-03-10

Thanks for comments!

urbanwoodswalker (author)2010-05-14

 Terrific idea~~~!

Lord_Vek (author)2010-03-12

Μy friend, you gave me the idea. This is what I made. Thank you!!!

zipzapper859 (author)2010-02-21

how did you make that hand thing?

haunted_lady (author)2010-01-08

Maybe  wrap it in  brown grocery bags and glue it --rubber stamp it or paint it so it looks nice. I love the use of scraps of styrofoam.!!!! AWESOME

Creativeman (author)haunted_lady2010-01-09

Thanks, h_l, I think you are right! Maybe I will knock at a new version soon, that would be Tool Organizer 2.0. Cman

haunted_lady (author)Creativeman2010-01-09

 You could even collage glue in left over machine parts to make it look man up :)

monter (author)2009-07-26

Smart and good.

davee52uk (author)2009-01-17

If you were to use wood and white glue instead of the white plastic it would be immensely strong

snowpenguin (author)davee52uk2009-03-04

It's not plastic, but styrofoam, and it is strong already. It would take quite a bit of woodworking to make it from wood, anyway.

Not with a table saw =D

You would need to do some routing... Not too challenging, but to do it for each tool??? For something like a toolbox drawer organizer I would go the extra mile and route it, but for a simple organizer like this I would stick with styrofoam.

Ah, to be honest, I didn't read up to step 2, so I didn't realize you had shaped the foam to the tools like that.

Looks great!

terf (author)2009-02-23

nice, i shoulda thought of something like that since i have lotsa small hand tools at home. Plus i have a lot of useless styrfoam and cardboard lying about. Thanks!

Ravenelle (author)2009-01-31

I may use this idea for my desk supplies (pens, pencils, markers etc..) and just not use the styrofoam. Really cool. :]

sensoryhouse (author)2009-01-26

you r the man

ausable (author)2009-01-19

That's a very good storage idea. Especially if you need to travel around with a bunch of tools. Good job!

Creativeman (author)ausable2009-01-19


About This Instructable




Bio: Retired, doing art work now. Great. Have the time and the money to spend doing what I want to do.
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