I made these little storage bins to hold all of my screws and other hardware in my garage. Each box hangs individually on the wall with a french cleat. They can be removed, rearranged, and reorganized with ease.
Stores sell all kinds of plastic bins for this exact purpose, however I wanted to save a few bucks and use up some material from my scrap pile and make my own. This only took a few hours, and now my hardware is tidily organized and I have a colorful thing in my garage to stare at.
Like most woodworking projects, this project could be accomplished in a variety of ways, depending on what tools you have available. I love a little feedback, so questions and comments are always encouraged.
Thanks for taking a look!
Step 1: Cut material
Based on the amount of material I had, I decided to make 20 small boxes and 4 large boxes. I toyed around with different sizes and shapes, but settled on making boxes that were 5" and 10" wide, respectively, and 4 1/4" deep (not including the cleats and bottom support tabs).
To begin, 3/8" plywood was ripped into 3 1/4" strips to use for the walls of the boxes using a table saw. These strips were cut down to the desired lengths with a miter saw.
The side walls for both the large and small boxes were cut 3 1/2" wide. The fronts and backs for the smaller boxes were cut 5" wide, and the fronts and backs for the larger boxes were cut 10" wide.
The bottoms for all boxes were cut from 1/4" plywood. For the smaller boxes these were cut 5" square, and for the larger boxes these were cut 5" by 10".
When assembled, the bottom panel extends 3/4" behind the box. This allows the boxes to hang correctly against the wall once the 3/4" thick cleats are fastened in place (the cleats are covered in steps 4 & 5).
You could use a variety of materials for a simple project like this. If possible though, 3/8" plywood seemed to work especially well for this application, plus it allows for a nice, tidy design with no complicated measurements.
Step 2: Assemble boxes
I used glue and brads to assemble the boxes. The glue is ultimately what holds the boxes together and gives them strength; the brads are like permanently installed clamps that hold it together until the glue dries.
I used 5/8" brads for this. Shooting brads into the edge 3/8" material doesn't leave a lot of room for error, but the length I used was much more forgiving than using brads of any longer length.
See photo notes for tips on assembly.
Step 3: Keep going
Building the same little boxes over and over can be tedious. Avoid the urge to rush, since this often leads to mistakes and injuries!
Step 4: Cut the cleats
The cleats for the boxes and the wall were made from old 3/4" pine boards.
I began by cutting lots of strips that were 1 1/2" wide, with a 40 degree bevel on one side. These were done on a table saw, but a circular saw with edge guide may have actually been a little easier.
From these strips, I cut twenty 5" pieces for the backs of the smaller boxes, and four 10" pieces for the backs of the larger boxes.
From these same strips, I cut four 37" pieces to be mounted to the wall. This length allowed for a couple of inches-worth of wiggle room between the boxes.
Step 5: Attach cleats to boxes
The cleats were attached to the boxes as shown in the photos. I tacked them in place with a few brads, and then added a couple of 1" screws through the backside to fasten them more securely. The holes for these were predrilled and countersunk so the screws just barely sunk below the back surface of the cleats, and did not protrude into the box opening.
Step 6: Attach cleats to walls
The four 37" cleat strips were secured to the wall with screws. The stud locations in the section of wall where I was hanging these couldn't have been more perfect. The holes for the screws were pre-drilled and countersunk.
I used a level to mark their locations with the bottoms of each cleat about 5" apart. This leaves a little over 1 1/2" between the rows of boxes when they are hung up.
Step 7: Fix blemishes
Despite my best efforts, there were a handful of "shiners" and "bulgers". Some of these I just left. Others I cleaned up with a chisel or just pulled the offending brad out with pliers.
I didn't feel it was necessary to go to the trouble of filling nail holes and such with wood filler.
Step 8: Paint
My workshop needed a little bit of visual excitement, so I spray painted the boxes a variety of colors.
Step 9: Fill boxes with stuff!
I filled the boxes with screws and other hardware, and hung them on the wall. I may add some labels at some point, or maybe not. This was a pretty simple one-evening project, and now I’ve got all my screws and stuff organized, close at hand and very easy to access.
Thanks again for taking a look!