My husband spent all his spare time over the span of almost two years building a craft studio for me and a mancave for him in our basement. When he was nearing completion of this challenging project, I knew it meant he would be spending many a lazy weekend doing nothing but watching TV in his mancave. And why not? A little R&R is so well deserved after all his hard work!
But with a new TV, soundbar and blue-ray player, he suddenly had a ton of remotes that kept getting lost. There's nothing worse than trying to have a lazy day only to be sidelined by spending time looking for remotes! I couldn't wait to step in to help solve his problem (after all, I had no excuse not to with a brand new craft studio waiting to see some action)!
I gathered up some pipe fittings - pulled apart from another project I wasn't happy with. I also scrounged up some scraps of horsehair braid that I had used 25 years earlier to make my sister's wedding veil. Lastly, I reused some magnetic hooks that used to be on our fridge before we replaced our old appliances.
All it took to complete was three hand tools: a pair of scissors, a stapler and some straight pins. It's not only easy to do, but all done without any fancy equipment!
Step 1: Watch the Video
Watch it come together in no time at all.
Although the end of the video shows my husband reaching for his remotes and sitting down, I shot it that way for the best vantage point - and because he didn't have his side table finished yet (I guess there's no rest for the weary)!
After the video was done, he did finish his table and then moved his remote control holder beside the sofa right where it belongs for the best lazy-day experience :)
Step 2: You Will Need...
My particular holder was made to hold four remotes. I used 1/8" black pipe with the following fittings:
- 2 – 2”
- 5 – 3”
- 2 – 4”
- 2 – Closes
- 3 – Couplings
- 4 – 90 Elbows
- 2 – Pipe Caps
- 2 – Tees
- 4 Magnetic Hooks
- Horsehair braid:
- Narrow – 2 ft
- Wide – 1 ft
Self stick foam (optional)*
Horsehair braid is a type of tubular crinoline netting that is used to provide structure and give body to hems, hats and sleeves. For this project, it provides just enough flexibility to withstand the constant motion of placing and removing the remotes.
The schematic above will help you identify the pieces when assembling.
* Note: As an option, you can add self stick foam onto the front and back of the magnet hooks to give the remotes something soft to rest on. Just peel the backing, stick it on and cut around the edges (and the magnet to expose it) with an X-acto knife. If you look closely at the opening picture, you'll see I covered the magnet hooks with black foam in this way.
Step 3: Determine the Configuration
The size of the holder will based on the number of remotes you have and how long they are, so it may take a little trial and error to determine the best configuration, size and scale for your own holder. For instance, if your remotes are shorter than ours, you may not need 4" pipe on the sides; maybe you could get away with using 3" pipe instead.
In a nutshell, there are 3 main steps to putting this together: the pipe, the sling (made of the horsehair braid) and the magnets. I did a trial run first by putting everything together to make sure our particular remotes would fit. When twisting the pieces together for the trial, don't over-tighten or they may be difficult to get apart again.
There are two tests of a good design: does the sling work and is the back of the remotes supported by the pipe? I tested both by putting the remotes into the loops of the sling and removing them again to make sure the fit was snug enough to hold them but loose enough to pull out when they're in use. If the back of each of the various remotes makes contact with the pipe, you're good to go. Once I was happy with the design, I took the top part off so I could slide the sling off.
To Start (refer to schematic in previous step)
To put the pipe together, start at the bottom by making two legs out of 4" pipe with caps on the ends. Twist these pieces onto the two tees. Join them together in the middle with a 3" piece, and add 2" pieces on the outside followed by the elbows. At the top of the elbow, twist on 4" pieces for the vertical sides.
To make the sling, I used two different widths of horsehair braid. I applied the narrow braid on top of the wider one, which acted as a backing. I secured them both to one side of the pipe using a straight pin to hold it in place. Then I measured my husband's remotes to determine how big the opening needed to be for each one. I left slack in the top piece to accommodate each remote and fastened it to the backing it with a pin so I ended up with ‘loops’. I fastened both pieces of braid to the other side of the pipe, again using a pin.
Step 4: Attach Horsehair Braid
Once I was happy with the fit, I slid the braid off of the pipes, then I used a very specialized piece of equipment to permanently secure the loops in the braid where I placed my pins – a stapler! Using a stapler is the quick and lazy way to put together the sling that holds the remotes. It not only does the trick, but it works well with the industrial look I was going for.
Slide the braid back onto the frame. Trim away any extra braid from the sides.
Step 5: Close Pipe
Continue building the top piece until it’s fully enclosed: start by adding elbows to both sides.
Then assemble the upper horizontal support separately starting with a coupling in the middle. On either side, twist on 3" pieces of pipe, another coupling and then a close.
To get the horizontal support in place, insert it into the elbow and twist into place. Pull the sides of the frame apart and ease the pipe into the elbow fitting on the other side. Snug it in until it nestles into place; it will hold together with gravity. Make sure everything is fitting tightly. Twist pieces as necessary to adjust the fit.
Step 6: Ensure Frame Is Angled
Here’s how the frame should look when assembled before the magnets are added. Notice in the second picture that the frame is angled back - not straight up and down - to support the remotes. If yours isn't angled, you can easily press down on the legs and tilt back to adjust it. Once you have it the way you want it, make sure all the pipes are tightened.
Step 7: Bottom Rest
The tricky part of this project is getting the remotes to rest properly on the bottom of the pipe since it is curved. Magnetic hooks solve that dilemma since they stick to iron and can be positioned to hold the remotes. I remembered I had three of them in a drawer - reclaimed from the days we had magnets on our fridge. You'll need about one magnet for each remote. Luckily I also had an unopened package because I needed four magnetic hooks for this project!
By positioning the magnetic hooks on pipe along the bottom, and tilting them backward, it provides a perfect angle to rest the remotes on. If you have young kids in the house though, secure them with epoxy glue and let dry so they can't be removed.
The last picture shows how it looks from the back with the remotes resting on the magnetic hooks.
Step 8: Time to Bring the Lazy Boy Wannabe and La-Z-Boy Together
The remote control holder is a great enabler to help you spend a lazy weekend on the couch watching TV.
My husband's last project for the basement was to build himself a pipe table to go with his new remote holder. With the basement reno finally complete and the TV remote control holder set up on his side table, my husband can finally kick back in his mancave and enjoy! Now my lazy boy wannabe can chillax on his La-z-boy sofa with his remote controls at his finger tips. I can't wait to see his best imitation of a couch potato; not all wives would say this, but I sincerely hope it lasts a while too :)
Step 9: Spread the Laziness (and Please Vote)
Spread the laziness by making this as a gift! I've already done two; one for my sister and another for my brother-in-law, and they both love it! You just have to do a little detective work to find out how many remotes your recipient has and how many.
If you enjoyed this I'ble, please vote.
Step 10: Visit Birdz of a Feather
For more sustainable craft ideas, visit the 'Craft Rehab' section of Birdz of a Feather and subscribe :) Pictured above are some of the upcycled craft tutorials you will find on my site.