Introduction: Bathroom Storage Box
We had a plastic basket on our bathroom windowsill, used to store the various gadgets of the modern bathroom, but time and lots of sunlight made it so brittle that it recently splintered.
My wife decided that I needed to replace it with a box made to match her planned theme for the bathroom redecoration that I don't remember agreeing to...
Step 1: Theme and Design.
The brief I was working to was quite vague - a bit beach hut-ish, but with no actual beach huts - so I went with pale blue and white as colours, and gulls as imagery.
I started from a basic finger-jointed box template to the dimensions I needed to fit on the windowsill (generated here), then removed the top of the box and smoothed it off. Bird silhouettes fit the "beach" part of the brief, and adding a frame with short legs is a nod to the beach huts.
The files I used to cut the storage box can be easily edited with cut-outs that match your chosen theme, and painted in colours to match your own theme.
Step 2: Needful Things
The parts for the box can be cut from two 400x300mm sheets of 3mm plywood (or one 600x400mm sheet if you have a bigger cutting bed). The files are attached here.
You'll also need;
- paint (I used eggshell brilliant white and "chalky" Little Beau Blue)
- masking tape
- old newspaper
A note on the links: those are all Amazon links, but if you have local hardware & DIY stores I urge you to use them, even if you have to wait for them to order materials in or pay a little extra - spending your money in your local shops keeps your money in your local economy, preserving jobs and benefiting everybody in your community.
Step 3: Cutting
Um... cut out the parts.
If you have a choice of cutting beds (honeycomb vs knife, for instance), bear in mind that some of the parts are only the size of your thumbnail, and will fall through larger gaps.
Step 4: Assemble the Box
The main part of the box is a simple slot-together unit.
Glue and clamp the parts and set it aside to dry.
Step 5: Add the Legs
There are several different-sized strips of wood in the design.
Start with the 150x12mm strips, and glue them to the ends of the box, flush with the corners and the top of the box. This is easiest with the box standing upside down on a flat surface.
Clamp them, and leave the glue to dry.
When the glue is dry, add the 150x15mm strips to the front and back of the box, overlapping the edge of the 12mm strips.
Again, clamp and leave to dry.
Step 6: Frame
You should have four strips 226x15mm and four strips 116x15mm.
They glue across the top and bottom of the side and end panels, both completing the appearance of a frame and strengthening the panels.
Clamp and dry...
Step 7: Feet
The small rectangles of ply form the feet of the box, and relieve the weight from the glue of the long strips.
There are two sizes - 10x12mm and 10x9mm. Fit one of each inside the corners formed by the long strips of the legs. Glue, clamp, dry.
Step 8: Painting
Once the glue is completely dry (whatever glue you have used, it's worth leaving overnight to be sure), you need to paint the frame, inside panels and edges of the box.
Whatever paint you choose to use, follow the appropriate instructions on the tin.
It doesn't matter so much if you stray into the panels when you paint the frame, but you need to get all the corners and edges painted to seal the wood and protect it from the humidity of the bathroom.
When the inside, frame and edges are dry, flip the box over and paint the underside, again making sure you seal all the edges, nooks and crannies.
When the paint is completely dry, mask off the edges of the frame, and paint the outside of the panels.
If you used a mix of colours to get the shade you wanted, make sure you mix enough to do all four panels in one go - this prevents any issues with shade-matching for the parts you missed. Make sure you save the spare paint in a sealed pot until the panels are dry - when you remove the masking tape, you may have small areas that will need carefully patching up.
Step 9: Finishing
Depending what paint you have used, you may need to finish your piece with a clear acrylic varnish, but otherwise you are done - stand it on your windowsill, and fill it with your gear!