Modular Organized Storage Basket




Introduction: Modular Organized Storage Basket

About: I am a computer programmer. I like to cook and make awesome things.

The apartment we live in doesn't have much of a vanity/sink area. So when we moved in, I got a plastic basket to put all of my makeup and things in. It lives under the sink and I pull it out when I need something. BUT even if it was organized, the first time something was moved, everything else moved and it would end up like the "messy" picture below.

Since I got the basket, I wanted to do something with the holes to make it more organized. I couldn't figure out what to do with the ends of the dowels. Finally when I heard of Sugru, I knew exactly how to do it!

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Step 1: Materials

A basket with holes on the sides (I already had one, I think I got it at a dollar store)
Dowels - make sure they'll fit through the holes - about $0.50 each, I got 5
A saw
Writing utensil
Sugru - (I used 7 of the 5g packs)
Plastic Wrap
Soapy Water

Something to texture the sugru or maybe some glitter

Step 2: Cut the Dowels to Size

I had 5 dowels. I could fit 2 long ones per dowel or 3 short ones. I wound up with 4 long pieces and 9 short pieces (but used 8). When I finished, I used the dowels so that they were in pairs, making a sort of "wall". The ones going the long way were in the top and third holes and the ones going the short way went through the second and bottom holes.

Make it so that the dowel is going across through matching holes. One end should be sticking out about 1". Mark the other end about 1" from the side (so that it would be sticking out 1" on each side. Do this for the long way and the short way.

Mark off the rest of the dowel pieces from the ones you measured. Cut on the marks. I found that it was easier to cut about halfway through and then snap it in two. If I tried to cut all the way, it would splinter before I got to the other side.

It helped to start cutting from the side that didn't have the price stickers on them. That made it so that the sticker area was scrap.

Step 3: Make the Pretty Ends

The idea behind the removable dowels is that we'll have one end that can't go through and one end that can. On the end that can slide through the holes, we will have rings that go over the ends to hold them in place.

First, we'll make the ends that can't slide through. Line up all of the dowels in the basket. This will be where they can sit to cure.

Get out your sugru - working one pack at a time, cut along the dotted line and work the sugru in your hands for about 30 seconds. After sticking it to the dowel, a bit of soapy water on your fingers will help your fingers from sticking to the sugru.

Grab a dowel. Put a small piece of sugru (I used about 1/4 pack for each dowel) on the end. You can make it pretty if you want, I made all different shapes. The main point is that you want it big enough to not fit through the holes.

I let it cure overnight at this point so I wouldn't mess up my beautiful sugru. You could continue on to the next step if you really want to, but be careful!

Step 4: Make the Rings

We want a bunch of sugru rings that will fit around the ends of the dowels.

First, take one of the longer dowels and wrap it in plastic wrap (tightly). Tape the ends so it stays down.

Then rip off an extra piece of plastic wrap to place the sugru pieces on. Open the sugru and work it in your hands for 30 seconds. Break it into even pieces, I cut it with scissors. I got 12 out of 1 pack of sugru (you want as many pieces as you have dowels)

Take each piece and roll it into a teeny snake then wrap it around your plastic-wrapped dowel. Make it as tight as you can. You don't want to push it into the dowel, that will make it lose tightness. You can smooth the sugru with your fingers if you wet them with soapy water.

Step 5: Finish the Other Ends

For the ends that will have the rings on them, I covered each with a bit of sugru. This will make them less "pokey". It will also help to hold the rings on even if they aren't super tight.

Take out one more pack of sugru and cut it up like we did in the previous step (after working it 30 seconds of course).

Take one piece and put it on the end of a dowel. I did this while the dowel was through the basket. Smooth it out and make sure it's thin enough to go through the holes. If it's close, that's fine because the sugru will shrink a tiny bit. You can smooth it out with your fingers and soapy water if you'd like.

Repeat for each of the dowels. Don't forget to do the one that you made the rings on!

Step 6: Customize

If you have any sugru left, you can do some other fun things. With the little bit I had, I made a tiny hook for my contacts case, which has a hole in it.

I filled one of the indents in the basket with sugru and formed a hook on it. This actually worked better than I expected.

Now let the sugru cure overnight again (then we're done)

Step 7: Organize!

First, take the rings we made off of the dowel. This is easier if you cut the tape off the plastic wrap first. Then they'll slide right off (you'll have to push a little to get it over the end, but it'll work)

Take out all of the dowels (well, unless you have them where you want them).

I used a cup in the corner for small things. You can see in the picture how I placed it to tell where to put the dowels. I filled the basket as I placed the dowels. I also alternated "pretty" ends with ring ends. You can secure the "non-pretty" ends with the rings, check out the pictures.

And of course, this is modular so you can move the dowels around however you want!

Again, I put the longer dowels through the top and third holes and the shorter ones through the second bottom holes. This keeps them from hitting each other when you try to move them around.

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    12 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is such a simple and effective idea that I’m very surprised that nobody else has actually thought about doing this before haha!


    6 years ago

    Super creative


    9 years ago on Step 2

    I am salivating. This combines my love for organizing and DIY. I need Sugru.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I have that EXACT same basket for a bunch of my bathroom related stuff. Thanks so much for showing me what all those holes I've known for years were good for something were actually for!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Sugru is a new, unique product. There isn't anything quite like it. But you could achieve similar results using something like modeling clay (I don't know how this sticks to wood though, you might have to glue it on or something). Of maybe you could get some rubbery washer things that fit snugly on the dowels and use those to hold them in (but then you won't have the pretty ends!).

    Sugru is probably the only material that will stick nicely to the wood, be moldable to your liking, and have a rubbery silicone feel (to protect you if you get poked by the dowels).


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I've heard of this plumbing accessory around here, it's called plumber's putty. It's somehow similar to sugru, but without the colors (which is kinda sucks, but it should do).


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    That might work, I'd love to hear/see how it turns out!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    My cosmetic storage basket looks just like your "messy" before picture. What a great solution!