Let's Make...A Wall Organizer!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

 diy wall organizer

Ah, the kitchen quest.  Bits n' pieces, bits n' pieces.  Progress may be slow but it's progress nonetheless.

So in that quest to hoist the kitchen to its maximum of tolerable-ish enough order, a small step in keeping it clutter-free as visual clutter clogs my brain, it was time to partially address the dumping ground that is the cart I strongly dislike.

Stuff and gack and junk and crap and whatev's piles up here nonstop.  Everything ends up right smack here.  And it makes me nuts.

messy temporary rolling cart top
Grrr.  Clutter.  This is relatively tame too.
Yeah, ya know, I haven't completely solidified exactly what the master plan is for this wall opposite the cabinets quite yet but something junk containment was eminently pressing.

Somehow I came across an idea online and thought, huh, superbly stellar idea!! and I have the perfect spot for it too!  For a while I had been secretly kicking around the idea of painting the wall at the top of the back stairs, next to the pantry, as chalkboard.  But, heh, I've maxed out on chalkboard in this house.

DIY wood wall organizer
Hey hey, finished wall organizer!  Woo hooooo!
So when I saw that wall organizer a bulb blazoned on, bingo!  Sold!  Tackles multiple issues all in one neat and tidy, modern looking, compact thingie.  Plus, yellow.  I was totally suckered by the yellow.  My fave.

What I used:
Pretty simple and affordable list there.  All told, about twenty bucks-ish as I had the cork remnant, cup hooks, and the yellow paint.

After studying the example wall organizer, I knew I needed to veer a bit, i.e. sturdier materials and shooting for a stronger build as, well, Mike is not a delicate flower when it comes to stuff.  He's tough on things plus, given its intended location, it has the potential to be whacked, bumped, knocked into.

Plus um, power tools.  Must always use power tools.   Duh.

wood supplies
Hey, wood!
I began by cutting the piece of birch plywood in half, the idea being half would be the wall organizer itself, the other half used to make the boxes.  Ah ha!  Clever, eh?

Next was trimming the 1x2 to size to make the framing.  A little measuring, a little math, a little cutting and the pieces were ready to go.  Shockingly, they're pretty accurately cut; helps that I absolutely took my time.

framing for wall organizer on back
Hey, photo of 1x2 framing!  Sweet!  I put it on face rather than on edge to keep the profile tighter to the wall.
Much like the original, I didn't want to see any fasteners so Gorilla Glue* was key.  Ran a thin thin bead along the 1x2, lined it up, clamped.  Be sure to use something like a bit of rag or felt on the face of the plywood to keep the clamp from damaging the front when tightened down.

After getting the base all assembled, it was time to plan the organizer parts.  Based on the types of items that mound up on that kitchen cart, I drew a tiny sketch and shopped and cut from there.

sketching ideas for wall organizer
My original sketchy sketch.
It changed and evolved as I went which eh, ain't no big thang.  I kept laying it out as I went, arranging, rearranging, making decisions.

Using that spiffy mini saw and my uber fantastic miter saw, I trimmed up pieces of the birch plywood to make the boxes.  I ended up with (boxes from left to right) 3.5"w x 3.5"t x 2.75"d, 6"w x 2.5"t x 3.75"d, and 9.5"w x 2.5"t x 3.75"d.  Heh, in case you're wondering.

measuring and cutting wood pieces
Lil' cut pieces o' birch ply here, box parts, woo hoo.
With thin thin beads of Gorilla Glue, I stuck them together, clamped with painter's tape until dry.  Don't forget that Gorilla Glue foams way the heck up and out everywhere so less is always more.

Once the boxes were assembled, I trimmed off two pieces poplar 1x4 for shelves, about 10" and 5" long.

Originally I was planning on placing the cup hooks on the face of the birch ply along the bottom but realized hey, they'd be way less snaggy if they were hidden up under the bottom shelf.  Using a itty drill bit, I pilot drilled some holes and screwed those puppies on.

After all my pieces and parts were found and assembled, I laid everything out for one final check on placement and functionality.

arranging elements on wall organizer
Parts arrangin'.
To snazz it up and ok because I was hooked by the yellow on the inspirational organizer, I ripped out my Lemon Curd paint, schmeared on a stripe and painted the wood knobs as well.  Ties in with the Lemon Curd wall in the pantry too.  Ah, see what I did there?  Heh.

painting yellow using painters tape
Yay, my favorite yellow!
After the paint dried, it was time to mount everything.  I knew if I merely glued everything to the face, something would get blamo'ed, busted off.  Again, stuck with the no-seeing-fasteners thing which, no surprise, made things trickier.

In the end, along with glue, I opted to screw in the boxes and the shelves from behind.  Definitely made my brain squinty-hurt.  Pilot drill the holes from behind first so the on-edge ply doesn't shatter and use tiny thin screws.  Yes, I goofed twice and missed but a dab of paint or a skooch of a box over a smidge, no biggie.

drilling hole mistake
Oopsy-daisy.  A wee hole there.
The mending plates I screwed on from the front, the cork I used spray mount to attach, and the knobs attached through the 1x2 like a normal drawer pull so pilot holes then screwed in from behind.

To get the whole shebang sturdily up on the wall, it was those handy dandy keyhole brackets again to the rescue.

adding keyhole brackets to back
Fancy schmancy keyhole bracket.  Those are the screw heads for the wood knobs, fyi.
Attached those to the back of the organizer and with screw-in anchors plus that nifty tape trick for hanging things on a wall, it was a simple install.

Finn the dog
One for the blooper reel...Finn and the organizer.
The hardest part?  Retraining Mike to put his daily piles of stuff all over this instead of cluttering up the kitchen cart.

diy wood organizer for wall

I did notice that without any prodding at all whatsoever, none, zero, zip zilch, he quietly placed his wallet and his office keys on the lower shelf.  He later pointed out proudly that he had done so despite all his protestations of having to use this darn thing.  I offered copious amounts of praise in return.

wall organizer hanging
Check out them yellows! 
Neat huh?  I'm thrilled with it!

Okey doke, off to see if I can wallpaper the kitchen.  Cough, totally not nervous at all, nope!  I'm sure you'll be posted on that adventure!

*The mending plates, wood knobs, cups hooks, keyhole brackets, and Gorilla Glue are all Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. It looks great Becky! Love the raw wood and the yellow stripe. Finn-man is so adorable, I love seeing him all the time :o)


    1. Thanks so much Tania! Yeah, he's a big ol' ham, huh? Always hot on my heels that one! :)

  2. I am forever trying to find things to make for my husband. I am always making things that I like and can use, but not for him because I have a serious lack of ideas. Thank you so much for a fantastic idea that he will like, and maybe, just maybe, he will use it too! Can't wait to get started!!

    1. Oh excellent! I'm thrilled you think this will work for your husband, and that he may even use it too! I'm super excited! Do let me know how it turns out! Thanks so much!


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