Washroom storage

My bathroom is decidedly small and whoever installed the fixtures did not make good use of what space there was available. The medicine cabinet could have been twice as big to compensate for almost no storage under the sink. As it is, I already store towels outside the bathroom, but things like extra shampoo and toothpaste I like to have in the bathroom, and toilet paper. It’s always good to have toilet paper within reach.

In my attic, I found an old washboard. Like the thing people had to scrub clothes on before electric washing machines were invented. I thought it might make a good, wash-related cupboard door and I decided to make a cabinet door.

I started by measuring the washboard and sketching out the unit. My washboard was 12.5 inches wide, and 24 inches long, and the solid part was 18 inches long. I knew I wanted to make a little shelf for toilet paper and didn’t know how deep it should be ( I was either going to use 1 x 4 board or 1 x 6 board). Measuring a roll of toilet paper, I found it to be about 6 inches in diameter, so I went with 1 x 6 popular.

So the sketch. sketch

There are two pieces of 1 x 6 cut to the height of the washboard = 24 inches.

There are four pieces cut of the width of the washboard, minus the thickness of the board. The 1  x 6 is actually only 3/4 inch thick so 12.5 – .75 – .75 = 11.

You could probably get away with just three 11 inch pieces, but I used one on the back in order to have something to screw into to hold it on the wall.

Once you have everything cut, you may want to lay it out to make sure its gonna work out.

I made an L bracket with the top piece and the backing board first, screwing it together with 1.5 inch screws. You’ll want to pre-drill the holes or the board will crack 🙁

20160130_130205Then I attached the 24 inch long pieces on either side. Then the bottom. Finally, I measured down 18 inches from the top of the top shelf to the side and made pencil marks on both of the long sides. I wanted to line the bottom of the middle shelf with that 18 inch mark so that it’s level and hidden by the washboard door.

Once everything is screwed together, cover the screw heads with hole putty, sand everything, prime and paint. If you’re putting this in a bathroom, or some other damp environment, you’ll want to use a paint rated for exteriors.

Then, it’s time for hardware. I used 1.5 inch brass cabinet hinges. I attached to the washboard first. One hinge I put about two inches down from the top and the other about two inches up from when the washboard panel ended. Then, I lined up the door with the shelf and screwed the hinges to the shelving. Some hinges say to chisel out a spot for the hing to lay, but the brass hinges are so thin I didn’t feel it was necessary. Finally, on the opposite side of the washboard/shelf, install a magnet and metal plate to keep the door closed.

Voila! You’re done.