These large and sturdy DIY storage baskets are super cute and great for organization! Plus, they can be made with scrap wood!
One of the side affects of my really tall DIY Boxspring is it had a bunch of extra storage space inside of it. Since I wanted to take advantage of that, I knew my next project needed to be a few storage baskets.
I love how these baskets turned out, and while they do require some woodworking skills to make, I think they’re totally worth it!
Planning the Storage Baskets
I based the dimensions of my storage baskets on two things: the space available where they’d be placed, and efficiently using plywood from a 4×8 sheet of plywood.
Since the boxspring had so much space underneath it, I built big storage boxes measuring 17″ wide, 24 1/2″ long, and 8 1/8″ high.
These dimensions allowed me to make my plywood cut lengths as factors of 48 and 96, meaning I could efficiently use a single sheet of plywood to make four storage boxes.
Obviously, you probably have different storage requirements, and your dimensions should reflect the space you have available. However, know that to keep the cost of this project reasonable, it’s worth trying to fit as many boxes to a single sheet of plywood as possible.
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Materials and Cutlist
(Per Storage Basket)
Once you’ve determined your dimensions, consider your cutlist. Generally, each basket requires some 1×1 pieces for the front and back frame, some 2×2 pieces for center frame, and some 1/8″ plywood for the bottom and sides.
To make this as simple as possible, I’m going to go through and write an equation for each cut based on your width dimensions (w), depth dimensions (d), and height dimensions (h). Then I’ll give you my cuts based on a 17″ width, 24 1/2″ depth, and 8 1/8″ height.
- (4) 1x2s @ “w – 3” inches. This makes up the top and bottom of the front and back frame. Color in picture: Red.
- (4) 1x2s @ “h – 1/8” inches. This makes up the front and back frame sides. Color in picture: Green.
- (4) 2x2s @ “d – 1.5” inches. This makes up the center frame. Color in picture: Purple.
- (1) 1/8″ Plywood @ “w x d” inches. This is the bottom of the basket. You actually have some flexibility here, if you need to make the plywood a little smaller to make more baskets out of a single sheet of plywood. Color in picture: Teal
- (2) 1/8″ Plywood @ “h – 1/8 x d-1.75” inches. These are the sides of the basket. Color in picture: Yellow
- (2) 1/8″ Plywood @ “h – 1/8 x w-3” inches. These are the front and back of the basket, and will ultimately be painted with chalkboard paint. I would wait to make the final cuts on these, and cut them to size right before placing them in the basket. Being even a little off on the width of this piece produces gaps and makes the basket less cute. Color in picture: Orange
- (4) 1x2s @ 14 inches
- (4) 1x2s @ 8 inches
- (4) 2x2s @ 23 inches
- (1) 1/8″ Plywood @ 16″ x 24″
- (2) 1/8″ Plywood @ 8″ x 22 3/4″
- (2) 1/8″ Plywood @ 8″ x 14″
How to Build DIY Storage Baskets
Step 1: Make (Almost) All Cuts
Make all cuts except the width cut on the front/back plywood pieces. You’ll trim that to the perfect size later.
Step 2: Paint the Front Pieces
Paint the front, back, and side plywood pieces with chalkboard paint. I needed two coats, with four hours of dry time between each coat, so it’s best to get this started early on.
Step 3: Assemble Front and Back Frame
While the plywood dries, assemble the front and back frames of the box. I started by simply attaching the pieces with wood glue.
Then I clamped the sides of the frame, and put a brad nail into each joint from the sides. See arrows below.
Step 4: Assemble Main Frame
Connect the front and back frames with the four 2×2 pieces. I started with the bottom two pieces, then flipped the frame over and did the top two pieces.
I added wood glue to each joint, and then clamped everything together. Once the wood glue was mostly dry, I loosened the clamps and added a few brad nails.
I repeated this with the top 2x2s. I’m not too worried about the security of the bottom 2x2s – they’ll be reinforced with the bottom piece of plywood later.
I’m a little concerned that given the top front will be pulled on to get at the basket, the wood glue/brad nail combo won’t be enough to hold the 2x2s to the front frame. I think they’ll be okay, but if they start coming apart I’ll probably add a pocket hole screw to each joint as reinforcement.
I’ll update this if that’s ever an issue.
Step 5: Add Bottom
Flip the frame over, and secure the bottom to the frame using wood glue and brad nails.
Step 6: Label Front
I have terrible handwriting, so I used a transfer method with chalk to write pretty labels on the front pieces.
Then I went over it with paint pen. You can check out the whole system here.
Step 7: Attach Front and Back to Frame
Make the final width cuts for your front and back pieces so that they’re snug in the frame. Then secure them in place with wood glue and brad nails.
Be sure to use short nails here so they don’t peek through the front! (Guess who nailed her floor here? This girl.)
Step 8: Attach Sides
Attach the sides to the frame with wood glue and brad nails. Then enjoy your finished storage basket!
Obviously if you’re only making one storage basket, it’s a pretty expensive basket given you need to buy a sheet of plywood (unless you have the scrap wood for this, in which case, go for it!)
But I could make four baskets with the supplies I bought, which then breaks down like this:
Given how large these baskets are, that’s not bad! I should also note that I already had the chalkboard paint – if you need to buy that, it would up the cost per basket significantly.
I love how much extra space I have for clothing now! I didn’t have a dresser, so before I made these I was basically just using the guest bedroom as a clothing dump.
If you love these organizer too, be sure to save this post to Pinterest so you can find it again later!