Last summer, my husband and I renovated our outdoor space and really brought our backyard to life—literally, as we added many more plants. This year, we’re excited to enjoy the big flower heads on the new hydrangeas and the privacy provided by the tall ornamental grasses around our patio. But we’re realizing that we’ll be doing a lot more watering, too.
To help with that, I built a cedar box with a reel inside that will let me deploy the hose when it’s needed and neatly wind it up—and hide it away—when it’s not. Plastic furniture feet raise the wood off the ground; stakes will keep the box from tipping or sliding.
Now, thanks to our new reel, watering plants will be much less of a chore, and I won’t have to worry about my kids tripping on the hose while playing in our new backyard.
How It’s Made
- Sides: Six 1×6s @ 171/2 inches
- Front and back: Six 1×6s @ 181/2 inches
- 1×6 lid: Four 1×6s @ 20 inches (rip one board to 31/2 inches wide)
- 1×6 lid battens: One @ 15 inches (ripped in half lengthwise)
- 2×2 legs: Four @ 161/2 inches
- 1×6 reel sides: Two @ 13 inches
- 2×2 reel frame: One @ 143/4 inches
- 1 1/2-inch PVC pipe: One @ 191/2 inches
This reel spins freely without binding thanks to quick-connect hose fittings, which snap together. The reel is assembled from two 2×2s and two 1×6s attached to a PVC pipe big enough for the hose fittings to slide inside. A crank turns this entire assembly, coiling up the hose.
To begin, cut all the 1×6 boards to width and length, following the cut list below. You have to make only two short rip cuts: one in a 15-inch 1×6 (cut in half) and one in a 20-inch 1×6 (ripped to 31/2 inches wide). To make these, you’ll need a table saw, or a circular saw with a guide.
Steps for Building a DIY Wooden Garden Hose Holder
Step 1: Assemble the side walls
Apply wood glue to one side of two parallel 2×2s. Bed the faces of three sidepieces in the glue; set their ends flush with the 2×s’ edges. Drill two 5/64-inch pilot holes through the ends of the 1×6s and into the 2×2s; secure the boards with 1 5/8-inch screws. Repeat to create the second side wall of the box.
Step 2: Attach the four walls
Lay one side wall facedown; put glue on the 2×2s’ outer sides. Clamp and fasten a front board upright to the 2× with 1 5/8-inch screws. Butt two more boards edge to edge; fasten them the same way. Do the same for the back wall. Put glue on the 2×s of the second side wall. Fit it between the back and front walls, and secure with screws.
Step 3: Make the hose opening
Mark lines on a top board 5 inches in from and parallel to both ends. Place the Forstner bit’s tip on the line and align the bit’s outer edge with the top board’s bottom edge; drill through the board at each mark. Mark a line across the tops of the holes, then cut it with a jigsaw. Next, drill through the center of each side wall with the Forstner bit.
Step 4: Build and attach the lid
Lay the lid pieces side by side, smooth-side down, with the 3½-inch-wide piece at the hinge end. Glue and clamp them edge to edge. Glue two cleats across the lid pieces, 4 inches from their cut edges. Drill two 1-inch-deep pilot holes through the battens at each lid piece; drive in 1¼-inch screws. Attach the hinges with 3/4-inch screws.
Step 5: Assemble the hose reel
Use the Forstner bit to bore through the centers of two 13-inch-long 1×6s. Beside these holes, glue and screw each end of the two 14¾-inch 2×2s to the two 1×6s using two 2-inch screws. Use the same bit to drill holes through the centers of both side walls. Then drill through the pipe wall with a 1-inch hole saw, 2 inches from one end.
Step 6: Install the reel
Set the reel assembly inside the box. Slide the pipe in until one end is flush with an outside wall. Near the end opposite the pipe’s hole, drive a 2-inch screw through the 2× reel and into the pipe. Drill a 5/8-inch hole in the center of the pipe cap; insert the carriage bolt through the crank’s handle and the cap. Put a locknut on the bolt’s end.
Step 7: Connect the fittings
Press the PVC cap onto the pipe. Drive a 1¼-inch screw through the side of the cap to hold it in place. Separate the two halves of the quick-connect fitting. Thread one half onto the hose to the spigot. Fit the 45-degree fitting into the pipe’s hole, put it through the pipe’s end at the side wall, then thread the other quick-connect half onto it.
Step 8: Attach the hose; add feet
Reconnect the fittings at the box’s side wall. Feed the hose into the opening; connect it to the 45-degree fitting. Screw furniture feet into the corner 2×s to lift the box off the ground; wind the hose onto the reel. Once outside, pound stakes partway into the soil next to the 2×2s at all four inside corners, then screw the stakes to the walls.
What You Need for This Project
- Two 2×2 western red cedar boards, 8′ long
- Four 1×6 western red cedar boards, 8′ long
- 1 5/8 stainless steel trim-head screws
- 1¼-inch stainless steel trim-head screws
- Eight 2-inch stainless steel trim-head screws
- One ½ x 1½-inch carriage bolt and locknut
- Two 3-inch stainless steel hinges with ¾-inch screws
- One quick-connect hose fitting
- One 45-degree hose elbow
- One 1½-inch PVC pipe, 2 feet long
- One 1½-inch PVC cap
- One utility handle
- Exterior wood glue