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Let's face it: A clothes hamper is not the sexiest piece of furniture you'll ever own. But that's no excuse for using a tired old canvas bag or an open-top basket to stash your dirty duds. We were pleased to find lots of hampers with furniture-like details on the market—so much so that it inspired us to make a hamper similar to the one shown here. The top and sides are simply stock beadboard plywood framed with 1x material. For the hamper's floor, we scrounged up a scrap piece of regular plywood; if you don't have one, just use beadboard instead.

The straightforward design here is very flexible. You can paint or stain the finished product, use plain plywood instead of beadboard for the sides, add a handle to the lid, screw cup hooks inside to hang a laundry bag—the options are limited only by your imagination. Use the cut list at thisoldhouse.com/bonus to help you build it, and when you're done, double-check to make sure no nails are sticking out inside the bin. We'd hate for your new hamper to put snags in your wardrobe.

Pictured: White Finished Hamper RHP0109W by Oceanstar Design Group, about $90; homeclick.com

Step 1

How to Build a Wood Hamper

Illustration by Gregory Nemec

Cut the Pieces

Cut parts to size and make two handle cutouts per the cut list below:

Cut List

1x2 leg pieces: four @ 23 inches

1x3 leg pieces: four @ 23 inches

beadboard panel, front and back: two @ 21 by 17 ¾ inches

beadboard panel, sides: two @ 21 by 11 inches

1x3 crosspieces: four @ 15 inches

1x3 crosspieces: four @ 8 inches (from two of these, cut a centered 4½-by-1-inch handle hole with rounded ends)

1x3 floor supports: two @ 10 ¼ inches

floor (beadboard or plywood): one @ 17 ⅝ by 10 ⅛ inches

1x3 lid frame: two @ 20½ inches

1x3 lid frame: two @ 7 ¾ inches

beadboard panel, lid: one @ 18½ by 11 inches

Step 2

Build the Legs

Illustration by Gregory Nemec

Secure the edge of a 1x2 leg piece to the face of a 1x3 leg piece, flush with its edge, to form an L. Repeat to make four legs.

Step 3

Attach the Panels and Floor Support

Illustration by Gregory Nemec

Secure front and back panels to the back sides of the 1x3 leg pieces, 2 inches from the ends. Secure side panels to the back sides of the 1x2 leg pieces. Secure floor supports between the front and back panels.

Step 4

Trim Hamper and Insert Floor

Illustration by Gregory Nemec

Secure crosspieces so that the lower ones sit flush with the bottoms of the panels and the upper ones with the handle cutouts sit flush with the tops of the legs. Drive screws at an angle through the top edges of the upper crosspieces and into the legs. Secure the plywood floor to the floor supports.

Step 5

Assemble and Attach Lid

Illustration by Gregory Nemec

Secure the lid's short frame pieces between the long frame pieces. Secure the panel to the frame. Attach the lid to the hamper with two butt hinges. Add a stop hinge on one side.


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