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How to Build a Wall-Mounted Pet Organizer

Hooks for leashes, a dressed-up bag dispenser, and a toy shelf keep dog-walking supplies close at hand

It's a routine every dog owner knows: Fido's itching for his morning walk while you're frantically hunting down his leash and a few plastic bags before you've had your morning joe. This handsome organizer, made from beadboard, crown molding, stock lumber, and a leftover tin ceiling tile, keeps all the necessities within arm's reach. Make one for yourself, and you'll be out the door with your pooch in record time. Here, This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers shows how to put it together in one day.

Step 1

Build a Wall-Mounted Organizer

Cut List

Quantities listed are sufficient to make an organizer that's 26 inches wide by 34 inches high. Download plan here

1. Beadboard – 1 @ 21 by 33 inches

2. 1x6 fascia board – 1 @ 22½ inches

3. 1x6 fascia board (returns) – 2 @ 1¼ inch

4. 1x5 shelf – 1 @ 26 inches

5. ¼-inch square dowel (front stop rail) – 1 @ 24 inches

6. ¼-inch square dowel (side stop rails) – 2 @ 4 inches

7. Crown molding – 1 @ cut to size

8. Crown molding (returns) – 2 @ cut to size

9. Corner guard – 3 @ cut to size

10. 1x6 for back of bag dispenser – 1 @ 13 inches

11. ⅝-inch square dowels for frame of bag dispenser – 2 @ 6½ inches

12. ⅝-inch square dowels for posts for bag dispenser – 4 @ 1½ inches

13. ¾-inch shelf edging for bag dispenser – 6 @ cut to size

Step 2

Cut the Beadboard and Fascia Board

Photo by Laura Moss

Using a circular saw, cut the beadboard to size. Using a compound miter saw, cut a length of 1x6 fascia board to 25¼ inches (i.e., the width of the beadboard plus the length of the returns that will wrap its sides). To make the returns, lay the board flat on the saw and tilt the blade at a 45-degree angle as shown. From each end of the board, cut off an equal length measuring 1¼ inches from long point to square edge, so that the fascia board measures 22½ inches long point to long point. (If your miter saw doesn't have a blade that tilts, make these cuts with a jigsaw instead by adjusting the foot plate.)

Step 3

Attach the Fascia Board

Photo by Laura Moss

Flip the return pieces you cut in Step 1 to form right angles with each end of the fascia board. Using wood glue and a nail gun, attach the returns to the sides of the fascia board. Apply adhesive caulk at the top of the beadboard where the fascia board will be installed. Lay the fascia board in place, flush with the top edge of the beadboard. Attach it by nailing 1-inch pin nails through the back of the beadboard and into the fascia board.

Step 4

Cut and Install the Shelf

Photo by Laura Moss

Cut the shelf to size. Apply adhesive caulk to the top edge of the organizer, then place the shelf on it, making sure it's centered horizontally and flush with the back of the beadboard. Drive 1-inch nails through the shelf into the top edge of the organizer. Using 150-grit sandpaper, round over the front corners of the shelf.

Step 5

Cut and Install the Crown Molding

Photo by Laura Moss

Place the crown molding in a miter box on an angle so that the deck of the box represents the underside of the shelf, and the fence represents the fascia board. Cut a 45-degree angle on each end so that the piece measures 24¾ inches, long point to long point. (This will make the shorter dimension equal to the width of the fascia board, or 22½ inches.) Cut one return 2¼ inches from square edge to long point. Cut a second return at 2¼ inches, with its square cut on the opposite end. Apply wood glue to the corner pieces and press them together. Holding the nail gun at an angle, drive 1-inch nails through the crown molding into the underside of the shelf and into the fascia board.

Step 6

Add a Stop Rail to the Shelf

Photo by Laura Moss

Cut three pieces of ¼-inch square dowel to size. Center the longer piece horizontally on the top shelf, and glue it ¼ inch from the shelf's front edge to keep toys from falling off. Glue the two shorter strips perpendicular to the long one on the sides of the shelf.

Step 7

Cut and Install the Corner Guards

Photo by Laura Moss

To determine where the end of the corner guard will land at the bottom corners of the beadboard, miter a mock corner from two short pieces of the material, and set it in place on the bottom right corner of the organizer. Measure the length from the tip of the mock corner to the bottom edge of the fascia board. Cut one corner guard to this length from square edge to long point. Cut a second corner guard to the same length, with the square cut on the opposite end.

Apply adhesive caulk to the back of the corner guards, place them on the side edges of the organizer, and secure them to the edges using ½-inch pin nails. Measure the distance between the long points of the corner guards you just installed, and cut bottom corner guard to this length from long point to long point. Secure it to the bottom edge of the organizer using adhesive caulk and nails, in the same fashion as the sides.

Step 8

Make the Bag-Dispenser Frame

Photo by Laura Moss

Cut a 1x6 board to size. Cut two ⅝-inch square dowels for strips, and four ⅝-inch square dowels for posts of equal length to be sandwiched between the board and the strips. Using a small paintbrush, apply glue to the cut ends of the four posts. Stand the posts upright on the corners of the board, and set the strips across the posts at the top and bottom. Clamp the assembly and let dry, or nail the joints using 1-inch nails to hold them in place.

Step 9

Wrap the Dispenser in Tin

Photo by Laura Moss

Wearing gloves for safety, use tin snips to cut the ceiling tile to size. Place the tin on the edge of a work surface and bend it 90 degrees in the spots where it will wrap around the dispenser frame. Center the frame on top of the tile, front side down (the board will be facing up) so that there's an even amount of wood exposed on the top and bottom of the frame. Wrap the tin around the dispenser.

Step 10

Fasten the Tin to the Dispenser

Photo by Laura Moss

Using a drill/driver and ½-inch sheet metal screws, secure the ends of the tin to the back of the dispenser, making sure the screws are sunk flush with the tin to allow it to be installed flat against the beadboard.

Step 11

Trim out the Dispenser

Photo by Laura Moss

Cover the sharp, exposed edges of the tin at the top and bottom of the dispenser with the shelf edging, mitered at the corners. Secure it to the exposed framing with adhesive caulk and ½-inch nails. Sand, prime, and paint the organizer.

Step 12

Secure the Dispenser to the Beadboard

Photo by Laura Moss

Mark the placement of the bag dispenser on the organizer. Using a caulking gun, apply adhesive caulk to the back of the dispenser and to the spot where it will be placed. Set the dispenser in place, and secure it to the organizer by screwing through the back of the beadboard and into the back of the dispenser using ¾-inch wood screws.

Step 13

Mount the Hooks

Photo by Laura Moss

Lay the hooks on the fascia board and mark the hole locations. Using a drill/driver fitted with a 1/16-inch drill bit, drill pilot holes into the fascia board at the marks you made. Position the hooks over the holes, and use the screws that came with the hooks to secure them to the organizer.

Step 14

Drill Pilot Holes for the Mounting Screws

Photo by Laura Moss

Using a drill/driver fitted with a ⅛-inch drill bit, drill installation holes that are aligned with the studs in the wall where the organizer will be mounted. Centered over these holes, drill ¼-inch recesses, using a ⅜-inch drill bit, to accommodate hole plugs later.

Step 15

Mount the Organizer

Photo by Laura Moss

Secure the organizer to the wall using 3-inch deck screws (or screws long enough to penetrate the organizer and at least 2 inches of the wall). Cover installation holes with ⅜-inch plugs painted to match the organizer.