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How to Build a Takeout Menu Holder

A wall-mount organizer—with a chalkboard surface—is a tidy alternative to a cluttered drawer

Ordering out at the end of a busy day can be a major time-saver. Having to rifle through a messy menu drawer, not so much. A handsome way to tackle the clutter: Craft a wall-mount menu holder like the one here. We cut plywood to size and framed it with 1×2s, then made an angled bin from a 1×4, cut into two wedges, and lauan and molding. A coat of milk paint gives it a pop of sunny color, and a rectangle of green chalkboard paint lets you customize a message—or scribble down your order. All that’s left? Just kick back and wait for the delivery guy.

Step 1: Overview

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Cut list to build a takeout menu holder:
½-inch plywood back: one @ 13 ½ by 14 inches
3/16-inch lauan front: one @ 10 ½ by 8 ¼ inches
1x2 stiles: two @ 14 inches
1x2 rails: two @ 10 ½ inches
1x4 for the bin sides: one @ 8 inches
⅝-by-1 ⅛-inch base-cap molding for the frame: two mitered to 10 ½ inches between long points
⅝-by-1 ⅛ base-cap molding for the frame: two mitered to 8 ¼ inches between long points
¾-inch outside corner molding for chalk holder: one @ 3 inches

Or download the cut list here.

Step 2: Make Your Cuts

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Fully support your board by laying scrap material under it and clamping it down. Set the blade depth of the circular saw so that the teeth are ⅛ inch beyond the material. Cut ½-inch plywood to 13½ by 14 inches. Then cut a piece of lauan to 10½ by 8¼ inches.

Step 3: Cut the Frame Pieces

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Using the miter saw, cut two 1x2s to 14 inches to form the stiles of the frame. Cut two more 1x2s to 10½ inches to create the rails.

Step 4: Frame the Plywood

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Attach the 1x2s to the plywood with wood glue, securing them in place with the brad nailer.

Step 5: Make the Sides of the Menu Bin

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Cut a 1x4 to 8 inches. Using the side of a 1x2 scrap, mark ¾ inch from the top left and the bottom right of the board. Draw a diagonal line connecting the two points.

Step 6: Cut the Sides

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Clamp the 1x4 to a scrap board and set your blade depth. Hold the saw up on its front edge and line up your blade over the diagonal line. Carefully plunge the blade down, cutting the board into two pieces.

Step 7: Paint the Lauan

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Cover the lauan with two coats of green chalkboard paint—but don’t go all the way to the edge of the board, since you’ll be covering it with trim. Wood glue will hold better on an unfinished surface.

Step 8: Frame the Lauan

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Miter cut molding to create a frame for the lauan: You’ll want two pieces at 10½ inches and two pieces at 8¼ inches. You’ll also want to cut a 3-inch piece of outside corner molding for the chalk holder.

Step 9: Paint the Parts

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Paint the plywood back, the menu-bin walls, and the molding with milk paint.

Step 10: Assemble the Parts

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Attach the menu-bin walls from the inside using wood glue and the brad nailer. Attach the frame molding to the lauan with a combination of wood glue and superglue. Glue chalkboard front to the menu-bin walls using wood glue. Secure in place with the brad nailer. Finally, attach the chalk holder with wood glue.