Thursday, December 30, 2010

Plastic Lid Organizer

Hi, I hope you're enjoying the holidays! And I'm sure there will be plenty of left overs for the days ahead. And once the plastic containers are emptied and cleaned, you'll need a place to store them! Well you're in luck, I'm going to show you how to make a simple lid organizer. 

Lids, lids, lids everywhere! Happens every time I open the cabinet door to get one.  (I really only wanted one!) But they fly out at you every time. So, I designed a lid organizer, hopefully it will work. The theory is simple, less lids occupying the same space equals less or no flying lids. That's the theory anyway...

Lets cut some wood...

I'm using half inch cabinet grade plywood for the bottom and back, the dividers and sides will be quarter inch plywood.  I cut the 1/4 x 1/2 dados (channel cut across the grain) all at the same time, so everything is evenly spaced.

 Here are the blanks for the dividers and sides...

The sides look kinda plain, being all square and stuff. So, I quickly drew an ogee, you can barely see the pencil line on one of the sides.

I cut along the line on the band saw, leaving about a sixteenth to an eighth of an inch waste.

I only need to file and sand one side to the line because I will use that one as a template for all of the dividers and the other side. Filing, filing, filing...

Then I sand, sand and sand some more.  There's a lot of repetition in woodworking!

Now, I have a good side, so I clamp the template to the other side. Then using a flush trim bit on my router, I make an identical copy. (pretty cool, eh?)  I stacked all of the dividers together, and made one pass with my router, what a time saver.

Ok, so here are the dividers and the sides are attached to the bottom and back. I used butt joints, no need to get fancy with dovetails here, after all its just going to hold plastic lids!

I did do some fancy work, well not really, but it makes it look nicer and will keep the dividers in place. Just image, your wife getting hit by a divider? A plastic lid, ok, but a wood divider...ouch. Oh, by the way, that ouch isn't uttered from my wife, its from me after she hits me with said divider! Anyway, I got to use my 45 degree chamfer plane. It makes nice quarter inch chamfers every time. Below you can see I've made 2 or 3 passes, so far. It takes about 20 or so strokes but its still faster than setting up a router and clamping the piece down. 

As you can see, the chamfers look good, I did both sides. The inside had to be done so that the dividers can be removed and replaced. Look at those gossamer shavings, not bad for a $8 plane! 

The dividers are installed and I left one slightly ajar, so you can see how they slip in and out.

Ok, a better look...

And here it is, fully loaded and ready not to throw lids!  

Well, I hope you liked this project, makes for a good half days work but it may save you from flying lids too! 

Please feel free to leave comments or suggestions of what you would like see made next time!!


  1. Just what I was looking to find. Have the same problem with lids just thrown in the cabinet, they all fall out when you open the door. Found your site and like the idea. I going to try my hand at making one. Had that material but just didn't know how to design it. Thanks for the step by step layout. Will let you know how it turns out. Allen,

  2. This is awesome!! Go on Shark Tank and get some money to make this into a business! I'm sure you could sell a few thousand.... nothing else seems to work, nice job!

  3. I would buy this. I agree, about you selling your idea. This is a great organizer. :)


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