Thomas J. Story
Conquer clutter by making a message center designed to hold lists, bills, keys, pencils, and odds and ends.
A purchased cork bulletin board forms the door to a shallow box; the size of the bulletin board determines the size of the unit. We used a 13¼- by 19¼-inch pine-framed board that cost about $8.
A frame of 1-by-2s and a short length of dowel organize the interior. There's even space for eye hooks to hold keys.
Time: About one day, not including painting and drying time
Cost: Under $40
For a cabinet that is roughly 14 by 20 inches
- Framed bulletin board
- 6 to 8 feet of pine 1-by-3
- 1 12-inch finishing nails
- ¼ sheet of 1/8-inch plywood
- 1/2-inch wire brads
- 2 feet of pine 1-by-2
- 8-inch length of 3/8-inch dowel
- Wood glue
- Wood putty
- Clear sealer
- Sheet of heavy poster board (from craft stores)
- Two 1½-inch hinges
- Magnetic catch
- Door pull
- Six eye hooks
- Two expansion bolts (to affix to wall)
- Nail set
- Carpenter square
- Electric drill
- Craft knife
1. Cut and nail the 1-by-3 to build a box frame sized to match the bulletin board; cut the plywood to the same dimensions and nail it to the box frame using wire brads.
2. For the T-shaped divider, cut two lengths of 1-by-2 to the frame's interior width. To accommodate the dowel, drill a 3/8-inch-diameter hole through one piece, ½ inch from the front edge and 4 inches from the bottom end. Use this piece as a guide to drill a shallow, 3/8-inch hole into the right inside face of the frame.
3. To assemble the T-shaped divider, use the piece with the hole in it as the vertical and nail it 1 inch to the left of the midpoint of the horizontal. Slip the dowel through the vertical and into the hole in the box-frame side, then mark and cut the dowel to be flush. Glue dowel into divider; before it dries, nail divider into box frame, gluing free end of dowel into side. Fill, sand, and seal wood.
4. Cut poster board to fit. Use a craft knife to cut slots wide enough to insert backings of a notepad and calendar. Run a thick bead of glue around edge of poster board; fix in place.
5. Add hinges and catch; screw on door pull. Attach eye hooks to frame top.