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Mudroom Storage Bins

With the constant change from snow to mud and back to snow again, the mudroom storage that Dan recently built has already been put to good use. It’s proven to be a great way to keep all our winter gear organized as we’re in and out of the house.

When we first finished the mudroom, we were left with 8 storage cubbies, 4 on each side. Initially, we were simply going to find storage bins to fit each space that would then hold our hats, gloves, scarves, etc. But because each space is a bit oversized, we couldn’t find anything to fill the space at a reasonable price.

Empty spaces need to be filled!

So guess what Dan decided to do? You got it. Build them himself.

The inspiration for these boxes was an old card catalog keepsake box that Dan found online.
Three tall sides with the front angled down. And since we’ve been on a roll with cedar planks lately, we decided to use 16 more for this project. The three tall sides would be stacked cedar, one on top of the other, and the front would angle down to a single piece of cedar.

First things first, cutting all the wood to size and angle. Dan used a “stop block” to make a template for each of his cuts, making it easier to ensure that all sides were the same length. Each angle was cut at 45 degrees.


From there I was able to jump in and learn how to use a biscuit joiner, another one of Dan’s new tools.
The purpose is to essentially cut a small hole into the end of each piece of wood, and then add a biscuit to join the stacked wood together,strengthening it’s hold. This had to be done to just about every single cut of wood, as the majority of the boxes were made up of double stacked cedar. Every. Single. Cut. And it was cold out in the garage. Not really sure how Dan spends all his time out there in the winter, but hey, anything to get away from me right 😛

Once Dan had all the biscuits in place, he used wood glue and clamps to ensure the boards weren’t going anywhere. While this sounds pretty straightforward, It took about 2 weeks to glue all the sides and bottoms together.

With the sides and bottoms built, it was time to put them all together. The sides were cut the full length first, glued together and once glued, Dan cut the 45 degree angle down to the front. Cedar isn’t the smoothest wood, so he had to sand them all down as well.

Maybe 1/4 of the wood being sanded

To assemble the boxes, Dan used a technique he learned online to glue the boxes together. First, he taped the corners, then flipped the wood over and applied glue in the angle corners. From there, he rolled up the boxes until the glue dried. For more support, he added a few nails to each side. Once the sides were done, he added the bottom and secured with more wood glue and nails.

The top shows the individual sides before being taped together, using Dan’s newly learned technique.

This process was done for all eight boxes. It took a few days, but eventually, the boxes were complete.


Which meant it was time for me to step in to help finish them off. In order to complement my favorite oak wood we used as the seat of the mudroom, we decided to stain the storage boxes Dark Walnut. All boxes were first wood conditioned before staining, as cedar is a more difficult wood to work with. This meant a long afternoon in the basement. Thank God for internet radio.

Once all the boxes were stained, we followed up with three coats of semi-gloss poly.

Stained boxes.
The poly really made these pop. Left side polyed. Right side not. 

And now that we have all the boxes in place, the mudroom storage is now not only functional, but has a beautiful completed look as well.


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