Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 5, 2016

Reclaimed wood boot tray

Do It Yourself

- (Photo courtesy of magnoliahomes.net)

This column was originally published in the Hamilton County Herald on Feb. 6, 2015.

I have concluded that my husband feels that we hired a maid somewhere in the 13 years we have been together. Frankly, I am not sure that he is aware his shoes belong in his closet; for that matter, that anything belongs in his closet.

On a daily basis, I pick up at least three pairs of his shoes from my living room floor. Drives. Me. Crazy. Therefore, I have been on a mission to rectify this situation, which has proven quite difficult since I really do not have any space for something of this extent. Here’s to me wishing we had purchased a home with a mudroom!

Instead, I have decided to make a boot tray, which will prove functional while acting as a great décor piece. This is a minimal woodworking project for people new to DIY-ing and is quick to accomplish.

I will be using reclaimed wood from a pallet I have, so this also makes this project super inexpensive. If a pallet is not available, the wood you would need to purchase would still be inexpensive. 

Items needed:

• wood for sides and bottom

• wood glue

• wood nails

• nail gun or hammer

• a drawer handle

• iron casters

To start, configure the dimensions of the boot tray. I will be making a square shape tray, as this is what fits in my allotted space; however, it can be made as large or small as needed. My tray will measure 18” by 18” inches. 

Next, figure out your cuts for the bottom and side pieces. I have a pine board available for the bottom of the tray and since it is going to be a perfect square, all of my cuts need to be the same measuring 18” on each side. After the bottom piece is cut and ready, the cuts for the side pieces can be made.

To make the side pieces there are two options: if you have a miter saw available, make the cuts the correct length with the ends cut at a 45 degree angle. If a miter saw is not available, all the sides can be nailed together making the shape, but the cuts will be different. 

Example: For my 18’’ by 18” square tray, the sides need to be cut with two pieces measuring 18 inches and two pieces measuring 16 inches. This is because I will be attaching them without mitered sides, so my 16 inch boards will be attached sitting on the inside of the 18 inch long sides. I have to account for the width of the sideboards, and my material is 1 inch wide.

Once the sideboards are ready, run wood glue along all the edges of the sideboards and piece them together. Afterwards, secure the pieces together with wood nails. Then, sit the bottom piece of the tray on top of the sidepieces and nail all of it together. 

Now for the final additions; add your handle of choice onto the front and screw in the casters onto the bottom. Flip that baby over and fill er’ up with shoes!  

You can also assemble two 90 degree galvanized iron elbows and a piece of galvanized iron pipe together into a handle. This would be a great way to incorporate more of an industrial, rustic feel.

If you would like to skip cutting wood altogether then an old, shallow, dresser drawer would work great for this project. So, stop sitting there and start creating! 

April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at april@dailydata.com.