Design & DIY

Keep your summer supplies together with this handy catch-all


This article was originally published in the Summer 2016 issue of Cottage Life magazine.

It’s morning, and the day is already blisteringly hot. The sun is sparkling off the water. No chores will be done on this day. Today… is a dock day. And that means you need to get your bathing-suited butt down to the water ASAP, without wasting precious time searching for supplies: sunscreen, reading material, Bluetooth speaker, sunglasses. That’s where this catch-all—a dock-day command centre—comes in handy. It’s simple to make with wood offcuts and other items lying around the workshop. Hang it on the boathouse wall or in the verandah, and save yourself some extra time to spend doing absolutely nothing.

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 1⁄2″-thick lumber: 40″ x 6 1⁄2″ for the front, 40″ x 2 1⁄2″ for the back, 10″ x 4 1⁄2″ for the shelf
  • Latches, drawer knobs, hitching rings (for hooks and hangers)
  • Wood glue
  • 2″ wood screws
  • 1 French cleat

1. Use a mitre saw to cut the front and back boards to length (40″ or to fit your wall space), and the shelf piece to 10″.

2. On one end of the front board, mark where the shelf will sit. To make a 10″ x 1 1⁄2″ notch to fit the shelf, use a table saw for the 10″ cut and a mitre saw to remove the piece.

3. Glue the back board (I used scrap cherry) to the back of the front board, and screw in to secure. This back piece will hold the catch-all out from the wall and form a little slot for magazines and sunscreen. The shelf can then be glued and screwed into the notch so that it sits at 90° to the main board.

4. Space the hooks evenly along the front board before drilling pilot holes for their screws. (This is especially important when using a hardwood, such as oak, which can break screws as they try to bite into the wood.)

5. Once all hardware is attached, screw a French cleat to the back. This is a simple, store-bought way to hang the catch- all on the wall, but you could just as easily screw the catch-all directly into the wall with 4″ screws. Tip: hide these mounting screws by positioning them where you plan to place your hooks and hangers. Mount the board to the wall, then add the hooks so they cover the screws.