Monday, December 21, 2009

Door-mounted organizer from inner tubes [Tutorial]

When left to my own devices to entertain myself, my day usually includes all or some of the following:

Taking the dog somewhere beachy or mountainy
Eating Wendy's or In N Out for lunch
Watching 80s movies
Generally fucking off

This past weekend Bubba was out of town, thus leaving me effectively to my own devices, during which time I did all of the above. (In order: 6 miles, mountainy, Wendys, Say Anything, Not a $20 Bill Mini Wallet, turkey chili, playing Abduction) Plus, my other Best If Done While Unsupervised activity - Settling Annoying-Ass Household Debts.

The debt in question this time turned out to be the kitchen sink cabinet because it's been haunting me in that well-known Surely You Can Do Better Than This way for some time. But it wasn't so bad that I was ever inclined to do much about it because oh who just gives a rat's ass what it looks like under the sink anyway?


I would have agreed with you 100% up until this past Sunday morning.

See, my fab cousin gave me some new fab orange kitchen towels for Hanukkah on Saturday as part of our yearly kitchen towel swap and when I went to put them into the raggedy-ass basket that lives under my sink and serves the purpose of holding all Towels in Waiting, I found myself not wanting to subject the new pretty towels to the ugliness of the cabinet and all of its crappery.

Yep, that's right, I feel bad about making new towels sit in an ugly basket in a messy cabinet, so don't ever call me insensitive.

But at the time I was putting away the towels (and the not-to-be-forgotten-and-also-lovely towels from my sister), it was nearing my bedtime (and the next showing of Star Trek III: Search for Spock - don't you judge me) and I didn't have the wherewithal to contend with cabinet ugliness, so I just shoved the new towels in there, shoved the old towels in the dog's rag bag and went about arranging myself in bed for some prime Spock Finding.

Towels thusly forgotten, I focused my attentions on supervising the bridge crew returning to Genesis for Spock's body and fell asleep in the middle of the bed, which is another thing that happens when Bubba's out of town. I, however, do not use his pillow because that seems weird.

Anyway - when I woke up Sunday morning OH MY GOD I was on fire to redo the kitchen sink cabinet.


I couldn't walk the dog fast enough to return to the house and begin to make real the very clear vision in my head of how that cabinet should look and function which was obviously something my brain had been working really hard on while I watched Captain Kirk grow ever rounder and slept to the tune of Jada's dog snores.

It's strange what my mind does when I'm not awake to supervise its activities.

My mind had come up with some good ideas, too, if I can speak for it, so before I knew it I had removed all the cluttery, cleaned and painted its interior, gone on a junket to Target for organize-y things despite the ALL HAIL CHRISTMASness of that fucking place and returned to create an excellent door-mounted bag organizer from some of our old bike inner tubes.

Before: Total shame.

After: Triumph by inner tube

And so, I ended up creating a suitable living environment for my new pretty orange towels, the Now Larger For All Your Chard Disposing Needs! composter (that steel canister), all my paper bags and the other miscellany that likes to rule beneath the cover of the kitchen's plumbing.

And in the event that you, too, want to create an excellent door-mounted bag organizer from some scraps of bike inner tubes and a few staples, follow these short instructions:

Gather together your materials:
One road bike inner tube (preferably busted already so it's mostly useless)
One staple gun with at least four staples
A pair of scissors or other suitable cutting device

Identify the door onto which you will mount your bags.
Hold up your biggest bag (folded) to make sure you're picking a good-sized door for this. Or, just recycle that big-ass bag because who really needs it anyway?

This is the side of the cabinet I chose to adorn with the organizer. The door is hardly visible, but I trust you know it's there.

Staple down your first strap.
Triangulate the center of the future bag-holding area and make marks about 1-2" in from the edges of the door. MAKE SURE THE DOOR IS THICK ENOUGH AT THESE SPOTS TO ACCOMMODATE THE LENGTH OF YOUR STAPLES OTHERWISE THEY COULD COME POKING OUT ON THE OTHER SIDE. JUST SAYING.

Staple down one end, holding the gun to shoot the staple out vertically, to the first spot then stretch out the inner tube so that it's stretched beyond the point of your next mark and staple that down, too. You want this thing taught, so don't let it be all flappy and loose. Ew.

Trim excess.

This was before I trimmed the excess.

Staple down your second strap.
Triangulate the ideal spot for the bottom strap and follow the instructions for the first strap from "make marks about 1-2" in from the edges." Don't forget about that making sure the door is thick enough thing. Just trust me on this.

The bottom strap is key. It keeps the bags from sproinging about. Which I promise you don't want.

Load your bags in there.
Rejoice! They're not all floating around annoyingly with all your other cabinet bullshit! WOO! And, hey, you have a really big gift bag for some future birthday haver! Woo! I hope they don't read this blog because then they'll know their gift bag came from my kitchen cabinet and that's kinda ew.


And now I shall commence making another cord basket for those towels because what you don't see in this photo is how the other side of that basket is totally broke down and crying out to be a garden basket until such time as it's hurled into the Big Composter in the Sky which is actually the Big Composter in my Backyard.

Updated: The aforementioned cord basket. Nice.


  1. Okay, I would just like to note that anytime I do ANYTHING like this now, someone invariably makes a comment about "nesting." As if I never did any cleaning or organizing before? I'M NOT FUCKING NESTING. SO THERE.

    You have never accused me of this; I just felt the need to get that out there and chose your site as my platform. You're welcome!

    I dig this project. But the cabinet under my sink is so beyond disgusting (like, water-warped plywood and stained shelf paper from 1955--EW) that I wouldn't be able to store anything but garbage under it. Yours looks pretty, though. Well done, Finn.

  2. You're just brilliant. What a cool idea! I'm not sure I'm ready for that level of organization -- the hubs might faint if he opened the doors under the sink and everything didn't fall off on his feet. Nice going Finny!

  3. I'm glad that you agree that your cabinet was a mother effin mess because dang- that was bad. Mine is all organized by cleaning prodcuts. Because I'm a freak. Don't judge. :)

    PS- what's your fav Wendy's item? I order the crispy chicken sandwich (the 99 cent one) with no mayo, large fry, medium coke. Every time. I could live off that and be totally fine.

  4. So....with an In 'N Out within reach, you choose Wendy's? That hurts. use of inner tubes, too, btw.


  5. You are NUTS but I love ya for it.

  6. How many pounds of pressure should I put in those inner tubes, Kitten?


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.