Fig. A: Get all of your parts together: lumber, screws,
and jars. Fig. B: Make the “legs” and “feet” of the
organizer with 2×4s and 3" wood screws.
2. Build the base.
To make the uprights, mark 2 of the 2×4s on their
wide faces ( 4" faces), centered 2" down from the
top. Drill a hole straight through each board at your
marks, using the
5" drill bit first, and working up
7" bit. Make sure your lag screws can pass
through the hole. If not, drill it out a little more.
To make the base pieces, measure and mark the
centers of the other 2 pieces of 2× 4 on their wide
faces. Center each upright on top of a base piece,
with the hole at the top. Turn the upright so its wide
face is parallel to the long side of the base piece,
not crosswise (Figure B).
Holding the boards together, turn them upside
down like a T. Using the
5" drill bit, pre-drill 2 holes
into the joint of the 2 boards. Using the 3" screws,
screw the boards together. Repeat this process for
the other upright and base piece.
3. Make the jar holder.
Arrange your jars. On each face of the 4× 4 you’ll
have 3 jars, and you want them to be fairly balanced
with the jars that will be on the opposite face. Leave
enough space between jars to be able to unscrew
them comfortably. Mark your arrangement on the
4× 4. Remove the lids from the jars and use two
Fig. C: Screw the jar lids onto the 4× 4. Fig. D: Using
2 diagonal lines, find the center of the 4× 4 for the
¾" screws to screw each lid into place on the 4× 4
TIP: It’s a good idea to pre-drill the lids to avoid
At each end of the 4× 4, find the center by drawing
2 diagonal lines from corner to corner (Figure D).
Pre-drill this center point on each end, using the
bit first for an accurate pilot hole, then the U" bit.
4. Put it all together.
Place a lag screw through its hole in one of the
uprights, then through two ¼" washers, then into
the 4× 4. Screw it in. Repeat for the other side.
Screw the jars into their lids. You’re now ready to
organize that pile of jumbled-up whatevers into tidy,
More photos and tips:
Abe Connally and Josie Moores are a young, adventurous
couple living in a secluded off-grid hideaway with their
2-year-old. Their experiments with energy, architecture, and
sustainable systems are documented at