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$5 Built-In Magazine Rack

 I have another bathroom “mini project” for you today. This on is easy, cheap, and useful… the trifecta of DIY goodness. It may actually cross over to superfecta status, which also includes being attractive. This isn’t the most beautiful thing I’ve made, but it at least qualifies as non-ugly. That’s a win in my book.

give you magazines a home for $5 or less

The only supplies you will need is a 1×2 (which is a dollar for raw and about $3.50 for pre-primed) and a yardstick (which is like 64 cents at Home Depot). So pretty much no matter how you go about this, your cost will be less than $5. Although I also used a few screws, wood glue, paint, caulk, and tape…I’m assuming most people have those things on hand though. Oh, and a saw and a sander. This is sounding more complicated by the second, isn’t it? I swear it isn’t.

The first step is to cut and attach the 1×2, like so, with a few screws going into studs. The bottom piece is 16 inches, and the sides are 11 1/2.

making a magazine rack from 1X2's

Then tape and caulk the edges…


Next paint everything, including the yardsticks. I sanded these down to get rid of all the measurements.

sanded yardsticks

Then attach the yardsticks using either brad nails or wood glue, do some touch-up painting, and voila…you have yourself a built-in magazine rack.

DIY bathroom magazine rack

$5 built-in magazine rack

Here it is, stuffed full of magazines about motorcycles and guns. It holds about ten magazines, but not my husbands’ current war novel that still sits on the half wall. He’s such a boy. Also notice that there are no girly decor magazines in this rack…that’s because reading on the toilet is a mans luxury. Do you know what happens when I try to sneak away for a few seconds just to pee? I get hunted down by little boys asking if they can sit in my lap. No, you may not sit in my lap…stop being weird.

DIY magazine rack

See that little head in the above photo? He’s checking to see what I’m up to and wondering if it would be a good time to ask for snuggles. So sweet…so awkward.

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    1. I hate it too…it’s not a vacation, hurry up already! Those magazines are going to end up in there no matter what though, so I might as well get them off the counter. I’m such an enabler.

    1. That would be good information to include in a tutorial, wouldn’t it? The bottom piece is 16 inches and the sides are 11.5.

    1. The bottom piece is 16 inches and the sides are 11.5. Make sure the sides are on the side of the bottom piece, not sitting on top. If you do it the other way you won’t be able to put two magazines side by side.

      I’ll go back and add that info to the post, I should have included it in the first place!

  1. OH MY GOSH.

    Can I just say, first, that I am feeling such a rush of happy feelings and camaraderie with you? I’m smack dab in the middle of doing a >$50 bathroom remodel in a house my boyfriend and I rent. The house was built in the 80s, for handicapped folks, and thus I have a bathroom with glossy wood trim, pink tile and A 30-YEAR-OLD BLUE CARPET.

    Phew. Anyway. I was hunting for a super affordable but cute magazine holder, and viola! Here it is! What compelled me to comment though is the fact that THOSE EXACT SAME MAGAZINES are currently in a sloppy pile on the back of my toilet. Motorcycles and guns. And 30-year-old carpet.

    Wish me luck!

  2. This would be a good idea if it’s installed much higher…. the amount of pee on the magazines would just make me sick. We know it “flies” quite a few feet away, so why to mount it to a spot where it will be easily contaminated….

  3. I like the idea of the shelf if it was on another part of the wall. I don’t see why people would install a shelf
    the same height as the toilet…..do they ever think about when men us the bathroom and the splatter that gets on the wall especially in the magazine ?

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