Laundry Room {shelf behind washer and dryer}

Remember this mess?

This has driven me nuts since we moved in and I discovered that all the “necessaries” behind the washer and dryer were not covered up by the washer and dryer.  And it looks gross–I don’t know what sprayed in that box back there, but that is NOT water.  And I refuse to clean that.  I don’t like cleaning my kitchen sink, much less climbing back there and cleaning that out.  Nope.  Not doing it.  Now I don’t have to!

Here’s some pictures of the build.

I attached a cleat in the recess under the cabinet with pocket holes using my Kreg Jig (more info on what that is here).

Then I made an L shaped shelf out of 3/4″ plywood.  It is HEAVY.  I used 3/4″ ply rather than 1/2″ (which would have been ideal) because I was already buying 3/4″ ply for the bookcases in my daughter’s room. Rather than buy additional sheet goods, I used the scrap from the bookcases.

Attached the shelf with the Kreg Jig’s pocket holes.

I glued and nailed a 1×2 on the face of the shelf.

Attached a piece of wood to each side so that the front edge is even with the cleat you attached to the bottom of the cabinet.  The shelf rests against this so you want it straight and even.

Ignore the vertical pocket holes. Can't recall why those are there and they weren't used.

What it looks like from the outside.

Primed, painted, and attached boards to mimic the board and batten in the rest of the room.  I used a piano hinge (also called a continuous hinge) to allow us to still access the power and valves behind there without moving the washer and dryer.

Finally, we attached the shelf to the front edge of the cleat under the cabinet.  I needed help for this part!  You can see the hinge in the next picture.  If you are short (like me), you might see the hinge when you look at this in the actual room, which might annoy you just a teeny bit, but maybe that’s just me :)  I won’t even notice it after awhile, but I am discovering I am a bit of a perfectionist in all this building stuff.

I need to remember my new motto:  Perfect is the enemy of done.

Now, we should have notched out a little bit of the shelf at the top in the very right and left corners so that it can swing fully open without hitting.  Right now we can only open it enough to awkwardly get under there and turn off the water when we leave for a few days (averts disaster I’m told) because it hits the cabinet above it.  But we don’t get in there all that often, so we don’t mind this problem.

Now I need to figure out how to level that back left corner of the dryer…
So much better than before!
Thanks for all the suggestions in the comments section of one of my laundry room posts to solve this problem!  Especially to Julie at Follow Your Heart Woodworking whose idea was the one I made work in my space :)
Linking this to:
Build{Hers} Club at Sawdust and Paperscraps
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style


The DIY Show Off

Somewhat Simple

Transformation Thursday

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

The Shabby Nest

The Lettered Cottage

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About Pink Toes and Power Tools

I'm a DIY girl with a blog. Trying to complete one project before I jump into the next one!

15 responses to “Laundry Room {shelf behind washer and dryer}”

  1. tellerallaboutit says :

    What a great idea! I have the same problem! Nice build!


  2. Pink Toes and Power Tools says :

    Thank you! I’m loving the new look in there :)


  3. Gathered In The Kitchen says :

    WOW!!! That looks amazing! What an awesome idea! I too have the same problem!


  4. shabbylisaw says :

    What a great idea! It looks awesome and is such a pretty back drop for your canning jars.


  5. Brigitte says :

    This is a great idea! I have a similar issue, but it’s on the side of the dryer. As soon as you walk into my laundry room, you see the metal hose, plugs, etc. You can either look at that ugly stuff and have the washer and dryer spaced normally or you can spread them out so much that it looks ridiculous but hide that stuff. I think I’m going to try to make some sort of shelf there or something. The entrance is awkward so there isn’t a ton of space.


    • Pink Toes and Power Tools says :

      Not sure if this would work with your space, but what I picture from your description is a tall, narrow shelf to the side of the dryer. You could make it stationary at the bottom with a hinge for the top part (like two sitting on top of each other)–but make sure you can actually swing it out. Or you could just have the shelf in there without the hinge, and be able to just remove the part with hook ups behind it to turn them on and off. I think I would go for that–be able to just slide out the shelves hiding the hook ups. I think homes with neat little nooks like that are just more interesting and you’d have a great spot for display!

      Please send me a picture or a link to your final creation!! I’d love to see what you end up doing :)


  6. Sarah @ hallway happenings says :

    Love the shelf idea, no wait, I love the whole laundry (yes, I had a little spy around). Did you do a woodworking course?


    • Pink Toes and Power Tools says :

      Hi Sarah–thanks! I didn’t take a woodworking course before jumping in. I spent a lot of time on Ana White’s forums, asking questions, and reading the answers to questions that others asked. That site was REALLY full of helpful people with the knowledge I didn’t have. I tend to over-research, so I got books out of the library and read a lot of online articles (especially from Family Handyman).

      Thanks for stopping by! Loved your desk on Build{Hers} club too :)


  7. Joanne says :

    it’s a brilliant idea! I am gonna try to do the same! Thanks for sharing!


  8. Anonymous says :

    Such a great idea! But what if you have to shut it off in an emergency? Or clean the lint trap?


    • Pink Toes and Power Tools says :

      You can still get back there if you need to shut things off. We shut off the water every time we leave for vacation. It really needs to have a corner cut out on the shelf part to make it easier to lift the shelf up, but I can get my small arms in just enough to turn off the water as it is. Our dryer hookups are behind the actual dryer so we slide that out when we have issues with the dryer hoses. Hope that helps! If I were to do it over, I would cut out the corners of the shelf so that it swings up better though.


  9. Joe says :

    This is exactly what I was looking for to resolve the same issue. My wife has asked for some way to hide the ugly washer and dryer connections for some time now. We presently do not have cabinets over the washer and dryer, so I think I will combine your design to work with an additional shelf. That’s the fun with looking at what someone else has done and modifying it to work for you.
    I came across your website by accident and I’m glad I did. Women take a different approach to projects like this then men. Men sometimes make the project too technical which for me takes the fun out of woodworking. I like the process of here’s the problem and this is what I did.
    Keep up the good work.


  10. Marilyn says :

    I love your laundry shelf. Is the cleat just a board nailed to the cabinet or is it a particular type of hardware. Could you attach a cleat to a ceiling instead? Thanks!


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