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Custom Over the Toilet Storage Solutions with Pine Crates

Over the Toilet Storage

It seems like our bathroom never has a place for extra towels or toilet paper. And this is super frustrating when we have house guests.

One spot that I never thought of using for storage was the space over the toilet.

After researching around I’ve been reluctant to buy something for over the toilet because of two things: functionality and style.

Racks or shelves are always too close to the toilet tank (which makes for awkward situations when the float or flapper need to be adjusted).

And store-bought items just don’t fit our bathroom’s decor.

Which brings me to today’s episode …

I’m pretty excited to share some ideas with you and think you’ll like the possibilities for your own bathroom.

Pine crates, stain, shelving brackets, and a little sweat equity will give you a stylish storage transformation.

So if you’d like to create your own cool solution to the age-old dilemma that is limited bathroom storage then watch my video for a modernized solution. There’s only one problem: your friends and family will ask you to make them one – LOL.


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There are so many great ideas on how to maximize bathroom space. So I’d love to hear about the one you’ve used.

Storage is one thing but bathrooms are an animal in and of themselves. Is there something other than storage that you’d like to change when it comes to your bio-break getaway?

Let me know in the comments because who knows, maybe we can work together to find an answer to your problem.

Many thanks to Lowe’s for their continued support and making me a Lowe’s Creative Ideas blogger.

Fall Badge 392x240

They provided some clams for this project but all the adverbs and adjectives came from me — and no, Ty the cat from the end of the video didn’t sign on to be in a Lowe’s commercial. Sure he’s cute and could totally be a model but there’s no way he can handle a drill (he lost his thumbs in a terrible catnip accident).

You can get more inspirational home improvement ideas by clicking over to the Creative Ideas website. Here’s the link If you’re a Pinterest fan, Lowe’s also has a ton of pins for home projects (3,545,565 people like their boards and I’m guessing you might too).

Thanks, as always, for reading, watching, and being flat-out awesome.


Jeff Patterson





P.S. If you’d like a printable list of supplies and instructions click on the link below for the PDF. Take it to the store with you so you don’t forget anything – like I did!!

Custom Over the Toilet Storage with Pine Crates


19 comments… add one

  • Evelyn Kelly November 8, 2013, 4:19 AM

    The same problem in my bathroom. I have no storage for the things I use in my bathroom. Your tips will really be a great help for me. Thanks for solving my problem.

    • Jeff Patterson November 8, 2013, 1:14 PM

      Hi Evelyn, it’s crazy how we all have the same problems when it comes to bathrooms. Every little tip helps, especially when it comes to storage. Keep me posted on the solutions you come up with :)

  • Rita@thissortaoldlife November 8, 2013, 11:35 AM

    Hi Jeff–
    This is a great solution to over-the-toilet storage. Thought you might like to see what we came up with for ours:

    Our challenge was that we needed something with more depth. We met it by using drawers. The solution we designed was more technically tricky than yours, but it gave us the kind of storage we wanted for towels and such.

    • Jeff Patterson November 8, 2013, 1:12 PM

      Hey Rita, I love you idea of using drawers.

      I chuckled when I saw you husband sitting on the john and measuring the height. I did the same thing, don’t want to knock your head while getting up – LOL.

      Thanks for adding the link to your post. Hope you’re having a great day!

  • Cia November 8, 2013, 12:10 PM


  • Paula November 8, 2013, 2:11 PM

    Once again nicely done! I don’t really need storage but just watched because you are an energy giver to listen to Jeff!! Some people suck energy from and others give lol!
    I do have one home issues that nobody has been able to figure out though. We have a finished basement in our 8 year old home. In the ceiling, not near a smoke detector or anything else, the is a beeping sound that goes off every 15-20 minutes plus it will say LOW BATTERY every hour! Our smoke detectors are hard wired, BUT do not have battery backups (not sure why btw??) Even when our house lost electricity IT DID IT!!! Any thoughts?

    • Jeff Patterson November 8, 2013, 2:28 PM

      You’re the best Paula, thanks so much!!! I’m stoked to add energy to your day, and I totally know what you’re talking about when it comes to others not being exactly chipper.

      I’m wondering if your chirping is from an old smoke detector that someone mounted on the joist. Did someone own the house before you? If so, I’d bet that they had a smoke detector up in the ceiling at one time.

      Is you ceiling drywalled or dropped tiles? I’m hoping tiles so that you don’t have to cut a hole in the drywall, but even then it’s not a huge hole – like 8 x 8 inches at most to remove the old alarm. And I’d wait for it to beep so that you could locate it’s position the best you could.

      Another thought is that it might be an old motion sensor from an alarm system!! But I’d put money on the old smoke detector.

      • Paula November 8, 2013, 3:35 PM

        Nope! We built the house and our contractor has NO CLUE! Drywalled ceiling if course! Can’t be simple lol. My daughter’s bedroom is downstairs and it would keep me awake if it were mine. Our electrician can’t figure it out either!

        • Jeff Patterson November 10, 2013, 10:36 AM

          This is so odd Paula, I wish I could help!!!

          I have to think it’s something stuck in the wall or ceiling. Do you have any practical jokesters in the family? LOL.

      • John @ AZ DIY Guy November 10, 2013, 8:31 AM

        Paula – I think Jeff’s right on this one, but I had another couple thoughts to check out, just before you cut the hole.

        It’s probable your hard wired detectors may still have an internal, backup battery so they’ll work when the power goes out. Maybe your recent outage used up their last trickle of juice. You may need to swap the whole head out if the battery isn’t user replaceable, but sometimes it’s just a common 9 volt.

        Here’s another crazy, but remote possibility. Some commercial lighting fixtures have an emergency back-up ballast, in addition to the normal ballast (s). It wouldn’t normally be found in a home, but a former owner may have been a dumpster diver (like myself) an brought something home from the job-site to hook up in the basement. They’re supposed to recharge from normal power, but it could have gone bad or simply be wired wrong. If this is the case, the emergency ballast can be bypassed removed – probably best done by an electrician, to be safe, but it’s a minor operation.

        PS – if you do cut the hole, check out Jeff’s drywall repair post :)

        – John

        • Jeff Patterson November 10, 2013, 10:38 AM

          Thanks so much John for your insight.

          This is one of those crazy home stories that we should all pay attention to. It would drive me nuts!!!!

          Paula, when you find the answer to this problem please circle back and let us know what you discover.

          Your daughter must be a heavy sleeper :)

          • Paula November 10, 2013, 8:47 PM

            Hey there! Not sure if my last email came through. We are the original home owners! Built it 8 years ago. The thing that drives us crazy is has been almost a full year since it’s been going on!! The sound is strongest near the ceiling by extra downstairs bedroom, bathroom, under stairs doors. All three are within 5 feet of each other. There is NOTHING on the ceiling there no lights or detectors. Think you all should visit Indiana lol

          • Jeff Patterson November 10, 2013, 9:59 PM

            Sounds like John and I need to visit, good excuse for a road trip!!

            You’re patient Paula. I’d be ripping ceilings and walls down. Of course my wife would kill me though. But worth the risk to find the crazy alarm guy 😉

          • John @ Az DIY Guy November 10, 2013, 10:49 PM

            This one has me stumped, but facinated. If we’re going to stop by Jeff, your going to give me a big head start; I have half a continent to cross. You’re a little closer. :)

            I wonder could a subcontractor from the original build left some sort of tool in the ceiling? In the ductwork? A lost toy perhaps? (Like one of those annoying mechanical gerbil things?)

            Paula- I think I’d take this as a heaven sent message that you should invest in a new toy. The Dewalt DCT418S1 12-Volt Li-Ion Hand Held Radar Scanner Kit looks like it could do the trick searching through the ceilings, if you can drop a bunch of cash on it.

          • Paula November 14, 2013, 8:27 PM

            We just can’t imagine what in the world would have power after this long even with out power!! I’ll be honest, I just try to ignore it lol. I probably should try to do something as my Brother and sister in law are coming December 19th for Christmas and the annoying beep is right outside if the extra bedroom’s door lol! How much is this fancy tool??

          • John @ AZ DIY Guy November 15, 2013, 8:31 AM

            It seems to run about $300 or so. Amazon carries it. That’s a lot of money for no guarantee of results, but it would be a fun tool! Maybe you could rent one though.

  • John @ AZ DIY Guy November 10, 2013, 8:45 AM

    What a cool project! It really adds warmth to the room. In the the tight (country style?) decor, I can imagine expanding this idea to a stacked or horizontal multi-crate shelving unit, not only in a bathroom, but perhaps a home office or something like that. Nice work!

    PS – I also thought “head bash!” when I saw the pic. Glad you performed the testing :)

    • Jeff Patterson November 10, 2013, 10:39 AM

      Haha, yep – gotta make sure the head is okay when you get off the toilet. That would be one surprise my wife wouldn’t like. Thanks John.

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