DIY: Building a Vegetable Bin

Written by michael straessle
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DIY: Building a Vegetable Bin
A vegetable bin will keep them fresh. (Vegetables on kitchen counter image by Olena Talberg from

Vegetable bins come in handy for busy homemakers who love to cook. When the needs are specific, the vegetable bin must be as well. Building one that fits your specific needs only makes sense. Choose the wood based upon its ability to match existing decor One of the most important features of a vegetable bin, though, is venting. The vents in a vegetable bin allow air to flow through the vegetables keeping moisture down and keeping the vegetables fresh.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • 2 boards, 1 inch by 12 inches by 41 inches
  • Framing square
  • Wood glue
  • 4-penny nails
  • Wood glue
  • 6 boards, 1 inch by 12 inches by 13 1/2 inches
  • 4-penny finish nails
  • Damp cloth
  • 2 boards, 1 inch by 4 inches by 13 1/2 inches
  • 1 piece of plywood, 1/4 inch by 15 inches by 37 1/2 inches
  • 2-penny box nails
  • Variable speed drill
  • 3/4-inch drill bit
  • Jigsaw
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • 3 pieces wire screen, 8 inches by 10 inches
  • Staple gun with 5/16-inch staples
  • Hinges
  • Door latches
  • Knobs

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  1. 1

    Place the 41-inch boards on a worktable. Make marks at 3 1/2, 4 1/4, 15 3/4, 16 1/2, 28 and 28 3/4 inches. Draw lines across the width of the pieces indicating the shelf placement of the shelves.

  2. 2

    Apply glue to the 12-inch edges of three of the 1-by-12-by-13½ pieces. Secure them between the lines on the 41-inch pieces with finish nails. Clean up the excess glue immediately with a damp cloth.

  3. 3

    Run a bead of glue on three edges of one of the 1-by-4-by-13½ boards. Insert the board under the bottom shelf and between the sides of the vegetable bin. Secure it to the bottom shelf and sides with finish nails. Clean up excess glue.

  4. 4

    Turn the unit over. Apply glue to the three edges of the remaining 1-by-4-by-13½ board. Secure it between the ends and the bottom of the top shelf with finish nails. Clean up the excess glue. This is the back of the vegetable bin.

  5. 5

    Run a bead of glue on the exposed edges of the back of the vegetable bin. Place the plywood on the bin. Align it with the bottom of the bottom shelf and the sides of the bin. Hammer it with box nails. Turn the bin over and clean up the glue.

  6. 6

    Put the remaining 1-by-12-by-13½ board on the worktable. Make marks 2 inches from all four sides of the pieces. Connect the marks to create a rectangle. Drill a 3/4-inch-hole in one corner of the drawing on each piece. Cut out the rectangle with a jigsaw. Sand the edges.

  7. 7

    Cover the open areas with the screening. Staple the screen around the edges of each board. Install the hinges, door catches and knobs according to the manufacturer's instructions. Secure the doors to the vegetable bin.

Tips and warnings

  • Use pegboard on the back of the vegetable bin instead of plywood for more ventilation.
  • Set all the nail heads with a nail set and fill the holes with wood putty.
  • Do not leave power tools unattended if children are around.
  • Do not apply a finish to the vegetable bin without proper ventilation.

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