Reader Chris Bright had too many remotes from various A/V gadgets and no good place to store them. That lasted until he fashioned a picture frame and fabric into a DIY remote caddy.
A few years ago, I upgraded my entertainment system and it was great. I was happy with the results, but I wasn't thrilled with the five remotes that were the by-product. They ended up in different places and they cluttered up my living room. Programming a universal remote was a pain, plus I didn't want to spend any more money. I noticed that most remotes are less than 8 inches long, so I had the idea of using a picture frame as a holder.
His frustration is certainly well founded and likely shared by other readers—in my very modest media room I currently have no less than five remotes. His solution is extremely economical, many of you will likely have all the materials or suitable substitutions on hand. For the project you will need:
- 8x10 Picture Frame - Go to any store and get one for $10-12 that will look nice in your decor. I chose one with a deeper frame since it "contained" the remotes a little better. If you have an extra frame lying around, go for it!
- Decorative Cloth - Find a piece of cloth that is slightly larger than 8x10. I went to a nearby quilt store and got a square for a buck. Anything will do, even an old t-shirt from your favourite sports team!
- Padding - This can be a piece of quilt batting or scrap cloth that will serve as a nice pillow for your remotes. Ask anyone you know who sews for a piece of batting and you'll be set.
- Plastic Bumpers (4) - Although optional, plastic bumpers will ensure that the caddy sits level, does not slide and won't mar the surface of your furniture. These can be found in most grocery stores in the hardware section. They are pieces of plastic with adhesive backs that go on the inside of kitchen cabinets and drawers. A pack costs about $2.
The assembly instructions are just as simple as the parts list, requiring no more than a flat-head screw driver and some tape or glue:
Step 1: Disassemble the picture frame by removing the glass and backing.
Step 2: Use a flat-head screwdriver to pry the stand from the backing piece. Try to be neat, but this will be the bottom of the caddy so it will not be visible.
Step 3: Place the padding on the glass and then wrap the piece of cloth over the backing. Glue or tape the corners to make it a little easier.
Step 4: Reassemble the frame by inserting the glass wrapped in cloth. Be sure to stretch the cloth before putting on the backing.
Step 5: Adhere the plastic bumpers in the corners on the back of the frame.
The end result is a polished looking caddy customised with your choice of fabric that cost anywhere from nothing to twenty bucks if you had to go by everything on the supply list brand new. The only modification we can suggest is to replace the glass sheet with thick cardboard to reduce the risk of broken glass, especially if you have young kids romping about.
Thanks for the detailed instructions and photos Chris!