Want to keep your garden tools sorted and ready to go? This DIY tool shed on wheels takes a couple of hours to build and can be customized to suit your needs. It is intended for use in a sheltered location like a shed, workshop, covered patio, or garage.
For more DIY projects, be sure to see the Make section for creative and functional ideas.
Build a Mini Garden Tool Shed
I’ve been wanting to build this for a long time. While I’m not a neat-freak (simply because there are too few hours in a day to have that ever make my priority list), I do love the idea of everything having a place, both in the home and garden, so it’s easy to find.
Let’s start with the problem, and then I’ll show you what I did.
Yes, that’s a mess! Once I knew better days were coming, I let it go.
That item on the lower left is an old school fountain, in case you’re wondering. It’s going to be a mini water garden, eventually. But the mess is real.
Building a Tool Shed Step-by-Step
The entire project including construction and hanging the tools took approximately 4 hours.
This garden tool storage unit is suitable for an enclosed space like a shed, covered patio, workshop, or garage. It is not designed to be outdoors in the elements.
- Lumber | Fence boards and 2x4s | I’ve listed quantities below
- Scrap Lumber | To attach wheels
- Hardware | Deck screws (various sizes) to attach boards and hardware for hanging tools
- Wheels | 4 castors suitable for weight of shed
- Tools | Electric saw, cordless drill, screw driver
- Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System | To join vertical 2x4s to bottom and top frames.
- Other | Sandpaper, wood stain, food cans and binder clips for holding tools
1Plan According to Lumber Sizes
I designed this shed based on the general size I wanted it to be and the dimensions of the fence boards. This avoids wasteful cuts.
- (21) 1x6x6 fence boards (actual size is 5/8×5.5×72)
- (9) 1x6x5 fence boards (actual size 5/8×5.5×60)
- (56-feet) 2x4s for the frame (actual size 1.5×3.5), some 60-inches, some 64 3/8-inches.
Check the actual dimensions of your lumber before finalizing your plan.
For my shed, the basic size is 5-feet wide by 6-feet tall (plus wheels) and 21-inches deep.
I planned it to be (11) 1×6 fence boards wide, with small gaps between the boards.
The base and roof are (4) 1×6 fence boards deep.
TIP: If you want to paint or stain any of the boards, it’s easier to do them before assembling the shed. I didn’t do this with the plain 2x4s and wished I had.
2Make Frames for the Top and Base
I made two identical frames: one for the base of the tool shed, and one to support the top and roof boards.
I also had a problem I’ve never had before: some of the fence boards were not the same width, and I didn’t discover this until it was too late to adapt without major rework.
So, my advice is, double check the size of all your boards to be sure they are the right size or adjust your building plan accordingly. I apparently scored some shrunken and over-sized ones!
TIP: Think about where the framing screws go so they will not interfere with the fence board screws.
3Add Wheels to the Base Unit
If there is any chance you’ll want to be able to move your shed around or keep it off the ground, add wheels.
Castors are sold by the weight they can hold and some have locks. The ones with locks are way too expensive here and it’s not essential, so I went with the plain ones.
I used scrap lumber to affix the wheels to the underside of the base frame:
This DIY workbench has the same basic structure with the wheels.
The base frame forms the floor of the shed. The floor boards are added before the walls.
4Add Support Frames
In addition to the top and bottom frames, I used 2x4s vertically to support the front corners. These were attached to the top and bottom frames using a Kreg jig that creates pocket hole screw joins (very handy!).
I also added 2x4s around the middle (horizontally) on the inner sides and back. You will attach all of the vertical fence boards to them with screws.
5Attach Back, Side, and Roof Fence Boards
You can either add your roof boards first, or the side and back fence boards. Do whatever is easier. Set the frame down on the floor if it makes things easier to reach.
This next photo shows the shed with the sides and roof installed.
6Frame the Front
My long-range plan is (maybe) to add some doors to the front, to hold more tools inside them, but, for now, there’s lots of storage room and I like it open.
For now, I gave the front a finished look by adding some fence boards around the opening.
I later stained the raw 2x4s with walnut stain, and then it was time to hang the tools (fun part).
7Hang the Tools
Here’s the shed with the tools hung up.
I debated using special hangers or peg board but everything seemed so fussy and pricey so I went back to Plan A and used wood screws as hangers.
As mentioned, this shed is not intended for outdoor use. If this was going outside, I’d add battens to close the gaps between the fence boards since they will shrink over time and slope the roof.
Another bonus of having the tool shed in a protected space is the ability to hang items on the exterior. I have one very large rake on one side, and my kangaroo bags (a top favourite must-have tool) on top.
Here’s a closer look at the inside.
I used old food cans to hold small pruners and snippers:
So far it’s been great. It looks good on the covered patio, I can quickly find exactly what I need, and everything has a place so tidy up is easy.
Planning a Tool Shed and Getting Organized
- Gather all your garden tools in one place. Everything from lawn mowers to loppers.
- Determine your must-haves.
For me, I had to separate sentimental old favorites from newer, more efficient items. You just want the truly useful, functional stuff to take up prime real estate in the tool shed.
This created three piles:
- Garden tools I use all the time. Your shed is coming!
- Ugly garden tools that don’t work well. Life is too short for these!
- Old favorites that look cool but don’t work well. Hello, garden art.
Groups 2 and 3 were set aside (for future projects) and I sorted Group 1 for the shed.
It really helped to lay out all the keepers on the floor in logical groups (pruning, cutting, digging, tagging….) to get an idea of what the shed needed to accommodate.
I decided the shed would just be for hand tools, plant tags, gloves, and other small items. The lawn mowers and flower pots are kept elsewhere.
The worst is building something nice and then finding that it really isn’t functional or your stuff doesn’t fit nicely, so it really pays to plan it out ahead.
After doing the basic layout, and allowing room for future additions, I had an idea of the desired size and layout of the shed.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛