How to make a versatile caddy

DIY specialist and furniture maker Natasha Dickens from from Little Red Industries returns with a simple DIY caddy made from hardwood and sealed in Monocel Gold for long-term moisture protection.

I created this caddy to hold large dispensers of shampoo and body wash for my DIY outdoor shower. But it could also be used for cooking oils in the kitchen, sauces for the barbecue, tools in a workshop, or craft room equipment.

It’s built from hardwood, assembled with exterior screws and Bondcrete adhesive. The moisture resistance is completed by sealing it all over in Bondall’s Monocel Gold, which was designed for using on boats, so you know it will seal and protect any timber used near water. 

I designed it by constructing a box with a gap through the middle to prevent water from pooling. It’s 300mm long, xxx wide and xx deep, with a 300mm-high handle.


1800mm length of 90mm x 12mm thick hardwood

42mm x 12mm hardwood

25mm Porta dowel

Bondall BondCrete adhesive 250ml

30mm countersinking screws 

Measuring tape and pen

Handsaw with mitre box

25mm holesaw with arbor

Drill driver with bits

8g countersinking bit

Random orbital sander with 80-grit and 180-grit abrasive disc

Timber filler with spatula

Bondall Monocel Gold in Clear

Paint brush


From the 90mm-wide hardwood, I cut four pieces to 250mm long for the base and sides, and two ends to be 215mm long. From the 42mm x 12mm hardwood, I cut two 300mm lengths for the handles, and 300mm from the dowel for the rail.


On the sides pieces, I measured 40mm from the ends and 6mm up from the edge to countersink with a drill. This ensures the screws sit below the surface and the heads can be filled to minimise water pooling.


I applied glue along the edge of a base and butted it against a side piece, securing with 30mm screws, then repeating with the other base and side pieces.


On the ends, I marked 20mm from the edges and 6mm from the ends to countersink the holes. 

I applied adhesive to the side assembly, butted it against an end with the edges were flush, then secured with screws. I applied adhesive around the remaining assembly, positioned against the end and secured, then repeated for the remaining end piece. Note there’s a gap down the middle.

On the base of the 42mm handles, I measured 6mm up and 6mm in from the sides to countersink the holes.


On the top of the handle pieces, measure 21mm from the sides (to find the centre) and 20mm from the top. Centre the arbour of the holes to drill halfway through, turning to complete the hole from the other side. 

Use a 20-cent piece to mark over the corners and round them over using a random orbital sander with an 80-grit abrasive disc.


Sand inside the holes with a discarded abrasive disc, checking the rail fits firmly. Dab adhesive around the inside of the holes, push the handles onto either end and lay it flat to ensure the ends are flush, leaving for an hour while it dries.


Push the handles over the box, check they’re centred then secure with screws. Sand all over with a 180-grit abrasive disc to remove breakout from the screws, fill the holes with filler, leave to dry, then sand all over. 

Use a brush to seal under the base and leave to dry for two hours. Stand the caddy upright to apply vanish all over and leave to dry. Repeat another coat and leave to dry thoroughly.

VARNISH TIP Saturate the brush in varnish then seal with plastic wrap between coats to keep it from drying out. Always stir the varnish before using for each coat.