Create this rusty tool work station to store your tools!

Cultivator wheel and funnel to hold twine / Need tools indoors? Here's how to create a funky rusty tool work station to store tools, office supplies, and more, using crates and rusty junk!

Create this rusty tool work station to store your tools!

On my previous post about the crazy little (big?) old gate coffee coaters, someone made a comment that stuck with me.

She mentioned the fact that she lived in a condo, and didn’t have a place to work with tools nor building and such.

It didn’t even DAWN on me until now that not everyone is blessed with an ‘overstuffed single car garage – workshop’.

So today, I  created a rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and paint brushes for indoors!

Who else collects rusty tools, but has yet to figure out an actual use for such a collection?

So, here’s how I went about creating an indoor tool station.

start with a rusty tool collection / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net

How to create a tool station indoors
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1. I think of what you need, then collect a theme of sorts.

Need – to hang up paint brushes or tools inside my home.

Theme – gather up a bunch of rusty tools / crates / and bonus if they can hang or store something!

Lumping them all together in a pile, I started to dry fit ideas on the floor, much like one big puzzle, to get an idea of where I wanted to go or what they could do.

Ladder hammer holder, and saw magnetic boards / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net

.2. Position and hang the main pieces.

Main – Cupboard / ladder, crate shelving.

Starting with your main pieces is much like a sofa in a living room. It’s a starting off point.

THIS old cupboard became the first crucial piece.

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3. Fit in smaller pieces in one at a time so they become productive and make sense.

All the rest of the smaller pieces were hung one at a time, as if putting together a jig saw keeping in mind enough space and what function they’d be doing.

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I did a beach entry HERE

An old sign and crate entry HERE

A quilted Canadian map workstation HERE

This CRATE ENTRY setup inspired my REAL ENTRY setup, just by playing like this.

Ladder hammer holder, and saw magnetic boards / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net

The finished tour


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If you focus on each piece, they all provide a function for being there. Cool rusty junk tools and being productive for tool storage is key!

Old saw magnetic boards / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Saw magnetic note holders
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I’m always writing measurement notes when I work or managing receipts for new purchases. 

Since magnets love saws, these wall hung saws are prefect for organizing notes!

I am SO doing this in the workshop!

And now you have a GOOD reason to pick up rusty saws.

Clamp bookeend organizers / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Clamps to hold stuff upright
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Do you collect metal clamps? You may after you see this idea!

Like a bookends, clamps can hold stuff upright and intact.

For stencilling, I like to use these small square scrap boards for the paint offloading, and prefer them within easy grasp. Holding them together with the clamps worked great!

Clamp bookeend organizers and gear pencil holder / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Wood planks are great for hanging from
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One thing I have lots of is free reclaimed wood. So by simply adding a spacer behind them, they can become an instant hanging station using S hooks. Or attach direct to wall to add hooks.

Planks add extra stability that hold more weight than a simple hook will allow.


Oil can recipet holder / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Oil can note collector
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When I visited my brother’s office, I noticed he had a spike attached to a plank of wood to hold receipts. An oil can has the ability to do the same thing!

Simply clean up the oil can, then use it for any floating receipt or note.

Hammer on a ladder organizer / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net

twine and clamp organizer on a ladder / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Ladder tool organizer
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Ladders is something I collect anyway. So it was time to dream up new ways to make it work.

Hanging tools from a ladder indeed works!

Ladders take up little space, and offer loads of vertical tool storing benefits.

Even a little clamp attached to a ladder can offer more options, such as storing twine. Fun, right?!

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Other cool ladder uses:

Check out this LADDER SHELF HERE… it’s pretty cool too!

Ladder kitchen storage HERE

vintage black metal lunchkit paint brush storage container / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Lunchbox or toolbox paint brush storage

 

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Here’s a great idea if you wish to group together a given theme of something.

Open up an old vintage lunch kit or toolbox, and load both sides with whatever you desire. I’ve used mine for paintbrushes, but this is a great storage solution for any kind of tool that fits as well.

A bonus is, you can even close the box to cart it around!

mason jars and screws in a crate shelf / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Layering crates with drawers as shelves
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Whenever I’m in need of a shelf, my first go-to is generally an old crate. It’s already pre-built, and it already looks rustically cool!

To maximize even more shelf space, insert drawers or smaller crates inside the larger crate. The more shelves you can create, the more storage you gain.

Tip: The more narrow the shelf is, the easier a single item is to grab.

Here I used a berry picking crate and a sewing machine drawer to store a cordless drill, tape measure, stapler, and jars filled with screws. All so easy to access!

oil funnel string dispenser and rusty gear pencil holder / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Rusty junk office storage ideas
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My beloved cultivator wheel is storing loose twine. It’s great for computer wires too!

Stacked gears can store pencils and pens.

And a rusty old oil funnel teamed up with a stand of sorts becomes a pretty productive string dispenser!

Ha! Why go to a stationery store for plastic accessories when you can create this out of cool, authentic finds?

hammer ladder storage and saw magnetic boards / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Create this rusty tool work station to store your tools and you too can have a fun and functional indoor tool station for easy access!

Or use it for office supplies. How about art supplies? Sewing storage? Anything is game.

And tomorrow I can repurpose these same things into something else if desired.

Isn’t repurposing the coolest thing ever?!

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Did you get any cool ideas with this setup? What would you use this set-up to store?

If you’d like to see any other specific setups, lemme know! 

Other cool ways to store tools:

Build this paint cart from a cupboard

Make this enhanced pallet into a tool shelf

Take a tour of my repurposed workshop with tool storage ideas!

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Categories: All Cool Projects, DIY, Junk Drawer, Organizing
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  1. Donna, Fabulous ideas. Pinning for sure. I really love the clamps as bookends! I should play around with my junk and rusty tools more often. I have plenty, but I would have never thought about using them like this. I made a junk sign that I really adore. Of course it’s made with the smaller tools. Play time, Thanks!

  2. Donna, you show genius in simplicity. Not only are your rusty tool ideas practical, they become artistic and sculptural. Resplendent!

  3. That string in the funnel is officially one of the cutest things I have ever seen and the magnets on the saw just gave me the greatest idea for the lunch room in my husbands shop!! And my old black lunch box is going to be on my cupboard with wooden spoons and my cloth napkins soon!

  4. Love it all, Donna! Especially the saws…I have several antique family saws that I did not know what to do with. Thank you! Love the look and ideas of this whole station!

  5. I love your posts, as they are super friendly, and I feel like I am sitting around with an old friend, who makes me chuckle.
    Reason I am writing besides your cuteness, is that today I was wondering how to get rust out of the inside of my Mackenzie Childs teapot? So you want rust, and I need a rust remover. I tried soaking it in coca cola, didn’t do the job…I tried baking soda scrub, and that didn’t work…do you have any clue if it is ok to drink hot water from it anyway? It is only where the joint meets the spout on the inside…any help would be amazing since the pot is my favorite, and I can’t afford to replace it! lol

  6. Love your junky workstation. All the pieces are so rusty and functional! I just might have to steal your lunchbox idea as I have one of those hanging around in my pile o’ stuff! So much inspiration, once again 🙂

  7. What creativity and never-ending “vision” you have, Donna! You give the expression “thinking outside of the box” a whole new meaning! These are all very clever ideas that certainly don’t require a workshop area. I don’t think the average person sees things like you do, though … you do the work (the thinking/visualizing part) for us with your imagination so on behalf of all us readers, thank you for your terrific ideas; you make us all look good. I’m not sure which is my favorite … probably the funnel/string idea but I would never have thought of the vise as a bookend and utilizing a saw as a magnetic memo board …. all I can say is “wow”!

  8. Such fun, clever ideas! You have a great creative eye. Thanks for helping us tap into new ways of looking at old things!!

  9. PS: sorry …. I forgot to add that I love the gear/pencil holder too!! Very clever! It reminds me of my glass insulators because besides holding candles or tiny bouquets, I use one to hold a few pencils by the phone. (I also like them “as is” enjoying the pretty colors.) If you have any unique ideas for insulators, Donna, would you please share with your readers!

  10. Donna, This is now my favorite post of yours! I have the pieces parts for sure. I was immediately drawn by the magnetics on the saw for notes. While I would not skewer my receipts on my Grandpa’s oil can, I would wired a clip to it to hold them. I also have a couple of my Grandpa’s “hand made out of scrap” cabinets from the Depression era, I even have one of his spools of string 🙂 This would also be a memory tribute to him 🙂 Thank you. You made my evening on this 🙂

  11. funnel string dispenser
    The part you don’t know what it is could be be part of a flower vase. If you turn it upside down it fits a glass, funnel shaped, vase. I have one somewhere. Love your ideas!

    • Hi Linda! I just have an online stencil store and posts that showcase how I use them. That is the only thing I sell.

      My catalogue is my blog… but you have given me an idea of a look book… I will consider this!

  12. I like having permission to pick up rusty saws! Thank you for granting it 🙂 Your setup looks like such a fun place to get creative. And I agree, a bit of natural light will do wonders for what seems possible in your space.