DIY Essential Oil Display and Storage
You know, I really have no idea how I ended up with so many essential oil containers. But one day as I dug through my cupboard trying to figure out what everything was I thought “someone should come up with a good way to store these things.” It turns out, many people have already figured that out. But sometimes it is fun to reinvent the wheel, and a surefire way to do that is to add storage.
This simple little stair step style essential oil display has a secret in back. The steps are hollow, allowing for tons of storage. It’s a pretty basic design, so if you need more or less than what I’m going to show you here the modifications will be super easy.
How to build an essential oil display with build in storage
This is a great scrap wood project, and if you don’t have scraps it won’t cost much to pick up a couple pieces. Here are the lengths you need:
A 1×4″ board will work for most of these, but you will need a few feet worth of 1×6″ for those wider sections as well. Another option would be to use plywood.
Other Materials and Tools
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stain or paint
saw (I used a table saw, but you can make this with a circular saw or a jigsaw. Whatever you have!)
Miter saw (again, you can use others, but I find this the most helpful and accurate)
tape measure (I have some serious love for this one.)
forstner bit (I’m linking the one I have, but it’s more expensive on Amazon, so get it at Lowes if you can. Spade bits also work and are significantly less expensive, but they also leave a larger hole. I’ll get to that later.)
*As always, I strongly encourage you to use all safety precautions, make sure you are familiar with your tools and plan, and basically don’t ever do something that would risk an appendage. I’m happy to provide ideas, but the responsibility is all yours when using power tools!
Step 1: Cut all of your wood pieces to length and width
This design is for a 13 1/2″ wide essential oil holder. The reason for that is simply that it fits well in my cupboard and provides more than adequate storage for the oils I have. If you want to make it longer or shorter you will need to adjust accordingly.
I don’t have any photos of the actual wood cutting. Apologies. Sometimes I get cutting and forget to grab a photo.
Step 2: Assemble the face of each level using wood glue and brad nails.
The sides will sit below the face so that the face overlaps the top layer.
The first level consists of your 3 3/4″ x 13 1/2″ pieces, with the 5 1/2″ x 3 1/4″ pieces on either side:
Be sure to glue all of your joints. The glue is doing the real heavy lifting here. The brad nails help to hold everything in place as it dries.
The 5 1/2″ x 13 1//2″ piece sits on top of the sides, and the top will be flush with the face top, like so:
Your 12 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ piece fits inside the base pieces and serves as the floor of the shelving. You can glue it in place, and then brad nail from the outside to insure a good, solid fit.
Again, be sure to glue all of your joints before nailing.
I found it helpful to use a clamp with this bottom set while driving the brad nails. You will want to set both the face and the top with nails.
Step 3: Repeat with the second and third layers
The second level will be formed the same way, with your 2 3/4″ x 13 1/2″ face plate being joined to the 3 1/2″ x 2 1/4″ side pieces. The third, topmost layer has the same size face piece, with 1 1/2″ x 2 1/4″ side pieces.
On these layers it is easiest to assemble them separately, then glue them to the first layer.
Step 4: Let the glue set, then drill the holes
I like to give the glue a night or so to dry before drilling the holes, just to make sure everything is set. Start by marking the center of piece row with a pen. Center it from side to side and front to back (should be 3/4″ from top to bottom on each row.)
Use a forstner bit to drill each hole, marking the center of each before drilling. For the Doterra oils the smaller bottles are 7/8″ in diameter, and the larger are 1 1/8″. Spade bits cost less than forstner bits, so they are a great option for this. However, forstner bits leave a less significant hole in the center of each circle. Additionally, I find that forstner bits just make a better cut. If you are using a spade bit you may want to space the holes a little more as they will not cut as smoothly as a forstner and may tear out the material.
If you are using the same dimensions as I did you will need to measure 3/16″ from the side of each previous hole to the center of each new hole. Center your bit on your mark and drill down about 3/16″.
I started out trying to mark the bit so I knew where to stop drilling, but that didn’t work, so I didn’t stress it and aimed for eyeballed consistency.
Step 5: Sand and finish as desired
After drilling all of the holes I sanded all of the sides of the oil holder smooth.
Finish your holder however you like. I used scrap mahogany flooring pieces to construct this one, so a simple oiling with some mineral oil, followed with a little beeswax was all this needed.
Be sure to get in all of those holes!
Step 6: Add essential oil containers!
This is the fun part.
And don’t forget about all of that storage. I’m not sure how many oils will fit in back there, but whatever the number is, it’s a lot.
This holder looks nice enough to sit out on display (you know, if you don’t have kids)…
…And it also fits nicely in a cupboard.
Either way, your days of fumbling through oils looking for the On Guard are over. It’s organizational bliss at it’s best.
(Psssst! Don’t forget to pin it so you can come back later!)