How to Make A Custom (& Easy) Pool Toy Storage Rack

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The best way to escape the heat of the summer is hands down, no questions, cooling down in a pool. Baking in the sunshine is no match for a nice dip in a pool to relax, enjoy the day and soak all the cares in the world away!

If you’re a pool owner, you know that a successful day of swimming and lounging in the pool inevitably calls for a whole variety of pool items – including everything from towels, to toys, to sunscreen and beyond. A full afternoon of swimming involves using one item after another. It’s a recipe for a quickly forming disorganized mess all over your deck and patio. But, have no fear! The days of jumping 10 feet off the ground after stepping on a pair of goggles are behind you.

This pool storage DIY will clear those swimming gear organization woes right up. It’s the perfect unit to help the space stay organized, blend in with the outdoors and keep your backyard oasis stylish in the process.

As the saying goes from our dear old pal Benjamin Franklin, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” He surely hit the nail on the head with that one, so we’re going to go ahead and make sure we make him proud with this pool toy storage DIY.

Could you use one of these storage racks at your poolside? Let’s get started then!

Are you looking for a ideas for pool toy storage during winter? This article may help: How to Prepare Summer Gear for Winter Storage

For this DIY you will need:

krylon maxx red spray paint diy pool toy storage rack
  • Over-sized planters (2)
  • 4-foot wooden posts (2) *preferably pressure treated
  • 60 lb bag of gravel (1)
  • Soil and plants
  • Galvanized screws (12)
  • Level
  • Screwdriver
  • 4-foot pieces of wood (3)
  • Paint
  • Hooks
  • Basket(s)
  • An extra set of hands to help!

Step #1: Paint

To start constructing this pool storage rack, begin by painting the wood the color of your choice. If you splurged and purchased all the wood pressure treated, consider skipping the paint because that wood is tough and made for the outdoors! If your wood is not pressure treated, be sure to give it nice, even coats of paint to protect it.

To achieve this particular rustic look shown here, apply thin layers of paint in one color and wait for it to dry completely. Then apply another thin coat of black (or dark) paint and wait for that to dry, too. Finally, use a sander to sand the edges and rough up the boards.

diy pool toy storage rack paint wood
diy pool toy storage rack sand wood beams


Step #2: Assemble the Base

While your paint is drying, assemble the base of the structure by taking one 4-foot wooden post and placing it in the center of the first planter. Then, pour half of the bag (30 pounds) of gravel into the bottom of the planter. Once about 30 pounds of the gravel is in the planter, push it down to further secure the post into place. That extra set of hands we mentioned earlier will be great to help with this portion of the project as it will make the process much easier; one person to hold the post, while the other person pours the gravel. Easy peasy.

Once the first base is set, place the second planter just short of four feet from the center pole of the first planter and make sure both planters are placed evenly on the ground at the same height.  Then, repeat the previous step for the second four-foot pole and planter with the remaining 30 pounds of gravel.

Note: An alternative (and permanent) option for the gravel is to use cement. Simply purchase quick-setting cement and follow the instructions on the bag to set the cement in the planter. If you choose to go with cement, make sure the posts stay level. You won’t be able to go back and fix them!

planter gravel post diy pool toy storage rack
planter post black fence diy pool toy storage rack


Step #3: Add Soil

After the gravel is in both planters, add a layer of soil atop the layer of rocks until the soil reaches the top of the planter. Although it’s rather tempting, save the planting for later once the structure is complete.

Read Also: 11 Important Things You Need for the Beach This Summer

Step #4: Add the Horizontal Beams

red wood beams diy pool storage unit

The next step is to secure the wood beams horizontally to the vertical poles. Starting at the top of the structure, screw the beams onto the poles using the galvanized screws. Screw one end in. Then use a level to make sure that the beam is straight before securing the opposite end. Each beam should have four screws with two at each end.

Repeat this entire step with the remaining two planks of wood.

diy pool toy storage rack
diy pool toy storage rack


Step #5: Plant Away!

diy pool toy storage rack planters wood beams

Once all three of the beams are secured to the unit, it’s time for planting! Picking perennials is a great choice because they will come back each year and will require little maintenance on your part.

Not a fan of flowers for this project? No problem. An alternative option is to skip the plants and instead fill the planter with another 30 pounds of gravel.

Read Also: How to Build a Sturdy DIY Planter Box

Step #6: Customize and Organize

To finish the pool toy storage unit, attach hooks at the appropriate heights for all your towel drying and toy holding needs. Think of it like an oversized, heavy duty pegboard for the poolside. You can really customize it however you like with all kinds of accessories beyond what you see here.

On the top board we attached more hooks and hung a basket for all those little pool toys and accessories. These baskets are from the dollar store – they are the perfect size and the price was right.

Do you have more toys to organize? Consider adding more hooks for baskets to customize the structure to fit your needs!

diy pool toy storage rack planters wood beams
diy pool toy storage rack planters wood beams towel hanger


This pool storage unit will keep your pool supplies organized and your towels dry–a total time saver for cleanup. Now it’s time to enjoy that pool, get out the ladder ball game and have a blast of a summer day!

Comments or questions? We would love to hear from you!

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