Revamped just in time for Christmas, if you know someone with an abundance of TV remotes, this remote control caddy should be on your gift giving list! It has been totally re-written with better step-by-steps, a supply list, new pictures and variations on the original project.
Hubs spent all his spare time over the span of almost two years building a craft studio for me and a mancave for him in our basement. When he was nearing completion of this challenging project, I knew it meant he would be spending many a lazy weekend doing nothing but watching TV in his mancave. And why not? A little R&R is so well deserved after all his hard work!
But with a new TV, soundbar and blue-ray player, he suddenly had a ton of remotes that kept getting lost. There’s nothing worse than trying to have a lazy day only to be sidelined by spending time looking for remotes! I couldn’t wait to step in to help solve his problem (after all, I had no excuse not to with a brand new craft studio waiting to see some action)!
I gathered up some pipe fittings – some pulled apart from another project I wasn’t happy with. I also scrounged up some scraps of horsehair braid used 25 years earlier to make my sister’s wedding veil. Lastly, I reused magnetic hooks from our old fridge (before we replaced our appliances). In a variation of this project, you’ll see I also upcycled spare string light clips.
All it took to complete was three hand tools: a pair of scissors, a stapler and some straight pins. It’s not only easy to do, but all done without any fancy equipment! If you have a sewing machine, you can even make the updated version of this project shown near the end!
You Will Need…
My particular caddy was made to hold four remotes. I used 1/8″ black pipe with the following fittings:
- 2 – 2”
- 5 – 3”
- 2 – 4”
- 2 – Closes
- 3 – Couplings
- 4 – 90 Elbows
- 2 – Pipe Caps
- 2 – Tees
- 4 Magnetic Hooks
- Horsehair braid:
- Narrow – 2 ft
- Wide – 1 ft
- Straight pins
- Epoxy glue (optional)
- Self stick foam (optional)*
Horsehair braid is a type of tubular crinoline netting that is used to provide structure and give body to hems, hats and sleeves. For this project, it provides just enough flexibility to withstand the constant motion of placing and removing the remotes.
The schematic above will help you identify the pieces when assembling.
* Note: As an option, you can add self stick foam onto the front and back of the magnet hooks to give the remotes something soft to rest on. Just peel the backing, stick it on and cut around the edges (and the magnet to expose it) with an X-acto knife. If you look closely at the opening picture, you’ll see I covered the magnet hooks with black foam in this way.
Determine the Configuration
The size of the caddy will based on the number of remotes you have and how long they are, so it may take a little trial and error to determine the best configuration, size and scale for your own caddy. For instance, if your remotes are shorter than ours, you may not need 4″ pipe on the sides; maybe you could get away with using 3″ pipe instead.
In a nutshell, there are 3 main steps to putting this together: the pipe, the sling (made of the horsehair braid) and the magnets. I did a trial run first by putting everything together to make sure our particular remotes would fit. When twisting the pieces together for the trial, don’t over-tighten or they may be difficult to get apart again.
There are two tests of a good design: does the sling work and is the back of the remotes supported by the pipe? I tested both by putting the remotes into the loops of the sling and removing them again to make sure the fit was snug enough to hold them but loose enough to pull out when they’re in use. If the back of each of the various remotes makes contact with the pipe, you’re good to go. Once I was happy with the design, I took the top part off so I could slide the sling off.
To Start (refer to schematic in Picture 1)
To put the pipe together, start at the bottom by making two legs out of 4″ pipe with caps on the ends. Twist these pieces onto the two tees. Join them together in the middle with a 3″ piece, and add 2″ pieces on the outside followed by the elbows. At the top of the elbow, twist on 4″ pieces for the vertical sides.
To make the sling, I used two different widths of horsehair braid. I applied the narrow braid on top of the wider one, which acted as a backing. I secured them both to one side of the pipe using a straight pin to hold it in place. Then I measured Hubs’ remotes to determine how big the opening needed to be for each one. I left slack in the top piece to accommodate each remote and fastened it to the backing it with a pin so I ended up with ‘loops’. I fastened both pieces of braid to the other side of the pipe, again using a pin.
Attach Horsehair Braid
Once I was happy with the fit, I slid the braid off of the pipes, then I used a very specialized piece of equipment to permanently secure the loops in the braid where I placed my pins – a stapler! Using a stapler is the quick and lazy way to put together the sling that holds the remotes. It not only does the trick, but it works well with the industrial look I was going for.
Slide the braid back onto the frame.
Trim away any extra braid from the sides.
Continue building the top piece until it’s fully enclosed: start by adding elbows to both sides.
Then assemble the upper horizontal support separately starting with a coupling in the middle.
On either side, twist on 3″ pieces of pipe, another coupling and then a close.
To get the horizontal support in place, insert it into the elbow and twist into place. Pull the sides of the frame apart and ease the pipe into the elbow fitting on the other side.
Snug it in until it nestles into place; it will hold together with gravity. Make sure everything is fitting tightly. Twist pieces as necessary to adjust the fit.
Ensure Frame Is Angled
Here’s how the frame should look when assembled before the magnets are added. Notice in the second picture that the frame is angled back – not straight up and down – to support the remotes.
If yours isn’t angled, you can easily press down on the legs and tilt back to adjust it. Once you have it the way you want it, make sure all the pipes are tightened.
The tricky part of this project is getting the remotes to rest properly on the bottom of the pipe since it is curved. Magnetic hooks solve that dilemma since they stick to iron and can be positioned to hold the remotes. I remembered I had three of them in a drawer – reclaimed from the days we had magnets on our fridge. You’ll need about one magnet for each remote. Luckily I also had an unopened package because I needed four magnetic hooks for this project!
By positioning the magnetic hooks on pipe along the bottom, and tilting them backward, it provides a perfect angle to rest the remotes on. If you have young kids in the house though, secure them with epoxy glue and let dry so they can’t be removed.
Here’s a closeup of the magnet:
The hook part of the magnet supports the back of the remote to keep it in place at the bottom.
The next picture shows how it looks from the back with the remotes resting on the magnetic hooks.
If you’re a visual learner, watch this quick video to see it come together in no time at all.:
Watch the Video (and subscribe to our YouTube Channel)!
You might think it odd that the end of the video shows Hubs reaching for his remotes then sitting down; I couldn’t agree more! I shot it that way for the best vantage point – and because he didn’t have his side table finished yet (I guess there’s no rest for the weary)! After the video, he did make a pipe table (as you’ll below) and put his remote control caddy beside the sofa right where it belongs for the best lazy-day experience 🙂
Time to Bring the Lazy Boy Wannabe and La-Z-Boy Together
The remote control caddy is a great enabler to help you spend a lazy weekend on the couch watching TV. Here’s my lazy boy wannable hard at work on his mancave during its completion.
Hubs’ final project for the mancave was to build himself this pipe table to go with his new remote caddy.
With the basement reno finally complete and the TV remote control caddy set up on his side table, Hubs can finally kick back in his mancave and enjoy! Now my lazy boy wannabe can chillax on his La-z-boy sofa with his remote controls at his finger tips. I can’t wait to see his best imitation of a couch potato; not all wives would say this, but I sincerely hope it lasts a while too 🙂
Variations of the Project
After making the original prototype for Hubs, I made a new and improved version as gifts for my sister and brother-in-law using cork ribbon and black horsehair braid. The cork ribbon was wide, so I ended up cutting it narrower as shown below.
To make it more child-friendly, I used the plastic clips from a dollar store package of string lights to replace the magnetic hooks on the bottom.
The clips just snap right onto the pipe at the bottom of the caddy. They are difficult to remove and don’t require glue to keep them in place so are safer around the prying hands of little ones.
Instead of the twist-on metal end caps, I replaced them with these rubber tips. These are left over from Hubs’s kiting days and fit perfectly on the ends. They are a better choice because they help protect the table surface.
Whereas Hubs’ caddy had room for four remotes, I had to adapt the size of the caddy to fit three remotes for my sister and only two remotes for my brother-in-law.
To make these sturdier for gift giving, I sewed the horsehair braid to the ribbon with black thread instead of using the stapler.
Here they are the two different sizes side by side….
…. and from the back:
For the caddy holding three remotes, I place the clips facing backward:
Two Remote Version
For the caddy holding two remotes, it worked better to switch the placement of the clips to the front as shown below:
Below is an example of the two-remote version with the remotes:
A More Masculine Look
The black/cork combination for the back sling looks great in the mancave – it’s a more ‘masculine’ look than the original. If the plastic clips were black, they’d blend in better (you could easily paint them though). If you don’t have kids, I think the perfect combo would be this sling with the magnetic hooks on the bottom, but they both work!
Spread the Laziness (and Please Pin)
Spread the laziness by making this as a gift! You just have to do a little detective work to find out how many remotes your recipient has so you can determine how big to make it. My sister and brother-in-law both loved theirs!
Pinning is always welcome and appreciated.