The 56 Most Brilliant PVC Hacks You’ve Ever Seen
What can’t you do with PVC pipe? Here are 56 incredibly smart (and cheap!) ways to use this do-it-all material around your home and workshop.
Keep your drill(s) and accessories organized and close at hand to make your DIY projects run smoothly. By investing just two hours, you can build this wall-mounted drill dock to house everything you need. There's a top shelf for accessories, a wider lower shelf for larger items such as battery packs, and the clever use of 3-inch PVC piping makes hanging holsters for different drill attachments.
The instructions for this drill dock include advice on how to customize the dock to fit your drill and you can even add a power strip to the bottom shelf to keep everything charged and ready to go. In addition to basic tools, you'll need a circular saw, a jigsaw and a clamp to complete this project successfully.
You'd be amazed how easy it is to move heavy, awkward objects with three pieces of PVC pipe. Move playhouses, yard sheds, empty hot tubs and rocks weighing well over a ton with this trick. Use 4-in.-diameter 'Schedule 40' PVC, which is available from home centers. Here's how to do it:
- Lift the front edge of the stone with a pry bar and slip two pipes underneath. Place one near the front and one about midway so the stone rests on the pipes.
- Position the third pipe a foot or two in front of the stone.
- Roll the stone forward onto the third pipe until the rear pipe comes free. Then move the rear pipe to the front and repeat.
This technique works best on relatively flat ground. On mild slopes, you'll need a helper to shift pipes while you stabilize the load. Don't use this method on steeper slopes.
PVC Knife Holders
Make a Mattress Sling
Trying to wrestle a heavy, floppy mattress anywhere is tough. Many mattresses have handles, but they're not intended for carrying. They're actually made to help you position the mattress, so they're not very strong.
Here's an easier way to carry a mattress: Make a simple rope sling that will give you and your helper a lot more control. Thread the rope through the mattress handles. Slip a 5-in. piece of 1-in. PVC pipe over the rope ends and then loop and tie each end to create a comfortable sling grip. Flip the mattress over so the sling is on the bottom and you're on your way.
Fishing Rod Organizer
We got sick and tired of our fishing rods getting tangled, so we came up with this easy fishing rod organizer. All you need is a length of 3-in.-diameter PVC pipe and a foam swimming pool noodle for this DIY garage storage system.
Drill 1-in. holes spaced every 4 in. in the PVC pipe. Use a utility knife to cut slits in the foam noodle, spacing them 4 in. apart. Line up the pool noodle on the wall so that at least two of the slits sit over studs. Pull those slits apart, slide in a fender washer, and screw the noodle to the wall with 2-in. screws. Then screw the PVC pipe to the wall beneath it at a comfortable height and insert your fishing rods. Look Ma, no more tangles!
String Pipe Cutter
Amaze your friends and mystify your neighbors by cutting PVC pipe with a string. It's a great trick to know if you have to cut pipe that's buried in a wall or some other tight spot. We used a mason's line to saw through 2" PVC pipe in less than a minute.
Storage Pockets for Skinny Things
Vacuum Attachment Holder
Take one of your shop vacuum attachments to the home center and find a PVC tee that fits. Drill a hole in the tee large enough to accept a screwdriver, place a small plywood spacer behind it and screw it to the wall.
Bungee Cord Organizer
Accessorize Your Mower
Fast, Inexpensive Table
Cheap Storage Cylinders
Build cheap storage cylinders from PVC pipe, end caps, female adapters and cleanout plugs. Parts are available in an assortment of diameters at any hardware store or home center. Cut the pipe to length with a handsaw or chop saw. Glue an end cap to one end and a female adapter to the other pipe end with PVC cement. Twist in a threaded cleanout plug for a cap. If sealing isn't important, you can drill holes in the pipe to decrease the cylinder's weight. Use the cylinders to store and protect fishing rods, drill bits, cross-country skis, blueprints or anything long and skinny—you name it.
PVC Hammer Holder
Get a Grip
Get a better grip on your straight-handled shovel by epoxying a 1-in. PVC tee to the end.
Oil Recovery System
PVC Sanding Files
Stick sandpaper to cutoff pieces of PVC water pipe with spray-on adhesive and you'll be able to sand concave curves to perfection. PVC pipe is labeled by inside diameter; here's an index for the outside diameter of useful pipe sizes.
- 1/2-in. i.d. = 7/8-in. o.d.
- 3/4-in. i.d. = 1-in. o.d.
- 1-in. i.d. = 1-1/4-in. o.d.
- 1-1/4-in. i.d. = 1-5/8-in. o.d.
- 1-1/2-in. i.d. = 1-7/8-in. o.d.
To apply sandpaper to the pipe, spray both the paper and the pipe with a generous layer of adhesive. Let both surfaces dry several minutes before joining them. Use two grits on each pipe—80-grit for sculpting a precise radius, and 100- or 120-grit for finish sanding. When the sandpaper's worn out, just pull it off, spray fresh adhesive on a new strip and go back to having fun.
Fake Plumbing Pipes
PVC Curling Iron Holsters
Overhead Storage in the Garage
Gift Wrap Rack
Here's a terrific way to keep rolls of wrapping paper and ribbon handy, dust-free and unwrinkled. Simply glue a bunch of 30-in.-long pieces of 3-in. PVC waste pipe with all-purpose PVC glue. The rack can sit right on your worktable and you can store it underneath or in a closet.
Caulk Tube Nest
Before I made this caulk nest for my shop, the tubes rolled all over the shelves like slippery logs. To build one, cut 10-in.-long pieces of 2-in. PVC pipe and glue them side to side with PVC cement. To get straight glue lines, use the print along the side of the pipe as a guide. As you glue, hold the pieces together for 60 seconds with hand pressure or a clamp until the glue sets. Be sure to apply the glue only in a well-ventilated area. Glue on one tube at a time to fit the available space. That's it— your caulk tubes are now organized.
A PVC pipe connected to a vacuum hose lets you reach up to high spots or into narrow crannies, so you can suck up those cobwebs around skylights or exterminate dust bunnies behind radiators. A 10-ft. piece of PVC pipe is inexpensive.
In the plumbing aisle, you'll also find PVC and rubber 'reducer' couplings that let you connect your vacuum hose to a different-size pipe.
Fill a sturdy cardboard box with sawed-off shipping tubes or scraps of larger PVC pipe. Then use it to store and organize all those short pieces of molding, pipe and dowels.
Quick-Draw Table Saw Accessories
Keep your table saw's miter gauge and push stick within easy reach with a couple of sections of 1-1/2-in. PVC pipe bolted or zip-tied to a convenient spot on the frame under the table. Attach the miter gauge holster using the existing frame bolts, or drill holes in the legs for machine screws. For the push stick holster, we drilled a couple of sets of matching holes about an inch apart on the pipe and tautly zip-tied it to the leg.
PVC Dust Catcher
Vacuum dust and chips right at the source! Bolt a 2-in. pot magnet (available at home centers and hardware stores) to a 4-in. x 2-in. PVC pipe reducer and position it near the sander, saw, router or lathe that's making a dust storm in your shop. A 2-in. shop vacuum hose 'press-fits' nicely in the 2-in. reducer end, and the pot magnet ferociously grips any metal surface.
If the working surface near the dust source is wood, screw a blank steel electrical box cover to the surface to hold the dust chute on target.
PVC Storage Hangers
It's true—we love PVC pipe. Or let's say we appreciate the way it inspires and accommodates tool and hardware storage. Here's the latest DIY PVC project. Cut 2-in. pieces of 3-in. PVC and saw away a 2-in. section so it looks like Pac Man. (Remember Pac Man?) Drill screw holes and attach the hangers to studs or shop walls. Space pairs for convenient horizontal storage of longer tools such as levels and glue clamps, and use single segments for ropes, electrical cords or anything else that you want securely stored yet easily accessible. Try this tip and you'll learn never to be peeved by leftover PVC.
PVC Pipe Clamp Rack
Are your pipe clamps missing in action right when you need them? Never again, thanks to this slick snap-in, snap-out storage rack, made from PVC pipe. For 1/2-in.-diameter iron pipe, use 3/4-in. PVC, and for 3/4-in.-diameter pipe use 1-in. PVC.
To make the rack, cut 2-in. lengths of PVC, and with a hacksaw or band saw, slice them lengthwise about 3/16 in. past the diameter's center line. This creates the gripping action to firmly hold the heavy iron pipe. Drill and countersink two holes in each PVC piece, then space and screw them along a pair of 2-in.-wide boards. Attach the upper board to your shop wall and snap a pipe clamp in either end to position the lower board for screwing to the wall.
PVC Tool Pockets
Holster your screwdrivers, chisels, files and other hand tools in 3-in.-long pieces of 1/2- and 3/4-in. PVC pipe. Cut away the upper open section with a hacksaw or band saw, drill a hole, screw the piece on a board, and drop in the tools. If you're using a band saw, slice off the cutaway section from a long length before cutting off the 3-in. holster.
Panpipe Tool Storage
Pipe Clamp Holder
Store bar and pipe clamps right under your workbench where they'll always be close at hand. Just screw sections of 4-in.-diameter PVC pipe under your workbench and slide the clamps into the pipe.
No-Ladder Gutter Cleaner
This gutter cleaner is inexpensive, takes about 10 minutes to make and will help you avoid ladder climbing. Buy 3/4-in. PVC pipe, two elbows, a garden hose coupling and a cap at a local home center. Drill 1/16-in. holes in the cap as shown. Make the handle long enough to comfortably reach your gutters, and cement the parts together with PVC glue.
I-Spy Rain Gutter
Here's a quick and easy way to eyeball rain gutters for possible clogs—before the next downpour causes an overflow. Cut a 60-degree angle on the end of a piece of PVC pipe and tape a hand mirror to the angled end. Hoist the mirror above the gutter to spot leaves and mini jams.
This durable, easy-to-clean dog bed is suitable for indoor or outdoor puppy lounging. The manufacturer says this bed, "Provides firm, even support no pillow or cushion can match."
Use PVC pipe to build a bike rack. Perfect for a corner of the garage, this DIYer used PVC to make a bike rack that holds five bikes upright. Depending on your bike wheel specifications, you can modify dimensions so they all fit snugly.
This DIYer used a cut piece of PVC pipe to add to the fish tank. If your fish tank is large enough, try connecting some PVC pipe to make tunnels and "homes" for your fish.
Courtesy of bluepenguine12 via Reddit
Help keep your home office space organized by using PVC pipe to hide cords. Just wrangle all those computer, mouse, monitor and phone cords and hide them in some PVC pipe. You can even use some colorful tape to match your office décor.
Bat and Ball Holder
For PVC pipe ideas, this is a home run. With the downloadable plan from The Tinker Shop, and about $15 in materials, you can make this nifty PVC bat and ball holder.
Photo: Courtesy of The Tinker Shop/Etsy
Towel Drying Rack
Need a place to dry all of those wet towels, swimming suits and life jackets? This sturdy PVC rack has room for everything and you can place it where you need it—alongside the backyard pool or near your cabin or summer home. Hang clean dry towels on the rack and when everyone jumps out of the pool, all they have to do is grab one!
Photo: Courtesy of TowelMaid/Etsy
Table Saw Fence Sheath
It's a lot easier to crosscut boards on a table saw or use the surface as a workbench without the fence in the way. But where do you put it? How about tucking it away in a piece of PVC pipe bolted to the saw base? Buy and install a length of 4- or 5-in.-diameter PVC (measure your fence first!). Rip the leftover pipe in half and screw it to the top of the sheath. It's a great shelf for push sticks, wrenches, featherboards and other accessories. Thanks to Martin Kipp for inspiring this tip to add to our list of PVC pipe ideas!
PVC Stain Tube
A common frustration for DIYers is dealing with the irregular shapes of furniture legs and spindles. Avoid the headaches of sanding or staining intricate shapes by using PVC pipe as a dip tube. Just be sure to glue a cap to the bottom end of the tube to avoid leaks! Want to know more about refinishing furniture?
This DIYer came up with a clever way to harvest honey from his hives. He created a drill-powered honey spinner with PVC pipe. Learn about the setup here.
Photo: Courtesy of Kilted Craftworks
Drawer Organizers on the Cheap
Slit some up PVC pipe down the middle and you've got stackable drawer organizers to keep all your small tools handy.
Light Shroud Made of PVC
My neighbor had a new septic system installed last year. The lift pump inside the tank has a brilliant red light on the top that lets him know the unit is working. But it was so bright that it was like having a harbor navigation buoy in the yard—it drove me crazy! So I got his permission to build a shroud from 3-in. plastic pipe. I cut out a little slot in the shroud, slipped on a cap and caulked it down over the light. Now he can see the beacon from his kitchen window, but the light doesn’t bother me. — Pete Simpson.
Grease Gun Holster
A grease gun is big and, uh, greasy. So don't slime up your drawers or cabinets with it. Slice up a few sections of 1-in. and 3-in. PVC pipe and screw them to a plywood backer to make this slick grease gun holder. Then slap up a 2-in. coupler and cap to hold a backup tube of grease.
Central Vacuum for the Garage
Install 2-in. sanitary tees on the ceiling and drop a pipe near each car door. Install a long 90-degree bend and a stubout to connect the hose. Cap off the stubout with a standard 2-in. pipe cap when not in use.
5-Gallon Bucket PVC Pipe Cutter
Here's a nifty way to cut PVC pipe on the fly. Just make a couple of notches in the top of a 5-gallon bucket. Set the pipe in the notches and you've got a stable spot for sawing. As a bonus, you can load up the bucket and carry your tools along, too!
PVC Pipe Blade and Bit Organizer
I always seem to have extra bits, jigsaw blades and other small items lying loose in my toolboxes and bags. To keep things organized, I cut different diameters of PVC pipe to the lengths needed for my accessories. I glue one end cap in place, put my items inside and slide on the other end cap. Use a marker to label each container and you’ll be able to find all your bits, blades, screws and whatever when you need them. — Tom Richardson.
PVC Plastic Bag Dispenser
After building a PVC fence, I was left with a few extra 2-ft. lengths of fence post. I turned one of them into a home for grocery bags that I reuse. I stuff them into the top and pull them out the bottom. If you don’t have any leftover fencing, 3-in.-diameter PVC pipe works well too. Attach it to the door inside a pantry or closet, or to a wall of your workshop or garage. — Dave Mitchell.
When assembling PVC pipes, you should cut and “dry-fit” everything before cementing the components. If you don’t and the fittings aren’t oriented perfectly during reassembly, the contraption won’t fit and you won’t be able to get the fittings apart to make adjustments. Next time, number and make alignment marks on the pieces so you can join them in exactly their correct positions.
Sprinkler Socket System
If you use spike-type sprinklers, try setting them into permanent sockets made from 1-in. PVC pipe. Not only will these sockets make moving the sprinklers a snap, but they’ll keep the sprinklers upright and shooting water where you want it.
Cut a 2-ft. length of 4-in. PVC pipe lengthwise with a scroll saw, creating a trough that’s a little more than half the pipe’s diameter. Glue or screw in 1/2-in. thick wood partitions to create compartments for often-used screw and nail sizes. To make it tip-proof, trace the pipe’s curve on a couple of scrap 2x4 blocks, power-sand or saw out the curve, and screw the pipe on this scrap block base.
Use a saber saw to cut lengthwise notches in a 30-in. long piece of 3- or 4-in. dia. pipe then glue on a PVC end cap. Drill pilot holes in the pipe opposite the notches and screw the quiver to a shop wall. Your notched-out quiver will hold any size dowel— from standard 36-in. lengths to stubby leftovers—for instant access. Thanks to George Marchalk for sending this tip down the pipeline.
PVC Spring Clamps
If you're ever in a pinch for spring clamps, reader John Larson advises making them yourself from short sections of PVC pipe. Use 1-1/2 to 3-inch diameter pipe, cut into 1-1/2-inch wide sections; slit the sections across the width. They'll give 8 to 10 pounds of clamping pressure for all kinds of gluing and holding tasks.