Shadow boards make it easy to find the tool you need and then return it to the right spot. These boards also make quick work of seeing which tools are missing when you’re done for the day. Make one yourself to keep your workshop in working order!


Tool pegboard with shadow prints of hanging tools

Use peel-and-stick vinyl to protect your investments. By cutting tool silhouettes out of black vinyl and then sticking the shapes on pegboard it’s a no-brainer to see where each tool—or group of tools—belongs.


Tool pegbard with hanging tools before makeover

A pegboard provides an immediately visible way to inventory your tools but a haphazard arrangement on a dark surface makes it harder to pinpoint just what you’re looking for.


tool pegboard with tools removed

Remove all tools to start with a blank canvas.


tool pegboard in the processes of being painted white

Paint the pegboard in a lighter color that coordinates with or matches the overall color of the garage interior. Pegboard can really suck up the paint so it’s a good idea to prime it first.


tools for creating tool shadows

GET YOUR GEAR. You’ll need heavy-duty adhesive vinyl, a single-hole punch, sharp scissors (or a sharp utility knife) and a pencil to trace tool shapes to stick to your pegboard.


wrench in process of being traced for silhouette template

CHOOSE YOUR TOOLS. Identify which tools you’ll store on the pegboard. Place them face down on the back of the vinyl. The reverse side of the vinyl (once cut) will show the tool shape right side up.


outlined of tools on white paper for shadow template

CREATE PATTERNS. Use a pencil or marker to trace the shape of the tool. Don’t worry about mistakes; the penciled outlines won’t be visible once the vinyl is cut, flipped and attached to the board.


cut out silhouette template next to tool

TRIM TOOL SHAPES. Using a sharp scissors or utility knife, cut out the tool silhouettes. Cut out any openings (you may need the hole punch to get started) to make the shapes more realistic.


white tool pegboard with hanging tools

PLAN FOR SUCCESS. Plot the design before attaching any cutouts to the pegboard. (Take hook or nail placement into account.) For easier retrieval, group similar tools together.


tool silhouettes sticky backing in black

ATTACH CUTOUTS. Shape by shape, peel off the backing and stick cutouts to the board. Smooth into place. Insert hooks (punch holes in the vinyl when needed).


process of removing tools and placing tool silhouettes to the pegboard

Hang the matching tools in front of the silhouettes.


close up of silhouettes behind hanging tools

Customize pegboard with accessories such as cups, trays, cubes, shelves and wire baskets that corral fiddly bits and bobs or hold what you use most often.

It’s the perfect kind of project to do on those rainy April days. Future-You will love you for it.


© Caruth Studio

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