Tuesday, October 2, 2012

DIY Rustic Wooden Boxes

Oh my gosh, these little guys are sooooo easy to make and so versatile.  As my dear friend Alison would say, "I need this to be easy.  Not Debbie easy.  Easy."  Well, Alison, my little charmer, this is EASY.  Not Debbie easy.  Just easy. (Wow, you type "easy" that many times and it just doesn't look right anymore).

These boxes are great for anything.  You can store your pens, paper, and scissors in them for your office desk.  They make a great caddy for a picnic by holding the utensils and napkins.  Or they can be show stopping centerpieces.

My mother-in-law and I were in charge of table centerpieces for a recent family gathering.  I had tons of scrap wood sitting in my garage, just waiting to be created into something useful.  So I thought we could recycle jars as flower vases and I would create little wooden boxes to put them in.  So, over a month's time, we collected pickle jars, Snapple bottles, natural peanut butter jars . . . you get my drift.  I decided three jars to a box and built the box around the width and length of the jars.

I made eight centerpieces and let the guests take them home.
To make your box, you need one bottom, two long sides, and two short sides.  If you are making your box to fit specific size jars, you just need them to fit on the bottom piece.  Make sure you "dry fit" them on the bottom piece before you put the whole thing together.  And make sure your sides are tall enough that when you move the box around, they can't come tumbling out.

I used both glue and nails to assemble the boxes.  If you want sturdy boxes, I would recommend using both.  I had a nail gun, but you can nail in the old-fashioned way.  The nail heads would look really rustic and fit perfectly with this piece. 
As you can see, I attached a short side to the bottom first.  With my design, I have the bottom "hidden" by all the side pieces.  Meaning, you won't see the seams of the bottom piece unless you flip it over.  So make sure you add on the thickness measurement of the bottom when figuring out the side heights (so the aforementioned jars will not tumble out).  

After attaching both short sides, now you just attach your long sides (make sure you add the width measurements of both short sides onto the long side so the long side "covers" the short side seams).  I have the box flipped over for this assembly, as it's easiest.  I love my boxes rustic, so if every seam doesn't match up perfectly, so what?  You meant to do that, right?!?

Next, I like to beat the heck out of the box (sorry, no photos, but you can visualize).  I use a hammer, screwdrivers, nails, etc . . . I want the new wood to look like it's seen a better day.  One of my favorite techniques is to make worm holes:  tap a nail into the wood to create a small hole.  Continue to do this to form a cluster of holes.  Looks super cool when it's all finished.

After I beat the "you know what" out of the boxes, I gave it a light sanding to remove any splintery pieces.

To achieve the finished look, I stained each box a dark brown.  When that was dry, I dry brushed on white paint.  After I achieved the look I liked, I did a final light sanding.

Finally, I chose whatever handles I had in stock.  I made each box differently so they would have their own character.  I used flea market found knobs, rope handles, wooden knobs.  And I loved the way they turned out.

I kept one for myself.  And yes, I do realize that I have to do a tutorial on the finish.  It is super easy.  Not Debbie easy.  ;)

Have fun,

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  1. Wow!! These are beautiful! I'm always so intimated at the idea of making anything with wood but you are making it look simple! I might have to give it a try! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  2. These are delightful! I just had to come by to give credit where credits due as I just painted my staircase with a faux runner.YOU were my inspiration so please know that I was thinking of you today:) Deidre http://simplysimplisticated4.blogspot.com please come by and check it out and let me know what cha think:))

  3. OMGosh! These are soooo cute! Thanks for the tutorial. Visiting from Boogieboard. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/2012/10/make-it-pretty-monday-week-19.html Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  4. This is such a great idea! The finished product looks so nice- love the little knob detail- and the centerpieces are adorable!

  5. So I thought we could recycle jars as flower vases and I would create little wooden boxes to put them in. So, over a month's time, we collected ... swoodencrates.blogspot.com

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