DIY Vintage-Inspired Toolbox | Tutorial

Hello Ella Claire readers! It’s Alicia from A Burst of Beautiful stopping by again, and today I’ve brought my husband, Nick, along too. DIY Vintage-Inspired Toolbox_7_Ella Claire
We love scouring flea markets and quaint little vintage shops for those one-of-a-kind finds. One of our favourite Saturday morning rituals is to wake up early, jump in the car and peruse our local markets and antique shows with a coffee in hand. These are usually my favourite type of weekends.

DIY Vintage-Inspired Toolbox_5_Ella Claire
And sometimes discovering those one-of-a-kind treasures leads to a really great DIY project.

DIY Vintage-Inspired Toolbox_4_Ella Claire This summer I found a charming wooden toolbox at a local market, complete with the patina of a well-worn piece. I scooped it up knowing I would have so many uses for it, I actually wrote a post about it here. I’ve used it as a herb planter, a garden caddy and it’s the perfect vessel to hold all of your entertaining needs for impromptu company.
DIY Vintage-Inspired Toolbox_6_Ella Claire
I’ve used it so much and moved it from room to room in our home, it got my husband thinking. He knew he could easily build me a few extra vintage-inspired toolboxes so I wouldn’t have to keep swapping out the one we have.

DIY Vintage-Inspired Toolbox_3_Ella Claire
I love this project because it’s so versatile.  You can change the size of the toolbox to suite your needs, depending on what you are using it for and where you are displaying it. And you can have so much fun with the way it looks – you can give it a white-wash, stain it or paint it a bright bold colour. There are so many possibilities.

DIY Vintage-Inspired Toolbox_2_Ella Claire
I painted it in a simple white (using a very thin coat of paint so that the natural wood was still visible), because you know how much I love neutrals. You can read my tips for decorating with neutrals here.

And because you’ve built it you don’t need to worry about the condition it is in, like so many vintage pieces there is always concern about lead paint or mold. It’s safe to use in your kitchen to store seasonal fruit and veggies or as storage in the playroom for books or arts and craft supplies.

DIY Vintage-Inspired Toolbox_1_Ella Claire
Now, I’ll let Nick jump in with the instructions on making your own vintage-inspired wooden toolbox. I hope you enjoy this project just as much as I have!

This plan uses only one piece of 1″ x 6″ x 8′ wood and one dowel, which makes it a very efficient project.

Supplies & Tools Required

  • 8′ piece of wood (we used pine)
  • 24″ dowel (1″ diameter)
  • Mitre saw
  • Nail gun and nails
  • Carpenters glue
  • Drill with 3/32 bit
  • 2 – 8 x 1 3/4 screws
  • Paint or stain


  1. Cut the 8′ piece of wood into the following lengths: 2 x 24″, 1 x 22.5″, 2 x 12.75 (See Figure ‘A’ below).
  2. To create the angles on pieces 4 and 5, mark your wood 1″ in on either side. Adjust your mitre saw to a 15 degree angle and cut each side of the plank from the 1″ point at the top down to the side.
  3. Lay the 22.5″ plank on a flat level surface.  Apply a small amount of carpenters glue to the end piece and using a compressed nail gun attach your end pieces to the base.
  4. Lay the box on its side and line up one side piece and attach to base and end pieces using carpenters glue and nail gun.  Repeat for the other side.
  5. Pre-drill using a 3/32 bit 1.25″ from the top of the end piece and in the centre. Also pre-drill the end of the dowel in the very centre, making sure that you keep the drill bit going in straight.
  6. While holding the dowel in place, screw from the outside of the end piece into the dowel on each side.
  7. Paint or stain in any colour you wish. DIY_VINTAGE_TOOLBOX_STEPS1

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  1. says

    There is just something about boxes. I love them and have lots of them around. Yours looks great and your instructions are awesome.
    Thanks for sharing at Turn It Up Tuesday,

  2. says

    I absolutely am in love with this project! The simply style and colour are just beautiful. I will definitely be making one of these (or maybe more!!!). They would be so handy to hold so many things. Thanks for linking these up to the Bewitchin’ Projects Block Party this week. Hugs, Lisa

  3. says

    Oh this is just gorgeous! Pinning & also featuring it at this Sunday’s Turn It Up Tuesday! Thank you for sharing. I’m a co-host for this month and have loved popping over to view this post and look at your website though I’ve actually been here before and love your posts! :) Maria. x

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