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How to make a toolbox

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My grandfather and I spent a little time in his workshop a couple weekends ago working on a few simple woodworking projects. One being a toolbox. How to make a toolbox is very simple and you can use any type of wood. We used scrap 3/4 inch pine and plywood. My grandfather was afraid I was going to paint the toolbox pink, which I almost did, but instead found some left over duck egg blue chalk paint by Annie Sloan from a previous project.

how to make a toolbox

Items you will need: Wood (preferable 3/4 “), Wood glue, 2″ screws, Scroll saw, Skill Saw or Table Saw, Wooden dowel (or pipe for handle).

We started with our bottom piece first using the table saw to cut the wood. This is just a template piece of wood below to show you the measurements we used. I didn’t have my camera the day we cut the 3/4″ wood for the actual toolbox. You should have seen my grandfather’s face when I told him we needed to cut out a template using 1/4” inch luan for the purposes of this blog post. I told him I needed something to show you all with the measurements and he didn’t even bother acknowledging me. He just cut the template out and told me to go away. hehe.
how to make a toolbox

The side pieces. You will need two of these.

how to make a toolbox

The outer sides where the handle will be secured. You will need two of these. We used a 3/4″ drill bit to cut the holes for the handle. Your hole will depend on the size dowel or pipe you purchase for your handle.

how to make a toolbox

We drew the side pieces on the board and then we used a scroll saw to cut them out. The scroll saw is perfect for detail work.

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You will need to secure all four sides to your base (bottom) with 1″ or  2″ screws depending on the width of your wood. Prior to screwing the sides to the base and each side, I used gorilla wood glue to add reinforcement. I probably didn’t need to do this but my grandfather insisted.

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You can see below how I secured the sides to each other with screws. You will either need to purchase caps for the screws or simply leave the exposed.

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We used scrap wood so there are many imperfections, divits and mismatched wood texture. No biggie though, it will serve it’s purpose as tool box. I’m actually thinking it might make a pretty planter holder! The wood isn’t pressure treated (which is for outdoors) so I would need to remove the plant in order to water it but that can be easily done.

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As I said earlier, I used Annie Sloan Chalk paint in duck egg blue which covered beautifully.

how to make a toolbox

If you are not familiar with ASCP, it has a built in primer and is fabulous to work with. I repainted an old Target night table with this same color last summer and you wouldn’t believe the transformation. So pretty!

Here is the toolbox  filled with annuals. I didn’t intend on using the toolbox as a planter but I think the flowers look beautiful in it.

how to make a toolbox

The toolbox is also perfect for my tools!

how to make a toolboxI hot glued the pink tins to the bottom of the toolbox in order to keep items organized. So would you keep the toolbox as a planter or a toolbox?  Learning how to make a toolbox isn’t that difficult, right? I think I may make another toolbox and use it as a planter as well.

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. I have been wanting to make something like this for a long time. Thanks for the clear directions. With my husband’s help, I have no doubt that we can whip out a few of these in no time. I say a few of these because they’d make great gifts.

    1. Oh you are right Paula! Very cute mini planters would be perfect gifts. I’ll have to suggest that to my gramp 🙂 He loves making things for other people as gifts.

  2. I love this for the tools and the planter! I might have to make two for the same reasons! Cherish those grandparents!

  3. Definitely the planter…love the look with the plant. Just finished my first ASCP project – painting a thrift store headboard and footboard with the color Provence. I think my husband is tired of hearing about how much I love the paint and the beautiful blue color. I think the tool box planter is a good candidate for some leftover paint. Love reading about your multi-generational projects.

    1. Thanks Debbie! I love the provence color by ASCP and I bet it looks fabulous. You are right, the paint is wonderful 🙂

  4. Cherish your grandfather. I miss mine so much! He’s been gone many years and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss him. I don’t think he could build but he sure could make a mean homemade root beer!

    I also want to thank you for sharing the tool box tutorial It is just perfect for my needs. Thanks again!

    1. So sorry about your gramps 🙁 Sounds like you have great memories though. Homemade root beer sounds delicious! Glad you like our toolbox 🙂

      1. I’m sharing this on Pinterest. Thanks again Jessica

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