I remember seeing this toolbox on an episode of Fixer Upper. Man, that show makes me so happy. Aside from the demolitions, the renovations and the drool-worthy decorating, I just love Chip and Joanna together … they are one of the few couples that make me say “awwww” instead of “[gagging noises].” Anyway, this toolbox stuck in my mind as something I just had to have.

Source: HGTV

I knew that building it would actually be the easy part, as it’s a pretty straightforward design. The hard part would be making it look old, worn and vintage. I used a few different techniques to achieve the look I was after, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out:

1×8 – 8 ft long board (note: a 1×8 is not exactly 8″ wide…more like 7.5″)
26×7.25 piece of 1/4 inch plywood
1 30-inch long 1″ diameter wood dowel
stain of your choice
green spray paint
Elmer’s glue
beige, taupe or off-white latex paint


There are a few different ways you can build a toolbox. Scale it to what works for your space. I wanted a pretty big toolbox planter planter. Here’s how I did it. 
Cut two 26″ pieces off of your 8 foot 1×8 piece. These will be your sides. Cut two 14″ pieces off the remainder of the 1×8. These will be your ends. 
Using a measuring tape, measure 8 inches up the side of your two end pieces. Mark that spot with a pencil.  Draw a line to the top of the board, leaving about 2 1/2 inches in the center of the top. The dimensions should look something like this:

Using a jigsaw, cut along the lines. 

Once you’ve finished the one end, use that board as a template for the other end. 

I didn’t get a great shot of this part of the project, but I used my table saw to cut a groove into the side pieces so that I could slide in the plywood base. You don’t have to do this, and could very easily just use another 26″ piece of 1×8 as your bottom. 
I used wood glue to attach the end to the sides, leaving the one end off so I could slide in the plywood. I used my 90 degree angle clamp to hold the pieces in place (highly recommend purchasing at least one of these if you are doing woodworking projects). 

Once you’ve slid in the plywood base, put your last end piece on (using glue) and weight it down. You’ll reinforce it with nails once the glue sets.
Once the glue has set, nail four nails into the corners of each end of the toolbox. 
To finish: I used a combination of techniques: staining, crackle finishing and distressing
1. Stain the toolbox. I used a dark walnut stain. Allow to dry.
2. Lightly spray paint the toolbox green (in random spots). I used the green because I thought it helped in making it look aged. Allow to dry.
3. Apply Elmer’s glue to the ends and sides. Use a brush to brush it over the boards. Be generous. Allow to partly dry, should still be tacky when you move on to step 4.
4. Brush on latex paint of your choice. I used a light taupe color (actually, the same paint I used for the RIBBA frame project).
5. Sand lightly. Because of the glue, the paint will chip off much more easily. I sanded a little bit more in the areas that I knew had more of the green color, so it would show through more. 
Finally, paint the dowel rod. I went with black, because it tied better with my decor. But you could certainly distress the rod as well for a more consistent look. Drill a hole in each end piece with a 1″ drill bit. Insert the dowel rod. 
Fill with your favorite seasonal botanicals. I’m already brainstorming ways to use this planter for Christmas….