Becca Trunk

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About Project

Free plans to build a vintage style chest or trunk from Inspired by Pottery Barn Distressed Rebecca Trunk.

Hello DIY Friends!

Look what you can make with a 1/2 sheet of plywood!

My friend Whitney at Shanty2Chic wrote me about taking on a vintage styel chest or trunk build.  I can't believe we haven't posted one already.  We worked on plans together and came up with this beautiful trunk!

You'll need a 1/2 sheet of plywood (Whitney used PureBond for the beauty and because it's formaldehyde free) and then some base moulding, 1/4" plywood for the base, a few 1x6 boards for the top, and of course pretty hardware.  I love that you can make it your own by using different moulding, hardware or a different finish!

Here's from Whitney:

I love this new chest we created!  It's so pretty and functional at the same time!  You can easily change up the hardware or throw a coat of paint on it and you give it a whole new look.  I think this is a great beginner Kreg Jig project for those of you still looking at yours in the box ;-)  Thanks so much for teaming up with me on this one Ana!!

Please take just a second to stop over and check out more details and photos from Whitney.  It's always nice to see construction details!

Thank you Whitney!



Shopping List

1/2 sheet 3/4" plywood cut into 15 3/4" wide strips
1/2 sheet 1/4" plywood or other hardboard
1 - 2x2
20 feet of 3 1/4" base moulding
10 feet of 1x6

Common Materials
Cut List

1 - 1/4" plywood @ 36" x 20 1/4"
3 - 2x2 @ 20 1/4"
2 - 3/4" plywood 15 3/4" x 18 3/4"
2 - 3/4" plywood 15 3/4" x 36"
4 - 3 1/4" base moulding 36" (both ends cut NOT parallel at 45 degree bevels, short point to short point)
4 - 3 1/4" base moulding 20 1/4" (both ends cut NOT parallel at 45 degree bevels, short point to short point)
3 - 1x6 @ 10 1/4"
2 - 1x6 @ 37"
2 - 3/4" plywood @ 10 1/4" x 10 1/4"

General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

I chose to make the base like this to cut down on weight and cost in the project, and also to elevate the base from the floor. That way if there's water spilled, it won't rot the bottom out on your trunk. But by adding the 2x2s underneath, we create a system where the weight rests on top of the joints, resulting in a stronger bottom.

You can just nail and glue the base to the 2x2s - nothing special here!

Step 2

Now construct the main box out of the plywood pieces as shown above.

Step 3

And then attach the base to the bottom. You can just screw and glue or nail - remember, the weight of the trunk pushes down on the base, keeping everything together. We'll also be hiding the joint with base moulding.

Step 4

Cut base moulding to fit with your miter saw set at a 45 degree bevel. I tend to cut my pieces just a tiny bit long and then trim them down to get a perfect fit. Nail on. Be careful here to select a nail size that fits your moulding thickness plus the 3/4" thickness of the plywood. Use glue too.

NOTE: You can use a wider base moulding too!

Step 5

Step 6

Then add the end 1x6s to finish off the top. Having a planked top will add more character and all the plywood edges are covered too!

Step 7

Use exterior mount hinges to attach trunk top. If you have kids, you may consider adding a hinge top support to keep the top from slamming little fingers.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Sat, 09/27/2014 - 22:52

The Kreg Jig is $40.00 at Lowes but if that isn't doable I can't see why you couldn't use dowels and plenty of glue. You will want to make sure your boards have had time to expand or contract in the temperature you keep your house for a few days though to avoid contraction later.


Thu, 04/16/2015 - 08:26

Did you install any soft down stay type hinges on the inside of your trunk? I ordered some from Rockler and was not able to make it work. I believe it is because of the angle of the lid (3/4" thick) and the perimeter of the actual trunk (1 1/2 "). Any suggestions on what you used? Thank you!


Wed, 04/29/2015 - 14:10

Hi...I am in the process of building this trunk, too. I ordered the toy box lid support from Rockler (item #26179), and I see that I'm going to have to cut out a space in the moulding for this and the type of hinges I also purchased. I'll check back in a few days to see if you figured out something. (I always end up making things harder than they should be. lol)


Wed, 12/16/2015 - 20:22

So I'm building this as a storage trunk that will be used for blankets and clothes. I like the look of the stain I'm using by itself, it is not a 2 in one stain and poly. I am curious if the stain wil transfer to the things I'm storing in the trunk?