Give the Gift of Building

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A simple toolbox with a little bit of fancy touch. Use up your scraps and make a toolbox.

Well, you're here, so you've  seen the new blog design.  I hope you like it.  I loved the old design.  Every one of them.  But as we get more and more content, the graphics are just having to become less and less.  Some good news . . . that also brings more content, we just signed with an advertising agency that only works with home improvement brands!  So the free furniture plans that you can find right here are going to remain free!  I hope that you welcome the advertising, that you support and shop those brands that support us.  And know that a budget will enable me to do more, like hire a real webmaster, a good babysitter, and maybe someday, even be able to pay some of you as contributors.  So please, support those that support us.

And I have to tell you, I've spent a few not so fun days behind the computer working on the design and the layout of the blog.  And tonight, I just had to step away.  So me and Gracie went out to build this toolbox, and as soon as I walked in the garage, my mood changed.  I felt energized and excited, eager to pick up my hammer.  And it occurred to me that this season, more than any project, we should be giving the joy of build away.

Grace and I built this together.  I cut the boards and predrilled all the holes.  Then she screwed all the boards together (with help of course) and applied all the glue.  She also put the handle in place and nailed the side moulding boards down.  It was one of those experiences that I will never forget.  And this is one tool box I will probably never ever dispose of.  Grace of course filled it with coloring supplies, but I would love to use it for building, as carpenters for who knows how long have used similar wooden toolboxes.

There are plenty of reasons why a wood tool box is built and used by carpenters for centuries.  They are easy to build.  You can build them from scraps.  They are easy to carry because of their long design.  They are handy to keep tools and hardware handy.  And they can be used throughout the home or shop, storing anything from sewing supplies to spice jars, magazines to a diaper changing kit; a color kit to office desktop organization.  Where couldn't you use one of these?

This one is really small, useful for holding envelopes on your desktop, spices, or that diaper changing kit. But you can always easily modify the design by simply using a wider width board.


Shopping List

1 – 1×6, 4 feet long
1 – 3/4″ dowel, 24″ long
1 – 5 1/4″ base moulding 4 feet long (you can use just about anything here)
4 – 2″ screws
finish nails (2″)
wood glue
finishing supplies

Cut List

1 – 1×6 @ 22 1/2″ (Bottom)
2 – 1×6 @ 12″ (Ends)
1 – 3/4″ dowel @ 24″ (Handle)
2 – 5 1/4″ Base Moulding @ 24″ (Sides)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander


Step 1

Cut ends

Cutting the ends as shown above. Don’t worry about the ends being exactly perfect. That’s part of the charm. I like to clamp the ends together and sand to make the ends close, but never stress if they aren’t exact. Drill the hole in the center as well for the handle.

Step 2


Now predrill two holes on each end, at the bottom corners. Apply glue to the bottom shelf and then screw the ends to the bottom. Super easy. Grace did this step.

Step 3


Now apply glue to the box and nail the moulding on the sides and bottom.

Step 4


And then just glue the handle in place.


Annalea (not verified)

Mon, 12/13/2010 - 22:05

I love it. (Both the toolbox and the blog look & feel. :o) Less really is more, and the new blog look is easier to take in. (Seth Godin would agree--have you read The Big Red Fez? It's about website design, and it's great.)

I'm so glad you and Grace built that toolbox together. I worry about her missing out on time with her mom due to the blog. Don't let Knock Off Wood eat up all your time . . .

Tsu Dho Nimh (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 02:37

Unfortunately, the new blog design shoves the right-hand side of the page off my screen. I can't see the sponsor links, the search box or even the righthand side of the recent projects scrolling thingy unless I scroll to the right. Please have your web designer check the style sheet for forced widths, excessively large fixed sizes for images, and any Microsoft Internet Explorer specific wierdness.

I'm using FireFox on Linux and have a 1280x1084 display.

Tsu Dho Nimh (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 02:43

it's things like this that cause problems: title="small-wood-toolbox-2" src="" alt="" height="385" width="561" Without the forced size, most browsers can resize the contents to fit the screen.

The actual size of the image is 728px × 500px ... and resizing it in the browser does not make it load any faster or save you any bandwidth. Make the pics the size you want them to be, then upload them to the site and it works a lot better.

Dominique (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 03:18

I love it!! Even better we have a bunch of base moulding left over that would be perfect!
Thank you for the sacrifices you make to run this site. I get excited about all your posts.

Carrie (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 03:44

I love it! I love all your plans too - I have built 4 so far - and this is probably my next one. My 4 year old loves to come to the garage and help too - she can't wait till she can start using tools :-) Thanks for everything you do!

Theresa (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 03:50

I know 2 ladies that can use this, now to get it done before our party on Sun. At least i work at the orange and can shop on my lunch hour. Thank you so much for this great idea. I am sure this plan is going to be used for so many different hobbies. Art supplies sewing cooking. It is endless.

Pamela (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 03:57

I love your design. I have made similar toolboxes the past few years but my pattern is slightly different with a more triangular end rather than rounded. I would also leave gaps at the bottom for drainage as I made them as planters, perfect size to drop the 4 inch pots of flowers in and exchange out for fresh color when those grew tired. I love your molding on the side, so cute. I will definitely try that. They are fun to give as gifts with gardening tools tucked inside with maybe some seed packets, gardening gloves etc. Thanks for all your ideas, they keep the creative juices flowing!

Bonnie from Lo… (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 03:59

Wonderful little tool box Ana. I'm gonna make 5 of them next week. 1 each for step daughters, 1 for hubby, 1 for my son, and 1 for me. We all are into "doing things"; hubby, working on the farm, oldest step girl into dog agility ( and she makes all her own equipment, jumps from pvc pipe, etc) youngest step girl now has her own home, she will need a tool box for the tools we got her for christmas last year, my son will prob use his in the kitchen, as he is a cook, and for me, I haul my stuff out one piece at a time. Guess I need a box too. What a wonderful simple easy but useful idea! Thanks again Ana for doing what you do!

meg (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 04:01

Love the new simpler blog design! Much easier to view on my phone.
I also love the tool box. I think I will make one a bit smaller for my 3 and 4 year olds for Christmas. They are getting s work bench and toy tools for Christmas. If I make two they could each have one and then I could personalize them too! I can't wait to build them!

Loren (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 04:15

I'm digging the new layout as well. But it also to wide on my screen. (for no apparent reason) There is no content just white space when I scroll over.
(I'm using Firefox on a Windows XP machine)

chrisandpatience (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 04:40

Love the new look Ana. I also love the fact that you remain to keep giving us wonderful plans for free.

Mindy M. (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 05:10

I love how generous you are & love, love, love all the plans you give us. I have a to-build list a mile long (& growing) thanks to your talent & generosity.
But, I'm not a fan of the new site design. I liked the old one a lot better. Like Tsu Dho Nimh above, I have to resize my browser window pretty wide to see everything. It doesn't seem much simpler either. If it helps, I'm using Firefox.
Regardless of the site design I'm going to keep coming back. And, I don't mind ads if it keeps the awesome plans coming. I hope they enable you to hand over some of the not-so-fun stuff of blogging so you can focus on your family more & still have the time & energy to keep creating plans.

kerry (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 06:49

Love the new design. Love the tool box, too! I need to work faster so I can make all the projects on my list!

Mindy (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 07:33

I love your site. I have always wanted to build but always too scared. You have really made it possible and I am eternally grateful to you.

Please take more time off!!!

Annie (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 07:47

I love the new design! So pretty! And love that toolbox too :) I hope one day, I'll be able to say something like "Me and my twins Kaylee and Zoe built this... Or Me and my boys (too many to list) built this..."

Mindy (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 10:02

I also love the new design. It is beautiful. I use Firefox too and have no problems widening my browser!!!

My husband loves your new site too. Before he was afraid to let the guys see him looking at it. Now it seems to be more gender neutral.

Loni (not verified)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 12:52

I'm getting the white emptyness also on the right. I'm using internet explorer on windows xp.

Marsha Ratzel (not verified)

Sun, 12/26/2010 - 07:49

Thanks for everything you do...and the new design looks great. I think it's terrific what you've been doing and I'm excited to see all that you'll do in the future. Best of luck to you.


Fri, 04/13/2012 - 07:45

Light bulbs go off all in my head (meaning not just one light bulb) every time I come here! THIS is just what I need! This and the miter saw cart, and the laundry basket shelf, and the shoe rack wall/closet thing, and......and......

Kaymay (not verified)

Sat, 12/08/2012 - 04:55

I like you. You are very giving. And you are teaching women to do and make things. You are teaching your daughter how to do and make things. And you empower all of us.
So many women are afraid of tools, or simply feel they are not something that they are suppose to use.
This leaves them not knowing how to properly manipulate their world , nor repair it, or deal with an emergency on their own.
Thank you for your wonderful blog.