DIY Vintage-Inspired Toolbox {from Old Fence Pickets!}

DIY Wood Toolbox from Fence Pickets

Hello lovelies! Today I’m going to show you how easy it is to make a vintage inspired toolbox.  This one’s a true trash to treasure project.

Remember this dresser makeover with the fabric inlay I shared recently? I found that dresser at a yard sale, but before I found that beauty, I passed a stack of old fencing all cut in perfect 3×3 squares stacked neatly on the curb. I backed right on up and shoved it into my car.

Then I found that steal of a dresser and was playing out in my mind how on earth I would possibly get it all to fit into my SUV. I had both of my boys with me that day too. I unloaded the fence, squeezed in the dresser and then crammed the fence in every available cranny until it all fit. I wish I’d gotten a picture! What kind of blogger am I??  The lady who sold me the dresser probably thought I was a crazy junk lady! (I’d don’t think it’s come to that…yet 🙂

Anyway, on with the tutorial… here is one of the squares of fencing…perfectly cut as I found it.


I cut my pieces to the following dimensions using my table saw.


After painting my pieces with one coat of flat latex paint and waiting patiently for them to dry, I added a bead of wood glue in the places shown as well as to both ends of the middle piece:


Then I constructed my box using clamps to hold everything in place. You can see how it went together here:


You’ll also notice my edges are all still pretty rough from the cuts. That’s ok because they will be sanded last. My cuts aren’t perfect either, but that only adds to the charm. (Right?)

When the glue was dry enough to remove the clamps, I nailed everything in place.


The wood was pretty soft, so I didn’t have to countersink my nails. If you use new wood, you’ll want to countersink your nails. You could also use a nail gun, but since I left mine exposed, I prefer the look of regular nails. (That and the fact that I don’t own a nail gun.)


Before adding the handle, I hand sanded all the surfaces inside and out. Then I added a dab of glue to the handle and nailed it in place.


I transferred some graphics from The Graphics Fairy that I intended to paint, but I liked how it looked faded as is. So, I sprayed it with a coat of clear matte sealer to seal it. Done. Perfect 🙂

How to build a vintage inspired wooden toolbox. This is from old fence pickets.

Sanding it really brought out all the character of the wood grain.

How to build a vintage inspired wooden toolbox. This is from old fence pickets.

I was so pleased with how it turned out that I made three more! They’ll be for sale at the Christmas Market Thanksgiving weekend. I will be keeping one for myself though 🙂

How to build a vintage inspired wooden toolbox. This is from old fence pickets.

I’m going to add greenery and lights to mine for the Holidays!

DIY Wooden Tool Box




How to build a vintage inspired wooden toolbox. This is from old fence pickets.

I love it so much…probably because it started out as nothing more than someone’s trash pile. Aren’t those the best projects?

You might like these fence picket projects too:

Old Fence Pickets to Pretty Tray

Fence Picket Signs

You may also enjoy seeing 12 more thrifted and DIY totes I’ve done:

13 Thrifted and DIY Tote Makeovers

See them all HERE!

Have a blessed day!



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  1. Christy, what a great project and it looks fantastic! I have a feeling that you’ll sell these like hotcakes! 🙂 Pinning! Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

  2. It looks great!! and then again, all of your projects look great 😉 I’ve admired many of these old timey tool boxes and it’s still on my to-make list. I can pretty much handle our new chop/ miter saw, so this may be one of those projects I don’t have to have my hubby help me make.

    • I love these too, JoAnne. I’ve always wanted one, so I was looking at this pile of old fence and it just came to me…I’ll make one from these pickets! You could definitely do this with a chop saw, probably much easier actually! Have a great Thanksgiving! 🙂

  3. Too cute! And I love the texture of the wood showing through.

  4. Love projects like this, the beauty is in the simplicity. Nothing like it. Love the tutorial, you always make things look so much easier. I’ll have to save this and pin it so I don’t lose it to make when the weather clears up.
    Right now we have mud, yesterday we had 3 inches of snow then rain and somewhat higher temps, doggone it. I wanted the snow to stay. Our dog hates to have his feet cleaned, he’s 72 lbs. of black lab/border collie, lot stronger than I am so cleaning his feet to come in is a challenge at all times for me. I have to stand over his back with a wet towel to clean each of his webbed feet. He lets me know about it in no uncertain terms,
    he’s quite a talker.
    I love to make boxes like yours, they are so handy for so many things, including decorating. So extremely versatile. Great project/post. Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. Hot diggity dog, Christy! This is so fine! Now I know what to do with the pallet I had hubby grab off the side of the road the other day. :>}

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  6. It is so perfect Christy!! You did a great job! And I am still chuckling at the sight of you fitting in the dresser and the wood, I am so guilty of doing that same thing! Junkers unite! I love the dresser too! Thanks for you sweet comment on my blog!! Hugs!

  7. Okay, this is awesome. You are seriously one talented lady. Love it!!

  8. It’s beautiful! Thanks for linking it up at Monday Funday!

  9. That looks really lovely, Sooo country chic. And you gave great instructions

  10. I have a major girl crush now. You use the table saw AND drive your own nails. Whew.


  11. Great tutorial!! And I like that you aged it! Thanks for sharing on DIY Sunday Showcase.


  12. Looks great! I will add this to my TO DO project list. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Any chance you still have one of these left? Love it but don’t have the time to make. Please let me know and the price too!


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