Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wooden Box

I can't remember if I've mentioned this before...
When my Pottery Barn catalog comes it's like an event.  I secret it away until I have an hour to look through it. Then I sit down, armed with a pen and a pad of post-it notes, to pour through it. I usually come away with about 1/2 the pages folded down, items circles and notes written (on the post-it's) on those pages.
To be honest, this is actually a bit embarassing.
People think I'm creative. They have no idea that I'm just a big PB copy cat.  Am I the only one in the state receiving their catalog?

Anyway - this was the picture on one of the pages I marked in the fall catalog.

This is what I saw.

I circled it and wrote a post-it note that said "Love these boxes for beer - Christmas for guys?"

I forgot about them until about a week and a half before Christmas, when I was stressing about what to get for my BIL.  That night, I dreamed about the box.
I kid you not.
In the morning I woke up with the picture in my head. I tore through my winter catalog first, then found it in the fall catalog. I had to see the verify that this wasn't something I had actually thought up on my own.

Then I got to work building the box.
I made 2 before Christmas.  We filled them both with an assortment of expensive beer. One was for my BIL, the other we took to a friend gift exchange, where (I'm proud to say) it was very popular and was actually fought over.  I know that was probably due to the beer, not my box, but it still made me happy.

I really wanted one for my own coffee table, though, and Whitney and Ashley's "I made it without my hubby" party at Shanty2Chic was the perfect excuse.
I built this box last night, finished it this morning.  Just so I could post about it :)

Here's the how-to...

Materials -
a 1x4 (I bought the shortest length and had some left over)
Plywood (for the first two I used leftover pieces, for this one I bought some luan plywood.)
You'll also need a hammer and nails. Optional items include a distressing tool, stain and glue.

For the first box I laid out my beers and measured around them.
Now I know exactly what to cut the wood to, so I'll share :)
Cut the 1x4 into 3 pieces at 10 3/4 inches and 2 pieces at 8 1/2 inches.
Your plywood should be cut to 12 1/4 x 8 1/2.

You're going to cut a few more small pieces later, but those will have to be measured individually.

I wanted the boxes to have a kind of beat-up, aged appearance, so I distressed them with my hammer and this tool...which I use for all distressing. I don't have any idea what it actually is, though. My husband dug it out of the toolbox in the back of his truck months ago when I told him what I needed. I commandeered it :)

Then I mixed wood stain and paint into my paint glaze until it was an old grey-brown looking color. Wiped on, wiped off (making sure to get extra into all my distressed areas!) and my wood was instantly aged!

I used Quick Grip (my favorite glue) to put the outside of the box together and gave it about an hour to set. Then I attached the bottom with glue, too.

Once it's all dry you can put the center piece in. Make sure to measure so you get it nice and centered.  I glue this in (to the bottom) as well.

For the small divider pieces measure individually. Mine measured between 2 7/8 and 3 3/8.
Those pieces get the glaze treatment, too.

Once everything is thoroughly dry I nailed it all together.  First the outside box - 2 at each corner, 1 at each end where the centerpiece attaches, and one on each of the 4 bottom corners.
The little divider pieces go in now - measure to make sure your squares are equal - and nail them in from the sides.

Originally I thought I'd use two longer pieces of 1x4 (notched) to cross the center piece, but that seemed really difficult and is definitely NOT something I could do without my hubby.
That's sort of imperative around here - partially because he works a lot, but mostly because I don't wait well.

Anyway - here's the finished project!

I love it :)
Here it is on my coffee table


I'll be linking up to the "I made it without my hubby" party at Shanty2Chic! Go see what some more independent women have done!
Also linking up to Transformation Thursday at the Shabby Chic Cottage!


Maria said...

I like this - hubby would love it! Thanks for sharing - I heart Pottery Barn too. Also, I just came across another blogger that loves PB furniture...have you heard of the Knock Off Wood blog?

Jeanette said...

I love it! My hubby made some small wooden crates for Christmas to put preserves in for gifts. This is so much nicer and well made. I am emailing him your wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing.

Mandy said...

Maria - Knock Off Wood is the most AMAZING blog, I love it, too!

Jeanette - preserves would be DARLING in these! What a great idea!

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

What a great project! Thanks for showing us how you made it! I love crates of any kind and I love the idea to put an assortment of beer bottles in it as a gift. Love it!

Champagne Taste said...

Super Super Cute... In a manly kinda way of course! U did an excellent job!!! Perfect for fight nights and football games!!! i really love that chair in the background as well!!!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

This is awesome, Mandy. I love it! And, I kinda want one....

Jennie said...

So cute! I want one for some country jars and flowers for my table. I'm so excited! Thank you.

Jennie @ Cinnaberry Suite

Shannon said...

Pottery barn is such an inspiration isn't it.. I want to replicate something out of every page. Your project turned out beautiful!

Amanda said...

Thanks for the tutorial! This is a great gift idea. Actually, I would love one filled with assorted bottles, each containing a fresh flower!

Martha said...

Cute idea! I've been wanting to make something similar, but smaller for my acrylic paint bottles! :) Great Job!

beth said...

I LOVE PB, too! Can't wait to get their new catalog, so I can get to copyin'! :)
I like the way your tray turned out! You did a great job!

Heather said...

I don't think I'll ever be making anything you make! But I am just going to sit over here and watch you! And be in awe...

Hope you don't mind ;)

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!

TheFancyFritter said...

Great gift idea!! By the way, I love that blue chair in the background of your pic! It brings lots of character to the room! :)

alexismcdade said...

this is great!

Marti said...

Cute! This is my first time at your blog and I'm impressed. Couldn't you use this same idea to make the PB cubby organizer that you have pictured on your blog as a "wish?" Looks like the same premise, just bigger and hung on the wall. (Easy for me to say.)

Prior said...

Don't think you are not creative, You are, you took a huge, whole picture in a catalog, and your creativeness zoomed in on a small detail you loved, that , as they say, is having a good eye. You are young and the more you tune in to that the finer it will become... Lezlee

Joni said...

Omg! This is my first time on your blog but I totally connected with you when you said you go through the PB catalog like that cause I DO THE EXACT SAME THING. I am so glad there is someone else out there that does this. Now I don't feel like such a nut for doing it. Great job! I love the box. Great gift idea.

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