With my nephew’s recent interest in building and something that I have wanted to share since I began building, I thought it would be the perfect timing to do a DIY series on simple builds. If you are new to building things, new to using tools, young/old, and just wanting to learn how to build basic things and learn some basic building skills this series is for you! Maybe you are very familiar with tools and building… these projects would be a great way to teach your kids or another friend how to build.
So today let’s start with a simple build that also doubles as some fun home decor – a DIY centerpiece box.
You could technically build this with just a saw (a circular saw, jigsaw, or miter saw) and nails and a hammer or even just wood glue… but I did use a saw and a nail gun along with some wood glue.
The other awesome thing about this box is it is very easy to customize to the size you want for your home or for maybe wood scraps you have one hand. You will just need 3 boards that are the same length and then boards cut to fit the end of your box once it is assembled.
I recommend using a 1x board for this (meaning it is 1 inch thick or actual measurements is 3/4 thick) – so a 1×4 inch board would be the same dimensions like my box or 1×6 inch board would be taller than my box. I will give you my exact dimensions but again you can truly easily make this any size you want.
Our box is 21 inches long, 4.5 inches wide, and 3.25 inches tall.
We are using some reclaimed barn wood that my nephew had on hand that measures 3 1/4 inches wide so basically like a 1×4 board. We cut the 3 long boards at 20 inches and once we assembled the box the end boards needed to be 4.5 inches long. Again these end pieces are best cut and measured once you assemble the first 3 boards so you can get an exact measurement.
Start by assembling the 3 longer boards into a U or trough sort of shape. Again I have and love to use my Ryobi nail gun but if you wanted to use some small finishing nails and a hammer you could or you could just use wood glue and clamp or prop this up until it dried and then do the next step
Here’s how it will look. 2 sides and the bottom – all 3 are the exact same size.
Then you will want to measure from the outside of the board on one side to the outside of the board on the other side to get your exact measurement for your end board. Ours ended up being 4.5 inches exactly.
Again we used wood glue and just 5 small 1-inch nails in my nail gun to nail the ends on.
Here’s the finished box! Now at this point, if you are using off-the-shelf lumber, you will want to lightly sand it and then finish it however you want. Stain it, paint it, or stain then paint and distress. Since this is naturally aged barn wood that already has a beautiful rustic look to it we are leaving ours just like this.
Now you may ask how or where would I use this? So many possibilities!
This is just a $3 green olive leaf garland from the Target dollar spot that I put inside and you could just do this or add a second one to make it more full… or go another step and add some candles.
Or here it is styled with just some greenery picks in it. I see many people that have TV’s over their mantel struggle with wanting to still have some decor that won’t block the TV. Depending on how high your TV is from the mantel, something like this would work perfectly! Plus you can decorate for all seasons by adding some fall picks or garland in it for fall and Christmas greens in it for Christmas.
Or line the box with some heavy plastic or buy a plastic plant insert and plant real flowers or herbs in it and use it as a centerpiece box on your outdoor table! I just may have to do this with one of these boxes! 🙂
Could also add candles in it with some seasonal picks or greenery. Just be careful to not burn candles unattended with the wood or make sure to have the candles in glass jars or cylinders.
I honestly think I may love this look the best – maybe because it’s spring or I just love these faux tulips that look so real. I used some leftover glass jars from spaghetti sauce (my box is just a tad too narrow to fit a large quart size mason jar in it but would be fine for a pint-size jar).
I love this simple look but you could also add moss or candles in between. Or do fresh flowers in the jars. These would make great wedding or event centerpieces or decor too because they are simple and inexpensive to make.
This box could be made to go along the length of your table too – making an extra-long box to fill with seasonal decor – would be beautiful for fall and Christmas! Or make it a tad shorter, fill with smaller pint mason jars and use it as a silverware caddy for all the upcoming summer gatherings. I keep thinking of more ways to use it, I may need to build some more! 🙂
What’s your favorite way to use it? Where would you use one of these? And be honest, if you have never built something before does this seem like something you could do, and are you going to try it? If you do, PLEASE send me an email or message me on social media – I’d love to see it!
My 10-year-old nephew and I built 5 of these in about an hour after we had done the first one and gotten our measurements down. He did most of the work – even using my miter saw with supervision and nail gun as I held the boards for him. Totally doable for a pre-teen or teen to do or a beginner builder! He is just learning how to use a circular saw and power tools.
I am joining up with some other blog friends as they share their projects too. Make sure to click on the links below to check out their posts.