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Rustic Wooden Caddy with a Branch Handle

Spring is right around the corner and I’m itching to cut some fresh flowers to bring inside. I love displaying them in jars placed inside rustic wooden caddies. Making a little caddy or tote out of salvage wood and branches can be an easy beginner DIY project. But, it’s also satisfying for experienced woodworkers looking to use up some old scraps or upcycle an old wooden box. Here’s how to elevate a simple wooden box into something more quirky and special by adding a branch handle.

Materials:

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I happened to be browsing through a yard sale and spotted a sad little box begging for me to buy it and give it a new life:

How could I say no! It was only $3. I couldn’t leave it at the yard sale in its sad burgundy dust-covered state. I brought it home so it could sit in my garage collecting more dust. (This happens more often than I’d like to admit. It’s a sickness I have.)

Using the pry bar and pliers, I pulled off the lid of the box and removed any nails.

Then I had a basic box to work with. You can use this tutorial to create a simple box if you don’t have one.

Instructions:

Cut upper handle supports out of 1×3 or other scraps. Clamp them inside the box.

Pre-drill holes and drive wood screws through the sides of the box and into the vertical supports.

Now it the time to finish the wooden caddy using your choice of paint or stain. (I like to create a rustic look using a relatively dry brush and by letting some of the wood grain show through your brush stokes.)

While the paint is drying, use a hack or coping saw to remove any bumps or burrs from your branch.

Measure the ends of your branch and select the spade bits that are closest in diameter to your branch (you want the holes to be equal to or wider than the branch.)

Drill a hole into each side of the vertical handle supports.

Insert the branch into the side of the caddy. You might have to experiment with which direction to install the branch.

Fill some jars with flowers and set them inside the crate.

Set it out in a prominent spot in your home.

Enjoy your shabby chic crate, caddy, tool box, or whatever you like to call it.

Personally I can’t get enough of this branch handle:

I’m curious, would you have bought that little dusty box too?!

If you liked this tutorial, you’ll love these other easy DIY Projects:

Mini-Picket Fence Caddy

Make a Driftwood Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Make Your Own Driftwood Crate

30 replies
  1. Susan
    Susan says:

    PHG I love your crate! As a matter of fact I love all kinds of boxes and crates! Yours is beautiful and I love that you upcycled another box. I can’t stop making boxes and crates myself, stop by and see what I’ve come up with this week…. Yours is a great inspiration and I love the color! I pinned it!
    Susan

    Reply
  2. Jen
    Jen says:

    As an altered artist I {heart} this caddy! This is such a big stumbling block for some people…to see past what an object is to what it can be. Great job on this one Brittany! Awesome color choice & the branch keeps it rustic & charming :~)

    Reply
    • Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl)
      Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl) says:

      Thanks Jen! I know you have vision. I can’t wait to see what you do with your little safari themed child-sized bench. I had the adult version that got sooo weathered that it cracked beyond (my desire to) repair. I ended up trashing the wood and putting the ends upright in my flower bed.

      Reply
  3. Vanessa
    Vanessa says:

    HI, Brittany

    This is Awesome! Love it and I do the same thing you do. I Buy something and leave it in my garage for a while. It’s sad, but sometimes life takes over. LOL Have a great weekend.

    Vanessa

    Reply
  4. Jayni
    Jayni says:

    Would I have bought that box? Girl, if I had been there, you and I would have FOUGHT over it! LOL

    You made this wonderful, but left me worrying: What did you do with that adorable tin star on the side? Might it show up later in another project?

    Reply
  5. Mixed Kreations
    Mixed Kreations says:

    Love how you turned the box into a very pretty caddy. I really love the color that you used and the rustic look, the branch just adds to the rustic charm. Now when I go garage sale shopping, I will be looking at boxes through new eyes. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  6. Susan Bartenfeld
    Susan Bartenfeld says:

    You have my brain on a major spin!! I have some of my “scrap” wood under a bed. I live in apartments and don’t have a “shop”. So, I have my wood under a bed! Of course it was wiped off before being put under there. But, Look out, my creative juices are in a full blown rapid rush!! OH, yes i would have bought that box too!!!
    Blessings,
    SusanB
    Junk to Treasure

    Reply
  7. Teresa Archer
    Teresa Archer says:

    I love making wooden caddies, tool boxes and trudges, but I always use dowels for handles, because that’s what we’re supposed to do. Thank you for kicking me back outside of the box! Just moved to 25 acres of pine and oak trees. I love branches, stripping the bark off and feeling the beauty of the natural wood. Time to go make a new, old caddy! Love your site, are we sisters from another mother?

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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