barn wood boxes.

barn wood boxes title

My sister and I salvaged a pile of barnwood from my in-laws collapsed barn earlier this spring.

barn wood

Debbie had seen a divided barn wood box that held Ball jars on pinterest, and she wanted to make one for herself.  I figured since she was making one, she might as well make two so I could have one also (that’s what sisters are for, right?).

barn wood and ball jar

We had to get Ken (my neighbor handyman) involved as well, because we don’t have a table saw.

We had the mistaken idea that this would be a simple project.  I had to laugh out loud though as I watched Debbie and Ken trying to put together the math for cutting the boards.  They went round and round with numbers flying everywhere.  It would have been so much easier if they’d had official plans with measurements.  In the end, they decided it would be easier to just cut the pieces as they went.  Off went Debbie and Ken next door, while I stayed behind and painted a dresser.  They were gone a long time.  Several hours.  I had to go over and check to make sure no one had cut off a limb or anything.  What was taking so long?

Finally Debbie came back with just one box put together!

barn wood box 5

Realizing how long this was taking, I suggested that my box not be divided.  That meant two less pieces to cut and nail into place.  It also makes it more versatile.  I could put some ball jars inside, but I also could put larger items inside.  Suffice to say, Debbie and Ken were more than happy to go along with my suggestion and so my box isn’t divided.

Debbie and I have conflicting ideas about how to ‘fix’ the raw edges of the wood so they are less obvious.

barn wood raw edge

She wants to paint hers.  I talked her out of buying a sample size pot of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Primer Red.  It probably would have worked well, but come on, $15 for a sample size pot, just to do these edges?  I’m sorry, but that offended my thrifty sensibilities.  Instead, I just added some Miss Mustard Seed dark wax to the edges of my box to ‘dirty’ them up a bit.

barn wood box waxed edge

Debbie still plans to experiment with some paint on hers.  I have a barn red acrylic craft paint that might do the job, or we might try to mix up some MMS Curio and Tricyle to come up with the right color.

Meanwhile, I added my own flair to my box with some vintage drawer pulls and a stencil.

barn wood box 1

barn wood box 2

Now that we have a couple of prototypes made up, we might make a few of these for the fall Carriage House sale.

barn wood box 3

What do you think?  Can you think of a use for a barn wood box of your own?

16 thoughts on “barn wood boxes.

  1. Q,
    So darn cute! Great idea! I like the no divider idea, makes it more useful! Would be cute for toilet paper. I love the way you improved yours with the stencil and the handles. The waxed raw edges was a great idea! You have done it again! If you sell them you should have Ken sign the bottom! 😉


  2. You two are just too talented (actually three, including Ken!). The boxes both look great…i can see the divided one holding kitchen or craft utensils easily. LOVE the pulls and stenciling as well. I would have more than a few of these on hand for the sale…these would be cute out of new wood with some of the great colors too!


  3. Barn wood Love! The chippy, painted barn wood and its provenance, make your boxes especially charming! I would opt for an undivided box, but I can feel Deb’s vision of Ball jars! I have an open box, actually a lovely sewing table drawer. It is a decor workhorse, hosting antique family photos at a birthday party, candles and boughs at Christmas, hydrangea blooms in early fall, and a stash of old books on a bookshelf.


  4. Neat, neat, neat! I like the boxes both ways. Is Deb’s divided one deep enough to hold forks,knives and spoons. I’ve always wanted something like this to carry out to the table when we cook out. I keep telling you that’s a great posse girl!


  5. You are my new Hero! Go anywhere on the internet and everyone sings the praises of AS paint (and others) never mentioning you need to take out a bank loan to buy any reasonable amount. At last! You said as much! I love chalk paint but the prices are outrageous and I strongly suspect that actual cost to manufacture is pennies.


    1. My personal philosophy about AS chalk paint is that if you are going to be painting more than one item with the same color, it’s worth the splurge for a full 32 oz. can. I’ve purchased and used many cans of Annie Sloan, and I love it. I can usually get 3 medium sized dressers painted with one can. But if you’re only painting one piece and you’re going to have paint left over that you never use … well, I hate to see someone spending $40 on paint for one item. And you still have to spend another $20 – $30 on wax too. The full size can of AS paint breaks down to $1.22/oz (plus tax) and that’s high enough. But for whatever reason (maybe packaging costs?), the sample size jar breaks down to a whopping $3.24/oz. In this case, spending that much to just touch up the edges on this project seems silly.


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