one tool tote, two ways.

I mentioned a while back that I had one of these wooden totes that I was reserving for a Christmas look.

It’s your basic tool caddy, freshly made out of unfinished wood.  Sometimes I will layer these unpainted items in several colors to add the illusion of age, or maybe use some of Dixie Belle’s Sea Spray to add some texture.  But this time I opted for a simple black paint job using DB’s Midnight Sky.  Once I had it painted inside and out, I pulled out my smaller Rudolph and Co Reindeer Treats stencil from wallcutz.  I have this stencil in two sizes, the smallest and the largest, and it’s one of my favorites.

I wanted to give my stencil a little more dimension, so I first stenciled just the “Rudolph and Co” in Dixie Belle’s French Linen.  Then I moved the stencil slightly up and over and stenciled the larger wording, plus the top section in DB’s Drop Cloth.  I left the ‘and’ just in French Linen.

I stenciled the back side without a shadow, mainly because I find it’s trickier to get it to look good with smaller, fine letters like these.

I do like to have something on both sides of a tote like this in case the future owner wants to display it in the center of a dining table.

Once the paint was dry, I sanded to distress the edges.  I was distressing back to fresh, new wood though.  So in order to give this a more aged look I waxed it with brown wax to darken up those areas where the sanding revealed fresh wood.

I thought it would be fun to style the tote in two different looks.

I started with some natural looking greens, my unfinished nutcrackers, an old cloth tape measure and some metal cash register numbers.

This neutral sort of look is right up my alley.  You can find those unfinished nutcrackers at most craft stores it seems.  They are meant to be painted, but I like them left ‘as is’.

The sort of papery looking greens with the little white berries are from Hobby Lobby.  I  purchased them recently and they were super cheap at only $1.49 each (Christmas stuff was already 60% off the day I shopped).

If you’d rather have a little bit of bling in your holiday décor, this next look might appeal to you more.

I swapped out the greens for some that are a little less rustic and added fairy lights, then I decked it out with vintage gold balls, some golden crowns, a tiny birdcage …

and a little star shaped ornament that I’ve had forever.

I can’t really decide which look I like better, what do you think?

I’ll be bringing this tool tote into the shop this evening, unless one of you locals wants to snatch it up first for $38.  If so, be sure to let me know in a comment or by email at

10 thoughts on “one tool tote, two ways.

  1. I love them both! I guess it would depend on what other Christmas decor you had put up for the year. Great ideas for both!🎄❤️


  2. I just love the neutral too! Perfect! You have such a good eye! Thanks for more inspiration as per usual 😉!
    Smiles, alice


    1. Love it! I really like the unfinished nutcrackers…I guess I’ll have to make a trip out to Hobby Lobby and check out the Christmas stuff. Love the lettering on the tote – perfect!


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