Barn wood tool caddy show-off ….

So this might just be a shameless brag post, but I had to share. 🙂 Last Winter I made a few of these caddys and they were quick, easy, rewarding and very useful! I have three of them, one for paint supplies, one for extra paper plans and drawings, and one that just looks pretty upstairs.  There are endless uses for these guys … and they are so easy to build! 

Here they are, in all of their glory. They were constructed from local barn wood, salvaged by my husband and I just a few months ago. I took 80 grit sandpaper and hit all the boards on both sides to clean some of the dirt and grime off the surface. A light touch did the trick – without taking all of that beautiful, grey, old weathered look off the wood. The table legs were cleaned and prepped also – and that will be a separate post. 🙂 

Once the wood is ready, I simply cut the bottom and sides down to the same length (checking the width, but since these were salvaged boards, I didn’t want to cut any exposed edges). The larger caddy is 16″ long, and the sides I cut somewhere between 12 and 13″ high, cutting a 45 degree angle off of each corner for a more rustic look. Then fire up the nail gun and go to town! 🙂 

The handles were pre-drilled and then glued and screwed in from the outside of the caddy. Very strong and sturdy – our football-player-sized brother sat on it and it survived. 🙂 Seriously. 

But what you really want are the pictures… so here they are! This set of two were custom made for my sister-in-law. Doesn’t she have good taste? 





Don’t you just love how OLD they look? We rescued those table legs out of grandma’s basement and gave them new life. There’s nothing more satisfying than giving something beautiful a brand new life! 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife 


DIY Repurposed , UPcycled frames into chalkboards!




I rescued these from Goodwill on a rainy day for $7.99 per frame. They were dirty, dingy, missing the glass inside, and well, not something I would hang on my wall … but I saw some potential! What if they were chalkboards? What if they were white frames with distressed colors peeking through?

So I took out the rusty little nails and the old dingy “artwork” and sanded down the frames a bit. After wiping off the gross nasty dirt that came off … I painted them each a different color – one with “Pistachio Mint,” {Americana Acrylic Paints} and the other “Bimini Blue,” {Apple Barrel Acrylic Paints}. After that was dry, I coated them with basic white acrylic paint, lightly brushing over the high points of the frame. As you can see, the details on these old frames really lend themselves to distressing! 🙂

Using 120 grit sand paper, I took it in my hand and just lightly sanded over the surface of the frame, the edges… as you can see, what’s left is some of the gold peeking through (original paint), and the colors are left in the grooves. So pretty!! I finished with a clear, water-based poly so that it would be dry in a mere two hours (and not smell so bad). I LOVE the results.







See the pretty teal peeking through? I love how it brings out the beauty of the wooden frame!

If you’ve read my post on making chalkboards, you know how seriously I take the chalkboard-painting process. 🙂 In case you missed it, go read it now! You’ll love making these things!! 🙂  We used 1/4″ mdf for these chalkboards, cut to fit the frame (about 10″x13″). I used a fine foam roller to keep the texture on the chalkboards nice and smooth and even. Mdf is a dream to paint! Just make sure to finish the back so that it’s water proof. I used Rustoleum weatherproof paint on the back to keep all my hard work safe.

So… here you have it — my BEFORE and AFTER.




Keep hunting the thrift stores for wonderful finds like these!! Have you re-purposed anything lately?


~ The Woodworker’s Wife


{None of the products in this post were sponsored or influenced my opinion in any way. Just sharing what I use and what works!}

How to decorate with wooden CRATES!

How to decorate with wooden CRATES!

I just had to share this little bit of inspiration with you all… it’s a wonderful collection of different crates stacked, painted, papered… the possibilities are endless! 

*Admission* I really thought that crates were the “most beautiful” in their raw, bare wood state. I think I’ve changed my mind. The painted, papered crates are just as beautiful – and so cheerful looking, too! Don’t you just LOVE the turquoise set with papered backs? I’m in love. 

 Wooden Crates Furniture Design Ideas 02

I think we might have to make a few that are shallow like these just for the pretty factor. They would be perfect for bathroom storage, or little display boxes in a nursery. 

Is there anything that you CAN’T do with crates? 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife 

Wood Crates- to stain or not to stain?

So I’ve been having this mental debate with myself for months… should I stain them? Will it really look different? is it worth the extra time and smell? Does anyone else even notice these kinds of things? Or is this just a wood-nerd thing? 🙂 

I decided that it was best just to try it out and see. I have three of our “early” crates that we built last summer, and they are definitely not the prettiest ones we’ve made. On the other hand, they have screw heads exposed and the ends are solid, so they have a very tough, rustic appeal. The problem was that they had stamps on the ends (from the lumber yard, only the slats were reclaimed wood), and some neon orange markings of some kind. Yuck! 

You’ll have to forgive me… my computer is in the shop so I don’t have a “real” before picture, but this is basically what plain, standard pine looks like in it’s natural state:


I took the plunge. I love the result!! 


The ends got sanded with the palm sander until the markings were (mostly) gone. Then I applied a really heavy coat of Minwax Stain (Early American is the color, if you’re wondering). I let the stain sit on the wood while I worked over the rest of the crate – so that when I went back to wipe off the excess, there was hardly anything left to remove. What a difference it makes! 

You don’t have to seal over the stain – it’s a moisture barrier on it’s own. Just be sure to let it dry overnight (or at least 8 hours) before handling and storing things inside. 

I like them so much now they are in the living room, full of books. 🙂 


What do you think? To stain or not to stain? 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife 


How to use crates – Inspiration for home organization

I have a stack of TEN wooden crates in my living room right now. Is this a problem? No. Do I know exactly how I want to use them? Not yet! I know, don’t get me wrong… I’m not ungrateful, I just want to make the very best use of them that I can. They are a beautiful, blank canvas –> and I have SO many ideas for how to decorate them/with them.

Here are some great ideas for using crates … everything from bookcases to to shadow boxes and mudroom storage. Pinspiration!

Easy Entry Upgrade with DIY built-in coat hooks and wooden crates via @Jenna_Burger,

I love how she used a few crates to add storage to a small entry way. Great tutorial, too! Read it right here.

DIY Vintage Crate Boot Rack~Tutorial

Another cute use of crates for a mudroom – although I have to admit that I feel like using pre-made (purchased) crates is cheating. Making them is so much more rewarding. 🙂 Anyway, you can see how she hooked them together here! 

Painted Crates for Shelving

This little beauty is from flikr – I love all the bright colors!! It might be a little too elaborate and busy for our home, but the idea of painting just the inside of the crates for a splash of color is brilliant, and easy. 🙂

More bookshelves...

And finally, a simple idea for storing extra books. This is what most of my crates will be used for, no doubt. {Library book sale, anyone?} I love the dark stain – it can add age to crates that are really “new.” What could be better?

There are hundreds of other great ideas for crates out there {coffee tables, entertainment centers, toy storage for the kiddos, rolling crates for blankets and living room odds and ends…}  and I have pinned a LOT of them. Yep, it’s true. If you want to check out my boards, be my guest. 🙂 

What would you do with crates in your home??

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

Rustic Coat Racks Find a Home.

I just had to share these pictures with you. After making a coat rack for the Fire Station, we made two more for one of the Fireman who is stationed there. He was kind enough to share some pictures of the coats racks in their home. I love it! 



There’s nothing better than seeing your hard work being enjoyed by a friend, in their home. 🙂 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife 



Want to buy things you’ve seen on the blog? Our shop is open!

Want to buy things you’ve seen on the blog? Our shop is open!

final fb cover

I’m here to tell you about our “shop.” More specifically, our “Adoption Shop.” Yes, we are actively seeking to adopt an infant (domestically)! We are so excited – in spite of the mountains of paperwork ahead. 🙂 As a means of helping to pay for our adoption, we’ve opened a shop where you can purchase things that you’ve seen here, on the blog, and all the money will go into our fund. Yep, it’s good for everyone.

So take a moment to go “like” our page! It would mean the world to us. Plus, you might find something awesome that you need… or want … and that would be awesome too.

Thanks for all your support!

~ The Woodworker’s Wife