This post is sponsored by Elmer’s Glue. As always, text and opinions are my own.
I can’t even contain my excitement about this new piece… It not only looks amazing (in my humble opinion!), it fits our space perfectly, serves a truly useful purpose, AND…
I designed and built it myself.
The full plans and tutorial are at the end of the post!
After the 15 millionth time I tripped over my kids (and my *cough* husband’s!) shoes, I knew we needed a better solution for our shoes in this new house. In the old house, we used a bench and trays, but there’s no good spot for that bench near either door, so we’ve been stuck lately. This is my new secret weapon.
I wanted to imitate those antique firewood boxes: primitive, rustic, utilitarian, and gorgeously used. My in-laws have one and it’s a beautiful piece in their home in Santa Fe. Our little fireplace (which we recently gave a makeover!) is actually gas burning, so we don’t need logs…
Leaving this little beauty to act as the perfect mini mudroom near the front door.
I planned it with three things in mind: looking like an authentic antique, fitting our space, and using lumber efficiently. I am SO pleased with the result.
These little hooks left over from my diy rustic towel rack (tutorial coming soon!) are the perfect addition, making this piece functional for hats, scarves, and purses, as well as shoes.
And the best part? Even when your shoes inside look more like this (because, let’s get real, they are never perfectly lined up at our house!)…
It still looks like this from the outside. Win for mom. 😉
I’ll be sharing a tutorial for the finish later (because this is already a ridiculously long post!), but here are your full building plans.
1 – 3/4×16 edge glued pine panel @ 96 inches long
1 – 1×8 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×12 @ 6 feet long
1 – 1×2 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×6 @ 4 feet long (you only need 2 feet, though, so use a scrap if you have it!)
1 1/4 inch wood screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
Elmer’s Wood Glue Max
150 grit sandpaper
chop saw or circular saw (I have this one and love it)
Please read the entire plan and comments before beginning this building project. You may need assistance (i.e. an extra set of hands) for some steps of this project. Be sure to take all necessary precautions. Always use straight boards, check for square after each step, and predrill holes before attaching with screws. Be safe and have fun!
4 – 1×8 @ 23.75 inches (front and top)
3 – 1×12 @ 23.75 inches (back)
1 – 1×6 @ 23.75 inches (back)
2 – 1×2 @ 16 inches (interior bottom braces)
2 – 1×2 @ 19 inches
1 – 3/4×16 @ 22.25 inches
**2 – 3/4×16 @ 39.25 on high end (you will need to fit these together as below; do NOT cut straight across your board with your circular saw)
** I realize that 23.75 inches may seem an odd width for your firewood box. This is to ensure that you can get 4 pieces out of your 8 foot board (compensating for the kerf – the width of your saw blade)
- Cut all your straight boards above, then line them up together as shown.
Since not all boards (especially 1x12s which tend to have some bowing) are exact widths, you’ll want to use your actual boards to determine the proper height of your side panels: the 1×5 + three 1x12s make up your back (and the taller side of your side panels); three 1x8s make up your front (and the shorter side of your side panels).
- Mark your heights on your 3/4×16 panel and draw your pieces to fit together as shown. Sketch your curve as you like.
- Cut out one of the side panels using a jigsaw.
- Lay the first side on top of the second to trace an identical curve.
- Cut the second side panel using a jigsaw.
- When finished, all your pieces should look like this (except for the bottom… for some reason, I took this picture before I cut the bottom to fit, sorry! It should be narrower than the planks above it).
Sand all rough edges before beginning assembly. Note: to achieve a more rustic look, sand the edges of each board until they are more rounded rather than sharp corners.
Secure your 16 inch 1x2s to the bottom of your side panels using Elmer’s wood glue Max and screws.
Stand up your side panel, and using a level to ensure your side panel is standing straight, attach your first 1×8 at a right angle to the short side of your panel using wood glue and finishing nails (see image below for clarity). Repeat for second side.
Once you have created your U shape (with the side panels and your first 1×8), slide your bottom piece in to rest on the horizontal 1x2s. It should fit below the vertical 1x2s. Secure with wood glue and finishing nails.
Above the first 1×8, attach two more 1x8s across the front (to the shorter sides of your side panels) using wood glue and finishing nails. As always, wipe of excess glue. One advantage to Elmer’s wood glue Max, though, is that it is stainable, so you won’t ruin your piece if you miss a tiny bit of glue.
At this point, your box should look like this.
Attach the 1×6 across the bottom on the back of the box (the taller side of the side panels) using wood glue and finishing nails.
Stack a 1×12 above the 1×6 and securing using wood glue and finishing nails. Repeat for the remaining 1x12s. Your box should be complete except for the top.
I have a full tutorial to come separately on the very distressed finish I achieved which involved stain, layered milk paint, wax, and hemp oil. Once you fill your nail holes, though, you can paint or stain this piece to your liking. Finish it off with some antique looking hooks for greater function as a mini mudroom.
Though I wouldn’t call this a beginner build (probably more like intermediate), it’s really not hard. And the rustic nature of the box allows for some imperfections, too. 😉 Remember, power tools may be fun, but they require knowledge and safety precautions. Please make sure you are working safely! And if you build one, be sure to send me a picture.
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