Wooden Box Centerpiece

The Challenge: To make a wooden box centerpiece for my dining room table.

My Inspiration:  I’ve always struggled to find a consistent centerpiece for my dining room table. I either end up using fresh flowers in a vase, a pot of succulents, random candle holders or a large bowl of M&Ms. However, I’ve come to find that fresh flowers are expensive, I always manage to kill my succulents, 90% of my decor is already candle holders (and enough is enough already!) and with my husband and son in the house – the bowl of M&Ms only last 36 hours at the most. I need something that can just sit there, look pretty and can feature a rotating display of real and fake flowers.

I found this plan on “Love Grows Wild” and I decided to use it as my inspiration. It’s a basic wooden box that fits 4 mason jars. I knew right away that I wanted to leave the box stained instead of carrying through with her chalk paint technique and I also knew that I’d be buying some faux flowers to have in the jars once the fresh flowers I bought died.

What I Need: 

whatineed.jpg

Also not pictured: Wood Putty

Also I’m an idiot: I realized while writing this post that I did NOT use a circular saw as my “What I Needed”image says. I definitely used a miter saw and I am too lazy to fix my photo. I get the two confused all the time — THEY ARE BOTH CIRCULAR!!!

Who is Helping Me:  Anytime woodworking is involved MHH (my handy husband) will be assisting me by providing my tools and answering all my questions.

Also, a big shout out to the Kreg Jig for being super easy to use. I wish more than 5 people read this blog so I could have had Kreg Jig sponsor this post, but I’m not quite there yet. Tell your friends though!

Who is NOT Helping Me:  Wood Putty. I have yet to master my wood puttying skills and I ended up applying WAY too much and then was super defeated when I was unable thoroughly sand it all away because the putty was on the inside of the box and my electric sander didn’t fit inside the box. (Please read the preceding run-on sentence in the whiniest tone you could imaging someone speaking in) I tried hand sanding the putty away, but I was not very successful. As per usual, I threw caution to the wind and just stained over the putty without fully sanding it away. It looked real, real bad:

woodputty

MHH took one look at my mess and rigged up his Milwaukee Tool electric Multi-Tool with a sander attachment (#sponsor someday?) and I was able to get in there and grind away the excess putty and re-stain the areas. And once again, MHH saves the day with some surprise tool that I’ve never seen before and I suddenly realize just how far I have to go to accomplish my lifelong dream of joining Norm Abram in the New Yankee Workshop as his sassy female sidekick.

How I Did It:

  1. I bought all my supplies from Home Depot. I bought a 1x6x8′ board, stain and drawer pulls. The rest of my supplies we had at home already.
  2. I made my cuts on a mitre saw:
    • (3 ) 1x6x22.5″
    • (2) 1x6x7″
  3. I used the Kreg Jig to pre-drill holes in the boards.kregjig
  4. Using some clamps and a whole lotta luck, I used the screwdriver attachment thingy from the Kreg Jig kit to bring the boards together to make my box.
  5. I applied excessive amounts of wood putty to the holes that were exposed in the inside of my box (see above “Who is not helping me”)
  6. Once my putty dried, I sanded the exterior of the box with an electric sander and sanded what I could of the interior by hand.
  7. I took the box outside, donned a gas mask (I’m pregnant and afraid of VOCs!) and stained the box with espresso colored stain and I really, really enjoyed it. There was just something so much more gratifying about staining vs painting.Stained.jpg
  8. Once my stain dried (I waited 2 days), I had MHH help me attach the drawer pulls.
  9. I filled the mason jars with flowers and I was done!

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Would I Do It Again?/Final Thoughts: Aside from the wood putty incident, this was a pretty easy and quite affordable project. I’m ultimately really happy with the way it turned out and if I ever found a new need for a 22.5 inch long box, I’d definitely make another one. It’s been about a week since I’ve finished the box and I’ve come to appreciate its beauty more and more each day. I have to admit I was kinda skeptical at first. The night I finished it, MHH came across me sitting alone at the table just staring at the box for what felt like an hour but was probably only 5-10 minutes. I really wasn’t sure I liked the stain and if it matched the rest of my decor.  I felt like if I just stared at it long enough, I’d grow in confidence. It turns out, I just needed more time with the box to get to know it better, see it in context and appreciate it for all it has to offer. The box truly fits the table well, all my friends and family seem to like it and I’m really excited to feature fresh flowers in it all spring and summer. I even like the stain color so much now that I advised MHH that he should use the same stain color for his wine cabinet project (post coming soon). I think the wooden box and I are going to have a great future together even if our love only lasts a few seasons before I grow tired of it. I’m excited that after a week of trying things out we’re finally going public and making it official for all my loyal readers reader. I do indeed like this box and we’re very, very happy together.

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