November 26, 2012

DIY Wood Box Centerpiece

Thank you to Two Twenty One for including my centerpiece in her 'Entertain' features round up!

Today marks the second round of the Dare to DIY challenge I'm participating in!

This weeks theme was entertaining and our project instructions were to DIY something for your table.

I showed you my Thanksgiving tablescape last week:

And the centerpiece box is what I DIY'd for today's challenge!

Warning: an incredibly long, photo-filled DIY tutorial is heading your way :)

To build the box, I bought 4, 1 x 6 x 4 pieces of whitewood for $3.50/each:

Then I used our compound miter saw to cut the ends of each long side at a 45 degree angle:

After the long ends were cut, it was time to cut the short ends. I took one of the 1 x 6's and made a 45 degree cut at one end. Then I put the bottom 1 x 6 down and placed the newly cut short 1 x 6 board up against the long 1 x 6 board to form a corner:

Once the corners were lined up, I pushed the second 1 x 6 long board against the shorter 1 x 6 board and marked it's location (and angle to be cut) on the short 1 x 6 board:

Then I made another 45 degree cut:

And had one short side piece done!

Before I could cut the other short side piece, I needed to cut the bottom piece down to size since it was too long:

I did this by placing my newly cut short piece against the longer side pieces to form the end of the box. Then I ran a pencil along the inside edge:

To make my cut line:

A trip to my saw produced a nice clean cut:

Which gave me enough room to measure the remaining 45 degree cuts for my second short side piece:

Before I began to assemble everything, I put all of the pieces together to see how they fit. Success!

To put everything together, I ran some wood glue along each edge of the shorter pieces:

And stuck them to the edges of the longer pieces

I did one side at a time and after the glue had set up a little bit, I hammered three nails into each end for some extra stability:

After the box was assembled, I realized that the bottom was going to be much lower than I had anticipated:

4 3/4" too low to be exact:

I thought about propping the candles up with cans of food but then a lightbulb went off and I started to dig around in my scrap wood pile to see what I could find. I found a 40" long 2x2 furring strip that was most likely leftover from my DIY console table.

I cut the furring strip down into 4, 10" long pieces that would act as support "beams" for the bottom piece that was going to turn into a shelf.

After I marked the center of my long board, I measured 5" in from each side of the box and made a mark. Then I ran a band of wood glue along one side of one of the 10" furring strip beams:

Matched it up to the marks I made earlier and stuck it into place:

After two of the supports had set up (about 30 minutes), I turned the box over to make sure that they were level:

Then I glued the remaining supports in place:

I grabbed whatever I could find to hold the shelf supports up while they dried overnight. I don't know if this step was necessary since they were pretty stuck in place as it was but I didn't want anything slipping overnight.

The next morning, I placed the bottom piece turned shelf piece on top of the supports to see how it looked:

With the shelf in place, the box was only 1 1/4" deep which was a lot better than the previous 4 3/4" and meant that I didn't have to find as many items to prop the candles up on!

Here's what the supports look like from the bottom in case you're wondering:

There were some gaps in the box's edges so I broke out some paintable caulk and got to work.

I started by running a band of caulk down the edge:

Smoothing it out with my finger:

And wiping off the excess with a damp paper towel:

I let the caulk dry for 4 hours (the recommended time on the tube) before painting it.

For the paint, I used a quart of Olympic's premium latex paint in a semi-gloss finish. I didn't have it tinted at all, I just grabbed it (Ultra white base 1) off of the shelf and took it home:

I whitewashed the entire outside of the box and part of the inside:

I also whitewashed the top of the shelf just in case some of it were to peek through underneath the candles/filler:

Because I did such a light coat of paint, it was dry by the time I finished painting the top of the shelf so I brought it inside and taped off the top edge:

So I could paint it gold:

I used Martha Stewart's "Vintage Gold" paint (from Home Depot) and applied it with a small foam brush:

After the edge had dried (about an hour), I removed the tape and started filling the box with candles making sure to vary the heights for some interest:

Then I started adding pinecones:

And that's when I realized that I'd need to use something else as a filler since the pinecones were too big to fill the box alone like I had hoped:

So I broke out my Spanish moss (not pictured) and some faux foliage I picked up at the dollar store earlier in the day just in case the pinecones wouldn't work:

And got to work filling every nook and cranny:

Until I eventually ended up with this:

Whew! Did you make it to the bottom of the post?! 10 points to you if you did :)

What do you think of the box? Will you be making one for your future tablescapes?

Disclaimer: I can't guarantee that your centerpiece will turn out just like mine. Differences in materials and tools used, and your skill level, will yield different results. I cannot be held responsible for a failed project or an injury of any kind so proceed with caution and build at your own risk. Remember: always use caution when working with power tools and read any instructions before beginning any project.

I'm sharing this project at the Dare to DIY party hosted by Decor and the Dog, Maybe Matilda, Newly Woodwards, and Two Twenty One!

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  1. I LOVE that box. And thanks for all the detailed instructions! I used your idea of folding the napkin and putting it horizontally over the plate. I think that is my new favorite look :) Love your table setting!

  2. Thanks, K! And you're welcome! Horizontal napkins are my favorite too :)

  3. This is so pretty! Way to knock it out of the park again with this week's dare!

  4. What a gorgeous centerpiece!!

  5. This. Is. Beautiful! I'm sort of dying over it. I've looked at the pictures fourteen times to take it all in. The color you painted the box is beautiful and now I"m really thinking I need my own box for my dining table.

    Thank you so much for sharing your DIY project and for linking up to Dare to DIY! You really brought your A game. It's gorgeous.

  6. FABULOUS! You did such an awesome job. All that filler stuff really makes it and I love the gold paint touch!

  7. Kim - Awww, you're so sweet! Thank you! If you decide to build a box of your own and have any questions, feel free to ask :)

    Crystal - Thank you! Thank God for last minute dollar store trips haha

  8. I love the touch of gold - very pretty!

  9. I love it! And I totally made it to the end of the post (I admit I skimmed in the middle for now, but I'm pinning it so I can go back later; I think I need to make my own)

  10. Your table looks gorgeous, and you built a box!! Wow. Amazing. I'm totally in love with it!

    Amber @ Wills Casa

  11. Drunk on Discounts - Thanks!

    Gretchen - Thanks! I don't blame you for skimming, the post turned out much longer than I thought it would haha

    Amber - Thanks! :)

  12. 10 points for me, I read every word :-) This is absolutely gorgeous! I thought the DIY aspect was just going to be the assembly, but dang, you actually built the box, too?! It didn't look as intimidating as I expected . . . I kind of want to make one now, too. I love how full and pretty and wintry it looks . . . so lovely. Great job, and thanks so much for joining in!

  13. Awesome job!! The directions were great have me convinced I can make one HA!! Well done!!

    xo Cindy

  14. Rachel - Yay! 10 points have been awarded ;) Building the box wasn't hard at all - you should make one! I think the hardest part was waiting for the glue to dry so I could stuff it full of stuff haha

    Thanks Cindy! Let me know if you make one, I'd love to see it!

  15. LOVE it. Great rustic chic look. And I also like how you can change the color of it in the future with a little paint. But shoot, you whipped up that suck so fast you could probably just make a new one. I wish I had your mad woodworking skills.

    And in all honesty, I would earn 8.5 points. :)

  16. This is fantastic!!! I used a wood box in my centerpiece too, but I didn't hand make it, so you win! Gorgeous.

  17. Chelsea - Thanks! I was honestly thinking of making another one since I like this one so much and don't want to take it apart because I know I'll end up wanting to remake it next year haha And the 8.5 points are all yours! :)

    Amy - Haha thanks!

  18. Gorgeous! I always know that a tutorial starting out with a miter saw is going to end up amazing! :)

  19. This is great! I love how detailed the tutorial is and the outcome! Would be great to place on a sofa table all year and update with seasonal accents!

  20. Jess - Thanks! I'm kind of new to the saw but it's quickly becoming my best friend haha

    Julie - Thanks Julie! Putting it on a sofa table is a great idea! Now I need to find a sofa table haha

  21. where did you find those wood slices/circles? I need some of those! thanks so much! emdubroc at gmail dot com


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