How to Make a Wooden Pen Box

Updated February 21, 2017

Wooden pen boxes provide beauty and function to a desktop. Pens are traditionally given to mark special life moments. A wooden pen box is a special way to store those cherished pens. Pen boxes come in a variety of styles. No purchased pen box can come close to the value of one made by hand. The care and thought put into a hand made wooden pen box is something to be admired, much like the pens the box will store.

Place end pieces parallel to each other so that they are six inches apart. Set the side pieces perpendicular to the end pieces and parallel to each other to form a rectangle. Run a bead of wood glue along each part where the corner joints are formed. Place the rectangle back together. Wipe off any excess wood glue with a damp rag.

Use a hammer and finish nails to fasten the sides to the end pieces. Drive two nails into each corner joint. Ensure that the nails are spaced evenly. Use a nail set to set the nail just below the surface of the wood. Wipe off any excess glue that may have seeped out. Fill the holes with wood filler.

Lay the top upright on the work surface. Position the hinges one inch from each end of the backside of the top. Use a screwdriver to screw the hinges in place. Place the hasp in the centre of the front-side of the top. Use a screwdriver to screw the hasp in place.

Position the bottom onto the rectangular side and ends section of the box. Run a bead of wood glue along where the edges meet. Place the bottom back into place. Use a damp rag to wipe off excess glue. Use a hammer and finish nails to nail the bottom in place. Space the nails evenly along the bottom edges. Set the nails just below the surface of the wood with a nail set. Fill the nail holes with wood filler.

Flip the box upright. Line up the top with the edges of the sides and ends. Place the hinges against the back side. Screw the hinges in place. On the front side of the box, line up where the bottom half of the hasp it to go. Screw the second half of the hasp into place.

Lightly sand all surfaces of the box with 120-grit sandpaper. Apply your choice of wood finish to the box according to the directions supplied with the finish.


Use different types of wood on the same box to give it a custom high-end look.


Wear safety glasses when woodworking. Follow tool and wood finish safety precautions.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 ¼-by-2-by-6-inch hardwood (sides)
  • 2 ¼-by-2 ½-by-6-inch hardwood (top/bottom)
  • 2 ¼-by-2-by-2-inch hardwood (ends)
  • Wood glue
  • Damp rag
  • Hammer
  • Finish nails
  • Nail set
  • Wood filler
  • Screwdriver
  • 1 pair of box hinges, with screws
  • 1 hasp set, with screws
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Wood finish of choice
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About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.