How to Make a Wooden Suggestion Box

Written by jonathan d. septer
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How to Make a Wooden Suggestion Box
A nice wooden box is classier than merely chopping a hole in some cardboard. (box image by Bartlomiej Nowak from Fotolia.com)

Building a suggestion box is a simple task with great rewards. There are many different ways to build a suggestion box, but a simple, small wooden lock box with a slotted top can be easily and inconspicuously placed on a table or counter top. Also, a small wooden box can be easily finished to match the existing decor of any retail, office or restaurant space where a suggestion box is needed.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • One piece of wood 12 inches by 12 inches by 3/4 of an inch
  • Two pieces of wood 12 inches by 8 inches by 3/4 of an inch
  • Two pieces of wood 13 and 1/2 inches by 8 inches by 3/4 of an inch
  • Two pieces of wood 13 and 1/2 inches by 6 and 1/4 inches by 3/4 of an inch
  • Four 2 inch free operating hinges
  • Two 3 inch metal padlock hasps
  • Two padlocks compatible with hasps
  • Claw hammer for wood nails
  • Box of 1 and 1/2 inch wood finishing---or lost head---nails
  • Drill with 3/16 inch wood drill bit
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Box of #10 1/2 inch Phillips wood screws having heads compatible with mounting holes of hinges and hasps (typically Phillips wood screws with a flat head)
  • Pencil

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Set 12-by-12 piece of wood flat on the work area. This is the box base.

  2. 2

    Stand one 12-by-8 piece of wood so 12-inch side is flush with one side of the base.

  3. 3

    Nail nails in rough, two-inch increments through the standing piece of wood and into the base.

    How to Make a Wooden Suggestion Box
    Finishing nails are designed to be hammered flush with the wood surface. (hammer, nail set and nails image by Allen Stoner from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Attach the other 12-by-8 piece of wood opposite the first in the same fashion.

  5. 5

    Stand one 13 1/2-by-8 piece of wood so it is flush with one open end of the base and both standing pieces.

  6. 6

    Nail nails in rough, two-inch increments across the bottom to attach the 13 1/2-inch piece to the base and then nail in rough, one-inch increments through the 13 1/2- inch piece and into the 12-inch standing pieces to attach the three standing pieces at the corners.

  7. 7

    Attach the other 13 and 1/2 inch by 8 piece wood opposite the first but in the same fashion. The product at this point is a 13 and 1/2 inch by 13 and 1/2 inch wooden box without a lid.

  8. 8

    Mark location of hinge attachment holes with a pencil dot. The hinges will mount to the outside of the box near the top edge. First choose one side and hold a hinges two inches from one top corner and mark all attachment holes. Mark a second set two inches from the other top corner on the same side. Repeat process on the opposite side of the box.

    How to Make a Wooden Suggestion Box
    Hinges come in a variety of shapes and sizes appropriate for this job. (hinge image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com)
  9. 9

    Drill 1/2-inch long guide holes into each mark. Do not drill through.

  10. 10

    Mount four hinges turning the screwdriver clockwise to drive wood screws through the hinge attachment points and in the guide holes.

  11. 11

    Set one 13 1/2-by-6 piece of wood across the top of the box flush with the corner on top of the unattached side of the hinge. This is one box top.

  12. 12

    Reach in the box, hold the hinge against wood piece and mark location of attachment points with a pencil dot. Repeat Steps 11 and 12 to mark the other 13 1/2-by-6 piece of wood.

  13. 13

    Drill 1/2-inch long guide holes into each mark. Do not drill through.

  14. 14

    Mount four hinges to the box tops, turning the screwdriver clockwise to drive wood screws through the hinge attachment points and in the guide holes. The product is now a square wooden box with two hinged lids opening opposite each other and leaving an inch and a half wide slot between when shut.

  15. 15

    Mark attachment points for the padlock hasps. Attach hasps spanning the box slot at opposite edges of the box roughly one half inch in from the edge.

    How to Make a Wooden Suggestion Box
    This is an example of a padlock hasp. (suggestion box image by Jake Hellbach from Fotolia.com)
  16. 16

    Drill 1/2-inch long guide holes into each mark. Do not drill through.

  17. 17

    Mount padlock hasps turning the screwdriver clockwise to drive wood screws through the hasp attachment points and in the guide holes.

  18. 18

    Attach padlocks to hasps, apply finish if desired, and provide those with suggestions paper and a writing utensil.

Tips and warnings

  • If staining wood, stain before assembly.
  • Protective eyewear is recommended when woodworking.

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