How to Build a Hollow Wooden Box

Written by b.t. alo | 13/05/2017
How to Build a Hollow Wooden Box
A carved wooden trinket box (wooden box (with clipping path) image by SBB from

Hollow wooden boxes come in many shapes and sizes, from small trinket boxes to large storage boxes for toys, firewood or linen. Wooden boxes are a classic way to store things, and provide a charming look to any area where they are used, be it a dressing table, end of a bed, or even beside the fireplace to hold wood. While there are commercially made boxes available, making your own can save you a lot of money, especially if you choose recycled timber.

Cut the wood to the desired size. You will need a base, two sides, two ends and a lid. The lid should be a 1/2 inch or so bigger than the base.

Arrange the sides and ends of the box so they form a rectangle (or square if your base is square). Put a line of wood glue along the ends of each piece, then reposition them and clamp them together with the band clamp. Let dry.

Hammer in three or four nails along each end seam of the box once the glue is dry. Take the band clamp off only after nailing the sides together.

Turn the box so that the bottom is on top, then nail on the base of the box.

Cut two more pieces of wood that are slim, between 1/4 inch and 1 inch, depending on the size of the box, and that fit snugly along the inside of the box. These will attach to the bottom of the lid so that it fits in place without sliding about when on the box.

Turn the lid so that the bottom is facing you, then glue down the two pieces of wood so they are positioned flush with the insides of the box when the lid is on. Let dry.

Glue the handle onto the centre of the lid. The handle can be a simple length of wood, a doorknob type handle, or even a brass handle.

Sand the entire box, then brush away any residue with a clean paintbrush.

Varnish the box and let it dry thoroughly before putting the lid on the box.

Things you need

  • Wood pieces
  • Saw
  • Wood glue
  • Band clamp
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Handle
  • Sandpaper
  • Varnish
  • Paintbrush

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