How to Make a Homemade Wooden Stash Box

Written by ann azbill
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How to Make a Homemade Wooden Stash Box
(wooden box image by Sergey Shlyaev from

Almost every child at one time or another has had or wanted a box in which to store secret "stash." Traditionally, cigar boxes have served as storage for trinkets such as pocket knives, old watches, broken jewellery pieces or treasured stones. A wooden box will last longer than a cigar box and can be made to accommodate a lock which will provide "safety" and perhaps secrecy for that treasured stash.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Scrap pieces of ¾-inch plywood
  • 1 5/8-inch-long wood screws
  • 3/8-inch-long wood screws
  • 1-by-2-inch piece of lumber
  • Two hinges
  • Locking hasp and padlock
  • Jigsaw or table saw
  • Drill

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  1. 1

    Cut two pieces from ¾-inch plywood to the desired length and height of the box, forming the front and back. Cut two pieces to the desired width at the same height for the sides of the box.

  2. 2

    Cut a piece from ¾-inch plywood to fit the length and width, for the top of the box.

  3. 3

    Cut a piece from ¾ inch plywood that is ½ inch shorter and ½ inch less wide than the top, for the bottom of the box.

  4. 4

    With a jigsaw or table saw, set the blade where it will cut ¼ inch deep and cut grooves ¾ inch wide and ½ inch from one edge of the front, back and side pieces.

  5. 5

    Sand all pieces smooth. This will make it easier to slide the bottom of the box in place.

  1. 1

    Attach the front and back to the outside of one of the sides with wood screws, lining up the edges and the groove.

  2. 2

    Slide the bottom of the box inside the groove.

  3. 3

    Attach the remaining side to the front and back of the box.

  1. 1

    Fill all screw holes with putty and either paint or stain the box. Use at least two coats to make sure all the wood is covered.

  2. 2

    Attach two decorative hinges with 3/8-inch wood screws to the top piece and to the back piece of the box.

  3. 3

    Attach the overlapping part of a locking hasp to the top piece of the box and attach the other piece of the hasp to the front of the box. Use a padlock to lock.

  4. 4

    Attach decorative brass corners to each corner of the box if desired, using 3/8-inch long brass wood screws.

Tips and warnings

  • Drill pilot holes before screwing the wood together. This not only makes the screws easier to screw in, it helps prevent the wood from splitting.
  • Using a wood punch, slightly countersink each screw. Fill with wood putty that you can paint or stain.
  • For a longer lasting and more decorative box, use a hardwood for the plywood such as oak. Cedar would also make a great box for trinkets. With these types of wood, consider staining rather than painting, to bring out the natural grains in the wood.
  • If making the box with a the help of a child, use extra caution with power tools. Unplug drills or saws when not in use.
  • Wear safety glasses when using saws or drills to prevent wood chips or sawdust from getting in the eyes.

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