This project is a shameless West Elm knock off. The Contrast boxes are fun and useful in nearly any room.
But, only the tray is available right now. Hence the knock off. I found the perfect wood while picking up some other supplies at Home Depot. In the aisle with pre-cut sheets (varying thickness MDF, peg board, and plywood), I saw these 1/2 inch thick solid oak boards. Only $2.50 per 1/2 inch by 5.5 inch by 2 foot board.
I grabbed three and started building when I got back home. Using the width of the plank as my top and base, I cut two rectangles at 8 inches. To create the sides, I cut mitered corners to fit around the base. Not on top, as I did with my recent tray project. So the inside of my long pieces were 8 inches, short sides at 5.5 inches.
This is where a pin nailer comes in very handy. For each side, I’d brush wood glue on each corner or joint, hold it in place until square, and then shoot four or five 3/4 inch long nails in.
It leaves teeny holes, but holds everything together until the glue sets. For my triangle lamps, I used this same method of nails and glue and they’ve held up perfectly. Now, to deal with the recessed top.
West Elm’s version has a routered top, but I decided it would be quicker and just as effective to add little ‘posts’ to each corner. After measuring the inside of the box, I subtracted a half-inch and glued them in.
My top is a 5.5 by 8 inch rectangle, allowing it to rest inside the frame, on atop the corner posts. To accommodate the leather strap handle, I measured my leather. At 3/16 thick, I cut a slightly larger slot by drilling holes in each end and connecting the pieces with a funky vibrating saw.
Before finishing, I sanded everything with fine paper. Using stain and paint I already had, I finished the outside with stain, and the inside and top edge with paint. Four coats of Polycrylic to protect everything and give a little shine. For under eight dollars, I have a cute box to stash our junk on the coffee table.
It’s a nice wooden accent, but I’m worried it looks too tall. Almost like a Kleenex box cover. I might make a shorter one…
At any rate, it holds lotions, chapstick, nail clippers, and the boys’ toothbrushes.
The leather handle is a lot easier for the boys to open than the metal bin we had used.
I couldn’t think of a better way to attach the strap, so I stapled it to the underside of the cover. I’m guessing West Elm attached their handle differently. Haha.
A lower, longer box would be great to hold our remotes, too. I could also use one in the bathroom for first aid supplies.