Friday, October 25, 2013

DIY Wood Trug

Handmade Holiday: build a wood trug

It's Friday which means Ana White and I have another new plan perfect for your holiday gift giving.

Today it's a wood trug or carryall or handled bin - call it what you want - a very versatile and useful gift.  It could even be a gift to hold other gifts!

Ana's plans will have you building not one but multiple trugs for nearly everyone on your holiday list.

You can use wood scraps of almost any size:

These wood trugs hold everything:

I painted stripes on these trugs but the finish possibilities are endless, you could even personalize by adding a name using the same technique from the folding desk last week:

The handles won't ever fall out of position, I used small perpendicular wood dowels as stoppers at each end to keep the dowel in place:

And left the interiors unfinished - look at all that space!:

Here's how to build a wood trug:

1. Follow Ana's plans and cut lumber.

Below are the side and end cuts for the 3 trugs pictured:

2. To make the curved end piece mark where the side meets up with the end (on both sides) and mark the center at top:

3. Use a small diameter container (paint sample etc), trace the upper edge to get the top curve:

Then use a larger diameter (regular paint can, plastic takeout container lid, etc) trace the edge of the can:

4. Cut curved end with jig saw:

5. Simply trace curve onto second end and cut:

6. Drill holes for handle using spade bit same diameter as dowel:
(I prefer my handle to move freely therefore drill this hole a bit wide to give a tiny extra room.)

7. Sand well, especially the curved edges, before construction.

8. Use glue and 1 1/4" finish nails and nailer (or hammer) to attach sides to one end:

I used 4 nails per end:

9. Repeat for other end:

10. Cut base to fit.
Glue and nail into position.

11. Cut handle dowel to fit, leaving at least 1/4" overhang at each end.
Mark for smaller stopper dowel just inside the ends and predrill hole.  Slide one stopper in place, place handle in position, then insert other stopper.

12. To paint the stripes simply measure and tape off with painters tape:

Keep moving the tape and making new lines until you have all the stripes you want.

13. Seal with Minwax clear satin poly:

And check back each and every Friday through Christmas for another new gift build plan.


  1. These are super cute, Jaime! I love the stripes. I'm thinking my boys need some of these for Christmas for all their treasures!

  2. I really love the project. I use hardwood plywood when building blocks of wood for bandsaw boxes. When the edges are hit with some Danish oil after all of the sanding is done you would be amazed how the plywood just pops out at you. Try it on one of our trugs and I think you will be pleased.

  3. These are wonderful and the possibilities are endless!

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