DIY Child’s Wooden Toolbox From Pallets

I have another DIY project for you! And it’s made from discarded pallets! I know a lot of people enjoy making new creative projects from pallet wood. My husband made an adorable wooden toolbox for our youngest child as a Christmas gift in 2016. It came out really cute. In fact, I thought it could easily work as a decorative box to hold items in a kitchen or other area for Mom! So whether for a child or adult, you might want to check out the instructions for making this wooden toolbox from pallets.

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Using Pallets to Make The Toolbox

Obviously,  you are going to need to collect some wooden pallets if you don’t already have some on hand. My husband is able to get discarded pallets for free from a local roofing company. You might try checking local trucking and shipping companies as well.

I want to emphasize that this entire toolbox was completely made from pallet wood. No other wood was purchased or used. Even the handle was made using part of a pallet. Wood glue and two panhead screws were used to assemble the pieces. Clamps were also utilitzed.

Steps For Making the Toolbox

  • First, you will have to disassemble a pallet or two. Wade used 3 long pallet slats, and part of a pallet runner. The runner is the wooden piece inside a pallet that helps hold the slats together.

DIY child's wooden toolbox from pallets

  • The slats were cut to make the sides and bottom of the toolbox. The slats he chose to use were 3 1/4 inches wide. He cut four pieces 12 1/2 inches long to make the bottom and sides of the box. To make the ends that hold the handle, he cut four pieces 12 inches long.
  • The slats were sanded to make them smooth, paying special attention to the edges to get a nice glue line. He wanted to make it look as seamless as possible where the slats would be glued to form the bottom and ends.
  • Using wood glue, the two slats for the bottom were glued together. They were held together with pipe clamps until set. The four slats for the ends were treated the same way. Two slats were used for each end.

DIY child's wooden toolbox from pallets  DIY child's wooden toolbox from pallets

Bottom slats glued together in the middle and then clamped to let the glue bond.

  • After the glue was dry he used double-sided tape to attach both end pieces together. This was so a matching design shape could be cut on both ends at the same time. A little creativity was used to draw the curved shape on the ends. He used a small can of stain to obtain the curves at the bottom of the design, and then a compass to draw the top curve. Then he connected the two curves and cut them with a bandsaw.

DIY child's wooden toolbox from pallets

Picture of the curved design of the end pieces.

  • Next a belt sander was employed to smooth the wood and help shape the cut.
  • The handle was made by cutting the pallet runner to 3/4 inch thick and 11 3/4 inches long.
  • To have the handle more round rather than the square shape it was, he placed a chamfer bit on his router and used it on each corner of the handle. This makes it appear to have an octogon shape now and seem round. Also a hole was pre-drilled into the ends of the handle to prevent splitting when the screw was placed.

DIY child's wooden toolbox from pallets

 Octagon-shaped handle.

  •  He assembled the bottom, sides, and ends of the wooden toolbox by using wood glue and clamps. First, he glued the sides to the outer edge of the bottom. Then the end pieces were glued inside the side piece edges, but on top of the bottom piece edges. It was all allowed to dry overnight.

DIY child's wooden toolbox from pallets

Assembling and gluing the toolbox together.

  • The next day he sanded all the adjoining edges to make sure they were all flush with each other. He didn’t want to have any pieces sticking out past the others.
  • The whole box was primed using a white exterior primer paint that we already had on hand.  The rod handle was primed using that same primer. However, he also gave the handle a second primer coat using a red spray primer.
  • Next the wooden toolbox was given two coats of a white flat interior paint.
  • The rod handle was given two coats of spray paint of Rust-oleum Regal Red gloss {affiliate link}.
  • For the final step, the toolbox was completed by attaching the handle with two 1 1/2 inch panhead screws.

DIY child's wooden toolbox from pallets

More Toolbox Details

Ta-da! He finished it on Christmas Eve night! A bit down to the finish-line maybe. But the Little Dude loves it. We didn’t wrap the toolbox, just gave it to him Christmas morning. He also got a wooden tool set from Melissa & Doug line that goes perfectly with it.

DIY child's wooden toolbox from pallets

Actually, I had purchased the tool set first at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. They had a little plastic set there that came with a toolbox, but it looked more chintzy to me. I called my husband to ask his opinion while I was shopping. He thought the little guy would prefer the toolbox to carry around, but I liked the look of the wooden tools better. So I asked Wade if he could just make a toolbox for them. He enjoys wood-working projects, and said he could definitely make one. Just time tends be an issue for him with work and school.

But he was able to get it done. And the Little Dude likes it. Right away, he started banging on the box with the hammer. Which by the way, is one thing I should mention. The little colorful tools are leaving color marks on the white flat paint used.

To eliminate this issue, my husband said he should have used a protective wax coating over the paint to protect it from getting marked up. Something like the Fiddes & Sons Supreme Wax Polish {affiliate link}, that I had gotten from Amazon for another project. My aunt has done a lot of furniture repainting, and that was a product she recommended to me. Wade said we could still repaint the child’s toolbox and then do the wax. But time was a little short getting it done before Christmas. My husband says the paint marks make the toolbox look “authentic”. 🙂

But anyway, I think this little wooden toolbox turned out quite adorably. It is a basic project for you weekend warriors. Grab some pallets, and give it a go!

DIY child's wooden toolbox from pallets


I am married with three young children. My husband and I are both registered nurses. I like to try new ideas out, and will obsessively research whatever that latest idea is. We like to try different ways to decrease our living costs and save money. My husband is great at building/fixing/diy etc. and figuring out how to implement my new schemes.

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