Make a gardening toolbox. Customize it with a cool photo transfer. Easy technique!


Spring is almost here! 

Since March first is tomorrow, this is my official “kicking off spring” project. Yeah, I know spring doesn’t start for a few more weeks and I realize many of you are still under a mountain of snow, but why not start looking forward to the coming season? Building a springy-type project will get you in a thawing-out frame of mind!

This tool tote can be made to function as a toolbox or as a decorative piece. As I began building mine, I realized that I liked it better as a planter. I suppose it’s like building a workbench that is so nice to look at that you don’t want to scratch it!
However you wish to approach this, it’s a super-easy project you can make in a day. If you don’t have a tablesaw, you can simplify it by eliminating the angled sides and cutting out all the pieces with a jigsaw. The dowel pins aren’t necessary: I added mine after the glued-up sides were dry, so they are mostly decorative.
Inkjet-to-wood photo transfer
The ink-transfer technique is a blast! If you don’t build this toolbox, try out this image-to-wood transfer on something. Just print out any image on a sheet of label backing on your inkjet printer. I found my pictures on Google Images and printed them in reverse so the text was facing the right way. I also bumped up the color saturation a bit, but I love the faded look on wood!
Free plans
I would love for you to consider placing a bid on this toolbox. Remember, 100% of your winning bid goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Place your bid here! Hurry! Auction ends Friday, March 7th. Thank you all who have been participating in these auctions. I’m so proud of you Me-Mos!


  1. Great job on the Garden Tool Tote. Very versatile project. I’ve been wanting to try that image-to-wood technique for a long time & you have just given me a great idea !

  2. Looks good. I’m really impressed with how well the image transfer technique works. Wasting a whole sheet of labels shouldn’t be necessary, though; I think it’s basically just waxed paper. You should be able to cut the stuff made for baking to the appropriate size and run that through your printer. Unlike laser printers that use a lot of heat and tend to melt things, inkjets are pretty forgiving of what you run through them. But I might just have to give this a try. Also, come to think of it, laser toner is pretty much just a mixture of dry ink and wax or plastic; you can laser print on regular paper and then iron it onto things. That might be worth a try too.

  3. The picture transfer got my brain juices flowing. Actually some spilled out on my shirt. 😉 I really hope you do a video on this and I’m ready to start some experiments since it’s too cold to work out in my carport area this week.

  4. Steve – Sherlock Holmes I am not. Did you mention anywhere what the thickness of the wood is? I can’t tell if it’s 1/2 or 3/4. Would you be so kind as to elaborate? Thanks


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