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DIY Tray Stand and Old toolbox

Hello!  It’s Mindi again from MyLove2Create.  I am happy to be back sharing a cool project, and as far as building goes this one is really simple.  A DIY tray stand and old tool box make a fun statement piece, and it is useful too!
DIY Tray Stand, made for an Old Toolbox

I obviously have a thing for cool old metal boxes, as you can see in my first Metal box Makeover.  So when I saw this one at the Restore for only $3 it had to come home with me, plus it was orange, I have a few orange lovers in my home.

old metal tool box
Here it is with lovely sticker and all.  I thought it would be fun to make some kind of stand for it so it would be useful, you know up off the floor, and cute too.  And, as luck would have it, my friend said her dad was getting rid of some scrap plywood.  I hurried over and came home with a good stash along with some 1×2’s, so I set to work with my new free wood. :)
How to build a tray to fit a toolbox
I started with my metal box and set it on a scrap piece of plywood.  After I traced around the box onto the plywood I cut it out with my circular saw.  Then with the scrap 1×2’s I had collected I cut them to fit around the plywood.  I used gorilla wood and nailed the short ends first and then finished off with the long ends.  One tray all built!
toolbox fitting into wood tray

Perfect fit!  You can see I added a picture of the price tag, proof of my score.

cleaning off sticker with oil and baking soda

Of course I wasn’t a fan of the ugly sticker on the top, but I knew I could take care of that.  I used equal parts (maybe…I didn’t actually measure) of baking soda and vegetable oil and mixed them up.  I spread it over the entire sticker and let it sit for at least 10 minutes, for me it was more like 30 because I got busy and forgot.  Then I scrubbed in a circular motion with a metal scraper and removed the top layer.  There was a thin layer left, so I spread more stuff on and let it sit for 10 min again.  After scrubbing this time it all came off!  I cleaned the whole box with a soapy rag, wiped it with a clean rag, and dried it.

Two trays build, 1X2's for supports

While the sticker on the box was “soaking” I went out to the shed to make another tray the exact same size.  I also grabbed some scrap 1×2’s from my Master Closet Makeover to use for supports between the trays, thus making it a DIY tray stand.

Using a right angle clamp to attach pocket holes

I cut them to 13 inches each and drilled pocket holes with a Kreg Jig® K4   into each end.  Then I started attaching them to the bottom tray.  For the first one I used my right angle clamp, but found I didn’t need it for the rest…

Support boards attached with pocket holes

They went in really easily.  Now to attach the top tray…

pocket holes to attach top tray

I set it upside down and attached the supports to the bottom.  All it needed now were some great legs, and boy do I have some nice legs… ha ha! No, not mine :)

vintage legs

These babies were a $1 at the Restore, for all four.  I got them a few years ago before the new manager took over and raised the prices…man I miss the good old days.  Anyway, they don’t look like much because they are covered with a thick ugly brown, something…  Easily taken care of with a sander.

attaching legs to tray stand

I sanded the legs first with 60 grit and then finished with 100 to make them nice and smooth, who would cover up that pretty wood?!  Here you can see I am trying out how I want to attach them to the bottom tray.  I had the leg mounting plates from when I turned an end table into a desk I love them because you have the option to screw the legs in straight or at an angle.  I used the angle because it is more fun.

I also filled in the nail and pocket holes with spackle.  After sanding it was ready for paint and stain.

Staining tray stand and legs
I used wood conditioner and Rust-oleum Kona (surprise, surprise) on the trays and legs.  After I stained the tray bottoms I noticed that I hadn’t sanded off all the glue that was on the plywood so I had some splotches, I will have to see how to fix that… I was happy with the legs though.
spray painting tray stand
I taped off the tray bottoms and painted the rest with my left over can of Heirloom white I had used on my Entry Table made from Reclaimed Lumber.
painting strips on trays
I decided to cover up the glue splotches with stripes!
DIY Tray Stand
After some poly, I attached the legs and my tray stand was done.  I was loving it!
DIY Tray Stand, made for an Old Toolbox
I put in the old tool box, now nice and clean, it is a great burst of color when you walk in my front door, ahh happiness.
DIY Tray Stand, made for an Old Toolbox
Not a trace of sticker left on the top.  I decided to keep the rustic look of the toolbox instead of spray painting it, but it would be easy to do if I changed my mind.
DIY Tray Stand, made for an Old Toolbox
I haven’t quite decided what to put inside yet…
DIY Tray Stand, made for an Old Toolbox
I am sure I will figure out something to hide in there…I know my kids will take it over if I don’t do it quick!
DIY Tray Stand
And if I decide I don’t want to use the tool box?  It is a very cute DIY Tray Stand on it’s own!  Can you imagine all the uses for this?
DIY Tray Stand, made for an Old Toolbox
Of course a shot of those great legs, they look SO much better.
DIY Tray Stand, made for an Old Toolbox
Amazing what a metal box can inspire isn’t it!
So, do you have any old tool boxes laying around?  They just might need some TLC to make a great statement in your home!
see more of Mindi’s posts on MRL below:
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A teacher at heart, Gail relishes the chance not to show off her projects, but to help others find their inner handywoman, step-by-step. Her blog, MyRepurposedLife.com, chronicles her scrap-saving adventures and has been featured on countless DIY magazines and websites, including Women’s Day, Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy. She is a longtime influencer for both Krylon spray paint and Gorrilla Glue. With a tribe of more than 400,000 followers, Gail is inspiring a new generation of DIYers to pick up some tools and get to work.
About Mindi


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Mindi–
    Love this funky table for this box!
    The orange box is way cool too… I love orange! totally unique, good score on the box and the wood too.
    Oh, the best idea? baking soda and vegetable oil? Who knew? that’s a new one on me… I’m going to try it next chance I get!

  2. Another dynamite project! I was curious if you ever use lighter fluid for removing stickers? We have found it to be the most effortless way to remove stickers, price tags or any sort of gummy residue they may leave.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me! I read and appreciate every word!