Sunday Trinket Box

Submitted by JoanneS on Thu, 12/04/2014 - 17:40
Starter Projects
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A super easy and quick trinket box that you can build from ½” thick craft boards (or a cedar picket or even some scrap wood).  It makes an ideal starter project, and is great for a gift.

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This plan is named the Sunday Trinket Box because I came up with the design on a Sunday afternoon last year after remembering two of the girls at work had birthdays that week, and one of them was Monday.  I built and finished 2 boxes in an afternoon, from cedar picket scraps (½” x 2 ½” and ½” x 5 ½”).  

The demo picture is made from a cedar picket and has a 1” x 2 ½” piece of the cedar as the pull.   A store bought knob or pull would work just fine.

If you use a cedar picket, make sure to sand it smooth on both sides and measure its dimensions before measuring for your cuts.  

You could do this whole build with just hand tools.   I used my 10” miter saw, nail gun, and palm sander for this build (love my power tools!).



Shopping List

Shopping List


1 pc ½” x 5 ½” craft board at 2’

1 pc ½” x 2 ½” craft board at 3’



1 pc ½” x 5 ½” x 6’ cedar picket


1” finish nails

Wood glue

Super glue (if using wood pull)


Wood filler (if painting)

Wood putty (if staining)

Paint or Stain for desired finish


1 knob or pull (optional, if not using a wood pull)


Note:  you could also substitute scrap 1x3 and 1x6 for the craft boards, or use bigger 1x scrap cut down to standard board sizes.    Follow picket cutting/measuring directions for sides/inner lid if using scrap 1x boards.

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

Cut list for ½” thick craft board:

   2 pc ½” x 5 ½” @ 5 ½” (top & bottom, 5 ½” x 5 ½”)

   2 pc ½” x 2 ½” @ 5 ½ (front & back, 2 ½” x 5 ½”)

   2 pc ½” x 2 ½” @ 4 ½” (sides, 2 ½” x 4 ½”)

   1 pc ½” x 5 ½” cut to 4 3/8” x 4 3/8” 

         (inner lid, trim to fit – about 1/8” smaller than the inner dimensions of the box)

Pull:  use desired size piece of wood OR a store bought knob or pull)


Cut list for Cedar picket (1/2” x 5 ½”)

2 pc @ 5 ½” (top & bottom, 5 ½” x 5 ½”)

1 pc @ 5 ½”, then turn and cut off 2 strips @ 2 ½” wide (front & back)

1 pc @ 4 ½”, then turn and cut off 2 strips @ 2 ½” wide (sides)

   (see note on measuring for length of sides)

1 pc @ 4 3/8”, then turn and cut to 4 3/8” (inner lid, trim to fit)  (see note on measurements)

Pull:  cut desired size piece of wood OR use a store bought knob or pull


If your picket or board doesn’t measure 5 ½” x ½” -  measure for sides/inner lid:

     Measure width of wood: ______

     Measure thickness of wood: ________

     Length of side:   Width minus 2X thickness

            Ex:  5 3/8” wide picket @ ½”, sides would be

             5 3/8” minus 1” = 4 3/8” for side

      Inner lid:  4 3/8” x  4 ¼” (1/8” shorter than side, trim to fit)

Cutting Instructions

If you use a cedar picket, sand it smooth first, then measure its dimensions before measuring for your cuts.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Attach sides between front & back with 1” finish nails & glue, keeping tops/bottoms and outside edges flush.

Step 2

Attach bottom to box, keeping outside edges flush, using finish nails and glue.

Step 3

Cut inner lid and trim to fit.  The inner lid should fit easily inside the box without catching on the sides.   Top & bottom views of how it would look (wait till after finishing to attach inner lid):

Step 4

Sand and finish as desired.  Recommend wood filler if you are painting.  If you are staining or just using poly, try finishing first and adding some matching color wood putty to fill any nail holes afterward.  

Step 5

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Finish Used
The finish on this one is 3 coats of clear water based polycrylic. After finishing, any visible nail holes were filled with a little wood putty (I mixed some pine and oak to get the right shade).

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