DIY Early Wall Box

Use this DIY early wall box to hold the day’s mail or as a catch all for the tiny things that wind up in pockets.
By John A. and Joyce C. Nelson
January 27, 2014
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This DIY early wall box is a copy of a simple one found in northern Massachusetts.
Photo courtesy Lark Books

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John A. and Joyce C. Nelson provide 150 easy, quality projects for any home in The Big Book of Weekend Woodworking(Lark Books, 2005). In their 60th book, the Nelson’s include their favorite projects for all levels of craftsmen. The following DIY wall box is one of many projects that the Nelson’s provide in their book.

Buy this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Big Book of Weekend Woodworking.

DIY Early Wall Box

This is a copy of a simple wall box I found in northern Massachusetts. It probably was used for candles. The original was made of pine and painted a dark brick-red color. This project is very easy to make, as it has simple butt joints throughout.


1 Back — 5/8 x 10 — 15" Long 1 Front — 1/2 x 4 1/2 — 11 1/4" Long
2 Ends — 5/8 x 4 1/2 — 5 1/4" Long
1 Bottom — 5/8 x 4 7/16 — 10" Long
18 Finish nails — 4 d


1. Cut all of the pieces to size, and sand all surfaces. Make a full-size pattern of the back (Item 1) in Slideshow, and transfer the pattern to the wood. Locate and drill the 3/4-inch-diameter hole. Cut the back out and sand all the edges. Assemble with glue and nails. The nails on the original wall box were showing, so don’t attempt to hide them unless they bother you. Round all of the edges slightly.

2. Paint or stain as you desire. This project is perfectly suited to distressing slightly and sanding the edges to give that old worn look. Hang it on the wall, add candles, and you will be ready for that next power failure.

For more projects from The Big Book of Weekend Woodworking: Read DIY Child's Footstool.

This material was excerpted from The Big Book of Weekend Woodworking: 150 Easy Projects by John A. and Joyce C. Nelson and published by Lark Books an imprint of Sterling Publishing, 2005. Buy this book from our store: The Big Book of Weekend Woodworking.

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