Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Look what I copied from a magazine cover

I know this looks like another DIY post about a wooden Christmas tree box that turned out pretty well, but it's also a post about my Dad.

this summer with my boys

My Dad is 76 years old and for those of you who've followed me for awhile you know when it comes to construction, he can do almost anything. He hung drywall for 40 years and if you've ever tried to hold a piece of drywall over your head with one arm you'll know something about his robust view on life. Lucky for me, my Dad has been my DIY teacher around my fixer-upper these past years and I enjoy sharing what I learn from him---with you all.

Like this little project.

So I'm wandering through a antique store when I see this cover of a 2015 Country Living magazine, and I became instantly smitten with the rustic Christmas Tree box on it.

For a buck I bought it and thought, "I gotta make this!"
Well at least I planned to.
But the last weeks in November were so hectic that I ended up showing the magazine to my Dad when I was home for Thanksgiving and gosh, it was so darn nice to just sit back and watch him make this.

Here's the final project:
(you can see more pictures on my Instagram)

If you look my magazine picture you'll see that the wood looks dry and old.

So we used basic 6 inch Redwood fence pieces from Home Depot.

After Dad measured the standard size of a tree stand he decided to make the "box" 24 inches around and we both decided to skip the extra step of adding a bottom.
I stood around talking and watching him and I'm glad I did because of the little things I keep learning.

He basically made 4 panels (here's two of them).
The height of each was easy, he just stacked the three 6 inch redwood pieces together.

In addition he cut these little pieces (8) to fit on both sides of two of the four panels.
He used wood glue and his nail gun to connect the sides. Here you can see how he fit the three wood pieces into one finished panel. When I saw this step I understood the purpose of those strips of wood.

Here's a picture of the last panel being connected:

About this time I took a video of my Dad working and I asked him, "Have you made one of these before Dad?

and I have him on video giving a classic answer,

"Oh come on,'s just a box."

That pretty much explains why I'm a DIYer. I usually begin each project not having a clue how it's going to turn out but my Dad has a way of making everything seem totally do-able. No matter how complicated it might look to me.

Ok. As I mentioned before that we chose not to put a bottom on this box to make it easier to handle--plus this was the day after Thanksgiving and we were short on time.

The last step was adding these metal strips on the sides.
I followed my Dad to his backyard shed and he showed me the different screws I could use on the strips. I still have no idea how to find the right ones in a Home Depot, but at least I now know that there are metal screws that exist. :)

Once home I hand-painted the letters Holly Tree Farm on the front and decided I didn't any stain for this wood.
This would age nicely in our attic and the best part of this project is the time I spent hanging out in the patio with my Dad... while he made this.

Well, I sure hope you enjoyed this little tutorial.

Thank you friends for stopping by.



Calypso In The Country said...

I love how the box turned out and the room looks beautiful too! Your dad is awesome!

cindy hattersley design said...

I have to be honest there is so much BAD diy out there, but you are the queen of REAL diy. As in you make really cool stuff!!

Jean Bee said...

Great story..and a very nice box! Love the idea of no bottom. I actually have a large old wood box with no bottom but I have always turned it to use as a shelf so I love the idea to use it as you did.
Happy Holidays!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Oh I love this post, Leslie! You are so blessed to be enjoying times like this with your dad. Brings memories with my own father to mind. The box is wonderful and I love the tutorial, too! Thank you for sharing!

Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

This is so clever! I just love it! Enjoy the season!

Blondie's Journal said...

Your dad is a keeper and not only does he look young-he is young!

I love the little box, it's great to have someone in your corner when you tackle a project. Your wording on the side is nothing to sneeze at. Great job, both of you. May you have many more projects together like this.


Stacey said...

Oh I love it! My dad is 78 and can still build or do anything! Don't you love men like that? Your box turned out great and you prove that it's not so hard.

Leslie Harris said...

Thank you Shelley!

Leslie Harris said...

Oh Cindy what a nice compliment, thank you. We both love incorporating those rustic touches into our home. And I sure love your taste.

Leslie Harris said...

Thanks Jean. And I'm so glad I got you to re-think that old box of yours! It's so fun to find new uses for our old stuff.

Leslie Harris said...

Oh Linda. I'm not surprised you would mention the time spent with my Dad. I think we both appreciate how precious time spent with those we love is, and I don't take this for granted. Not one bit. I do feel so fortunate to still have my parents, especially now that I'm doing hospice work. My grandma used to joke, 'I'm just here on borrowed time,' and back then I never got it. Never understood it because when you're young you have a different view of Time. I think you know what I mean. I just know your Dad must be smiling at you from above, so proud of the life you've created and your ability to inspire others with your creativity and kindness.

Leslie Harris said...

Thank you Patti I'm so glad you enjoyed this project.

La Contessa said...


NOW,I am an HOUR PLUS from SACRAMENTO!!!!!!I could have met YOU on HWY 5!!!!!!!!!!!!AND I WOULD HAVE DONE THAT !!!!
NEXT TIME 10 minutes for a HOOK UP on the INTERSTATE!!!!!!!



michele said...

This is fabulous! It looks completely vintage and authentic but is so much more special since your father's fingerprints are all over it! Thanks for sharing your world with us, Leslie. I'm under the weather and catching up on my favorite blogs...peace to you, friend. xox

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...


What a wonderful day spent with your dad. How nice that you are learning so many great things about building and DIY from your dad, and getting to spend time with him at the same time.

I love your tree box! What a special tree stand and made even better because you made it with your dad.

Carla from The River said...

The relationship you have with your dad is something I always enjoy reading about.
I love the tree box. Your tree looks wonderful.

Sheepskinsandfairylights said...

It's lovely Leslie!
The stockings are gorgeous too XX

Mary Ann Pickett said...

This is so awesome. GREAT job. Merry Christmas.

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