How to Build a Regular Wooden Box With Hinges


Wooden boxes have multiple uses, from simple storage for nails or other woodworking items to serving as decorative home accessories. Build a hinged box from oak lumber or an exotic wood and it can take on a whole new purpose as a safe haven for prized possessions.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 pieces of 1-by-4-by-12-inch wood
  • Variable speed drill
  • 1/16-inch wood-boring drill bit
  • 2 pieces of 1-by-4.5-by-4-inch wood
  • Small box of 3-penny finish nails
  • 1 piece of 1-by-4.5-by-10-inch wood
  • 1 piece of 1-by-6.5-by-12-inch wood
  • 12-inch piano hinge with tacks
  • Wood glue
  • Place the two pieces of 1-by-4-by-12-inch wood on a worktable. Drill pilot holes for the nails about 3/8 inch from the edge of three sides of each piece. Space the pilot holes about 2 inches apart. These are the front and back pieces of the box.

  • Apply glue to the 4-inch edges of the 1-by-4.5-by-4-inch wood pieces. Secure them through the drilled pilot holes to the ends of the 12-inch pieces with the finish nails to create a rectangular box.

  • Apply glue to the four edges of the 1-by-4.5-by-10.5-inch wood piece. Slip this piece between the other pieces to form the bottom of the box. Secure it through the pilot holes with the finish nails.

  • Turn the box so the opening is facing away from you. Put the 1-by-6.5-by-12-inch wood piece over the opening so it covers the opening completely.

  • Secure the piano hinge to the back of the box first with tacks. Then, secure it to the back edge of the top piece to create a hinged lid.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean up excess glue immediately with a damp cloth.
  • Fill the nail holes with wood putty, if desired.
  • Line the inside of the box with felt, as this will help protect the contents.
  • For an alternative hinge for the box, see “White Chapel LTD: Installing Box Hinges” in Resources.
  • Do not leave dangerous tools unattended in the presence of children.
  • Do not stain or paint the box without proper ventilation.

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  • Photo Credit opening box 4 image by Luisafer from
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