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Great Decorating Ideas for Vintage Tool Boxes

Today I’m joining Amy at My Rustic House and we are going to share how to decorate an old Tool Box using nothing but Thrift Store Finds. Be sure to see Amy’s Tool Box at the end.

If you shop regularly, it’s amazing what you can find at thrift stores including old tool boxes. So Amy and I thought it would be fun to share some great decorating ideas for Vintage Tool Boxes using nothing but thrift store finds allowing you to decorate for less.

Choose your Tool Box

This was one of my first tool box finds. It’s very long and shallow so I need plenty smaller items to fill the tool box.

After finding this tool box, I added a white wash over the surface so that it wouldn’t blend into the island top. I also added some stenciled numbers to the sides.

What Thrift Store Finds Work Well in Tool Boxes?

Next, begin by pulling out some of your smaller finds and allowing you to see what will work well together. Here you want to think about a variety of heights, materials and textures to make the tool box look interesting.

Each of the items below were purchased at thrift stores and cost less than $30.00 and this includes the tool box that was purchased a few years ago.

Why do I choose these items?

I thought I’d share some of the items I used to style the vintage tool box and in addition, share why I look for these items when thrift store browsing. You can see more thrift store shopping tips here on a previous post.

Two things I can’t resist are wooden items and vintage dishes. Here are some recent finds that made it home with me.

Did you know you can always paint a different message on wooden signs? However, I liked the YUM. and decided to keep it as it is. Terra cotta pots and old brass candlesticks are usually very inexpensive in thrift stores and I always snatch up the deals.

A few other things I can’t leave behind is vintage kitchen utensils, silverware and ironstone.

Also, old canning jars look great filled with nuts, candy or just empty. They work well on shelves in addition to helping fill a vintage tool box. The adorable fruits made from gourds are a recent steal in my opinion. The color and texture are a perfect addition to the tool box.

Begin with larger pieces

As we begin to fill the tool box, I like to start with the larger pieces and work from there. Here the wooden pieces are layered with the ironstone plates on one end and the vintage canning jars are on the opposite corner.

Next fill in the backside of the tool box, using the mini basket with piece of fall wheat stem and the ironstone pitcher is filled with the silverware spoons. In addition, the brass candlestick helps to complete this side of the box.

Then on the front side, the terra cotta pot is filled with dried okra pods, and the YUM sign and the small gourd apple completes the tool box.

To add some additional height, I added some dried flowers to another vintage canning jar.

In addition to the over sized tray, the larger gourd and the copper container filled with utensils, didn’t make the cut either, but they look lovely beside of it.

Here is an over head view of the tool box decorated with nothing but thrift store finds.

The tool box is in the center of the kitchen island and therefore it’s important that it looks good from all directions.

Although all the items are small, the different texture allow your eye to travel for one treasure to another and creates visual interest.

The Kitchen Island is a DIY Project and here is how we built the island.

You can see more ways to use thrift store items on my Fall Home Tour.

Be Sure to Check Out Amy’s Tool Box

Amy at My Rustic House

Thanks so much for stopping by.

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Tips to decorate a vintage tool Box using only thrift store finds.  Learn what to look for when shopping thrift stores and how to use them to create seasonal vignettes and tool box designs.


Sunday 18th of October 2020

I love this Rachel. So glad we joined together for this fun post!

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Tuesday 20th of October 2020

Amy, It was a fun time. Thanks for including me. Rachel


Friday 16th of October 2020

Love all your great ideas! Pinned!

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Tuesday 20th of October 2020

Stacy, I really appreciate this. Rachel

Miche Ortega

Thursday 15th of October 2020

Beautiful and pinned! Thanks Rachel.

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Tuesday 20th of October 2020

Miche, Thanks for stopping by. Rachel


Thursday 15th of October 2020

Such a fun post Rachel.. Pinned

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Tuesday 20th of October 2020

Ann, I'm so glad you liked it. Rachel