I moved from California to Utah and I'm trying to get my house set up. I needed a new bed frame, so I drove to Ikea to buy one (and a bunch of other things). In my haste to get through the store in one piece with three young children in tow, I forgot to grab the wood slats that keep the mattress from falling through the frame. No problem, I could easily make my own slats from lumber at Home Depot.
After that project was complete I had some 19" sections of 1" x 4" boards leftover. Our table needed a centerpiece decor, so I decided to use the extra lumber to make a wood box. I'm not particularly handy or crafty, and I don't own any special tools. But I decided to tackle this project anyway.
I took three 19" sections of 1" x 4" boards, which I had cut with a circular saw, and made those the two long sides and the bottom . I used another 19" section to make the two end pieces (I cut them about five-and-a-half inches long each).
Before assembling I sanded all of the wood with 200 grit sandpaper (I chose 200 grit because I already had it). I did this by hand. I made sure everything was smooth because I didn't want my kids to get splinters should they touch the box (and they will!). Once sanded, I nailed all of the boards together using 1.5" nails that I had lying around.
I stained the wood with a stain + polyurethane combination that I had left from a previous project (following the directions on the can). The color was "espresso" but I didn't necessarily want the box to be dark, so I only applied one coat.
To give the wood a bit of distressing, after the stain dried I sanded the box lightly (but purposefully unevenly) with #000 steel wool that I found in my tool box. I didn't want the wood box to appear new, but like it's something we've had for awhile.
To give a contrasting texture, I put black metal "L" brackets on the corners (they're not structural, they're decorative, and I placed them in such a way that they cover the nail heads). I had to buy these since I didn't have any spare ones lying around, but it was only about $5 for all eight of them.
For a pop of color (and another texture) I added some fake grass that I found at Micheal's for 50% off. It was the final touch needed to complete this project.
Some scrap wood, an hour-and-a-half of work, and a few odds and ends, is all it took to craft this decorative piece. Now it's the centerpiece of our table.