From the July 2015 issue

How to Make a Vintage Wooden Toy Tote

Ready for a road trip this summer? Whether you’re driving up north or across the country, toys and activities are key. And you’ll need something sturdy to lug them around in! Leave the grocery tote at home and opt for something a bit more rugged: a ready-to-decorate wooden crate. Taking its cue from the iconic red wagon, this retro-themed tote is perfect for your family’s vacation travels.

Materials

  • Wooden crate (found in the wood-supply aisle at your local craft store)
  • Red and black craft paint
  • Oilcloth
  • 2-inch-wide nylon belt webbing, 36 inches long
  • Heavy-duty stapler and staples
  • Paintbrushes (one large, one small)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Sanding block

Instructions

  1. Give the crate a quick sand with your sanding block to remove any split wood or rough spots.
  2. With the large paintbrush, apply red paint to the tote, section by section. Paint the side slats first and let dry; then paint in between slats. Finally, paint the sides. Optional: Paint the inside, if you’d like.
  3. After the paint has dried completely, measure the inside of the crate so you can add a piece of oilcloth fabric to the bottom (this will keep small items from slipping out). Cut oilcloth to size and staple into place.
  4. To create a shoulder strap, take the nylon belt webbing and slip one end through one of the crate’s handles. Fold the raw edge over and staple into place. Repeat for the other end of the strap.
  5. Mark your tote by writing “TOYS” with black paint on one of the wooden slats. Use the smaller paintbrush for a more precise look.

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