Monday, September 12, 2016

DIH Workshop Rustic Wheelbarrow Virtual Party

 The Home Depot DIH (Do-It-Herself) Workshop Virtual Party is here!  I was asked to build a Rustic Wheelbarrow and then customize it (but sticking to the core project idea).  When I was initially asked to participate in this workshop, I was so excited with the thought of having an actual project to share.  There is something so rewarding in starting with nothing and then ending with something creative and useful.  What I didn't realize is how much fun I would have with this project!  It has been so long since I worked on a project simply for the enjoyment of it and also something that isn't house related!  I loved every step of this project, particularly having to get creative and thinking outside of the box to give it my own personal touch. 

Below is the original photo that Home Depot sent for us to use.

And this is my finished customized wheelbarrow!

When I saw the plans for this project, I immediately envisioned using it for the little flower business my mom and I have... I pictured it next to our flower stand down the road and I wanted to give it creative touches that would match our flower cart.  We often have our stand stocked so full that we don't have any additional space to place our bouquets or stems for sale.  The funny part though is that once I actually finished my wheelbarrow, I loved it so much, I decided I probably wouldn't be leaving it at the flower stand.  (wink)  I think I'll have to build another wheelbarrow!  

I really wanted the wheelbarrow crate to look like an old soda crate (my inspiration came from a vintage seven-up soda crate), which also has materials that would match our flower cart: distressed wood, paint, signage and metal.  

 I'm going to share the instructions to build the Rustic Wheelbarrow, but also keep in mind that The Home Depot offers (free!) workshops at all of their locations for do-it-yourselfers of all ages and experience levels.  There are three types of Workshops offered - Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Do-It-Herself (DIH) and Kids.  You can learn how to build decor projects, how to make easy home repairs and how to operate tools through demonstrations and step-by-step instructions.  (Visit to learn more or REGISTER HERE for a workshop near you!)  The Rustic Wheelbarrow DIH Workshop is this Thursday, September 15.  I'm actually planning to go to the workshops in the future with friends and I think it will be so fun!  All right, let's get to building!

Tools Needed:
  • Circular or Miter Saw
  • Jig Saw
  • Drill
  • 1/2" Drill Bit
  • String
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil
  • Safety Goggles
  • Sanding Block

  • 1 - Crates and Pallet 18" x 12.5" x 9.5" Large Wood Crate
  • 1 - 2" x 8" x 8" Prime Kiln Dried Board
  • 3 - Pressure-Treated 36" x 2" x 2" Wood Square End Baluster
  • 1/2" x 48" Wood Round Dowel 
  • 1 - Box #8 x 2.5" Phillips Square Drive Flat-Head Full Thread Zinc Coated Multi-Material Screws
  • 1 - Pack #8 x 1" Flat-Head Phillips Wood Screws

 1.  Measure and Mark: Two 8" segments from one of the pressure treated 36" x 2" x 2" wood square end balusters; One 3.75" segment from the 1/2" x 48" wood round dowel wheel axle; One 7" circle from the 2" x 8" x 8" board.  
2(a).  Cut: Using a circular or miter saw (I used a miter saw), cut the two 8" legs from one 36" x 2" x 2" wood square end baluster and the 3.75" wheel axle from the 1/2" x 48" wood round dowel. 

(Tip on measuring and marking the circle: Make a mark in the center of the 2" x 8" x 8" board about 6" from the end of the board.  Screw a screw halfway into the center mark and wrap a string with one end tied around the screw head and the other end tied around a pencil with a 3.5" of string between the nail and the pencil and draw the 7" circle.  OR you can be lazy like myself, go into your house and locate the top of your canister lid that measures exactly 7" and trace (wink - just being honest here)!) 

2(b).  Using a 1/2" drill bit, pre-drill a hole touching the outside line of the circle.  Insert the jigsaw into pre-drilled holes and cut the 7" circle from the 2" x 8" x 8" board.  I spent some time sanding the circle after it was cut out.  It's not easy cutting a perfect circle with a jigsaw!  Embrace the imperfections is what I say!

3(a).  Drill Holes for Wheel Axle: Measure and mark the center of both remaining 36" x 2" x 2" wood square end balusters at 1.25" from the ends.  Using the 1/2" drill bit, drill a 1/2" hole halfway through the baluster at the center mark of each of the balusters using a slight 5 degree angle and the drill bit pointing away from short end of the baluster.  

3(b). Drill a 1/2" hole through the center mark of the 7" wheel.

4(a). Attach Balusters to Crate and Wheel: Turn the wood crate upside down and align one of the balusters over the bottom of the crate ensuring the end of the baluster with the drilled hole overhangs the end of the crate by 6" and is centered over the second slat on that side.  The other end of the baluster should be angled to hit in between the two outermost slats on the other end of the crate, allowing a 12" overhang to act as a handle.  Secure baluster to the bottom of the crate using a 2.5" screw on each end.  (Reference picture above top left hand corner.)

4(b). Insert the 3.75" wheel axle into the drilled hole on the secured baluster.  Slide the 7" wheel onto the wheel axle, and insert the wheel axle into the remaining baluster.  With the wheel sandwiched securely between the two balusters, secure the remaining baluster to the bottom of the crate centered over the second slat at the wheel end and between the two outermost slats at the handle end using 2.5" screws at each end.  (Reference picture above bottom left hand corner.)

5.  Attach Legs: Place the two 8" legs vertically 3/4" in from the end of the crate on the outside of the balusters.  Secure with one 2.5" screw through the balusters.  Turn wheelbarrow over and secure the legs through the slat on the inside bottom of the crate using one 1" screw into each leg.  (Reference picture above bottom right hand corner.)

 I further customized the wheelbarrow by adding the remaining dowel inside the crate.  (This was mainly to accommodate some gorgeous vintage half-gallon Ball jars I have!  Ha!)  Center and mark every 6" on the 2nd slat from the top.  With a 1/2" drill bit, pre-drill holes. Cut two dowels 12.5" long and insert into the pre-drilled holes.  Cut one dowel 18" long.  (You do not need to purchase an additional dowel for this - you should have exactly enough with the one original 48" dowel.)  Center and mark the crate sides to allow the 18" dowel to be placed on top of the two inserted dowels horizontally.  Pre drill the holes with the 1/2" drill bit and insert the 18" dowel.

 Ta-da!  Your wheelbarrow is finished!  I spent some time now sanding the wheelbarrow with a sanding block to get everything nice and smooth.

 Now for the fun part!  You can use paint or stain to customize your wheelbarrow!  If you'd like yours to look like mine, I'll list the steps now.  I used one coat of Minwax Classic Gray Stain over the entire crate.  Once dry, I followed with two coats of Minwax Provincial Stain over the entire crate. 

 (I personally find it easier to apply the stain using an old rag versus a paint brush.) 

 Once the stain was completely dried, I applied two coats of Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint in Linen White onto the slats only of the crate.  Then I painted the lettering on.  The method I find to be the easiest for this is to print out the words on your computer and printer using the font and size you'd like and cut them out.  Turn the paper over and using colored chalk, chalk all over the back of the paper (reference above photo top right hand corner).  Then tape the paper lettering exactly how you'd like it onto the crate (reference above photo bottom left hand corner).  Using a ballpoint pen, trace each letter.  What will happen is the chalk will be transferred onto the wood, giving you an outline to use to paint (reference above photo bottom right hand corner).  Paint using your color of choice.  I think any color would look cute!  I used red. 

I painted lettering onto both sides of the crate!  As you can tell, I did not worry about doing a perfect job.  ;-)  Once the paint was completely dry, I used a sanding block and sanded over the white paint and the lettering to give it a distressed, faded look.  

Next I applied a coat of polyurethane all over the wood to protect it. 

And finally, I bought some hardware at Home Depot to give some finishing touches to the wheelbarrow.  Again, I was trying to incorporate finishes that would look like an old soda crate!  I bought one set of Everbilt galvanized 3" corner braces and eight Simpson Strong Ties Galvanized Angles.  I also bought Everbilt nickel thumb tacks to use for the Simpson strong ties (screws would be too long).  

From the photo above, you can see that I screwed in the corner braces into the crate and handles of the wheelbarrow, front and back.  Then I used the thumb tacks to secure the Simpson strong-ties to each corner of the crate, top and bottom slats.  

I also used the same signage method I mentioned above to add the established date to the back of the wheelbarrow crate, just painting the white chalk paint directly onto the stained wood. 

I love using the gray stain as a base as it really hides the pine undertones and allows the wood to look distressed.   

Adding the dowels inside the crate was really a fun extra touch and I love the way the jars fit perfectly inside the crate, with the dowels giving stability so the jars don't tip over. 

 I had such a great time using the wheelbarrow (and pumpkins - hooray!) to give some early fall touches at our flower stand. We always like to decorate the stand for fall, as our flowers bloom until the first frost.  This wheelbarrow has to be one of the cutest ways to decorate for the fall season, but honestly, I envision using the wheelbarrow for all seasons.  I'm looking forward to using it for Christmas decor too!

I'll mention one more time that even though I shared the building tutorial here, you can sign up for a workshop at your local Home Depot store Thursday, where they will demonstrate how to build the wheelbarrow!  From what I understand talking to our local store, you can also purchase the materials beforehand and they will help you make it there too.  You can REGISTER HERE for the free workshop!  

 I think you will love making this wheelbarrow just as much as I did!  

And for further inspiration, you can visit 24 other bloggers that also built this Rustic Wheelbarrow and gave it their own customized touch!

Disclaimer: Thank you The Home Depot for sponsoring this post!


  1. This is too cute! Love the addition of the words and the hardware. What a great look for your flowers.

  2. I love your wheelbarrow crate. It's my favorite! :-)

  3. It's really cute the way you did it! Love it for a flower stand piece of decor.

  4. Andrea you did a fabulous job making the wheelbarrow your own, so cute next to the flower cart.
    Kathleen in Az

  5. Wow! I love what you did with the dowels, and hardware.. turned out SO good!!

  6. Adorable - and the rods to hold flowers perfectly in place is brilliant!!!!! Love it!

  7. wasn't it a fun project? your flowers the flower stand and special touches are always so dreamy and inspiring.

  8. How cute and fun! And I'm envious - the guts to use a big saw! It's a perfect addition to your flower cart!

  9. Cute! I'm inspired by your honor system flower cart! Great idea.

    1. Thanks, Miranda. We have such a blast with our flower stand!

  10. Absolutely adorable, Andrea! If I can't make it to the workshop, I will make it at home (with hubby's help ;). Your blog is my favorite, I always feel welcome and at home :)

  11. Love it! I registered for the workshop and am so excited to make one tomorrow. I think I will get some hardware to add to it also love that idea!

  12. It is good to see posts that give truly quality information. Your tips are extremely valuable. Thanks a lot for writing this post.Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging.

  13. SUCH a sweet project! And I adore your flower stand. If I lived nearer, I'd be returning a great many mason jars. ;)

  14. These tips proved very useful for me and for this, I really want to mention thanks for sharing it with us.

  15. Very informative post for me as I am always looking for new content that can help me and my knowledge grow better. Keep it up.


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