When you live in a small space, and you’re a DIY’er you have to get really creative when it comes to finding ways to store and hide your tools. No one wants to see a whole bunch of screwdrivers, hammers, and drills lying around all over the place. And if your small space is a holiday home that you let friends and family use it’s even more important.
Sadly our tools have gone missing in the past. Hey, it happens. People forget that the screwdriver they used to fix the table they broke should go back in the toolbox and not in a suitcase 😀 And I can’t tell you how many times a drill has grown little legs and managed to escape the confines of our holiday home never to be seen again. So here’s what we came up with to hide our tools in plain sight.
No one will guess that THAT beauty is a treasure chest filled with hidden DIY stuff 😉 And it all started with this bent and battered metal trunk that we found at a thrift store.
It’s big and strong enough to hide your tools. Drills, hand saws, screwdrivers, hammers, nails, measuring tape ..…. You get the point 😀 Everything a typical DIY’er needs.
See what I mean. Nobody wants that stuff lying around all over the place. Tools aren’t the prettiest things in the world, but they sure are useful. I’ll be honest it took a bit of work to get metal trunk ready for her hidden storage makeover.
Transforming the Metal Trunk To Create Hidden Tool Storage
Our trunk had a massive dent in the lid, and it wouldn’t close properly. Not much use if you want to hide tools and things inside. Fortunately, we could knock it out with a rubber mallet.
But first, we had to get the lid off.
She was a bit rusty in places, so we scrubbed her down with a wire brush before using a rust-inhibiting metal primer to prepare her for a new coat of black paint.
We also needed a sturdy base so the weight of the tools wouldn’t bend the metal trunk out of shape over time. To reinforce the bottom the hubby used a cardboard box to create a template before cutting a piece of shutterply to fit inside.
The shutterply base had to fit as snuggly as possible to avoid small tools falling into the cracks. So the hubby cut the base down the middle before gluing it together inside the metal trunk.
While the hubby was working on fixing the inside, I could get cracking and make a new top.
Making a New Top For The Metal Trunk
We wanted the trunk to look less trunk-ish and more table-ish. After a little deliberation, we decided to create a brand new top that we could screw onto the lid. That way we could change the look and hide some of the smaller dings we couldn’t get out.
I measured the top and added 4 cm (about 1 ½”) all around. Leftover bits of tongue and groove were glued together and then stuck onto a piece of plywood that had been cut to the correct size.
To neaten the edges I made a box frame from 1″ x 2″ and just glued and screwed it on. Small L-shaped brackets were screwed in underneath to hold the top and sides together.
Time to Make the Table Top Pretty
To get rid of any rough bits we sanded her down lightly before using a heat gun to add some character. Once happy with the overall look we used the dry brush technique to add layers of white and grey chalk paint.
Don’t you love the way the wood goes from boring bleh to wow once it’s been burnt? And by applying the white and grey paint with a dry brush that character still shows through.
Once the paint had dried, we could add the last few finishing touches.
Finishing Off the Metal Trunk
To up the stakes a little we added four metal wheels to the bottom of the metal trunk. We figured that she would be really heavy once all the tools had been packed inside. No ways did we want to try pick her up and move her. The wheels were screwed onto the bottom four corners.
And finally, the lid was reattached to the trunk, and the new tabletop screwed on top.
A beautiful antique lock completes the picture and keeps the tools where they belong. Safely hidden away 😉
I can’t tell you what a difference this little makeover has made. The hidden tool storage fits perfectly and looks like it’s part of the furniture. And I’m so happy with how easy it is to move around depending on where we need it.
What do you think? Is it something you would make for your small space? I would love to hear about it in the comments.
Don’t forget to pin it for later if you like this idea to hide your tools.
And to think it all started with a bent and battered metal trunk. Psst if you’d like to know what else we’re hiding behind that metal trunk have a looksee here.
Oh before I forget. If you’re looking for some of the things we used in this makeover, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a tiny commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more unique DIY and craft ideas for you 😉
And as always, I hope you have a beautiful, craft-filled week.