Wooden ammo boxes have been an essential part of many vintage re-purposing projects. They’re super versatile, really strong and an upcycled ammo box can add a rustic touch to your home decor. There are so many ways to re-purpose them too. When we saw one with a broken lid, I just knew it would ideal base to make a sturdy kitchen cupboard. A small one, with just enough storage for a few essentials 😉
We have a really small holiday home down on the South Coast and I’m always trying to find new ways to create extra storage. The upcycled ammo box would fit right into our quirky decor style and she was the perfect height and width.
BTW; are ammo boxes “shes”? It’s such a manly thing, maybe it should be a “he”? Okay, before I share the tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
How to Upcycle An Ammo Box Into a Kitchen Cupboard
The ammo box had definitely seen better days we found at the thrift store had definitely seen better days.
The lid was warped and broken and she was sooo dirty.
We cleaned her up using a wire brush and then scrubbed her with some hot soapy water, mixed with some vinegar. I needed a cupboard with a door, so before we did anything else, we had to fix that lid.
Turning the lid into a door
We don’t have a steamer so I couldn’t do anything about the warping, but we do have Gorilla glue 😉 All we needed to do was measure the width of the lid and cut two planks accordingly. The planks were cut about 3 cm shorter than the width so the cupboard door could close.
We placed the pieces of the warped lid “cup side” down and then glued and screwed the planks in place. I’m not sure what the technical woodworking term is, so I’m hoping “cup side” makes sense. It just means that we put the planks down so the curved warping faced downwards like an upside-down cup.
Once the glue dries, attach the “door” to the ammo box with some hinges. We just repurposed some from our room dividers. and spray painted them a gorgeous bronze. Silly me, I forgot to paint the screws before screwing them in.
But that easy enough to fix. Just spray a little bit of paint into the spray can lid and use a brush to paint the screws.
That’s so much better 😀
Right, now to make that branch door handle.
Making a branch door handle
Given the rustic look of the ammo box, a branch seemed like a good idea. The best branches for something like this are either curved, or they have side branches that split off in the same direction. We used a curved branch to make a handle for the little cupboard in our loo. You know the one that the unicorns spat on 😉 If you’re using a side split branch, use a handsaw to remove any unnecessary twigs and cut the two side branches so they’re level.
Place the branch against the ammo box door and marked where the handle needs to go.
Because the branch we used had two side branches growing out at an angle, we made sure to drill some pilot holes in the door at the same angle.
Glue and screw the branch onto the door.
Once the branch handle had been added, we gave that recycled ammo box lots of wood sealer. The poor thing was so thirsty, I think we put on four coats 😀 Once the sealer had dried, it was time to make some shelves.
Adding shelves to the ammo box
To make the shelves, measure the inside of the ammo box and cut scrap bits of wood accordingly. If your ammo box is as badly warped as this one, I would suggest marking the shelves so you know where they need to go.
And that’s it. Give the upcycled ammo cupboard another wipe down and she’s ready for the kitchen.
We left the original latches and rope handles on the ammo box.
I think it adds to the rustic-ness and makes the cupboard look charming. And then there’s that unique branch door handle.
Would you put a branch handle on your cupboard?
I find upcycling an ammo box extremely rewarding. Just the idea of taking something that could have been used to harm others and turning it into something that’s functional and good makes me feel happy inside.
If you like the idea of upcycling an ammo box into a small rustic cupboard, don’t forget to pin it for later.
Have you upcycled ammo boxes before? I’d really love to hear what you did with them? We have three more in the garage and I need some inspiration.
Oh before I forget, if you’d like to make something similar or prefer to buy rather than DIY, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more crafty ideas to share with you.
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.