A Crafty Mix


An Upcycled Ammo Box Becomes a Sturdy Kitchen Cupboard

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 bit of an industrial feel to your home decor. There are so many ways to re-purpose them too. When we saw this one with a broken lid, I just knew it would ideal as a little kitchen cupboard.

We have a really small holiday home down at 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.  Are ammo boxes “shes”? It’s such a manly thing, maybe it should be a “he”?

How to upcycle a vintage ammunition box into a small kitchen cupboard

An old wooden ammo box

How Upcycle An Ammo Box Into a Kitchen Cupboard

The ammo box 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. 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.

Upcycled ammo box turned into a small kitchen cupboard - How to on the blog

Fixing the door

We placed the warped lids pieces “cup side” down and then glued and screwed the planks in place. I’m not sure what the technical wood working term is, so I’m hoping “cup side” make sense. It just means that we put the planks down so the curved warping faced downwards like an upside down cup. I misplaced our collection of old door handles somewhere, so we had to make another plan. Given the rustic look of the ammo box a branch seemed like a good idea. We cut off any unnecessary twigs and bits and marked where the handle needed to go on the door. We did we made the little cupboard in our loo. You know the one that the unicorns spat on 😉

Upcycled ammo box turned into a small kitchen cupboard - How to on the blog

Find a branch and mark where the handle needs to go

Because the branch we used had two side branches growing out at an angle, we had to drill the holes in the door at the same angle.

Upcycled ammo box turned into a small kitchen cupboard - How to on the blog

Drill at an angle

We used some more Gorliia glue and wood screws to attach the branch handle to the lid.

Upcycled ammo box turned into a small kitchen cupboard - How to on the blog

Screw and glue

Once the branch handle had been added, we applied a matt varnish to the soon to be “recycled ammo box” and made some shelves. Sometimes I’m really lucky and the pieces of wood we cut for the shelves fit perfectly inside. In fact we had to hammer these in. These babies ain’t going nowhere 😉

Upcycled ammo box turned into a small kitchen cupboard - How to on the blog

Making the shelves

The lid was attached with hinges that we re-purposed from our room dividers. We just sprayed them a dark copper color to match the ammo box.

Upcycled ammo box turned into a small kitchen cupboard - How to on the blog

Add the hinges

To make the screws a little less obvious, here’s a really neat trick. Spray a small amount of spray paint into the lid and use a paint brush to paint the screws.

Upcycled ammo box turned into a small kitchen cupboard - How to on the blog

Touching up the hinges

That’s it. The upcycled ammo cupboard is ready for the kitchen.

An upcycled ammo box is turned into a small kitchen cupboard #CreativeStorage #upcycle #smallkitchen

Ample Storage

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. What do you think?

An upcycled ammo box is turned into a small kitchen cupboard #CreativeStorage #upcycle #smallkitchen #recycle #DIYHomeDecor

A Rustic Upcycled Ammo Box

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, don’t forget to pin it for later.
An upcycled ammo box is turned into a small kitchen cupboard #CreativeStorage #upcycle #smallkitchen #recycle #DIYHomeDecor

Pin Me!!

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. And as always wishing you a lovely week that’s filled with love.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix



P.S. 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

Sale MyGift Set of 2 Country Rustic Finish Wood Storage Crate/Decorative Tray Carrier Boxes with Handles
SLPR Alexander Wooden Storage Trunk | Decorative Small Wooden Chest with Lid
Winship Stake and Lath, Inc. Handmade Rustic Distressed Black Wood Crates, Nested Set of 3

Categories:   DIY Tutorials, Home Decor Crafts, Trash to Treasure


  • Posted: May 30, 2017 23:06


    Your "upcycled ammo box" just gorgeous! I love the box color!
    • Posted: May 31, 2017 11:31


      Thank you very much. I'm glad you like it :D
  • Posted: January 27, 2017 14:10


    I like whole thing but I really love that branch handle, Michelle! That's really one brilliant idea :-)
    • Posted: January 27, 2017 14:49


      Thank you Handan. Next time I'm using your awesome "find the centre of the circle" trick when I make the holes ;-)
  • Posted: January 24, 2017 18:04

    Nikki Frank-Hamilton

    Michelle, this turned out so cool. It's rustic, which I love, and the twig handle looks great along with the hardware. This is a great way to reuse an old piece and get some use out of it. Plus it's a great conversation starter! Love it.
    • Posted: January 25, 2017 07:13


      Thank you Nikki and your so right about it being a conversation piece. A lot of our friends fought on the border in the 80's and 90's and the stories they've told.
  • Posted: January 24, 2017 16:19


    you say in your bio that you live in a fixer-upper? Well I think that is a good thing, as you certainly know how to make beautiful things happen.
    • Posted: January 24, 2017 17:05


      :D Thank you Kellie :D
  • Posted: January 24, 2017 02:24


    I have to say that I don't think I've seen these wooden ammo boxes before. All of the one I saw during my husband's service were metal, but you have really created something so beautiful here. I love it, and I really like the lantern that you put in it, as well.
    • Posted: January 24, 2017 08:08


      Thank you so much Jessica. I've seen some of the metal ones at thrift stores, but I must say there's just something about wood that's special.
  • Posted: January 24, 2017 02:23

    Cathy Lawdanski

    I love the way this turned out. Especially the twigs for hangers!
    • Posted: January 24, 2017 08:08


      Thank you Cathy, I appreciate it ;-)
  • Posted: January 20, 2017 17:11

    jodie filogomo

    Amazing transformation! I think my favorite thing about this is the branch as the pull to open it!! jodie www.jtouchofstyle.com
    • Posted: January 22, 2017 07:59


      Thank you Jodie ;-) branches are one of my favorite ways to make handles
  • Posted: January 19, 2017 15:10

    [email protected]

    What a transformation! I love the handle and the color - so pretty! :-)
    • Posted: January 19, 2017 15:58


      Thank you so much Ana <3
  • Posted: January 17, 2017 19:59


    This looks like it took a bit of work. But so worth it.
    • Posted: January 18, 2017 07:27


      All things considered it, the only real work we needed to do was fix the lid ;-)
  • Posted: January 17, 2017 16:16


    I seriously couldn't love this more!!!!
    • Posted: January 17, 2017 16:55


      I'm doing a little happy dance right now, Thank you so much Deborah :D
  • Posted: January 17, 2017 14:55


    I've definitely never upcycled an ammo box before. But, next time I see one I totally want to snag it! This is such a fantastic decor idea and the rustic feel would go perfectly in my home. I love how you improvised a branch for the handle. What a great idea! This cupboard is so perfect, I want one!
    • Posted: January 17, 2017 14:58


      I'm so glad you like it Gina and it would look perfect on your homestead ;-)
  • Posted: January 17, 2017 14:33

    Marie from The Interior Frugalista

    Great ammo box repurpose, Michelle and I adore how you used a branch for the handle.
    • Posted: January 17, 2017 14:59


      Awwww Marie, thank you, I really appreciate that. I love your projects
  • Posted: January 17, 2017 09:35

    Sadhna Grover

    You did a great job of changing the ammo box into a kitchen cupboard. I really like the handle.
    • Posted: January 17, 2017 10:24


      Thanks so much Sadhna. We love using branches as handles, they're free and we have loads of trees in the garden so we'll probably never run out of freebies ;-)
  • Posted: January 17, 2017 01:39

    Mary - the boondocks blog

    Michelle I have never upcycled an ammo box, nor would I know where to find one. You sure are lucky in that you find the coolest things. And this upcycle is fantastic. You can use this little beauty to store all sorts of things. And who is to say that it can't be a she?
    • Posted: January 17, 2017 07:21


      Yay Mary, I'm so glad she can be she ;-)
  • Posted: January 17, 2017 01:13

    Brooke of Passport Couture

    This is incredible! I love the ingenuity you had to turn in something that had seen better days into something that serves a new purpose. Thanks for sharing your great inspiration and ideas!
    • Posted: January 17, 2017 07:21


      Thanks so much Brooke :D
  • Posted: January 17, 2017 00:02


    I cannot wait to try and do this myself. The design looks great!
    • Posted: January 17, 2017 07:22


      Oh I hope you do and I'm glad you like it ;-)
  • Posted: January 17, 2017 00:00


    It looks absolutely awesome!
    • Posted: January 17, 2017 07:22


      Thank you so much anon <3
  • Posted: January 16, 2017 21:04


    Amazing project Michelle, I love how you are using it as a cupboard in your kitchen and that handle is brilliant!!! You really amaze me with your creativity and how you could see this purpose for an ammo box! Love it!
    • Posted: January 17, 2017 07:23


      Thank you Katrin, now I just need to figure what we can do with the others ;-)
  • Posted: January 16, 2017 20:13


    Michelle, I love what you did with this!! I like the branch handle for sure. This will be great for your holiday home. I wish I had a few of these. I am looking for something to work as a paint cabinet and a few of these hanging on the wall would be perfect.
    • Posted: January 17, 2017 07:24


      Thank you Keri, I wish our postage to the States wasn't so ridiculously expensive so I could send you one. It would make a great paint cabinet, they're really well made and super strong.
  • Posted: January 16, 2017 16:25


    Dis baie oulik. Ek het 'n ammo kus gesien 'n paar dae terug, maar net verby gestap. Ek hoop dis nog daar. Sal more weer gaan kyk
    • Posted: January 16, 2017 16:28


      Baie dankie Cecilia en ek hoop jy kom reg. Lat my maar weet, ons het nog drie in die garage en ek sal deel ;-)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.