How to Build a Regular Wooden Box With Hinges

opening box 4 image by Luisafer from

Things You'll Need

  • 2 pieces of 1-by-4-by-12-inch wood
  • Variable speed drill
  • 1/16-inch wood-boring drill bit
  • 2 pieces of 1-by-4.5-by-4-inch wood
  • Small box of 3-penny finish nails
  • 1 piece of 1-by-4.5-by-10-inch wood
  • 1 piece of 1-by-6.5-by-12-inch wood
  • 12-inch piano hinge with tacks
  • Wood glue

Wooden boxes have multiple uses, from simple storage for nails or other woodworking items to serving as decorative home accessories. Build a hinged box from oak lumber or an exotic wood and it can take on a whole new purpose as a safe haven for prized possessions.

Place the two pieces of 1-by-4-by-12-inch wood on a worktable. Drill pilot holes for the nails about 3/8 inch from the edge of three sides of each piece. Space the pilot holes about 2 inches apart. These are the front and back pieces of the box.

Apply glue to the 4-inch edges of the 1-by-4.5-by-4-inch wood pieces. Secure them through the drilled pilot holes to the ends of the 12-inch pieces with the finish nails to create a rectangular box.

Apply glue to the four edges of the 1-by-4.5-by-10.5-inch wood piece. Slip this piece between the other pieces to form the bottom of the box. Secure it through the pilot holes with the finish nails.

Turn the box so the opening is facing away from you. Put the 1-by-6.5-by-12-inch wood piece over the opening so it covers the opening completely.

Secure the piano hinge to the back of the box first with tacks. Then, secure it to the back edge of the top piece to create a hinged lid.


  • Clean up excess glue immediately with a damp cloth.

    Fill the nail holes with wood putty, if desired.

    Line the inside of the box with felt, as this will help protect the contents.

    For an alternative hinge for the box, see “White Chapel LTD: Installing Box Hinges” in Resources.


  • Do not leave dangerous tools unattended in the presence of children.

    Do not stain or paint the box without proper ventilation.


About the Author

Michael Straessle has written professionally about the construction industry since 1988. He authored “What a Strange Little Man,” among other books, and his work has appeared in various online publications. Straessle earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in professional/technical writing.

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