Introduction: Celtic Knot Blanket Box

Picture of Celtic Knot Blanket Box

I found these massive wood pallets and thought I would make a planter least at first. As I progressed along making the box, with the design and carving I had done on it, I decided to make something for indoors as I knew over time the planter box would rot and my work on it would have been a waste of I decided to make a blanket box.

Step 1: Pallets

Picture of Pallets

Taking apart these pallets was quite an effort at first but i used a small crow bar which helped a lot. Some of the nails in these pallets were impossible for me to remove from between the planks and the massive bearers below, so those planks ended up being destroyed and unusable. I sanded the planks once I had removed all the nails. I removed the nails with a hammer.

Step 2: Design

Picture of Design

I first designed the Celtic knotwork on my computer using CAD software. Once I got it all looking the way I wanted, I scaled the design to actual full life scale, then printed it off in sections of A4 paper that I taped together.

Step 3: Making the Panels

Picture of Making the Panels

I didn't really know or have the equipment to plane the planks so they were straight, so I spent time lining up the boards the best I could to minimise gaps. Once I had done that, I used glue and nails to fix the planks one at a time to short pieces of plank to hold it all together.

Once the front panel was made, I traced the design I did onto the panel using carbon paper underneath the design. Make sure your wood isn't wet as the carbon paper doesn't seem to work well if it is.

Step 4: Put It All Together

Picture of Put It All Together

I assembled all the sides with the carving on them. I used a carving knife and some different chisels to do the carvings. The chisels I used were a U Gouge, Skew and a Flat Chisel.

The box was glued and nailed together.

Step 5: Putting on the Bottom and Feet

Picture of Putting on the Bottom and Feet

I glued and nailed a whole bunch of planks to the bottom of the box. I used a circular saw I had just bought to tidy up the bits that were a bit off with dimensions.

Then I decided to make some feet. I went back to my CAD software to design them, then printed them off. I used a coping saw to cut out around the feet, and a hand drill for the holes, then some chisels again.

Step 6: Making the Lid

Picture of Making the Lid

As I said at the start, I was going to make a simple planter box and it got to where it is now. So I knew for a blanket box i needed a lid. I didn't want to make just a flat lid so I went back to my CAD software and designed a thick lid.

I made each side separately before assembling with glue and clamps. I also cut thin pieces of wood that I made then carved a rope like effect into them and glued them on.

I then added a piano hinge on the lid.

I stained the lid, like I did the rest of the box already, and then finished off with a satin varnish. i did a couple of coats of that.

Step 7: Video Explanation

I have made a basic video explanation of how I made the box. As I didn't take many photos during the construction, I have to try and explain how I constructed the box.

You can purchase the Plans from Here


Rich_Limburger (author)2017-10-10

Great job, i love the instructable and the way you repurposed those planks... this is another addition on my to do list which just doesn't seem to get any shorter. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Thanks Rich for your comment. I too like the planks as they have character, but will blunt your tools very quickly as the wood has fine grit particles in the fibers, but I am happy with the result

paul the maker (author)2016-06-27

love Celtic knot work but how did you carve it i can carve a spoon but do not know how you would do that. never seen a pallet like that. great box

Hi Paul, sorry for the late reply. I carved using gouge chisels, probably a lot like the ones you would have used for the spoon. I trace a line in the wood around the lines of the design with either a carving knife or by hammering in a flat chisel to create what is called a stop cut. Then I can carve the wood out towards the stop cut. This is called relief carving if you wanted to look more into it.

Thanks for your comment

Many thanks for reply

Lorddrake (author)2016-05-31

holy wow batman! and the fact that you did this all with hand tools just takes it to the next level.




Thanks a lot for acknowledging the work. It has taken a lot of effort. Thank you also for the vote too, I really appreciate it.

you earned them :) just out of curiosity .. do you know what these pallets were for? I have never seen octagonal pallets before. one of those bad boys would make a sweet poker table :)

Hi Lordrake, sorry for the late reply. I don't know what those pallets were used for, I do know though that they are very heavy, and there is 2 layers of wood on them and massive bearers under them. I think they were used internationally and were stamped that they are heat treated.

TilTherWasU (author)2017-05-15

I love this! I can't imagine you hand carving it cause I know it would take a lot of time! Great job! I am curious about the CAD software. Is it expensive? Again...Bravo!

Hi Til, sorry for the late reply. Yes it did take a long time to carve, especially as the wood blunted my chisels a lot due to it having tiny particles of sand lodged in the wood grain.

The CAD software is expensive, but I am sure there are cheaper ones out there, or maybe even free ones.

Thank you for your comment

daabbu (author)2016-06-10

Thats a legendary piece

pharris16 (author)2016-06-07

This is amazing you have my vote

mwfrench (author)2016-06-05

What a great piece of work. I also like the fact that a lot of craftsmen would have used small planks like this to make a chest.

I would love to see the completed piece with the top stained. Did you finish the inside or just leave it raw lumber?

Again, great job. I voted for you as well.

Patxi Alai (author)2016-06-01

I really like this box. I love the finish, and the ancient appearance has the box. It is the typical job I have in the pending tray. But would need, please, a little more information about the finish. It seems as if you had used engine oil, or some other type of dye?

Thank you very much for teaching a job, that gives us, envy good.

Thanks a lot for your comment. Yes, the finish came out quite well....but not initially, it took a lot of work to get it to look this way.

I used a timber stain, I think the colour was brown teak. I applied it with a brush then wiped off what I could...but the wood really soaked up the stain. So I sanded, and sanded....particularly over the carving details over the front to get that lighter pine colour co0ming through. I used a lot of sand paper as the stain just clogged it up. I also sanded when the stain was still freshly applied to the wood...not sure if that makes a difference.

Sometimes I wasn't happy with how dark the stain was so I would sand certain areas until it was lighter. But then the colour wouldn't always look good. I noticed that some of the wood I stained was wet and the stain went black. This required a lot of sanding to get rid of this almost black colour. Once I sanded back the dark colour, I mixed some methylated spirits with the stain and just brushed it on. The stain was diluted quite a bit at this stage and I would often apply coat after coat until I got the desired colour.

The staining process on this was quite experimental and I just tried either sanding or washing with metho and stain to get the desired effect.

rsmith6322 (author)2016-06-01

What LordDrake said....very impressive.

Thanks for your comment.

seamster (author)2016-05-31

Oh my, this is impressive! The carved details are excellent. Very well done! :)

aespie-whitburn (author)seamster2016-06-04

Thanks a lot for your comment. I spent a lot of time on the carving, glad it turned out better than i expected.

parisusa (author)2016-05-31

This is just beautiful. You were right to make it an inside item. Now you must fill it with Celtic Knot Quilts :) Voted!

aespie-whitburn (author)parisusa2016-06-04

Thanks a lot for the nice comment. I also appreciate the vote too, thanks

smartrem (author)2016-06-02

The box is really nice. You did a great job. You have my vote!

aespie-whitburn (author)smartrem2016-06-04

Thanks for the comment and also for the vote, much appreciated

Nostalgic Guy (author)2016-06-02

The best pallet project I've seen in a very long time, I love how this timber lends itself to rustic ancient looking furniture and you have made a great job of it.

Thanks a lot. Yes it did come out looking quite rustic. I was quite happy with how it turned out

wyvernflight (author)2016-06-02

I love it when people go the extra mile in a project. Could have built a basic box, or a nice box. But no, you didn't. You carved, strained, and put real effort in this. Excellent work on a beautiful box.

Thanks a lot for your comment. I certainly did put a lot of effort into this. I think if you make something you should spend the time making it look as good as you can.

PitStoP (author)2016-06-02

Nice box!

aespie-whitburn (author)PitStoP2016-06-04

Thanks, glad you like it

About This Instructable




Bio: My background is in architectural drafting, and I use these skills to design things I make out of wood. I also make tutorials on youtube ... More »
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