Celtic Knot Blanket Box





Introduction: Celtic Knot Blanket Box

About: 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 about using AutoCAD software, and I also write software for use in Au...

I found these massive wood pallets and thought I would make a planter box..at 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 time....so I decided to make a blanket box.

Step 1: 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

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

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

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

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

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 http://thirdistudio.com.au/Celticknot-Blanket-Box...

Reclaimed Wood Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
Reclaimed Wood Contest 2016



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    30 Discussions

    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.

    1 reply

    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

    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

    2 replies

    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

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




    3 replies

    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.

    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!

    1 reply

    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


    2 years ago

    Thats a legendary piece

    This is amazing you have my vote

    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.

    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.

    1 reply

    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.

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

    1 reply

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