Antique Chair Spindle Wooden Garden Caddy | The Interior Frugalista: Antique Chair Spindle Wooden Garden Caddy
Antique Chair Spindle Wooden Garden Caddy | The Interior Frugalista

June 16, 2016

Antique Chair Spindle Wooden Garden Caddy

It's time for the monthly Power Tool Challenge and the theme this month is Summer. In the March challenge, I shared how I turned an Antique Chair Back into a Bird Feeder. Well for this month's challenge I dug back into my bucket of chair parts to inspire me for this project. My project this month is an Antique Chair Spindle Wooden Garden Caddy.

Antique Chair Spindle Wooden Garden Caddy

I should say, cadd(ies) because I made four of them, of which three sold at the outdoor market in May.

Antique Chair Spindle Handle Wood Caddies

The Power Tool Challenge is a monthly series where several female DIY bloggers come together to share a project they made using a power tool(s).  The goal is to inspire, motivate, empower, and challenge our female readers to step out of their comfort zones and try one of our projects using a power tool.  Perhaps you are already comfortable with certain power tools but want to expand your repertoire or overcome a fear of a certain power tool. 

I didn't invent the wheel with this project.  You can find wooden tool caddies all over the blogosphere and Pinterest but I have a goal to achieve.  To get to the bottom of my bucket of antique chair parts by the end of the year.  If you missed my project in the March challenge, you can see how I repurposed an Antique Chair Back Into A Bird Feeder.

Chair spindle used for handle on DIY Wooden Caddy
*affiliate links are included in this post so you can see the products or similar products that I used.  See my disclosure policy.

Let's talk a bit about safety first:

Power Tools Used:

Materials Used: 

  • Antique Chair Spindles
  • Pine Fence Board
  • 1 1/4-inch Brad Nails
  • 1/2-inch Forstner Drill Bit
  • 80 grit mouse sander pads
  • Gorilla Construction Glue
  • Wood Aging Solution (recipe included in post)
  • Chalk Paint in the color Sage
  • Inkjet Printer
  • Garden Inspired Graphic
  • Glossy Paper
  • Spoon

Step 1: Cutting the chair spindle

Miter Saw cut on chair spindle to use for wooden caddy handle

Using the miter saw I cut just a snippet off each end of the antique chair spindle just to straighten and clean up each end.

Step 2:  Cutting the Caddy pieces

Materials and measurements for DIY Chair Spindle Garden Caddy

It took 1 8-foot pine fence board to build each wooden caddy.  I cut them using a miter saw (except for the angle cuts which we'll talk about in Step 3.

Note:  My antique chair spindle determined the length to cut the front and back pieces.


Sides:  5 1/2" x 14"
Front & Back:  5 1/2" x 15"
Bottom: 5 1/2" x 13 1/2"

Step 3: Cutting the Angles on the side pieces

Jigsaw angle cuts on DIY Wooden Garden Caddy
  1. Mark the center of the top of each side piece.
  2. Measure 3/4" on each side of the center mark - making the top a measurement of 1 1/2" wide.
  3. From the bottom of each side piece, measure up 5 1/2 inches both sides.  This equals the height of both the front and back pieces.
  4. Using a straight edge, draw the angle on both sides of each mark (like in the picture above).
  5. Clamp the board securely onto a work table and cut the angles using a jigsaw.
Note:  Using a Bandsaw for these angled cuts would be ideal as you get a more uniformed cut.  It is on my Must Have List for our workshop.

Step 4: Drilling the hole for the spindle

Forstener drill bit to cut hole for handle on DIY Wooden Caddy

  1. Find your center mark at the top of each side piece.
  2. Measure and mark 1 1/4-inches down from the top.
  3. Using a 1/2-inch Forstner Drill Bit (like pictured above) place the tip of the bit on the mark you just created.
  4. Drill the hole for the spindle handles.

Tip:  For a nice clean cut on both sides of the board, drill until just the tip of the drill bit is poking through the other side.  STOP the drill and check with your hands - repeat until you can feel it poking through. Remove the bit, flip the board over and drill until you are all the way through.

Drilling hole for chair spindle handle on wooden caddy

Step 5:  Assembling the caddy

Assembling Wooden Garden Caddy with brad nail gun

My apologies for the blurry picture.  Those of you with a keen eye may notice in the picture above that I'm nailing a plywood front, rather than a pine.  Truth be told, this is a photo from another, much larger, wooden tool caddy that I built for my daughter's wedding (I'll be sharing that project after the wedding).

I completely forgot to take a photo while assembling the garden tool caddy.  Regardless, you can see that they are assembled using a brad nailer with 1 1/4-inch brad nails.

  1. Apply construction glue to the base of one side piece and nail it onto the caddy base.
  2. Apply construction glue to the inside of the hole for the handle.
  3. Insert the chair spindle into the hole.
  4. Apply construction glue to the inside of the hole on the second side piece.
  5. Feed the chair spindle through and nail the side piece to the caddy base.
  6. Nail the front to the base and side pieces, ensuring everything is lined up nice and straight.
  7. Repeat for the back piece.
That's it, your caddy is assembled!  Now onto the fun part, painting and decorating the garden caddy.

Step 6:  Aging the wood

Wood Aging Solution recipe for DIY Wooden Garden Caddy

Giggle Juice (a.k.a. Wood Aging Solution) Recipe:

  • Fill a container with vinegar 3/4 full (I use a large size plastic sour cream container).
  • Submerge a large piece of #0000 steel wool into the vinegar and close the lid.
  • Let it sit for at least 48 hours (I prefer a week).  The longer it sits and disintegrates the steel wool, the rustier the juice.
  • Sometime in that waiting period make yourself a pot of black tea (my preference is Earl Grey but that's just me) and relax.  Enjoy a cup and save the rest!
  • When your juice is nice and rusty run it through a strainer into a glass mason jar (like pictured above).
  • Pour your black tea (through a strainer if you used loose tea) and fill the mason jar.
I always have a jar of Giggle Juice at the ready in my workshop.  I call it that because every time I use it, the magic brings me to giggles.
  • Wear gloves because not only will it stain your fingers but the smell will stay on your hands for days.
  • Apply it to the wood using an inexpensive chip brush. 
  • Apply it in coats, letting it dry between coats until your wood is aged to your liking.
  • I also applied it to my antique spindles.
  • The acid from the vinegar reacts to the tannins in the wood and creates a gorgeous aged patina. 

Step 7:  Dry brushing the paint

Painted DIY Antique Chair Spindle Caddies

You can see I painted each of my Garden Caddies a different color.  The one I'm sharing with you today is in the color Sage Advice by Country Chic Paint.

I dipped the tips of my brush into a bucket of water first and then into the jar of paint.  Applying very little pressure I brushed the color over the aged wood.  It gives a semi-transparent appearance so the wood underneath shows through.  With a damp clean lint free rag, I removed some of the paint in areas.

The colors of the other caddies are; Simplicity White (cool white), Vanilla Frosting (warm white), and Elegance, all by Country Chic Paint.

Step 8: Applying a graphic 

French Garden Graphic transferred onto DIY Wooden Caddy
  1. I went to The Graphics Fairy website and downloaded the Jardin 1914 graphic. 
  2. Note:  To use this particular image transfer method you will need an inkjet printer.
  3. Print the graphic in reverse (mirror image) onto glossy paper (see picture below).
Tip:  I keep the glossy pages from packages of special printing paper for this purpose.  Sheets from labels also works - remove the labels and use the paper.  I find the glossy paper provides a better transfer.

Glossy paper with Inkjet printer to transfer graphics onto wood

Print the graphic on the glossy side of the paper like pictured below.

Printed French Jardin Image to transfer onto DIY Wooden Caddy

You can see that I use the same sheet over and over, wiping whatever ink doesn't transfer off with a damp paper towel.

Line the graphic up onto the front of the wooden caddy (being careful not to move it around to avoid smearing the ink) and tape in place.  Using the back of a spoon, rub the graphic onto the wood.  It took a lot of rubbing to get a good transfer so keeping checking underneath before removing the tape.

French graphic transferred onto DIY Wooden Tool Caddy

Step 9:  Protecting the wood

After the ink has completely dried, I waited for 24-hours, apply clear wax with a lint-free rag to protect the wood. The wax really brings out the paint color too.

Semi-transparent Sage Advice Paint Color on DIY Wooden Garden Caddy

I couldn't resist placing four medium sized mason jars into my garden caddy and filling them with fresh cut pink peonies from the garden.  I think the Antique Chair Spindle Wooden Garden Caddy looks beautiful on my dining room table.

Dining room table with DIY Garden Caddy with Chair Spindle Handle

So what do you think, would you try making a wooden garden caddy for your home?

Peonies in mason jars displayed in DIY Wooden Garden Caddy

Time for more inspiration!  Press the links below to see what my talented friends in the Power Tool Challenge Team created for their Summer projects.  

Frozen Treat Stand by My Love To Create
Red White And Blue Cornhole Game by Create And Babble
Drying Rack From Old Crib rail by The Kim Six Fix
Chair Spindle Wooden Garden Caddy by Interior Frugalista
Star Clothes Drying Rack by A Piece Of Rainbow
Farmhouse Bench Building Plans by Refresh Restyle
Vegetable Gathering Basket by Designs By Studio C
Reclaimed Wood Bookcase by Confessions of A Serial DIY’er
DIY Footstool by Virginia Sweet Pea
DIY Hose Hanger by My Repurposed Life

You'll find this project linked up at these PARTIES.

A big Thank You to the following for featuring this project:
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