Old Gardener’s Toolbox Upcycle – Bathroom Storage and a Towel Bar!

3 Materials
1 Hour

Old Gardener’s Toolbox Upcycle. I’ve been hanging on to this old gardener’s toolbox that my Grandparents’ built for several years now. I wanted to do something DIFFERENT with it but I just struggled for ideas. The first idea I had was a pretty obvious one: A table centerpiece to hold cutlery, napkins etc. But here’s the truth: We’re not table centerpiece people lol. The majority of the time our dining room table is not used for eating and that’s just the honest truth of it all.
You guys know Lodi and I have been quietly hacking away at our basement for nearly a year now (wow has it really been that long?! Holy crap!) and I just have to beg you guys to forgive me but even just the living room down here is still not quite ready to reveal yet.
Two things the living space still needs: a coffee table of some kind and doors on the bathroom and the closet and THEN it will finally (kinda… basically) be done!I really try to keep myself focused and working on one space at a time and not let myself get distracted by more fun projects….
However, I had this old gardeners’ toolbox just in the way, in the workshop, forever.I picked it up one day and it hit me.It might be perfect for the basement bathroom!
This is not a brand new idea, I’ve definitely seen this upcycle in bathrooms on pinterest before. But, to be fair, its not a very common idea either.In most of the other bathrooms I’ve seen this toolbox upcycle used in they usually flip it upside down and attach it to the wall like that.Because of this one’s size we opted instead to screw it to the wall bottom first instead.
Of course before we could do any of that though it needed some serious love!It was filthy from living out in my aunt’s garage for a decade and then in our garage for years so we cleaned it up really good first. Of all the rooms in this little farmhouse the basement bathroom is definitely the most unique as its  walls are totally covered in pallet wood.Its not like I did a great job covering the walls but we decided it was good enough to just live with it. (I can’t even begin to start on all I have to do in this bathroom to finish it so I’m just going to focus on right here, above the toilet, with this toolbox upcycle, for right now lol)
Every bathroom can use another towel bar and this one doesn’t even have one yet so this was a good start!Because of the rugged look of all that pallet wood we decided to just stain the toolbox to match the counter top I built out of oak several years ago. Lodi had some “cabin” wall art that weirdly fit great in here when it literally would not have been a good fit anywhere else in the house.We used dark walnut stain on this toolbox upcycle and gave it a coat of polyacrylic to seal it.
I love being able to preserve pieces like this, in particular, that my grandparents’ built. I didn’t want to use it as an actual toolbox and beat it up etc. In this case it will be safe and useful for years upon years.The shelves provide storage which we immediately took advantage of. It also gave us a place for one of Lodi’s art pieces on top of it.With this toolbox upcycle my biggest concern had been it sticking out too much but I don’t think its intrusive at all.I think its really great actually! Now we just need to literally finish the ENTIRE rest of this bathroom!
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4 of 18 comments
  • Carol Williams
    Carol Williams
    on Mar 20, 2021

    Great idea! Thanks!!

  • Gina Tidwell
    Gina Tidwell
    7 days ago

    Love this idea! Very clever. I have two bathrooms in my house where we used old wash stands for vanities. This would be so cute in either one or my laundry room. Thank you for the great idea! Your bathroom is so very cute!! I love it!!

    • GrandmasHouseDIY
      7 days ago

      Oh Gina old wash stands are such a great idea to use! I bet they look wonderful, thank you for commenting!

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