Kreg What?

Let’s build a box!

You might have heard me talk about a Kreg Jig before and may be wondering what exactly it is. Well, conveniently I’ve been wanting to make a decorative wooden box for oh, the last six months or so, and the kreg jig is just the thing to use. Well, so are a plain old hammer and nails, but what’s the fun in that? And now that Christmas is upon us and I still have a bare dining room table (sad face) the wooden box will be the perfect addition to my lonely ol’ table.

The great thing about projects is you almost always have scrap wood leftover. So, out to the garage I went and came up with some leftover cedar boards.

I used a 1×6″, 8′ long cedar board and I wanted my box to be 2′ long. One 8′ board was long enough to make the entire box. From there, I got busy cutting remembering to first measure, then cut. And repeat. May sound obvious, but if you march out all your measurements on the piece of wood prior to cutting, you will end up with pieces all slightly different sizes. So measure, cut, repeat.

Here’s the cut list:

From the 1×6″, 8′ long cedar board-

3 pieces at 24″ (bottom and two long sides)

2 pieces at 7 1/8″ (short ends)

Once all your pieces are cut, it’s time to get out the kreg jig!

So the kreg jig is a device used to create pocket holes to attach one piece of wood to another. It’s supposed to be such a strong hold that you wouldn’t need to use glue. I have the kreg jig K4 system. Anyhow, this is what it looks like.



Here’s a quick run down on the basics of how it works, but you should probably read the instructions as well and not just take it from me.


You will first adjust the back piece (where your drill goes and you create the pocket hole) to the depth of the wood you’re working with. Since I’m working with a 1×6 the wood is really 3/4″ thick, therefore I set it to 3/4″.


You then have to adjust the stop collar of the drill bit so that the drill stops before going through your piece of wood. Again, I set it to 3/4″

Your kreg jig kit will come with its own specialized drill bits and screws.

And this is what it looks like to create a pocket hole:


You will want to plan where all your pocket holes will be on all your pieces of wood and drill them prior to assembling as I’ve done here:


Then start assembling!

There’s probably other ways to create a basic box, but this is the way I did it. It worked, so I’m satisfied enough.  I started with assembling the four sides always checking for square.


I found as I went along that when it came time to attach the bottom of the box, the drill bit is too long so you cannot use a pocket hole from the inside of the box to attach the bottom (did you follow that?) So,  I created pocket holes on the underside of the bottom of the box and it worked quite well.

And here is what the box looked like unfinished.


You may have noticed those glaring pocket holes? Ya, they need some attention. And I almost hate to admit that using a hammer and nails wouldn’t create this problem (shhh). So how to fix it? Kreg makes prefabricated wood plugs or you can simply use wood putty/filler. The plugs definitely have their advantages, but they often don’t fit perfectly requiring some significant sanding to get them flush with the wood. So, I used wood putty. The disadvantage to the putty is it won’t take stain as well as the kreg plugs would. That might matter for some projects, but the idea of this box is to look a little beat up and worn down. A little mismatching doesn’t bother me.

While the putty was drying I grabbed a hammer and attacked the box. Ok. Attacking it may be a little much. I gently distressed it. After all, every box needs a little character.

Once the putty was dry I sanded the entire box and used Minwax special walnut stain. I applied one coat of stain followed by one coat of poly. On pieces that would get heavier use, you would likely apply three coats of poly. One is sufficient in this case because all this little box will be doing is sitting there looking pretty.

I added some drawer pulls that double as handles and voila!


And now my table is no longer lonely.


And here’s some other quick peeks of Christmas around the Nellis house. I was drawn toward a traditional feel this year with lots of reds, whites and nods to our Scandinavian heritage. With a little bit of red and white bakers twine and a glue gun I was able to add some Christmas flare to already existing decor. And when Christmas is over, I can just pull off the glue and back to the original decor it goes. Easy peasy. And cheap.




About Amanda

I’m a Minnesota mama of three, wife of one, and human to our 4 legged canine friends Charlie and Jack. I’m a lover of all things DIY, coffee with cream, summer nights at the lake and good craft beer.

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