Making Patterned Boxes From Scrap Wood

I had a ton of scrap wood lying around so decided to experiment with some patterns and made some boxes.

Check out the full build video below!

The whole process on how I made these boxes is in the video linked above, so I’ll just give a quick overview here on how I made the patterns.

I raided my scrap bin for any pieces that were usable, I wanted the boards to be 3/4” thick, so I ripped any thick pieces to that thickness and then I ripped them all to the same width after that.

After all the pieces were the same thickness and width, I squared up all the ends to prepare them for glue up to create a blank.

Scrap Wood Box

I laid all the pieces out in a random order, trying not to overthink it, the more random, the better.

I knew I wanted to cut the blank into strips at 45 degrees, so I marked a 45 degree line on the end pieces before glue up so I can line them up like the picture below when gluing it up.

This will create less waste when cutting it up again.

Scrap Wood Box

Then I went row by row and just glued up all the scraps into one big blank!

I couldn’t easily clamp the pieces lengthwise, so I used CA glue on the end grain to temporarily hold them in position when gluing up the rows.

Scrap Wood Box

After the glue dried, I sent that big blank through the planer to make it nice and level, then I chopped it up!

I set my miter gauge at 45 degrees, and set a stop block on the sled that was the same width as the initial boards.

So lets say the boards that made up the blank were 1-1/2” wide, I set the stop block 1-1/2” away from the blade to create 1-1/2” strips that were cut on a 45.

Scrap Wood Box

Then I glued all those strips back together in a random chevron patten.

To create this pattern, I just flipped over every other piece.

I cut off the pointy sides and sent it through my planer to clean it up!

Scrap Wood Box

After it was cleaned up I was able to cut that panel up into smaller pieces to make the box parts.

Scrap Wood Box

Onto pattern number two!

For this pattern I used longer strips of scraps and glued them up into two blanks with alternating wood patterns. Again making sure to glue them up so that one end creates a 45 degree to minimize waste.

(In case you’re curious about the wood species below, here they are from left to right - Poplar, Goncalo Alves, Poplar, Canary Wood, Maple, Walnut and then Poplar, Elm, Maple, Walnut, Canary Wood, Goncalo Alves.)

Scrap Wood Box

Then I repeated the same process as before, cut the blank into strips at 45 degrees with a stop block that was the same width as the individual boards.

Scrap Wood Box

Then I glued it back together in a random pattern!

This time I didn’t flip the pieces, I kept them in the same orientation, I just made sure to keep them aligned really well. (I butt the pointy tips on a straight edge while clamping)

Scrap Wood Box

After that glue up dried, I sent it through the planer to clean it up and cut off the pointy sides.

Then I realized If I cut the board into strips right by the pointy tips, it created this really cool random triangle pattern.

Scrap Wood Box

I loved how that triangle pattern was looking, so I continued to cut the board into strips.

Scrap Wood Box

Because the diamond shapes I created from the first 45 degree cut were elongated a bit, I just needed to cut out a little strip in between those triangle patterns.

Don’t worry, I saved those strips for more projects.

Scrap Wood Box

Then I played around with the patterns and settled on this random chaotic zig zag sort of pattern that was created by the triangles.

Scrap Wood Box

I had so much fun experimenting with these patterns, and while I was deciding which patterns to use, I kept getting ideas for future patterns, so this is totally something I want to play around with more!

Scrap Wood Box

I love how these boxes turned out, I can’t want to experiment more! If you’re interested in seeing how I turned the patterns into boxes, it’s all in the full build video here - Scrap Wood Boxes

Scrap Wood Box
Scrap Wood Boxes