DIY Centerpiece Box Tutorial

Centerpiece wood box

I made myself a beautiful rustic wood centerpiece box and I want to share how easy it is to make one yourself. I will walk you through how to cut your wood and assemble your box. Then I will show you how to stain and paint it with any custom wording. I have also made these for weddings. They make a wonderful addition to your home after the ceremony. I love changing out the decor with seasonal plants and accessories. They make a gorgeous addition to your dining room table throughout the year. Let's get started!

Centerpiece wood box

Here is my YouTube Video detailing the entire process. Below this you will find written step-by-step directions and all of the products I use.

Subscribe to my YouTune Channel here:
Sign & Wine YouTube Channel

Wood Box Materials:

1) 1 inch x 6 inch x 10ft dimensional wood lumber (pine or spruce)
*Dimensional lumber is not the actual measurement listed. This board is really 3/4 inch thick by 5.5 inches wide.

2) Kreg Jig. I have the K4 Pocket Hole System and I love it.

3) Kreg Screws. For this box you need these screws (1 1/4 inch course)

4) Drill. I l have a Ryobi Drill. I can interchange my battery with all my Ryobi tools.

5) Miter Saw (or have your lumber store cut your wood for you- they will sometimes do this for free or for a nominal fee)

6) Sandpaper (120 and 400 grit) and a electric hand sander. I have the Dewalt Variable Speed Random Orbital Sander.

STEP 1: Cut Wood

Cut your wood into the following:
3 pieces @ 32 inches long
2 pieces @ 7 inches long

Cut wood for centerpiece box

STEP 2: Drill pocket holes

Using your Kreg jig, drill pocket holes as shown in the picture. Make sure you remember to set your Kreg jig and bit to the correct depth (3/4 inch thickness). I too often forget to do this and drill right through my board.

Kreg jig

Kreg jig

STEP 3: Assemble box

Using pocket hole screws (1 1/4 inch screws are used for 3/4 inch thickness of wood) assemble the box. Start with laying the bottom piece on its side and attaching the two longer sides. You may use wood glue if you want, but the pocket screw holes are strong enough.

Centerpiece box Kreg Jig

I like to use the two shorter sides inside the box to help support it while I screw into the pocket holes.

Centerpiece box Kreg Jig

Kreg Jig Woodworking

Then attach the 2 shorter end pieces. 

Centerpiece box Kreg Jig

Kreg Jig Pocket Holes

STEP 4: Sand box

Using an electric orbital sander, start with 120 grit sandpaper. Sand all around the box. Then finish with 400 grit sandpaper to make the box smooth. 

Now your box is ready for staining and painting!

Materials Needed:

1) Stain. I use Minwax or Varathane Stain. You can use oil based stain (stain in a well ventilated area or outside) or water-based stain.

*If you use water-based stain, be sure to sand again with 400 grit sandpaper after the stain is dry. Water based products raise the wood grain and this can cause bleeding under your stencil when you paint. I always smooth my board down again after staining with water-based stains. You do not need to do this with oil-based stains.

These are my favorite colors:
Weathered Gray
Carbon Gray
Dark Walnut

2) Foam brush to apply stain

3) Cricut Explore Air 2 to create and cut stencil

4) Stencil made out of Oracle ORAMASK 813 Stencil Film

5) Transfer Paper. My favorite is Expressions Vinyl Paper Transfer Tape

6) Scraper or pressing tool that comes in the Cricut Tools Set

7) Paint. I prefer using chalk paint. You can choose any color, but white always looks great over stained wood. I use Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint in Linen White.

8) Make-up wedges to apply paint

9) Weeding tool that comes in the Cricut Tools Set

10) Polyurethane Sealer. I use Rust-Oleum Varathane Triple Thick Polyurethane.

STEP 5: Stain and Sand Box

Stain your box in smaller sections and wipe off stain as you go. Don't let the stain sit on the box very long. It is best to wipe it soon after application. I don't stain the bottom of my box as you won't see it. I do stain the inside and outside. If you are using water-based stains, sand with 400 grit sandpaper once stain is dry (15-20 min). If you are using oil-based stains wait 24 hours before the next step to ensure it is dry.

STEP 6: Design and cut stencil

Using Cricut Design Space, create your design. In Cricut Design Space, I recommend putting a rectangle shape around your design that is 5.5 inches x 23 inches. Then you can attach the rectangle to your design. It will cut out the design with the rectangle around it. This makes for easy placement on your box and ensures that you can center it easily. 

If you do not know how to use Cricut Design Space, go onto the Cricut website. There are a lot of great tutorials for how to use it.

Set your Cricut machine to vinyl and cut your design.

STEP 7: Weed stencil

Remove all of the lettering and designs that you will paint. It is actually called reverse weeding. You want to take out all the parts that you want painted.

STEP 8: Apply Transfer Paper

Cut a piece of transfer paper the same size as your stencil. Lay it down over the stencil and press it down with your Cricut Scraper.

STEP 9: Prepare and Place Stencil

Remove the white backing from your vinyl and place your stencil in the center of the side of the box. Remove transfer paper.


This is the best part (well besides removing the vinyl which is unusually gratifying). Paint 2 coats using the make-up wedge. The first coat should be very light to seal the stencil. Once dry to the touch, apply a second coat of paint. You can use more paint this time and make sure it is fully covered. Let dry to the touch.

STEP 11: Remove Stencil

Remove your stencil. Use your weeding tool to get out all the little parts and the center of the letters. 

STEP 12: Seal

I like to seal my centerpiece boxes with a polyurethane sealer. I make sure my paint is completely dry before sealing.

STEP 13: Decorate

Decorate with mason jars, candles, flowers, and seasonal decor. Change out your decor often for a fresh look.

I hope you enjoyed this detailed tutorial! Be sure to subscribe to YouTube channel and blog for future DIY tutorials.