Build a Garden Cubby

by Daisy

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I built a box to store small garden tools and supplies: gloves, garden knife, twine, secateurs, etc. I am that peculiar kind of lazy which would rather spend days fashioning such a box than go back into the house for a pair of scissors.

It is shaped like a shed with a copper roof made from scrap flashing left over from a roof tear-off. I used scrap lumber and exterior-grade paint left over from other projects. The only purchases were cup hooks and a doorknob.

Because this project involved scrap lumber of non-stock dimensions, I would recommend if you want to make one for yourself out of stock lumber that you decide what it is you would like to store in it and plan the dimensions of your cubby accordingly.

It is a basic box with a pointed roof and a door. With the exception of the door which uses a little basic dowel joinery, simple butt joinery with exterior glue and wood screws is the order of the day. The roof decking and the copper flashing/roofing is nailed with small finishing nails. I put a dab of silicone caulk over the roof nails for waterproofing and caulked the other joints after building the basic box as well.

Mine measures 11 3/4 ” wide, 6 1/2″ deep, and 18 1/4 ” high at the roof peak. The door, cut to fit the opening, uses dowel joinery for the frame with a 1/4 ” piece of plywood screwed to the back of the door frame. I “hinged” it at the top and bottom with dowel pegs for an “invisible” hinge.

Some of the pieces laid out prior to construction are shown here. (The door frame pieces in this photo were too big. I had to start over, but I show them here to show the dowel joinery.):


The box starting to come together:


The roof “decking” is also 1/4 ” plywood beneath three sections of copper flashing, the forward-most piece has a decorative edge cut into it with metal snips.

It has three coats of paint beginning with a coat of water-based Kilz, followed by two coats of exterior house paint.

The interior has freehand swirls.

The exterior is striped by masking off sections and brushing on two light coats of light green exterior house paint. The door panel has a “plaid” design to complement the stripes.


It is mounted on a post near the garden. Once I get it stocked maybe it will eliminate those extra trips back into the house.

Tags: gardening projects, , garden cubby


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM September 11, 2008 at 5:33 am

This is amazing and so cute! I need one of these in my backyard. It appears simple but you should see me trying to make anything. I love your floor idea. I have been trying to figure out what to do about our carpet and my daughter’s asthma as well. I hope that your son is okay and I love your tips. Am going to bookmark your site.

Claire September 11, 2008 at 10:44 am

How cute! Is it attached to a tree or it’s own post? Think you could attach it to a tree? I feed the birds those fat balls in nets and I hate having them in the house because lots of greasy bits always fall off them, would be perfect for that, good thinking!

Tomato Lady September 11, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Thanks, HNWMom! It really is just a box with a roof. If you don’t build I have seen where people just buy a cute mailbox and put it in the backyard for the same purpose as mine. Ivory’s son is doing great. Getting rid of the carpet really seemed to help a lot. Our best wishes for your daughter.

Claire–It is on a post but I don’t see why it couldn’t be attached to something else. I bet the birds love you.

Ginger Rogers October 12, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I love this idea. I’ve seen a cubby like this in a small country community cemetery. Inside was a spiral bound notebook and pen for visitors to sign and leave a note. I thought that was a wonderful idea. The notebook included some newspaper obituaries. What a wonderful idea for gardening supplies. We have a similar cubby in our garage. It’s actually an old wooden breadbox mounted on the wall.

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