Vintage Tool Box Turned Frugal Fall Centerpiece

Do you ever wonder where those “vintage” items we all love so much come from?  Who owned them before us? For instance, my new (to me) tool box?

Being a vintage i.e. old tool box, I am going to assume the who was a him. We could even make a guess at his name…

I see a J and an M and a C.  So could be… John, or Mac or Carl? Do you think John Mac Carl ever thought his beloved vintage tool box would become a frugal fall centerpiece? That it would hold Miniature Foam Dollar Tree Gourds

Or Twine Wrapped Wine Bottle Candle Holders tucked inside?

Do you think he could have even fathomed Burlap Covered Glass Jar Dollar Tree Candles nestled between Dollar Tree Fall Foliage and Twig Pumpkins stolen from faded and forgotten fall arrangements.

I’m sure he would struggle understanding why anyone would want to light any type of candle in his worn out tool box. A box meant for holding wrenches and hammers, screw drivers and awls, not berries and pumpkins and burlap and twine.

So the fact that it now sits on a dining room table, and not in a garage or barn somewhere, I am guessing would be quite a shock to John Mac Carl.

…but I think there would be a little piece of him that would be proud to see his tool box given a new life in a new home…and I promise John Mac Carl…or whoever it is that once owned this beautiful piece…that I will treasure it!

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  1. says

    You never know – John Max Carl could have been in touch with his inner fashionista! Love your found toolbox – I think it’s the long lost twin of mine which is also sitting on my dining table! Love those twine wrapped candleholders!

  2. says

    You are so stinkin creative and who would of thought all of the fillers were from the Dollar Tree. Awesome Heather and again your photos are beautiful!!

  3. says

    hmmm. . . what is it about an old tool box that makes us want to fill it with Fall decorations!? I just saw another toolbox centerpiece on another blog and you’re both giving me inspiration to do something similar. I have an amazing handmade piece to use – It’s been waiting for just the right season to make it’s debut!
    I always think about who might have owned this kind of thing – some guy – who needed to carry his stuff – and now it’s this incredibly desirable piece of vintage goodness! Can’t wait to get to work on mine!

  4. says

    John Max Carl would be thrilled what you did with his tool box! I love all of the Fall goodies you placed inside. And, the candles are fabulous … Dollar Tree would be proud!

  5. Courtney ~ French Country Cottage says

    So cute- I love old toolboxes and have a couple myself. They are so charming for so many different displays. Love yours and your story!!

  6. says

    very interesting, when i look at the letters what i see is … J H M. lol. oh well, it doesn’t really matter does it? your arrangement is Gorgeous! 😉 thanks for sharing!

  7. says

    Adore you toolbox! It has such an interesting mix of “ingredients” and textures! I have my Daddy’s toolbox, (along with some of his tools) which I plan to decorate this year. You are in inspiration!

  8. says

    Love your tool box–it looks great with the fallish elements in it! But I think the initials are JHM; the C doesn’t look like a letter to me. Clever the way he formed the J with the first line of the H. So he was handy and artsy and smart. Maybe John Henry Michaels. Or James Hampstead Morgan. It’s fun to imagine, isn’t it? :)

  9. says

    Hi Heather, You have me hoping someone somewhere sees this tool box and knows exactly who owned it. I know they will enjoy seeing it as all of us have. Love your sentimental thought of J C M! It looks gorgeous on your dining table and who knew!! Thinking there might be a rush in blogland of bloggers shopping for an old tool box. Thanks, Helen

  10. says

    I absolutely love how you styled this tool box!! I am so inspired! My husband’s great-uncle built him a wooden toolbox just like this when we were first married. It’s so special and I’d much rather use it in the house than for tools. I LOVE how yours looks with the whitewash and the letters preserved….so cool!

  11. says


    You are SUCH a rock star! I love everything about this. The photography (*sigh*). Your writing. The fact I have a toolbox that told me today it needs some burlap candles :)

    It’s amazing. I’m just sayin’
    :) me


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