Maple Syrup Tool Tote, Thrifty Style Team

I've got a thing for totes, and for being thrifty.

Old Wood Tool Box Maple Syrup Tote,

Metal ones, wood ones, ones with wood and metal, and especially free or cheap ones, which I like to refer to as the "thrifty" ones.

I picked this one up at a garage sale a couple years ago.  It was filled with tools, which makes sense because it's a tool tote, duh Bliss.

Old Wood Tool Box Maple Syrup Tote,

The tool box was marked ten bucks.  

I didn't want to pay ten bucks and I didn't want the tools.

I asked the boss lady at the garage sale, how much for the tote without the tools?,  and she looked at me like I had two heads.  I guess she couldn't understand why someone would not want the tools and would want the tool box.

She quizzed me by repeating back what I said.... "you don't want the tools?".  She said she would have to ask her husband, she thought they could only be sold together.

Old Wood Tool Box Maple Syrup Tote,

The man of the house came out and he repeated the question that seemed to have offended his wife....."you don't want the tools?".  No sir, would you sell the tote without the tools and if so how much?

Old Wood Tool Box Maple Syrup Tote,

He looked at the tote and me, and clearly thought one of us was crazy, and said he'd have to find something else to put them in and he didn't think he had anything.  

By this time I had invested too much precious garage sale hunting time to just let it go, so I found a basket at their sale and offered it up to him and asked again, but how much for just the tool box?

Crazy people get a heck of a deal because folks just want you the helll out of their garage!

One buck.

I whipped out my dollar bill, picked up the tote and marched to the car before he could change his mind.
Old Wood Tool Box Maple Syrup Tote,

My garage sale buddy (hi Dii!) however really did think I was going off the deep end.  She saw my tote of the tote march, and inquired, "ANOTHER one?  What are you going to do with all of them?"

I'm not sure how many totes I have left in my stash, but hands down this one is my favorite.

Like a lot of ladies I have pin boards on Pinterest.  

One of my boards is wreaths and centerpieces and it is filled with beautiful things that I'm too cheap to buy. But I am willing to pay a buck to transform something with paint into something I love.

Old Wood Tool Box Maple Syrup Tote,

For this project I used Fusion Mineral Paint in the new color Tuscan Orange.  I wanted it a bit more burnt orange in tone so I custom mixed some Fusion brown with the orange till I got the shade I had in my head.

Do you remember a post from a couple years ago about maple syrup making around here?  

Of course you don't!  Every spring some friends tap our trees and make maple syrup, so it seemed fitting that this tote pay tribute to that. 

Old Wood Tool Box Maple Syrup Tote,
 First I took a wood drag and pulled some other Fusion Mineral Paint colors across the tote to give it a distressed look without sanding.  (I will do a separate post on this process).  

Next I used lumber yard stencils for the lettering and then lightly sanded the whole thing for the worn look I love so much.
Old Wood Tool Box Maple Syrup Tote,

What I particularly like about this tote is the galvanized edge with nails.  I lightly sanded that as well, which brought out some shine and knocked the gunk off.  

This tote is heavy and long - a couple inches over two and a half feet.  I sanded and waxed the top handle because I liked how it looked just the way it was.

Old Wood Tool Box Maple Syrup Tote,

For fill I used field corn, sumac, dried hydrangea, gourds, maple leaves, and...........

Old Wood Tool Box Maple Syrup Tote,
......I tucked in this nutty little glass squirrel. 

I also want to point out that the two hydrangeas front and center were plucked from my own highly under-producing hydrangea bush.

Old Wood Tool Box Maple Syrup Tote,

 The tote is lettered on both sides.  I wanted to be able to admire it no matter which direction I was headed.

Old Wood Tool Box Maple Syrup Tote,

Today's tote also marks my induction into a once a month new thrifty gaggle of women.

The Thrifty Style Team consists of these creative bloggers so I hope you will hope over to check out their thrifty style.

Thrifty Style Team
Each one of them has got it going on with Thrifty Style and I'm happy to join the team.

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  1. Oooh love love love!! I love it for fall but I can see it all done up with greens and pinecones for Christmas too!

  2. this looks great, bliss! love the colors and design and maple syrup, for the record.

  3. LOVE this tote and the fact that you left the handle natural is my favorite part. Please add this to the trailer full of items of yours that I love (you know, the ones that you are bringing to my house). xo

  4. Your dollar do-over is a big hit! It's gorgeous with all that stuff in it- great job, B.
    I want to know how many others you have in the shed.

  5. What a neat line up we have today, Bliss! I almost used hydrangeas in mine...why I didn't is beyond me. I have huge gorgeous faded heads out there that are going to get fried soon in the cold. I should dry them out, maybe I will if I feel better later. So nice to have you join us, and sorry about the "vacation" so soon. XO

  6. I'm seriously cracking up that the guy wanted to try and find something else to put in the tote because that would make MUCH more sense in his mind. LOL!!! That is a steal of a deal, totally thrifty and absolutely gorgeous!

  7. I'm in love with this tote. I may be even more in love with the hydrangeas. I still haven't planted any, but when I do, I will probably plant about 329 of them. I can't believe you got that thing for a buck. You're a shrewd shopper, you are.


  8. I love that tote story. I did the same thing at the last estate sale I went to. The metal tote was filled with tools. Didn't want no tools. I was not quizzed as you were and the man gladly allowed me to walk off with my treasure after telling me they had just changed the sale to Half Off! Woo Hoo!

  9. I just bought an over-sized used tool box on Etsy. Unlike you, I paid more than a buck. Much more. Plus shipping. Sigh. :)

  10. Once again, you had me laughing out loud. I can't believe you had to go through that, never heard of someone not wanting tools? Sell the caddy for goodness sake.

    Love what did with it and now I have to try Fusion Mineral paint. You use it all the time.

    Sure you told me. Where can I buy it?


  11. Man, you got a screamin' deal on that tote, and I love its new maple look...sure would love to try your maple syrup too! :)

  12. OH this is beautiful, Bliss! I love the style, the color, and the lettering...the price was a steal!

  13. Great job Bliss. The lettering an paint look "aged-old-original".
    Love totes too.
    Happy Fall.

  14. You have the best garage sale stories and I'm in love with that tool box to maple syrup tote!!!

  15. Hi there,
    I love your tool box wether it has tools or not!❤️ But what are lumber yard stencils, I have been stenciling things for years and I have never heard that term before?? I feel like I'm missing something because I love the look of your tote. Please help?!��

    1. I got mine at Menards, but I know Home Depot has them too.... at Menards they are by the mail box numbers and letters, they are a cardboard stencil that comes in sizes from like an inch all the way up to 6" and are yellow. They are just letters and affordable and come in a clear plastic package.

  16. The tote is perfect. I've never seen one w the galvanized trim before. You're a lucky dog.

  17. The maple tree has been dubbed 'the Sweet Tree' since its products are sure to tickle your sweet tooth. Pancakes aren't as enjoyable without maple syrup. Just as maple candies signal the start of early spring.More Information


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