DIY Tool Caddy by Ann Taylor – December 2022 Guest Designer

by Erum Tasneem

Hello everyone! Today we have a fantastic project to share with you. Our lovely December guest designer, Ann Taylor, will show you how to revamp a wooden container to make a beautiful tool caddy! Let's hear it from Ann.

tool caddy

Get to know Ann

Thank you, Altenew, for inviting me to be a guest designer this month.  I have so much fun creating projects for Altenew. I have been a cardmaker almost all of my life.  I still have a card that I made for my mom on Mother’s Day when I was 8 years old!

Mixed media, however, is fairly new to me.  I would say that I started making mixed media projects just a few years ago.  I love taking nothing and creating something. Here’s my project.

Ann's DIY Tool Caddy

tool caddy

I used Mixed Media inks, Crisp Dye inks, Almond Butter, and Espresso. Just click on the links to go straight to Altenew’s website. I wanted a tool caddy on my desk. A while back, I purchased a wooden box that I liked. At the time I purchased it, I had no idea that it would soon have a place of honor on my desk as a tool caddy. 

tool caddy

This picture is a test fit of some supplies. Then I sat at my desk and decided that I liked the size and style of my desk. As you probably know, desk space and layout are crucial for comfortable and inspired crafting.

So the next step is to decide how to decorate the container. I chose to use the Baroque Motifs and Floral Acanthus stamp sets. Now what? I sat at my desk, staring at the container. Then I had a light bulb moment!

I turned the container upside down. This gave me a practice area and a place for color selection. While I have color swatches on paper, I wasn’t sure how they would look on wood.

tool caddy

This also gave me a place to try my outline ink color. I stamped a few images and then colored them in.  Decisions made, I was ready to start on the side that would be the front of the caddy. I would be looking at it quite a bit, so I wanted to like it. 

tool caddy

I used stamps to decide on the basic layout. Then I chose Misty Morning Crisp Dye Ink to stamp the images. I knew that I wanted to do no-line coloring, so I used a light ink that would blend into the background.

Here’s my stamped layout.

tool caddy

Voila! My finished tool caddy. Well, almost.  Something was missing. Then I knew what it was…BLING!

Altenew’s Must-Have Gel Pens! I used a gold pen to outline the images. Drawing on the wood was not too challenging.  I just took my time. Here’s a closer look at a couple of flowers and swirls.

tool caddy

I was and am very pleased with the results!

Now it was time to start making divisions in the container to fit my tools. I cut a box (that I had stored in my craft room) in half. It was just the right size! 

tool caddy

I put Double-Sided Adhesives between the 2 box halves.  Then, I decorated it with one of my favorite washi tapes, Calming Bouquet Wide Washi Tape.  To make sure that the washi tape would stay in place, I put the same Double-Sided Adhesive between the cardboard box and the washi tape.  Anytime I lift the partition, I see the beautiful washi tape.

tool caddy

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope you found it helpful and inspiring.  You can follow me on Instagram @cardsbyann or on my blog.

Make it a crafty day!


WOWZERS, Ann! Such a cool project! I can't believe how amazing the pigment + dye inks look on wood! Your tool caddy looks brilliant! We are sure it will brighten your day every time you will glance at it. The addition of gold sealed the deal! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful talent with us.

Please leave a comment below to let Ann know how fabulous her tool caddy looks. You can also catch her on @cardsbyann and her blog. Thank you so much for reading!


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Maureen R December 31, 2022 - 2:37 PM

Awesome tool caddy!!!

Cindy C. January 4, 2023 - 2:35 PM

It’s beautiful!

Cathy McLean January 4, 2023 - 4:09 PM

Ann, that is absolutely gorgeous! I love it!!

Altenew January 4, 2023 - 8:35 PM

Thank you, Cathy!


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