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Friday, April 19, 2013

Make a rustic wheelbarrow for the garden

Inspiration from an unlikely source

I was watching an episode of Adventure Time recently featuring the Snow Golem. In one scene he was pushing around a rustic little cart. Even though it is just cartoon drawing, I love the wooden wheels (complete with a chip that I included quite by accident in my wheelbarrow) and the unevenness of the side boards.

I was so intrigued by the simplicity whimsy of it that I decided to make one for the garden. A perfect pallet wood project.

Soon, my idea evolved and became a bit more stylish as I transformed it into a wheelbarrow. Inspiration is one of those things that just happens. The trick is to keeping yourself open to it all the time.

Relax. It's rustic.

The advantage to rustic projects is that you really don't need to stress out about any of this. No protractors or exact measurements needed. If parts are a little off, don't sweat it: it's a rustic project! Got any rusty nails lying around? Use them! If a nail bends over when you are pounding it in, leave it that way. And any uneven, split boards and chipped out wood you use adds to its charm, just as with the Snow Golem's little cartoon cart.


This is another project that anyone can build with very little experience and limited tools. I used my miter saw, but you could just as easily use a circular saw or a jig saw. You will need a hammer and nails and a drill and screws.

If you decide to use pallet wood (it's free!) watch the first part of my Rustic Side Table video to see my method for breaking them apart into wood you can use.



  1. Another wonderful work for the garden, you have some very creative ideas and easy for newbies like me.
    Thanks for sharing your designs.
    We anxiously await the video of next week

  2. been wanting to replace the one i made a few years ago,
    part of one side has rotted,
    yours looks great..
    have a request, a garden glider bench

  3. We love us our drywall nails! Another fabulous looking project--the envy of the gardeners in my family.. And as the snow blows over our 2' drifts outside, I gotta say I'm a little envious of the greenery as well..

  4. Great wheelbarrow.

    You just put flowers in it? What a waste!!!

    We all know that the appropriate use of such a wheelbarrow is little kids to give each other rides in, especially when pushing little bratty brothers and sisters off a steep drop.

  5. Great project steve! I love the paint can radius! Isn't it frustrating when ya can't find the right can or item for the radius you want. And the do over was so familiar like right out of my mind. But the finished project is classic and looks awesome! Great job!

  6. I just found my gift for "mother's day". hehehe

  7. Hi Steve! Very cool projects. I just found your website and started watching your videos. Very informative and I like your sence of humor! I am 46 and a devoted husband and father and live in Litchfield, Mn. I am a truck driver and also enjoy woodworking especially scrollsawing though I would like to make insturnents and small boxes more also. I make mostly small items; Christmas ornaments, scrolled portraits, kids puzzles, names etc. My big project right now is making a shop on wheels. A very compact shop on wheels as I have a 2 car garage worth of stuff to put in there!. Its a challenge but fun also. I liked your sawhorses you made and had a question. I need to make a set of sturdy and simple but also foldable. I seen a design once and they were nade of 1x4'sand folded flat . Might be a fun video to make if you havny already! Happy woodworking and God bless! Marty from MinneSNOWta. christfollower1996@yahoo.com

  8. Love the wheelbarrow! Have you thought about building something like this: http://palermoproject.com/DaVinci_Bridge.html My son's Boy Scout troop is assembling one for a STEM based competition at their Camporee this weekend. The assembly is a little tricky, but the wood working portion is fairly easy, and would probably be doable with limited tools. Scouts did theirs out of all square lumber,

  9. Great Post. I have not been visiting the site recently. Took a visit again and there were some great comments on the site. Excellent post. Keep up the good work.

  10. Très bon travail. Je regarde toutes vos vidéos.Vous donnez envie aux amateurs le travail du bois. Dommage que je ne parle pas Anglais ! Bon courage pour vos projets. Cordialement.

    Serge Hazebrouck

  11. Steve! Don't know whether to thank you or curse you (take that as a compliment and humor please)
    Finally got one of the pallet jack wheel barrels completed. Have two pallets in it, bout a dozen different types of screws, air gun staples, glue and what not! lol
    Gave me a fit! Your design is fine believe me...it was just me! But here it is http://www.dsksales2.com/images/wheelbarrow.jpg . The wife is painting it beige and I think I'll load dirt in it, some flowers and see if I can get %50 for it. Any advice out there!

  12. Steve, great project, curious did you put any finish on it? Keep the great video's coming.

  13. Doode, I like you. You're humor is refreshing. especially the drywall nail bit. You're website gives me tons of ideas for my wife and me to do when I get back home. I appreciate your work. Keep them coming. Thank you.

  14. almost finished with wheelbarrow. it looks great and the hardest part was tearing apart the pallets. I have been woodworking for a lot of years, made some awesome and not so awesome stuff so I appreciate the mere mortals title. some plans in woodworking magazines look like you would need a PHD to complete. THANKS