How to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow

You guys, I am so excited to show you How to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow today!  

Have you signed up to make one at your local Home Depot yet?  Click here to Register!!
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How to Make a Rustic Wheelbarrow with a full picture tutorial at MyLove2Create

Right?!  Don't you want one of these on your porch for fall?  It is so fun!
How to Make a Rustic Wheelbarrow with a full picture tutorial at MyLove2Create
Yep, I kind of love it, and honestly my kids were really excited too.  In fact they helped get this whole porch together, we had a grand ole time!

How to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow:


5- 1x4 furring strips
3- 2x2 furring strips
1- 1'' dowel
1- 5/16'' dowel
Wood glue
Bar Clamps
Miter saw
Jig saw
drill bits
Screws 1 1/4''
1 1/4'' Nails and Nail gun
Finishing supplies

*Follow the tutorial below for cuts and how to build.  This does not have to be an exact plan, you can alter it to fit your needs, be creative and have fun!!
How to make a rustic wheel
First you want to get started on your wheel.  I wanted a larger wheel, about 12'', and found that the cheapest way to do it was out of 1 2x2 furring strip.  Cut your 2x2 into 12'' pieces, you can do a little less than 12 and they will all be about the same size, I cut mine right at 12 and my last one was shorter (top left), but it doesn't matter.

Once your pieces are cut you can wood glue and clamp them all at once with bar clamps, until the glue is dry.  I, for some unexplained reason, glued and clamped them in two's first (top right) and then glued and clamped those pieces together (bottom left).

Obviously my brain was in la la land, save yourself some time and do it once.  Mmmkay!  Then I got really technical and traced a plate for my wheel, that is the lazy way!  Large bowls will work too.
Make a wooden wheel
Next, I used my jig saw to cut out my wheel, I seriously loved this part. :)  After it was cut I measured and marked center then used a 1'' drill bit to drill a hole for my 1'' dowel to fit through.
cutting handles and legs for wheelbarrow
While your glue drys on your wheel you can cut your wheelbarrow legs (8'') and your handles/support boards (39").  You will be able to get these cuts out of one 2x2 furring strip.
drilling holes for wheel axle
On the ends of the handles you need to drill holes for the wheel axle/dowel to go through.  Since I planned on putting the boards at an angle, I used a little large bit than the dowel so that I had some wiggle room.

Originally I didn't go all the way through, then decided I wanted to, so that is why the photos only show part way drilled holes.
cutting out wheelbarrow handles
On the opposite end of where you drilled for the axle you can make your handle. I measured and cut a 5'' handle that was about 1'' thick, using my jig saw, then sanded it smooth.

***Make sure you are marking your handles the correct way and have your wheel axle holes facing the right direction!  I almost cut mine wrong on the first handle!
how to make a wooden wheel
I cut my 1'' dowel at 12 1/2'' and did a dry fit with the wheel, it was perfect!  You can set the handles closer to the wheel as well, this is where personal preference comes into play, I set mine farther apart because I wanted my wheelbarrow box to be wider.
how to secure a wooden wheel with dowels
In order to secure the wheel, I marked on either side of my wheel onto my 1'' dowel.  Then I took a drill bit the same diameter as my small dowel (5/16'') and drilled holes for them to be placed on both sides of the wheel.  I cut my dowel to 2''.

I made a little jig to keep the dowel from rolling while I drilled (bottom right).  :)
building a wheelbarrow base
Next I made the base of the wheelbarrow.  I took the lazy mans route on this and it is actually quite simple.  I measured how far apart the handles were on the front and the back and cut my boards about 1'' or so longer, basically each board was 1'' longer than the next, so they were tapered in size.  I cut 6 1x4's for the bottom piece, all tapered to fit the handle width's.

It was super easy to just glue and nail them right onto the handles.  (top photos)

Then to cut off the extra, I used a scrap board and marked a line that followed the handle.  I grabbed my jigsaw to trim off the extra, making the edges flush with the 2x2 handle.
How to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow, MyLove2Create
This is what I ended up with at this point.  All that is left is building the wheelbarrow box!
measuring for front and back of wheelbarrow
I used my wheelbarrow base as a guide to mark my bottom 1x4 boards for the front and back of the wheelbarrow box.  You can see the marks where the base hits the board, those are important for later on so make sure you mark them.  Then I cut a middle board about 1'' longer and the top board 1'' longer than the middle, tapering again, just like the base.

The front and back sections will be different sizes, because the base tapers, so make sure you measure accordingly.
How to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow, MyLove2Create
See how the boards taper?  Once I had my boards cut, I used a piece of 1x4 to mark the bottom edge (top left) 3/4'' from the bottom.  Then I took a 1x4 and placed the end on that marked edge (top right) and measured where to cut it off.  I cut 2 boards this size, they will be my front and back support pieces and will hold the sections together.
How to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow, MyLove2Create
Because I didn't want my supports to be as thick as a 1x4, I cut them in half.  I stacked them on top of each other, marked for center, clamped them down, then used my jig saw to cut up one side.  Next, I unclamped the boards flipped them around and finished cutting the other side.

That gave me 4 small support boards, two for the font and two for the back sections.
How to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow, MyLove2Create
In order for them to sit flush on the base, I cut them at 10 degrees off square.  Using the same mark I made at the beginning I set my angled cut right at the mark where the wheelbarrow bottom was, and drew a line to make sure I placed it in the right place for the next step.
How to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow, MyLove2Create
All I had to do now was glue  the support pieces on and nail them in place (top two photos) making sure they were on the line I drew.  Then I used my jigsaw to cut off the extra end pieces.
How to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow, MyLove2Create
Now to build!  I used glue and nails to attach the front and back to the base.  I did come back later and add screws for more security.
How to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow, MyLove2Create
Once I had the front and back pieces attached to the base I was ready to add the sides.  I cut six 1x4's @ 22 1/2''.  In order to attach my bottom side board, I simply used my 2x2 legs to prop it up, and then I glued and nailed in place.  Then I added the middle and top side boards.
How to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow, MyLove2Create
Next up attaching the legs.  I measured 10'' from the end of the handle and marked for my leg placement.  Then I glued and nailed it into place.  After that, I predrilled and added  2 to 2 1/2'' screws.
How to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow, MyLove2Create
For added strength in the legs, I cut two scrap pieces of 2x2 at 45 degree bevels on both ends, ends not parallel, you can do it any length you want, I just used the size of scrap wood I had.  I glued and nailed it into place from all sides, and I was finished building!
How to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow, MyLove2Create
I decided to go with Minwax Jacobean stain, which was left over from my Farmhouse Storage Bed, making sure to use wood conditioner first, since pine is a soft wood, this helps the stain to apply evenly.
How to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow, MyLove2Create
When the stain was dry I added my wheel, and secured it with my small dowels.  I couldn't find a hammer so I used a clamp to pound them in!  Hee hee!

Then on the bottom of the wheelbarrow, I screwed through the handle into the dowel on each side, so that it wouldn't spin around.
How to Make a Rustic Wheelbarrow with a full picture tutorial at MyLove2Create
I couldn't be happier with how it turned out!  Please note the screws...I added those for extra strength on all sides of the wheelbarrow.
How to Make a Rustic Wheelbarrow with a full picture tutorial at MyLove2Create
Like I said before, my little kids really enjoyed helping stage our new rustic wheelbarrow.
How to Make a Rustic Wheelbarrow with a full picture tutorial at MyLove2Create
Even if we were short on fall supplies...we somehow made it work!
How to Make a Rustic Wheelbarrow with a full picture tutorial at MyLove2Create
Here is a shot from the back, of the cute handles and legs.  The box on this is quite large and can hold a lot!  Plus it rolls too, just like it is supposed too, I love it!

Oh, and did you notice my Industrial Pumpkins?  I just had to throw them in. :)
How to Make a Rustic Wheelbarrow with a full picture tutorial at MyLove2Create
I am thinking this wheelbarrow is so cute for the fall, but it would also make a pretty cool Christmas Decoration too...the "wheels" are already turning... (pun intend).
How to Make a Rustic Wheelbarrow with a full picture tutorial at MyLove2Create
You may have noticed my fun sign too!  I can't wait to share it with you soon, if you are a long time follower it might look a little familiar!  I did a little reverse magic on it, and now it is a two in one sign.  Love.

NOW do you want to make a Rustic Wheelbarrow?!

Don't worry, it is not too late to register and build your own...and remember it is FREE!!

Seriously, call your friends, and get registered! You couldn't ask for a better girls night out!
The Home Depot #DIHWorkshop Rustic Wheelbarrow, MyLove2Create

The Home Depot offers Workshops at all of their locations for do-it-yourselfers of all ages and experience levels.  There are three types of Workshops offered – Do-It- Yourself (DIY), Do-It-Herself (DIH) and Kids.  Customers can learn how to build décor projects, how to make easy home repairs and how to operate tools through demonstrations and step-by-step instructions.

To learn more visit and don't forget to mark your calendar for the workshops this month!

The Home Depot DIH Workshop
Thursday, September 15, 2016
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Click to Here to Register
You know you want too!!

Time to check out all the customized Blogger Wheelbarrows, and get inspired!

A special thanks to Brad @ Fix This Build That for inviting me to participate!!

#DIHWorkshop Virtual Party Blog Post Links

Averie Lane

I can't wait to see your rustic Wheelbarrows!

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  1. What a wonderful display for fall! I love all the details, and especially the way you built the "bucket" on your wheelbarrow.

  2. Oh my, yours is big! I guess it can be used in the garden too... Strong construction! I love how it looks there in your porch, so festive!

  3. Such a pretty take on this project - love the different sides and wheel!

  4. I love that you built your wheelbarrow from scratch, Mindi! And those industrial pumpkins are perfect!

  5. when it comes to wheelbarrels, the bigger the better, right? your fall styling is perfect with your wheel barrow and yes I did notice your industrial pumpkins!

  6. With a wooden wheel to boot! Just perfect under your fall sign. :)

  7. Great Job, Mindy!
    many greetings

  8. Mindi,

    I love your little wheelbarrow and your fall porch decorations are so pretty. I'm so ready for fall weather!
    I saw the ad for this DIH at my Home Depot earlier in the week, but then forgot about it. :(

    Super tutorial my friend!



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