Cottage Garden Tote

I’ve had my radar set for wooden totes lately,
and have been fortunate to find several at flea markets and auctions.
This tote started out looking like this and it’s the
2nd one I’ve found like it – snowmen and all.
I loved how the first one turned out and
almost did the same makeover on the second one,
but I had some beautiful pages from a book
called, “The Country Diary of Edwardian Lady”,
which is a facsimile reproduction of a 1906 nature journal by Edith Holden.
Edith Holden

The book was published posthumously in 1977
and was an enormous success.
The book is filled with her stunning watercolor illustrations
of plants and animals and is accompanied by her lovely, neat handwriting.
I layered the images over pages from some of my 1800’s Peterson’s magazines.
I like the contrast of the text and the watercolor images.
When I went outside on Tuesday to take photos,
the day couldn’t have been more perfect.
The sun was shining, but wasn’t too hot,
the birds were chirping up a symphony,
and it was just the kind of day you could envision
Edith going for one of her many walks to write in her journal.
My tote seemed made for such a day as this.
I gathered up a variety of objects to put
inside the tote that I thought complimented its cottage garden look.

Old glass medicine bottles look gorgeous anywhere,
but really look pretty inside the tote.

I’m sure by now, you can tell that I was having a
great time taking pictures of it, but the day was too
perfect not to just snap photos until my battery died.
I probably spent 2 hours taking pictures that day
(including the bud vase garland I showed you yesterday with
some of these old bottles).
I’m not a great gardener and could probably kill
a silk plant, but thankfully, old pots look
pretty with or without plants, so I had
to show them in the tote as well.  The ivy
is very tolerant of my brown thumb and
has managed to survive so far.
My little brass sprayer leaks, but I love the way it looks.

The great thing about old tool totes is how useful
they are for holding so much more than tools,
so I think this tote would look nice in a bathroom
holding hand towels as well.

If you love the images from the book as much as I do,
there are plenty of these books available on Amazon
for very reasonable prices.



  1. I spent time with you out in your garden, I felt the sunshine on my face, I heard the sweet sound of the birds, I felt the crunching of the underbrush under my feet….you took me on a journey with this post Angie. The tote turned out beautiful…I love it and thanks for showing how versatile she is:)

  2. The wooden box is just beautiful! I love everything that you put in them. The medicine bottles are super cute! I actually just saw two completely unfinished tool boxes exactly like yours at a Salvation Army store for $5 a piece and was wondering what I could do them. I may go back to the store today and see if they’re still there. Thanks so much for the inspiration! ~ Jamie

  3. you did a great job re doing your tool caddy, i love the pages on it , guess you used Mod podge ? I never see one of those around here at sales. We do have a flea market coming up next Saturday so will look for one and I want an old wire bird cage and I had one and sold it $2.00 I was crazy for doing that LOL

  4. I like how when it comes to decorating these, you think “outside the tote”!! great images!

  5. Love your wooden tote–those jars in it are so cool! I have a hard time finding those–at a cheap price anyway! Mod Podge seems to really be making a come back–everyone seems into it now! Have a great weekend.:)

  6. I am lucky enough to have several wood totes made by my Dad many years ago. I use them as is but someday I will get around to painting and distressing some of them. Yours look lovely.

  7. I loved the layering of artwork over old writings!! They came out so beautiful!!

  8. Just lovely! The images from the book pages are stunning in detail and I agree — it’s wonderful that good, old pots can look lovely without plants (I am a plant killer sadly!).

  9. Your totes are WONDERFUL!!!!!

  10. You are using your totes in a great manner. You have some nice ideas far displaying them.

  11. Your tote looks really nice with the decogage pages. Would look lovely in a guest room with the hand towels.

  12. How lucky, Angie, to find not one but two of these totes! They are just so hot right now. I think your version looks much nicer than the snowman! : )

  13. I have a similar wood tote that last week I used one of your graphics on (the *Bliss* seeds). I haven’t done a post on it yet.


  14. What great ideas! I stumbled upon you in blogland. I am now following you. I hope you will follow me. I’m in a computer crash mode and borrowing someone else’s so no photos right now, but soon to show new projects. Hope you’ll visit.

  15. So many wonderful uses for your craftiness. Wonderful, love it! Congratulations on your feature at Cedar Hill Ranch. Hugs and happy wishes for a lovely week ahead xo

  16. It came out beautiful. I never thought of doing anything like that with those things LOL. I love especially the bath towels in it, the different textures of hard and soft. I ordered the book 😀 the pictures are gorgeous and I thank you for the ideas. Don’t know if I’m strong enough to tear the pages out though. blessings.

  17. Love this idea! Thank you for sharing. Happy WW!

  18. I got the book…..I cannot believe how enchanting it is! My fears have been founded …. I don’t think I can bring myself to tear any pages out….it looks as if she wrote the book, and typed it herself. I’ll have to order another one, they’re only one penny on amazon and use that one….though I’ll have to be strong even so.

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