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It’s that time of year when some of you might be scrambling to get a gift or two built on or before December 24. Might I recommend you take a look at the many simple (but good-looking) free projects from our “I Can Do That” files?

As far as I can tell, the most popular among them has been “Fish Sticks” – often rendered in different animal shapes (though you’ll have to change the name of the thing). I’ve had more pictures of that project sent to me from readers than for any other project I’ve built. And, I still use mine at home almost every day.

Another favorite seems to be the Shaker Carry Box – a simplified version of a classic silverware tray – which I’ve seen dressed up with rosehead nails. (Make the sides a bit more narrow, and it would make a good serving tray).

I have now made for friends’ kids at least a dozen versions of the Country Tool & Toy Chest – I wish I still had a picture of the lavender one decorated with glitter…or maybe I’m glad I don’t!  I’ve moved since I made that one – otherwise, I’d still be finding glitter in the basement.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

p.s. Here’s a link to my least favorite: The Pirate Chest. Sure, it looks nice, but I managed to draw more of my blood on that simple build than on all other projects – combined – that I’ve made.

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