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Converting steamer trunk into tack box

I’m currently in the process of finding the perfect trunk to fix up! I plan on refurbishing the trunk and using it as a tack box at the barn.

Does anyone have an experience converting an old steamer trunk into a tack box?

Would it be better to buy an actual tack box than to DIY using a steamer trunk?

sell it and have a custom one made?

having had tack stolen, if I were boarding at place that had room for a trunk I would use a steel Job Box and bolt the thing to the ground .


I have a steamer trunk at the end of my bed that I use to store sheets and blankets. I love it, but it’s heavy and wouldn’t do well anywhere damp or anywhere that it needed to be moved.

I keep my extra barn stuff in a steamer trunk at home.

The cost to buy + what it would cost to refurbish is much more than what a purpose-built track trunk would cost. And it wouldn’t hold up to heat/humidity/dust/etc of the barn (among other things, it’s lined and the lining would rot/mold).

Can’t tell if you are looking for a fun project or an economical way to store tack at the barn. If you’re looking to have a tack trunk for not a ton of money, Home Depot Husky 37" job box is $64 and does the job beautifully. It has a pull-out tool/grooming box, nice gasket to seal out moisture ,and can be locked. Plus it’s easy to roll out of the barn when you are going somewhere.

If you’re looking for a crafty project, it seems sad to refurbish a steamer trunk just to let it get filthy at a barn. That and it would be so heavy and difficult to move if you needed to take your stuff somewhere.

Both of the tack trunks I inherited are steamer or luggage trunks. Both have been in service for ~50-60 years and quite functional. I don’t know if they were original or not, but both have a tray ~5" deep.

As far as refurbishment, the only work I’ve done on them is painting the exterior & I replaced the paper lining in one (used wallpaper). Oh, & I added a 1/2" piece of plywood to the bottom of one because the bottom was gone.

As far as moving them, it’s not God awful. One has always been in my house, under the TV. It only has bits & old shoes so I don’t get in it much. The other I had at the barn. It got there in the back seat of 2000 Corolla. Empty it wasn’t too heavy. I don’t show, so once in a barn it stayed in one place.

One is similar to this (first picture), the other one like this (Imagine it Rustoleum hunter green).

Since they were in a garage for the entirety of my childhood, I couldn’t get upset about exposing them to barn dirt. It didn’t seem to hurt them.

years ago a friends husband made us a wooden tack box
beautiful but HEAVY and eventually mice ate a hole in the bottom

we passed it along to another friend to store stuff that doesn’t need to move - up in the hayloft

we use a Stanley rolling toolbox - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Stanley-37-in-Mobile-Job-Box-037025H/202300294

easy to move, keeps out moisture, you can put a lock on it if needed - good buy

we have an old steamer trunk that I use for storage at home
we painted the outside to make it uniform and planned (but never did) repapering the interior
it is missing the lock and the handles which were leather (now has rope)
IMO its just to dang heavy for the barn (not on wheels) and definitely not if you have to move it to shows etc

I use it for fabric indoors but it would also be a great garage trunk for blankets etc - though I am liking the large (but not huge) Rubbermaid tubs for blankets - small enough so I can sort blankets by season or type