I used some reclaimed oak flooring (I think that is what it is)--putting the grooved part to the outside.
The first thing you need to do when building this is decide what you are going to use as a handle because this will determine the size of your tote. Mine is from a broken mirror harp.
Cut a piece of wood the same length as the handle for the bottom. Cut two pieces for the sides the length of the bottom PLUS the width of the wood x 2. For example, if your handle and bottom are 22" long and your wood is 3/4" thick, cut the 2 side pieces 23 1/2" long.
Screw the side pieces to the end pieces and then the bottom piece will fit up inside--screw it in place. Add the handle and paint as you like. This one has my "accidental" finish--the color scheme I discovered by accident. Red, bright green, and then turquoise with stain applied over the top and just stain on the inside.
Wouldn't this be welcoming in a guest room--an extra blanket, magazines, and a bottle of wine.