i should be mopping the floor: DIY Crate Tutorial {simple, cheap & easy} #crate, #simplestorage, #inexpensivestorage

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DIY Crate Tutorial {simple, cheap & easy} #crate, #simplestorage, #inexpensivestorage

Wooden crates are the perfect way to organize in style and on a budget. Perfect for pantries, toy boxes, closet storage and more {it's a stylish alternative to storage baskets}. Build a DIY Crate with minimal skills and minimal time. We've taken storage bins to a whole new level.
 


Last week, I showed you my Pantry Overhaul {feel free to check that out here}...complete with vintage-inspired wooden crates that corral my chaos {because girls, I've got some serious chaos. I'm a hot mess.}!

Now that the pantry has been fully-functional for a couple of weeks, I'm happy to report that the crates are working out beautifully. When I started on this pantry, I was inspired by Shelley over at House of Smiths {who isn't inspired by Shelley?}. While her original pantry design in her own home was completely mind-blowing, I've also been in awe of the pantry and crates she created for the DIY Bloggers' House she was a part of. I was on the search to either buy or make some for myself.

I first priced out vintage crates...and at $30-$40 a piece, and a bunch of weird, wonky sizes, I decided this would be a DIY project. And by DIY, I mean I called my dad and asked his opinion on it. And by asked his opinion on it, I mean I know the man well enough to know his OCD tendencies wouldn't let me handle this one on my own {I come by my quirks naturally, people}. 

And would you believe we spent less than $30 for all SIX of these? Seriously.

While I truly envisioned this being a complete me job with him standing in the background giving me pointers, it turned into our usual. You know, my dad doing 90% of the work while I click away with the camera. And manage to break in half three of his drill bits when I was helping. We're a great team, Dad & I. I smooth things over with coconut-cream pies and endless cups of Donut Shop Coffee.

I did do all the painting and distressing on my own. For some reason, I feel the need to justify myself here.

Of course, Dad shows up at my house with a lot of the work already done. He's a keeper.
These are all of the ends of the crates (1x4s and 1x2 braces).
You can see the pile of 1x4s we used as the sides.

THE BREAKDOWN:
  • We built six total crates {five are all the same size, but the one for the top shelf of my pantry is a longer size to accomodate my overflow items}. 
  • My standard crates were 15"x12". We cut all of our boards accordingly...keep in mind, we had to subtract the amount that the end pieces took up in order to keep our sizes accurate for our pantry's shelves. If we had just cut boards in 15" and 12" lengths, this wouldn't have worked. You'll need to take into account how long the sides will be once they're attached to the ends in order to get your correct measurement.
  • We used 1x4s for all of the exterior boards, and used "rough one side" to cut costs {the rough side faces inward}.
  • We used 1x2s in the inside corners to add stability and, well, hold them all together.
  • We used 1/8" paneling for the bottoms {this the same stuff furniture-makers use to make drawer bottoms...while it may sound skimpy, it's very durable for this purpose}.
  • We used 1 1/2" screws for the main body and wire nails to attach the paneling to the bottom.
We made a cardboard template so all of our screw holes would be identical on each crate.
This isn't a necessary step, but it makes it aesthetically nicer.

Getting ready to attach the side pieces.

We used wood glue on everything we attached.

IMPORTANT: You'll want to pre-drill your holes (that you marked with your template if you're using one). Pre-drilling prevents the wood from splitting once the screw goes in. I managed to break three drill bits when I did some of these...it wasn't pretty. There's three drill bits sunk into random crate holes in my pantry somewhere. Niiiiiiice.

Drill your screws in. If you noticed on our cardboard template I showed you above, one screw hole is a bit offset. That's the screw that catches into the corner 1x2 that holds the whole piece together and makes it super strong.

After all of our crate sides were assembled, we drew out the lines for their bottoms on our paneling. We  used the circular saw to cut them out. Anything that was a bit jagged got sanded off later.

 Ta-Da!
When I first explained this whole project to my dad, he couldn't understand why I would want the screw heads showing. But, he totally got it later. It's a part of the vintage-y appeal to these.

After thoroughly sanding, I painted them each white with the latex paint that I had used for the pantry shelves.

After the paint dried for about 24 hours, I came back and sanded the edges with my palm sander. I also sanded the paint off of some of the screw heads...I truly think they add to the charm of these pieces.

Then I took stain and just applied it to the edges only (I used a smaller brush so it wouldn't get too messy). I used the dark-walnut stain that I use on everything.

Then I simply wiped the stain off after it had sat on the edges for ten minutes or so. While wiping, some stain inevitably gets on the front parts of the boards, too. That just adds to the charm.



I found some very crate-ish handles at HobLob for $1.50 each. I seriously think they have the best priced hardware...I mean, come on...$1.50? Awesome-sauce. 


If you have any questions on this project, let me know. 



53 comments:

  1. Love'em! Going on my list of things to make :o)

    ReplyDelete
  2. They turned out cute & functional! I think my favorite part is what seems to be the great relationship you have with your dad {and maybe a tad jealous you live so close to yours ;-) } Makes me miss mine tons! Thanks for sharing!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh...I loved them in your pantry...now I can have my own. Think your dad will come over? :)
    I've got cookies.
    Kelly

    ReplyDelete
  4. Pinning these--they're great! Will be sending my address to your Dad!
    Nancy

    ReplyDelete
  5. These are awesome! Thanks for the tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great tutorial and what an awesome project.

    ReplyDelete
  7. These are great. I could really use them in my house : )

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ooooh honey please make me.... list just got 1 item longer.. these are great

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is amazing! I 'm going to pin it on my diy board. Found you on Shine on Friday.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah. I have a question: Does your dad travel? Probably everyone reading this post wants him to come help with their projects. LOL Great dad, and great project!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love these! Cute and functional! Stopping by from T T and J - feel free to check out my fall front porch that I linked up.

    ReplyDelete
  12. they look so so nice! thank you for the tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your crate tutorial is awesome. What a great and pretty way to organize. I have to tell you--I just love the name of your blog. So fun--made me smile!

    ReplyDelete
  14. My daughter needs these. Pinning for her hubby. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Such a great idea and tutorial Kristi!!

    Thanks for linking up! I featured your post in my wrap up http://tidymom.net/2012/12-diy-projects/

    Have a great rest of the weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey there! I'm brand new here from Transformation Thursday! LOVE these crates! Dying over the handles!

    Xoxo
    Dawn@EventuallyCottage

    ReplyDelete
  17. Girl! You totally rock! I know it's bad form to feature someone two weeks in a row but seriously, how could I not? Pinning and featuring this week! Thank you so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout! - Trish

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks so much for linking up to Tasty Thursdays on The Mandatory Mooch. I loved this project so much that it will be featured this week. The party will be live tonight!! Thanks, Nichi www.mandatorymooch.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I just saw this project featured. Your crates are beautiful. I love that you put handles on them. It adds just the right touch. Great job.

    I'm visiting from OneCreativeMommy.com. I'd love it if you stopped by. Pinning!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I really love these! So cute and a chance for me to play with my power tools! LOL Pinned this one! Thanks for the great tutorial!

    Come by and visit me sometime! Would love to have you!
    Kristy @ Shona Skye Creations
    http://shonaskye.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Congratulations! I loved your idea so much that I featured you on OneCreativeMommy.com today. Please stop by and grab a featured button if you’d like. I hope you’ll be back to share more great ideas at One Creative Weekend tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Also featuring this project on my Facebook page today. Thanks, Nichi
    http://www.facebook.com/TheMandatoryMooch

    ReplyDelete
  23. I noticed your Dad's hands must be a challenge for him.. hugs to you both for the relationship you have...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I meant to reply to this ages ago. Sorry about that. But, yes. He was burned in a fire over 50 years ago and has had many skin graphs to repair the damage...most of which was to his hands and arms. I've never known him any other way and it has never slowed him down once! Thank you so much for stopping by! :)

      Delete
  24. These are awesome! Great job :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think I Love these more than the wicker baskets that you see everywhere. Awesome-sauce is right!!! Can't wait to make some w/ my hubster. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  26. These look fantasic!! Love the finish.

    ReplyDelete
  27. found it on pinterest and i've been telling my hubs to make some forever we are even going to make a large one for throws by the couch. :) thanks for the measurements it means I can get him to do it faster! :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. No way - this is fabulous. I love the hardware. Can yo come make my pantry look like that!

    ReplyDelete
  29. LOVE this idea... so cheap and so cute! And LOVE the name of your blog- too cute!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Your crates look fantastic in your pantry! Nice job and I've got this linked to my DIY crates post too today, for inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Nice project, thank you for sharing
    www.upcycled101.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. How much were your supplies?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We spent less than $30 on supplies for all six. Thanks for popping by! :)

      Delete
  33. Can u break down how many boards of which size you bought and give measurements of what you did? I mean you made them look so beautiful, and I'd love to not have to make multiple trips to store !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me ask my dad and see if he remembers...it's been awhile since we made these! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  34. These are awesome! I'm adding these to the to-do list!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Beyond beautiful and functional...love the handles!

    ReplyDelete
  36. These are awesome! Thanks for the step-by-step instructions...pinning this one for future use!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thank you for sharing! These are great and I plan to do some for myself soon!

    ReplyDelete
  38. These look great! Very professional job. I'm wondering if you should leave a little space in between the boards for ventilation if you were storing potatoes or onions? What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  39. You said this was less than $30... AWESOME! Where did you purchase all of your wood for such a great price?!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Great stuff :) I was just wondering how did you attach the bottom bit onto the frame (wood glue and nails?) and how much weight it can hold?
    Lucky you have such handyman's help :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. I love the crates, you've given me some great thoughts on storage. AND if you used 'pallet' wood for the outsides it would be even less expensive.

    ReplyDelete
  42. These are great. I am hoping to make something similar myself. Did you do any sanding of the wood before you started, or was it smooth enough to prevent splinters? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm working on my own set as we speak! Thank you for the tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  44. you are so amazing and wonderful! thank you for this! (I found your website about an hour ago and.... i need to pace myself here!! i'm just so in love with it all!!)

    ReplyDelete
  45. These look great! Very professional job. I'm wondering if you should leave a little space in between the boards for ventilation if you were storing potatoes or onions? What do you think?

    اضغط هنا
    اضغط هنا

    ReplyDelete