Saturday, November 16, 2013

How To Build a Crate for Fifty Cents

 Conquering The Mess One Crate At A Time 
How To Build a Crate for Fifty Cents

There is a little storage issue in our house. It is appropriately named Val's-sewing-room-is-the-catch-all for-anything-with-no-home.  A while back I purchased an Ikea expedit to display pretty objects, but a recent and dangerous walk through my sewing/craft room convinced the practical me to turn my expedit into a storage solution.

 I picked these cupboard handles up at an architectural
clearance warehouse for fifty cents each. 

Then took a shopping trip to the scrap pile behind our garage.
Just look at all this treasure!

I still had some 1x2's and 1x3's left over from when I took an old box spring apart.
The boards are pretty ratty-looking, so I thought I would try planing instead of sanding.

Here is how they looked in the beginning.

This picture shows the different stages of planing.
I'm really happy with how they turned out.

 This is what I used to make one crate:

Front and Back:   10 1x3's @ 12 1/4" L
Sides:  10 1x3's @ 13 1/2" L
Corners:  4 1x2's @ 12 1/4" L
Bottom:  1/4" plywood cut to fit

I connected the 1x3's at each corner by gluing and nailing with my Ryobi 
Air Strike nail gun. Very nice, not having to set up the air compressor. 

I glued and nailed the 1x3's to the corner pieces.

For the bottom I just traced the crate onto a scrap of 1/4" plywood, 
cut out the bottom, and attached it with glue and nails. 

To make marks for the handle placement, I centered them,

and gave each end a light tap, creating dents in the wood.
I drilled holes to fit the cupboard bolts for attaching the handles.

Using a piece of cardboard propped up in the shop garbage bin, I attached 
the handles and sprayed them with Rustoleum Chalkboard paint.

The crate is finished with two coats of Minwax Early American followed by two coats of Varathane's Diamond Coat Finish in semi-gloss. 

I have already filled this one, and would like to build five more.

That should keep me happy for awhile!

Have a great day, and Happy Building!


Linking to These Blogs:

The Sustainable Couple The Happy Housie


  1. I love your crate! And it is so beautiful with that reclaimed wood! I totally get the room as the catch all place, I have a couple of those rooms one up stairs and one down, ugh! Great job Val!!

    1. Thank you Mindi! I appreciate your comments!

  2. very great! I need something sturdy like this!! My kids ruin the bins I currently have! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Glad you like them Kristi! Sturdy is good when we have kids around, that's for sure! Val

  4. That is so clever, Val! We lived 4+ hours away from IKEA until two years ago when we moved here. Now I think we probably go at least twice a month -- love that store. I have several Expedits in my craft-sewing room -- they are the best!

    1. Thanks Carol!

      Seriously, how did we ever live without the Expedit!
      Have a great day!


  5. Thanks for hosting Kelli! It's always great to meet new bloggers!


  6. Hi Val
    I love how you built this crate from your own pile of scrape wood. This is a great idea!! I love how it looks on your shelf. The best part is you only spent 50 cents for a one of a kind piece!

    1. Thank you so much Julie. Gotta love a good bargain!
      Have a good one,

      Val @

  7. you're my kind of lady...busting out the power tools! I love these and you've inspired me to make one [or 11]. Hugs, Amy

    1. Ha. Thanks Amy. Learning the power tools has opened up a whole new world called "all kinds of ways to get myself into trouble!"



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