Category Archives: Crates Projects

Create a Table from Vintage Crates

Anytime I see a stack of old shipping crates, or even just one, my mind starts thinking about possible ways to re-purpose them while still maintaining their vintage look.

I typically start by making sure the nails are snug, the metal won’t snag anything, and the wood and lettering is protected by a coat of satin Minwax® Wipe-On Poly.

For this project I picked up a pre-glued, round, unfinished top, then stained it using Minwax® Wood Finish™ in Classic Gray. After the stain dried, I sealed the top with two coats of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane.

All it then took was a wood screw through the inside of the crate to secure the top in place. I then slipped it into the house and put it beside our couch to hold glasses, coffee mugs, magazines, and pottery.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


Repurpose Wooden Crates with This Project

Wooden crates are very popular right now, both unfinished and vintage, for in addition to being inexpensive and sturdy, they are also versatile.

My latest project involved two unfinished crates, which I stained using Minwax® Gel Stain in the “Coffee” color. I selected gel stain because its thicker consistency helped me control the stain in and around the many slats in each crate.

I then picked up one of my latest favorite components:  a pre-glued, non-plywood, wide panel of pine boards. They save time and they save you from making a mess when gluing narrow boards together. They also stain much better than plywood.

I could have left it natural for a contrast to the crates, or stained it a different color, but this time I opted for a more traditional look. Once again, I reached for Minwax® Gel Stain in “Coffee” and finished the crates with two coats of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane for the protection.

By standing the two crates on end, I created a table tall enough to go against the back of a sofa or the end of a bed, and the crates provide great storage for magazines and books. But you could also do something a little different ….

Simply by turning the crates on their sides, I could create a lower coffee table to sit in front of a couch – and I still have the storage space inside each of the crates.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


Create a Centerpiece For All Seasons

When I spotted this old wooden crate stuck away and nearly forgotten, I decided that I could find a new use for it — and create something unique for our house.

After wiping off the dust, I rubbed on a coat of clear satin Minwax® Wipe-On Poly. It sealed the wood, made minor scuff marks and scratches disappear, and gave the old crate a satin rather than gloss appearance that preserved its antique look.

I then took a piece of inexpensive florist’s foam, cut it to fit the crate, and then slipped it in.

I now have a unique centerpiece that I can easily change with the seasons simply by swapping out these artificial flowers with whatever ones match the month.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


A Crate Planter Tutorial from Stacy Risenmay

Here’s another post from guest blogger, Stacy Risenmay of Not JUST A Housewife. See a step-by-step tutorial on creating a bright and bold crate planter using Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain.

When I went to SNAP blog conference this year I got to preview the new colored stains from Minwax. They are bright and fun and I snagged some to bring home. I had to wait until they were available in stores though before I could share projects I used them on. If you love color even a teeny tiny bit, you are going to love them!

blue crate planter in living room

I had built a crate planter and I wanted it to make a statement, not just blend in. I don’t have all the colors that are available but these are the ones I grabbed and had to choose from. Learn more about Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain here.

colored wood stain

colors of wood stain

After testing them on some scrap wood, I chose the Navy Blue but I was really torn between the blue, coral, and yellow.

colored stain options for planter

Planter Tutorial

The planter is very simple to build. Decide how big you would like to make it and cut some 1x4s to that length. Drill some pocket holes using a Kreg Jig. Half of the boards will have pocket holes that will connect the corners together and half will have holes drilled down to connect the boards together. This will make more sense as you see the following steps.

crate planter pieces

Screw the boards together at the corners to create a square.

screwing crate planter together

Repeat the process until you have as many square frames as you want. The more you have, the taller your crate will be.crate planter getting assembled

Then you will screw each of the square frames together through the downward pointing pocket holes.

crate planter assembled

Creating the bottom of the planter can happen one of two ways. One option: You can trace the outside of the crate onto some plywood and use the pocket holes to attach the bottom to the crate. The downside is you will see the board used for the bottom. Second Option: You can trace the crate on the inside (so the bottom piece will fit snugly on the inside of the crate) and use a nail gun to attach the bottom. You will need to fill the nail holes with sandable and stainable putty.

trace bottom of crate planter

If you are going to add dirt to this and put the plant directly in this, you will need to add a drainage hole. But I prefer to keep the plant in a regular pot and set the plant inside the crate without a drainage hole. This way when I water the plant, if any water seeps out the bottom, it stays in the crate and doesn’t go on my floor. I love that I can have a fun, saturated color but still see the wood grain. If bold and bright are not your style, they have a ton of other colors to pick from. The colored stains are water based and are mixed in the store for you.

blue planter upclose

Would you ever stain something a fun color? What would you stain?

Stacy Risenmay is a DIY enthusiast. In her blog, Not Just a Housewife, she shares her adventures of fixing up her 1938 cottage. She believes that whether it’s big or small, everyone should love their space. Learn more about Stacy and visit: You can also follow Stacy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram