I was puttering in the garage on the weekend and wanted to see if I could come up with my own plans to build a DIY crate.
Nothing fancy, just using up bits of wood – but I wanted something more substantial (solid) than the ones you can buy at Home Depot or Michael’s which are made from wood just thicker than paintsticks an then stapled together.
Great for decoration, but terrible for storing actual items.
For this DIY crate you can use any wood you like – go cedar for a gorgeous rustic look that you can stain or leave bare. Use pine for an inexpensive build, or do what I did and use up scrap pieces in a mix-and-match format if you plan to paint it. The important part is that all of your wood is 3/4″ thick – which in building terms means you buy it at 1″.
- 2 pieces of 3/4″ thick wood cut to 9″ x 12″
- 1 piece of 3/4″ thick wood cut to 24 1/2″ by 12″
- 4 pieces of 1″x4″ cut to 23 1/4″ long
- 22 wood screws at 2″ long.
Finished size: 24 1/2″ x 12″ x 9 3/4″ tall.
On your 9″x12″ pieces of wood, mark a spot at 4″ in from the 9″ side and 2″ down from the 12″ side. This will be your handle.
Draw a straight line between the top and bottom of each circle, and cut on that line with a jig saw to make your handle cut outs.
Next, attach your end boards on top of the long base board. Use wood glue for extra strength and pre-drill your holes to make sure the wood doesn’t split.
I used 3 wood screws per side, drilled from the bottom up into the side boards.
Add the upper side boards to your DIY crate, lining them flush with the top of the end pieces. Glue and screw (2 screws per board), through the handle side. (remember to pre-drill)
This next step is up to you – I chose to space my bottom board between the upper and the base of the crate, which leaves a 1″ gap at the bottom of my crate and between the bottom board and the upper. Since I’m not planning on using my DIY crate to house anything small, this works perfectly for my purposes. If, however, you do plan on putting something small that could fall out, lower your bottom board to lie right on top of the base and glue and screw it into place there. This will leave a 2″ gap between the boards – but will still be aesthetically pleasing. Repeat on both sides.
You can see in the photo below that I like to draw on the thickness of my boards before pre-drilling. This helps me to make sure that my drill holes are centred on the board I’m attaching to. All you have to do is line up your board on the outside edge and trace a line – easy peasy.
Sand your DIY crate down (or leave it rustic) and stain/ paint/ wax or leave bare.
You can use it for a million-and-one things – like a blanket box in your family room, or a pillow box at the end of your bed. I built a set of 6 to hold tools and paint in the garage. They are strong and sturdy and the shelves look less cluttered and un-organized with the cohesive look of several crates.
In this juicy red, this DIY crate will be gorgeous at Christmas!
You can bring in wood logs for a warm winter vignette, and/or add castors to make it more easily moveable.
I went with red for a purpose though…
I needed a more sturdy box to house my car emergency kit, grocery bags, umbrella/scrapers etc. – my other fabric bin got crushed under groceries and lawn chairs. This DIY crate is longer and narrower so as to take up less trunk space, and sturdy enough that I can still pile things on top and not waste any room. Since the Jeep is red, I “needed” to colour-coordinate.
I’ve seen these done with pallet wood and the rustic finish is gorgeous. I’ll definitely be out “junkin” before the holidays to whip up a few more!
Have a great one!