DIY Vintage Crates

I’ve been watching Fixer Upper on HGTV, which is the absolute best show to come along on that network in a long time!  Not only are Chip and Joanna Gaines two people I would love to hang out with, but I love Joanna’s design ideas and decorating style.  I could write a whole post just gushing about that show…but that isn’t the point of this post.

I was looking for a way to fill up an empty corner of our dining room, and I saw an idea that I loved while watching the show.  One thing Joanna has done a couple of times is use vintage crates stacked on top of each other to serve as an indoor planter box.  Here’s some pictures to give you an idea what I’m talking about.

Now, don’t be distracted by the fireplace and beautiful decor…look at the wood crates in the lower left of the picture.

fixer upper vintage crates

Here’s another cute vintage crate with a plant in it on the bottom shelf of the bookcase in this next picture.

fixer upper crates

Now, you can get wonderful vintage crates online, but I tend to find that the ones I like best seem to cost the most.  Funny how that happens to me so often… So, being the DIY-aholic that I am, I started looking online for way to make crates.  I found just what I was looking for on the House of Smiths site. They have a wonderful tutorial for how to make old-looking wood crates that you could use for almost anything.  They just happened to be perfect for what I was looking to do. Check out the House of Smiths tutorial here.

diy vintage crates

I went to Lowe’s and bought my supplies, just like the House of Smiths tutorial told me to.  I picked up a can of stain – MinWax Old American.  We made our boxes 1 ft x 2 ft because that minimized the number of cuts we would have to make, and we love making things easier for ourselves. We assembled the boxes very quickly using our trusty nail gun (best tool we ever purchased!), and drilled a few holes in the sides for the handles. We chose to put our handles on the sides of the boxes, instead of the front because we thought it would look more natural for our purposes. I then applied the stain and we headed out for an afternoon at the pool.

The boxes were dry when we got back, so I threaded some jute rope through the holes in the sides to finish the handles, and I moved the boxes into the dining room.  I put a couple of fake plants from Ikea that I already had into the top box, and voila…just what that empty space needed! Here is a picture of our finished crates:

DIY vintage wood crates



This was a super easy project, and it only took us about an hour (seriously) once we had all the materials.  And that includes the staining!  These DIY vintage crates would make adorable boxes for toy storage.  You could even add a chalkboard label, or stencil on a label, like in these pictures.

wooden toy crate

Source:A Silent Blossom (Etsy Shop)

Or put some wheels on the bottom, like in this great version from Ana White.

DIY wooden crates on wheels

Source: Ana White

Or paint it really cute, like this one from Beneath My Heart.

wooden toy crates

Source: Beneath My Heart

Or this one from Lolly Jane.

DIY painted wooden toy crate


So many ideas, so little time…  What about you – have you ever used crates in your decorating?  Have you made your own?

By | 2016-09-20T09:16:58+00:00 July 8th, 2014|Decorating, DIY Projects|2 Comments


  1. Sarah July 8, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    I love Fixer Upper, too! Such a great show. The crates look great. I may have to try making some for my kids’ playroom someday.

  2. Lolly Jane July 8, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Love how yours turned out! Thanks for including ours too!!


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