DIY Wood Crates


Everyone can use more storage space. Building DIY wood crates cannot only work for additional storage; they can also double as custom room décor. Wood crates have come a long way from being the main delivery box for live chickens or fruits and vegetables from the local farm. DIY wood crates today store shoes, hold magazines and are found sitting around homes with custom finishes as decorative items.

Materials for Building DIY Wood Crates

  • The most common wood used for crates is pine. Softwoods like pine make the crates light and easy to pick up and move around. Exotic wood like teak works best as a decorative piece in a bathroom or other high moisture areas, because of its strong resistance to moisture. Likewise, a hardwood like oak works best for building crates used to hold or carry heavy loads.

Building the DIY Wood Crates

  • The size of DIY wood crates will vary depending of what is stored inside. However, a good dimension is 18-inches long, by 12-inches wide, by 9-inches deep. A create this size will hold everything from files to shoes. Use ¼-inch-thick by 2-inch-wide wood pieces for the side slats, for the end slats use ½-inch thick by 4-inches. The length of the slats will depend on the dimension of the crate. The thicker end slats provide a broader face for nailing the side slats. Use 1-inch brad nails to nail the crate slats together.

Sanding the DIY Wood Crates

  • Sand both the outside and inside of the constructed wooden crate until all the rough edges are smooth. For decorative DIY wood crates, sand the outside until its is completely smooth before applying the finish.

Applying the Finish to the DIY Wood Create

  • The finish coat again depends on what the crate is carrying. If fresh food or live poultry is carried in the crate, then the finish should be a natural mineral oil finish. If the crate is going to sit outdoors and hold firewood or be used to catch the morning newspaper or mail, then finish with a few coats of polyurethane. For a more rustic look, paint the crate in antique colors to match the room.

Unique Custom Finishes

  • For a more creative finish, the woodworking enthusiast can apply more advanced finishing touches like a cracked paint finish, or for an authentic rustic look and feel, distress the exterior of the crate and stain with a medium color wood stain.

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