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Wood Crates: The Universal Storage Solution

by Thea Dellas

Wooden crates are one of the most versatile storage solutions I’ve ever come across. Crates serve multiple purposes and can be used by storage amateurs and aficionados alike. You can make crates work in any room, from the baby’s nursery to the garden shed and everywhere in between. And you can match your wooden crate furniture to the style that suits you. Whether you want a more rustic look in the kitchen or some shelving for your sleek, modern office, a wooden crate is just what you need to get started. Here are some tips and inspiration for you as you set out to create the perfect piece of wooden crate furniture.

Where to get wooden crates:

1. Flea markets and yard sales

2. Craigslist – sometimes, small businesses are giving things like crates and pallets away for free.

3. Your relatives’ attics and basements – anything’s possible here! You might even find the way into Narnia while you’re looking around.

4. Craft stores or online – this is sort of cheating, but it does the trick—especially if you want them all to be the same size.

How to transform those crates into the perfect form of storage:

1. Stack them. You don’t even have to fasten them together—but don’t go overboard with the stacking. Too many stacked crates and your shelf might fall apart unexpectedly.

2. Use wood glue or screw them together. These will be a whole lot sturdier.

3. Use big binder clips to attach them to each other. This one is fun because you can keep adding on as you fill the shelves, and they can be aligned however you like.
crates - binder clip shelf
Via Handmade Charlotte

4. Mount them on the walls. They can float like cube shelves, or you can do “built-in” shelving by stacking the crates and then screwing each one into the wall
playroom4
Via Babiekins

5. Use them the way they were made to be used—flat and filled with something. You can add wheels for mobile storage (you can even buy self-adhesive wheels, so even if you aren’t the craftiest person in the world this is easy).

Where to put your crate storage:

1. Playroom or kids’ bedrooms – you can easily make a crate into a toy box. Let the kids decorate their own boxes and you have toy storage that they’ll actually want to use.
crates - toy boxes
Via Cozy Cottage Cute

2. Kitchen – hang your crates on the walls for an attractive place to put your dishes if you don’t have upper cabinets already. Or, use them for pantry organization and storage.

3. Bathroom – make wall shelving for towels, makeup, and extra rolls of toilet paper.

4. Dining room – you can stain your crates so that they match the furniture already in the dining room, and then use them as decorative shelving or a place to store wine glasses and pretty dishes that you don’t use every day.

5. Living room – crates make great coffee tables or media centers (Instructions for this coffee table here).
crates - coffee table
Via DIY Vintage Chic

6. Office – build a desk with crates and a board or construct a bookshelf.

7. Bedroom – make your own bed frame with plenty of storage for shoes, books, blankets, or clothes.

8. Garage – store tools and gardening equipment on crate shelves and sports gear and balls in a big crate where they can’t go rolling away.
mld103940_0309_shed1_vert
Via Martha Stewart

9. Entryway – use crates as storage for shoes and winter gear when it’s not in use. You can even make a bench with built-in storage.

These are just a few ideas. Be creative! A wooden crate can be transformed into a great piece for your home, and the best part is that it’ll be one of a kind. Whether you’re a student on a budget, a busy parent, or an experienced crafter, you can find a way to use wooden crates to improve your home.

Feature photo via Paint and Tofu

Thea Dellas

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Creative writer and obsessive organizer.