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My love for wood is well known after all these years. There are so many DIY wood crate projects to check out that you’ll need a week to go through all of them. Pallets, scrap wood, pallet crates, pine boards… there is no wood I have not used!

Wooden crates are not only functional, but they also add a rustic charm to any space. With a little creativity and some basic tools, you can turn a simple wooden crate into a stylish and functional piece of home decor.

Wood Crate

In the blog you can find this Wooden Shipping Crate Toy Box made a few years back. Other items we have featured over the years include tablesart caddies out of a wine crate and plenty of storage units in all shapes or forms.

Where can I Find Wooden Crates?

Option 1 – Make them Yourself

You can build the crates yourself from scratch. These process has several advantages versus buying them already built.

  1. Customization: When you make your own crate, you have the freedom to choose the size, shape, and design that best suits your needs. This allows you to create a crate that is perfectly suited for the items you need to store or transport.
  2. Cost-effective: Making your own crate can be less expensive than buying one, especially if you have access to free or low-cost materials. It can also be a good way to use reclaimed or salvaged wood.
  3. Sense of accomplishment: Building a crate yourself can be a satisfying and rewarding experience. It can be a fun and creative project that allows you to learn new skills and express your creativity.
  4. Durability: When you make a crate yourself, you can use stronger nails or staples, and choose the wood that is more resistant to wear and tear, making it more durable.
  5. Personal touch: Making a crate yourself can add a personal touch to your home or business, and can make it stand out.
  6. Reduce waste: Making a crate yourself can also be an environmentally friendly option, as it reduces the need for new materials and therefore reduces waste.
metal end wood crate

Doing yourself can save you money, provide you with a customized solution for your storage and transport needs, be a fun and rewarding DIY project and also help the environment.

Option 2 – Buy Them

If you prefer to buy them already built, there are several places where you can find wooden crates for recycling into DIY projects.

  1. Home improvement and craft stores: Many home improvement stores sell new wooden crates that can be used for a variety of projects.
  2. Online retailers: You can find wooden crates for sale online from retailers such as Amazon, Etsy and Ebay. 
  3. Salvage yards: Salvage yards and architectural salvage stores often have a selection of used wooden crates that can be repurposed for DIY projects.
  4. Grocery stores: Many grocery stores receive deliveries in wooden crates and they may be willing to give them away or sell them at a low cost.
  5. Shipping companies: Shipping companies and warehouses often have used wooden crates that can be repurposed.
  6. Local classifieds: Websites like Craigslist or Facebook marketplace, local classifieds in newspapers, you can find people giving away or selling used wooden crates in your area.

What can I make with wooden crates?

The possibilities are endless, you can create many functional and stylish pieces that will make your home, garden or patio stand out. 

It’s worth noticing that, in case you are buying them, you’ll find infinite colors and finishes. From raw and unfinished for you to paintbrush or spray paint, to vintage crates, stained, farmhouse style, antique…etc.

Some things you can make with them include:  

  1. Building a rustic freestanding bookshelf by stacking and screwing crates together.
  2. Creating a unique DIY coffee table by flipping a crate over and attaching legs or casters.
  3. Using crates as storage solutions, painting or staining them to match your decor and organizing books, pillows, toys, or shoes.
  4. Building planters by drilling drainage holes in the bottom of a crate and adding soil and plants.
  5. Making a wine rack for your living room.
  6. Creating a cozy pet bed by lining a crate with a cushion or blanket.
  7. Making an outdoor coffee table, or a side table or any other piece of furniture that you can imagine and create.

See 5 Creative Wood Crate projects below.

How do you make a simple wooden crate?

Making a simple wooden crate is a relatively easy DIY project that can be done with basic tools and materials.

Materials needed:

  • Wood planks (sizes depending on the dimensions of your choice)
  • Ends (these are the parts where the handles are)
  • Nails or wood screws
  • Saw
  • Nail Gun
  • Hammer or drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Wood Glue
  • Pencil
  • Grit Sandpaper

Basic Generic Instructions:

1. Measure and mark the wood slats and ends to the desired size of your crate and cut them out.

The width of the end boards will determine the finished height of the crate. Using wider end boards will result in a taller crate, while using narrower end boards will result in a shorter crate.

It is also important to note that the finished height of the crate can also be affected by the material used on the bottom of the crate. Some materials, such as plywood, may be thicker than others and can result in a slightly taller crate. The finished height of the crate may vary up to 3/4 of an inch from the height determined by the end boards.

Bottom of the crate

2. Assemble the bottom of the crate

When building a wooden crate, it is important to start with the bottom. To create the bottom of the crate, begin by attaching slats to the bottoms of the end pieces using glue and nails. The nails or staples should be at least 1/2 inch longer than the thickness of the slats. 

For example, if you are using 1/4 inch thick plywood for the slats, you should use 3/4 inch nails or staples. However, it’s important to keep in mind that using longer nails or staples is also fine. Just avoid using excessively long nails as they can be more expensive and may overshoot on the sides.

3. Add now add the remaining planks to the sides of the crate.

One at a time. Nail or screw the side pieces in place, ensuring that the corners are square.

Glue and nail the sides

4. Sand the edges and surfaces of the crate.

Make sure to remove any rough spots and make the crate smooth.

5. Finish the crate as desired.

You can paint, stain, or leave it natural depending on your preference.

Keep in mind that if you are going to use the crate to store or transport heavy items, you may need to use stronger nails or screws, and thicker wood planks to make it sturdy.

What wood is used to make crates?

The most common types of wood used to make crates are pine and hardwood. Pine is a softwood and is often used to make crates because it is lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to work with. 

Hardwood, such as oak, ash, and maple, is more expensive than pine but are more durable, harder and more resistant to wear and tear. Hardwood crates are often used for heavy or valuable items that require more protection during shipping and storage.

Another option is pallet wood, as it is often readily available and free. Pallet wood is not always the best choice as it can be rough, have nails, or be chemically treated.

Other types of wood that can be used to make crates include birch, spruce, and fir, but these are less common. 

When choosing the type of wood for your crate, consider the intended use of the crate, the weight of the items it will be used to store or transport and your budget.

How To Make A Simple Crate – Tutorial

Follow Anna White’s instructions on her website with Step-by-Step instructions to make this simple wooden crate.

Simple crate

5 Creative DIY Projects With Wooden Crates

Galvanized Wood Crate Storage Box

Shayna from The Wood Grain Cottage made this lovely full of character galvanized Wood Crate that looks amazing as storage box. It is perfect to organize towels or blankets and you can write it on the box!

DIY farmhouse wood and metal crate

DIY Pet Bed Wood Crate Project

Nicole at the Inspiredhive.com made this cute cat bed. Love it!

I’m often trying to come up with my own designs to blend it in and make my cat lady tendencies less noticeable 😉 So I decided to make a cat bed. It could work for a cat or small dog, or with a little more work, you could put several crates together for a medium sized animal

Pet Bed

Vintage Milk Crate Turned into Unique Ottoman

Jennifer from Jenniferdecorates.com made this cool ottoman out of an old milk crate she found at an antique store!

We were in the process of giving our living room a makeover.  So, I drug my husband into an antique store in hopes of finding some unique and eclectic accessories.  He spotted an old milk crate, and a light bulb came on


$15 Rustic Nightstand

Emily at Simplyrealmoms.com was looking to finish the guest room in her new home She didn’t want to spend a ton of money on furniture but that didn’t mean she didn’t want something that looked good. And she found it! 

Only $15 for this incredible bedside table. It could be ideal as well for a kids’ room or simply as an end table.

Simplymoms rustic nightstand

DIY Planter Box or Wood Crate

Absolutely lovely for your garden or window shelf. Building this crate is a great introduction to simple woodworking. This DIY planter box or crate from fence boards is inexpensive and being cedar it holds up to the weather. 

Flower Patch FarmHouse show you how with detailed instructions.

garden crate

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  1. How are the edges of the steel finished so its not sharp and wont cut fingers? I love this idea!

  2. Hi Kathy! The metal edges aren’t sharp. We used a little bit thicker metal, and he used a metal press at work to cut the edges. It doesn’t leave sharp edges. Using a grinder to lightly buff the edges would help as well. Also, the metal doesn’t stick out past the wood, so it won’t catch on anything. Hope that helps! 🙂

  3. Hi Cece, You can buy them at several places – Joann’s, Target, Home Depot… Just type in unfinished wood crate, and you should get lots of results. Hope that helps!

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