Jul 27, 2014

Build Your Own Crate Furniture in Two Easy Steps

Like everyone else who has spent hours upon hours looking at home decor on Pinterest, I pinned about 800 crate or pallet DIYs. The below image was the one that stuck in my brain, though. I can't seem to find that it's an actual DIY anywhere on the internet; I think it's just linked up to spam mostly, so I don't feel bad for not crediting the image. But anyway, I loved it.

After glancing at a few other tutorials, however, I decided that I could probably pull off something similar. Jamie and I had been having trouble finding a media console that we both liked and was narrow enough for the low-profile look we were going for, so ta-da, let's make one!

Back in May, my mom's trip out to visit just happened to coincide with our finally moving into our new house. Being the crafty birch that she is, I knew she'd be down for helping me figure out how to execute the project. 

Step 1: Get yer shit and figure out how to put it together.

First thing's first, we needed crates. I found 'em at Michael's for about 14 bucks each and bought 8. I felt like maybe I could have searched really hard on the internet and found a better deal, but I'm impulsive and I wanted to this like, right now. 

Now that we had our crates, we had to figure out how to fasten them together. They're all a little irregular, so they're not at all stable when stacked up. They needed reinforcement. After brainstorming a few different methods of bracing, we settled on using three 1x4 boards that we screwed on the back.

I'm getting ahead of myself. First we had to sand the shit out of these 8 crates. For as not-cheap as they are, they sure are shittily made. We sanded for what seemed like forever and they still have more rough spots than not, but we at least reduced the splinter risk by about 85%, so that was good enough. 

(The only issue I have with the rough texture now is that it's pretty impossible to wipe down when it's dusty without completely ruining my rag and getting fuzz stuck everywhere. So I'm open to cleaning suggestions.)

Okay, so now we build.

Step 2: Put it together.

We arranged the crates upright until we were happy with how they kind of fit together. Remember, they're irregular so this is a challenge. Then we laid them face down in that order and grabbed our first board to brace to sit across the center of the back to connect all eight crates. We pre-drilled the holes, then screwed the brace to the back of the crates. We did this two more times so that we had three braces on the back: top, middle, and bottom.

Then, once that was done, we finally found our orbital sander and spent even more time sanding.

Then we spent about 4 hours staining this shiz. Two of us, with even a little bit of help from Jamie for probably 20 minutes. FOUR HOURS. It could have gone faster if Jamie helped more, but to his credit, while we were doing this he was unloading our POD the whole time, so he was excused.

(For anyone curious, we used Varathane in Kona.)

Here's what we ended up with for about $200 and a coupla back aches:

It was pretty empty for a bit while we were still unpacking, but after finding my box full of framed photos, digging out some of our unimpressive book collection, and a trip to the thrift store, I'm pretty happy with how it looks so far.

Framed vintage sheet music from the thrift store on the left, goofy dramatic weddin' photo on the right.
Li'l suitcase which holds miscellaneous junk and red wicker box which holds 3D glasses for our TV: HomeGoods.
The sticker on the bottom of that blue candlestick tells me that I paid $10 for it at Big Lots. I must have been on drugs.

Vintage books hold up our cable box so that the cords fit through the crate crack.
It was a lot of work. I definitely wouldn't have actually done it had my ma not been down for the crafty adventure, so many thanks to her for helping me out. We get tons of compliments on it, so it was totally worth it.

Have you guys hopped on the crate/pallet trend?

1 comment:

  1. That looks fantastic!! I'd love to do that in my craft room, but it would end up covering an entire wall and it would be too expensive. Perhaps someday though. :)