504 Main by Holly Lefevre: DIY! Isn't That Crate!
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

DIY! Isn't That Crate!

I love old crates. I dream of them. I search for them...
I cannot find a single one in my area!
I am taking matters into my own hands NOW!
I have the skills. I have the supplies. I am making my own!
1. 3 - 1" x 4" boards cut as follows: 5 cut at 11", 2 cut at 11.5"
4. Dremel Mulit-Max (Sander option)
5. Decoart acrylic paint in Burnt Umber.
6. Decoart glazing medium 
7. Handful of Nails
8. Hammer
9. Wood Stain and/or Paint I used a medium color stain 
10. Rockler sponge brushed.
11. Upholstery Tacks (for decoration, optional)
12. Preferred decoration**

1. Cut Boards ( 5 cut at 11", 2 cut at 11.5"). The two longer pieces are the front and back of the crate.
2. Bottom of crate: Take 3 cut pieces and run Gorilla Wood Glue along the edges. Make the bottom of the crate by pushing these together. Tape them with some Gorilla Tape to keep them tight while they dry.
3. Make the perimeter of the crate. Add Gorilla Wood Glue to the corners of the remaining cut pieces. Use Gorilla Tape to hold the four corners together. I actually formed the box around the base from the above step made it really easy to keep is all squared up and easy to see where the 2 longer pieces fit in.
4. Let dry completely.
5. Remove Gorilla Tape.
6. I hit in some nails to give it the hand made look and for character. I did 3 nails on the front and back and 1 for each base board. And I did one on each side.
7. Using my Dremel Multi-Max with the Sander, I sanded all over the box. I really wanted to take off the edges but also make certain areas appear more rounded and worn.
8. Wipe crate clean and apply wood stain. Let Dry.
9. Mix Glazing Medium with Water and Burnt Umber acrylic paint as per directions on bottle.
10. Apply glaze to entire crate and wipe off excess.
11. Come back in with a darker paint {Burnt Umber} and using a DRY brush hit the corners, edges, etc. to give some character. Think about where the crate would be worn.
12. Add some upholstery tacks for decoration (optional)
13. Add decor. 

Transfer IT!**
My preferred decor for the box was the French word for Marriage "Le Mariage" {since I was a wedding planner and still love weddings, it seemed apropos}.
Image or wording
Transfer Paper
I simply printed it out using a French Script font on my computer onto T-shirt Transfer Paper. I think this would be fun with the couple name and wedding date on the other sides. Iron on decor - this take more time than when using this on a T-shirt or cloth item. They can easily be painted! I will be trying the waterslide decal method next time!
I L-O-V-E-D this project.
So, expect to see some variations!
I am already working on a bigger rolling version!

Original links on 9/8/10 to:
My Backyard Eden
Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts
Strut Your Stuff Thursday at Somewhat Simple
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Tatertots and Jello
The DIY Show Off
A Crafty Soiree

DISCLOSURE: As part of the DIY Club, I have been supplied with vendor sponsored products to complete my projects. The opinions are projects are my own. See, my disclosure policy for more information.


  1. I really loved this one,and the upholstry tacks were the perfect touch!

  2. When I saw teh picture I thought your crate was old - then I read you made it yourself! Great job. I am sure you have a million uses for such a handy box.

  3. Holly, That is awesome!!! I am so impressed!

  4. That is one great crate :) So cute!!


  5. that box looks so cool! I love how you did it!

  6. Holly, this is a great looking crate and a great DIY project! Joni

  7. Holly, what a great crate that you created. Hmmm... I wonder if that is a tongue twister...Nope, I tried it three times fast and my tongue worked just fine!

    Really clever!

  8. I love old crates too and have a hard time finding them as well. I LOVE yours! Holy cow, great job. I want. :)

  9. So cute! Seriously. And mostly I just love that when you couldn't find something you wanted....you just made it yourself. I kinda have that attitude too. Can't wait to see a rolling one!

  10. awesome! I can't believe it's new wood! You did a great job.
    love everything about it.

  11. I made one of these a while back too! Great minds think alike my friend. :-) I love how yours turned out. Fabulous! Cant wait to see the bigger one!

  12. It looks great! My husband came home a few months ago with an old
    7-UP crate (it was on my porch post this week) and I was thrilled. He found it in a trash pile somewhere. I've even got him treasure hunting these days!

  13. Mmmm! Love this crate! You are so clever. :)
    The tacks and the writing really finish it off. Super cute!!
    Do you put your iron on high when you're ironing onto wood? I've never done that before.

  14. Hey Holly
    I could stay here on your blog for HOURS!! Every time I click on an image, I'm transformed to another amazing project you made.
    You are the DIY "chick of the year".
    I'm too slow to join up, but I will one day soon, I promise.
    Just wanted to say hi.
    Love Claudie

  15. WOW! That looks awesome! It really looks like an old crate but it is beautiful!

  16. Holly your crate turned out really cute! I love crates also, but have not been able to find any where I'm at either. Well, I have found one and they wanted waaaay to much for it.


  17. Super cute post, I mentioned you on a question post today, come check it out!

  18. I love those crates too, and have the same problem of never being able to find one. I love this so much...it's beyond wonderful.
    Thanks for the great instructions too...

  19. Anonymous5:58 PM

    What a great idea. Looks fantastic.

  20. I love it! I got my Gorilla Glue pack, thank you so much! I have been using all of it.

    Thanks again!

  21. I was at an antique shop on saturday and saw several old crates! So cute!!! BUT yours is better! I can't believe you made that! It looks "real" old. I will highlight this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

  22. Wonderful! I love this crate! It's gorgeous!!!!

    You've got some mad skills.

    I just purchased 4 vintage RC Cola crates and 1 really-ugly-it's-so-pretty crate last night. I may have to try your heat transfer method on the ugly crate.

  23. Wonderful! I love this crate! It's gorgeous!!!!

    You've got some mad skills.

    I just purchased 4 vintage RC Cola crates and 1 really-ugly-it's-so-pretty crate last night. I may have to try your heat transfer method on the ugly crate.

  24. Your crate is awesome! I wish that I was brave enough to use power tools! Love your marriage logo, too!

  25. You have done it again!! I wish you lived close to me. My MIL just sent me a $50 gift card for Micheal's Arts and Crafts. I would love for you to guide me into a cool craft!

  26. What a wonderful post! Thanks for the idea and the how-to. It's fantastic! :)

  27. A rolling version is a great idea! :)

  28. Holly I am in love with this project! It's amazing... and look at you with the Dremel! Hope you link it up to A Crafty Soiree too... it's too amazing

  29. Love this!!! I like how you made it look old.

  30. How awesome! I love your crate!
    Thanks for stopping by my place! :)

  31. ooh la lah love it!! :)

    ps: fixed my darn scentsy re-do pics!~THX for pointing it out! ;)

  32. Holly, I love this project! You did an incredible job of antiquing the wood, and those upholstery tacks were the perfect final detail! I really, really want to make a few myself!

  33. This project is so fantastic! Looks awesome!!

  34. Your quick talent always AMAZES me! You can make anything you want and it always turns out gorgeous. :) I too, have wanted an old crate (or three) FOREVER. Good work.

  35. Love them! You make it looks so easy. I'm addicted to old crates too. I'm able to find them locally BUT yours don't come with spiders and ancient dirt! ;)

    Thanks for sharing your creativity. Great job as usual!


  36. THis is so cool! I'm on the hunt for some wine crates, if I can't find any I think I will make one :) Have a great weekend!

  37. Oh STOP you did NOT make this!!! Well yes you did, I can tell from the pictures but sheesh only you Holly! What can't you do! Incredible, I love it! Thank you for joining us at A Crafty Soiree! I hope to see you next week too!

  38. Anonymous7:29 PM

    Great project Holly! I love crates and have several that I have in closets. I need to get those babys out and use them!

  39. I love this project Holly. I can never find old crates either, but now I know how to make one! I love the special little upholstery tacks you used. Have a great week!

  40. Holly - This is gorgeous! Love everything about it even the printing on the side. Fantastic job! I'll be featuring this tomorrow - Stop by and grab a featured button if you like. Thanks for linking up to the Sunday Showcase. I greatly appreciate it. Hope you have a fabulous week. Stephanie Lynn

  41. Adorable! Looks so authentic!

  42. Love this great job on refurbishing. I think these would be a beautiful center piece at an out door, country wedding


  43. What a FANTASTIC prject! I'd never thought of making my own before.

    And THANK YOU for a great tutorial too.

    It looks as though you bought it at a high-end store.

    I'm YOUR new follower!


  44. This turned out so cute! I love the look of antique crates so may have to try this out!

  45. Holly, thank you so much for linking this wonderful project to "A Little Birdie Told Me...". I admire that crate every time I see it at your house, and would love to make one some day! Thank you also for all you've done to promote and share my linky party from your readers. It was such a huge push, and I owe much of the success of the first week to YOU!

  46. Even when I can find crates they often times are overly priced. Yours is every bit as cute and you can make any size and write anything you want, BONUS!



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