8 New Ways to Use Old Wooden Crates

Old wooden crates tend to evoke feelings of nostalgia—of the simple, good life. They also happen to be an amazingly versatile (and often free) source of inspiration for creative furniture, decorative home accents, inventive storage solutions, and more. From natural to rustic to vintage, each wooden crate has its own distinct character. What you do with them is up to you: some crates may have enough personality to stand on their own; others may want some paint, stain, or other embellishments. So whether you have single wooden crate and an hour of time—or a whole bunch and a weekend to dedicate to your project—here are eight modern ideas for giving old crates new life.

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  1. Pooch Perch


    This dog feeding station is relatively easy to make, and Fido will love you for it. All you need is a wooden crate with a top, and a circular saw to cut a hole to fit your doggie bowl. Bonus: The inside of the crate can hold dog food and other canine must-haves.


  2. Step it Up a Knob


    A stained wooden crate is an inventive foundation for jewelry storage and organization. An eclectic assortment of knobs accommodates an ample necklace collection, while the top surface makes room for the rest of your adornments.


  3. Enable the Label


    Give those old crates a new purpose with labels. Chalkboard paint is a simple way to transform wooden crates into a filing system for canned goods, craft supplies, hardware—you name it. Before you paint, sand the area to smooth out any rough wood grains.

    thediydreamer.com, via Ingrid at

  4. Easy as Riding a Bike


    Opt for portable design with a wooden crate bike basket. Stain, paint or stencil the crate, then strap it to the handle bars or back rack. Don't want to spring for additional hardware? Use cut-down leather belts to secure the crate to your bike.

    Related:  5 Bike Racks to DIY on the Cheap


  5. A Bolder Holder


    Go rustic with your WC. Start by mounting a wooden crate to the wall. Instantly, you have a built-in shelf upon which to stack the bathroom's most critical supplies. Rusty metal license plate, optional.

    Related:  7 DIY Bathroom Storage Solutions


  6. Photo:


    Use smaller wooden crates to create a new home for your hanging plants. Tie decorative rope around the slats at the top corner of each crate, then gather all four pieces in a knot to hang. Make sure to use a drip tray underneath your plant to avoid any unexpected indoor showers.

    Related:  10 DIY Planters from Everyday Things

    The House Gardener

  7. Table Talk


    Could your coffee table be the next great crate project? The limit is your imagination—stain the crates or leave them natural; use a glass top or leave the surface open.


  8. Put Your Feet Up


    There's shabby chic charm about storing shoes in crates. Stack multiple crates to for a layered look. A wine crate turned on its end makes a handy storage station for keys, mittens, and Fido's leash.


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