How to Build a Crate

Thanks so much for your sweet comments on this Christmas Crate that I shared with you the other day.  I always appreciate hearing from you.  As promised, I am sharing with you HOW I made this DIY Crate so that you can learn how to build a crate too.

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Like I mentioned in a previous post, if you are not inclined to using power tools and building your own crate, you can buy a crate at Michael’s.  They are unfinished so you could paint it a color of your choice or stain it.  OR…you can make one!

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If you make one you will need some wood.  I found this wood in an old pasture and the owner gave it to me for FREE! I LOVE the color of aged wood so I personally did not do anything special with the wood.  If you don’t have old wood, you can always use new lumbar and then paint or stain it, or you can google how to age new wood.  I have never done it…but have heard you can do it with good results.

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You will need the following to build your own crate:

  • a 24 x 14 inch piece of base material (we used left over MDF board)
  • Six 1×4 boards 24 inches in length (this was the size of the boards we used)
  • Six 1×4 boards about 15 inches in length
  • Six 1×2 boards  9.5 inches tall which is about 1 inch shorter than the height of the crate (we cut 1×4’s in half)
  • nail gun (or hammer and nails)
  • wood glue
  • drill
  • jigsaw

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1.  Attach the front and back bottom boards to the base with some wood glue and nails.

2.  Attach the vertical support board to both ends of the bottom board and then in the middle with wood glue and nails.

3.  Attach the side bottom boards in the same manner.

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4.  Attach the middle boards in the same manner.

5.  Take your top side boards and cut out some handles using a jigsaw.  We cut them into an oval shape.  This is totally optional though.

6.  Now attach your front, back, and side boards.

That. Is. It!  Viola!!  Your very own crate!  Now you can make it your own and add a fun stencil to make it look like a vintage shipping crate…in this case, add a North Pole Freight Co. Stamp for some fun Christmas Décor.

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To make my stencil, I simply designed it in my Silhouette program and then cut it out in some vinyl.  I then pulled the lettering out of the stencil and created my own stencil so I could paint it onto my crate with some black paint.

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Simply attach the vinyl to the crate and then take a brush and stencil right onto the crate.  When the paint has dried simply peel away the vinyl.

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Since the paint looked to “new” to look aged, I simply took a lightweight piece of sandpaper and gently scuffed up the lettering to give it an aged feel and look.

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Fill the crate with some pine boughs, Christmas lights and some wrapped presents…in this case some empty boxes.  I simply wrapped them with some brown paper and some linen grain sack gift bags.  I actually made the linen grain sack bags and will be sharing that tutorial with you here soon as well!

Christmas-printables

And, because I like to share…I have provided the stencil for you to use as well.  I have it as a svg Silhouette file or a pdf for you to download based on what will work best for you.

You can download the free printable here:

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{North Pole Crate Stamp}

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Looking for a slightly different style of “vintage” crate?  Check out this crate I made last year which is now perched in my family room!

DIY Vintage Crate Tutorial

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Christmas Crate | Christmas Decor

Last week I revealed the Christmas Tree I decorated as part of Michael’s Dream Tree Challenge.  As part of the challenge, we were also challenged to create some Christmas Décor as well!  I actually did a couple of different Christmas Decor items.

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I decided to build a crate after spying some old wood out in a pasture while we were at the Pumpkin Patch.  {Insert squeals of joy and excitement from yours truly and rolling of eyes by certain offspring}.

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The aged wood was BEAUTIFUL!!!  We found out who it belonged to and asked them if we could buy it from them…and they let us take it for FREE!!! Ummm…HELLO!  So awesome!

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I will share how we made the crate later.  You can wait for that tutorial, or you can pick up a wooden crate at Michael’s.  I did nothing to the wood, but if you use one of Michael’s unfinished crates, you could stain it or paint it before adding the stencil.

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Then fill the crate with some pine boughs, which I picked up from Michael’s.  I also added some battery powered Christmas lights and these fun Christmas Light Balls.  Add some wrapped presents and you have a fun Christmas Crate delivered from the North Pole ;).

Christmas-projects

The other little project I did was to paint these reindeer I picked up from Michael’s white.  I simply spray painted them and then painted the antlers of one silver and the other gold.  Then of course sprinkled the antlers with a little bit of glitter to give them a little bit of sparkle.

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I added a wreath around one of the reindeer’s neck.  The wreath did not fit over the head and antlers, but all you need to do is cut the wire with some wire cutters and than put it around the reindeer and then put the wreath back in a circle by running another piece of new wire around the ends of the cut wreath to hold the wreath back together.

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I love it! I have been a bit obsessed with vintage crates and wooden boxes…which I am sure you guys have surely noticed…especially if you have been following along for a while.  Ha!  I LOVE this one!  I also love that when Christmas is over, and the Christmas Decorations come down, I can simply turn the crate around and fill it with some blankets, pillows or wood for the fireplace.

I would love to know if you make one a crate or pick up some of the reindeer!  And, if you are going to be heading to Michael’s this weekend…don’t forget to use a coupon!

{Michael’s Coupons}

Believe Sign

Hey guys! We have had a busy week around here.  My son is on the high school swim team and we are right in the middle of the swim season.  So my mom duties have pushed aside this blog thingy ;)…as it should!  But I found  some time to finally share with you this BELIEVE sign.  It, along with this Vintage Crate, are my favorite DIY Christmas decorations that I have made so far.

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I actually bought this board over two years ago with the idea of this project in mind but I never actually found the time to get around to making it.  So it sat in my attic waiting patiently for me ;).  I picked the board up from my local Bennion Crafts and it was already this fabulous red color with the fun edging.

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I cut out the word BELIEVE on my Silhouette CAMEO and then drew little circles where I wanted the Christmas lights to go.  Make sure they are evenly spaced to get the best overall look.  Take a hole punch and punch out the dots where the lights will be.

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*IMPORTANT–Be sure to count the number of lights you have on your string of Christmas lights.  You want to be sure you have enough lights for each hole.  AND…make sure that the lights will fit from one hole to the next.  There were a couple of spots that I had to skip a light so the wire was long enough to reach the next hole.  Does that make sense?  Check and double check.  And for best results it would be nice to make sure you have a few leftover lights and the end…just in case.  You can always hide those lights behind your finished sign.

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I traced the letters onto the wood and then painted the letters white.  I chose not to spray paint my sign since it was snowing the day I made it ;).  Then after the sign has dried, you can put your punched letter “stencil” on the board and use a pencil to mark where the holes should be drilled.

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Take a drill bit that is the same size of your Christmas lights and drill holes where each light will be.

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Then comes the fun part…Place the lights so that the plug is on the end where you need it to be as far as where you will be plugging it in.  Then insert the lights into each hole.  You will want to use some duct tape to securely hold the light in place so that they don’t fall out of the hole.  My kids LOVED helping with this part.  You can see what a great job they did on the back of the sign!  But no worries, no one will be the wiser once the sign is turned around.

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I LOVE how it turned out!  And I love it even more at night!  Don’t you just love this time of year?  I love Christmas lights and I love how cozy they make your home feel.

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