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!

Christmas-crate

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 Vintage DIY Crate

This month, as part of the Lowe’s Creative Blogger team, we were given the challenge to create some Holiday décor items.  I always enjoy these challenges because it gives me an opportunity to finally get some of these projects that are constantly swirling around my head, out of my head and in my home.

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And I am especially excited about this project…a vintage DIY crate!  I have actually spent some time looking around for some of these crates but couldn’t find exactly what I wanted and so I had toyed with the idea of making my own.  But wasn’t quite sure how to go about it.

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So with this month’s #LowesCreator challenge, I decided that this would be the perfect time to try my hand at making a “vintage” crate.

I picked up some tounge and groove pine boards at Lowe’s and cut off the “tounges” and “grooves” by simply running the boards through our saw.  I picked these boards because they are really thin and inexpensive.

For the front and back of the crate, I cut 6 of these boards so that I had:

6 boards that measured 3.5 inches by 24 inches. 

They are 1/4 inch thick.

Then I made 6 more boards that measured 3.5 inches by 7.5 inches for the sides of the crate.

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Then I cut a piece of a pine board 7 x 24 inches.  This is the bottom of the crate.

Then to make the corner supports of the box, I cut 4—7 inch pieces a of 1.5 x 1.5 board.

What…You don’t work in your pajamas? :) My little girl takes pretty good pictures…don’t you think?

Then you will need to nail your crate together. I didn’t use any wood glue on this project, but you can if you want.

I started with the bottom and one of the front pieces and nailed them together. Then I nailed on the back piece to the bottom.

Then you can nail on both sides. Be careful to hold your box exactly where you want it so that it maintains a nice rectangular shape.

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Then I nailed the corner supports in and finished nailing the other two front planks to the corner supports.  I chose to leave a tiny space in between each plank to give it a more vintage feel.

After the front is nailed, I added the side planks so that I could match them up with the front. When nailing these on, be sure to keep your corner pieces straight. This is very important to the overall finish of your vintage crate.

Then finally, you will nail the back planks on. This crate is made so that the sides of the crate planks actually show on the front and the back of the crate. I thought this would help with the overall vintage look.  Now your crate is done! Yay!!

Vintage-Crate

To add a label I simply printed out this old vintage stamp that I found in the online Silhouette store.  I transferred it over onto the wood with the old trick of drawing on the back of the design in pencil and then coloring over the top of it so that it ends up on the wood.  Pretty high tech!

Then you simply need to draw the design with a black Sharpie.

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Throw a layer of stain on your crate ( I used a walnut colored stain)…and you have a beautiful vintage DIY crate!

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I was surprised at how easy this crate was to build.  And was really happy with the overall results.  I love being able to make something JUST the way I want.

I added some pine branches and a berry garland to glam it up and threw in a couple of candles.  As always be super careful when using candles.  And…since I took these pictures, I actually threw a string of white battery powered Christmas lights to give it some more holiday sparkle.

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When the holidays are over, I can replace what is in the crate so it can be in my home all year long.

Be sure to check out Lowes Creative Ideas and sign up for their free newsletter which is full of creative goodness.

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*I was given a Lowe’s gift card for the supplies to make this crate.  However all opinions and statements are mine.


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