How to upcycle a wooden crate

My hallway was a dark messy dumping ground and enough was enough.  I needed to change the organisation of this area in the hopes of keeping the clutter at bay.  I tied this in with my hallway makeover and the arrival of my new carpet.  We have two large bookcases in our hall, one over a radiator and the other floor to ceiling – these were painted in a bright yellow colour when we moved in and I wasn’t keen.
We have now painted our whole hallway in Magnolia – I know it’s not everyone’s taste but it was a blank canvas for us to build on with some colour.
We planned to introduce bright colours in rainbow shades throughout the hall – subtly.
The bookcases were painted brilliant white and I purchased a set of 6 dark wooden crates to put on them, the plan is that everyone has a crate of their own to put their belongings into when they come in instead of dumping things onto the floor.  There is also a crate for hats, gloves & scarves (this will hold sunhats and sunglasses in summer) and another which is now our grab and go station – this i fill the night before with items we need for school – Emmy’s school bag, water bottle, Harry’s school bag and his lunchbox (empty but as a reminder that I need it), the mornings are so hectic that it help to ensure everything is in one place ready for me to grab & go.
Once I knew the cates fitted I set about upcycling them as they looked rather unsightly to say the least.
The paint for this project was provided by Valspar and I used the Premium wood and metal paint.  I had 3 different paint colours mixed up for me, these were:
Paradiso – Blue
Dante’s Cardigan – Red
Glowing Reviews – Yellow
What I used:
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Painting sponge
  • Mixing tray
  • Plastic shot glasses (for paint mixing)
  • Cardboard
  • Wrapping paper
  • Sticky Back Plastic
  • Scissors
  • Cellotape
Painting the crates was very simple – I chose do paint each crate a different colour, now obviously I only had 3 colours so I used those to mix together to create the different shades (I added some of the kids white from their art supplies to make the Pink).
I decided I really didn’t need to paint the bottom of the crates nor the insides as those wouldn’t be seen once I had lined them.
Firstly I choose the colour to use and then took a side at a time taking my time to ensure I remembered the bottom of the slates as well as the sides on the corners – I started off using the paintbrush to get into all the corners properly but then finished off all the flat surfaces with the sponge to avoid getting brush strokes on the wood.
Using the sponge also meant the coverage was better and less paint used, which also meat they dried faster too.
All the crates only took one coat – with exception for the yellow which needed two.
Once dried it was time to line them – this was because I wanted to hide the contents inside and make them look tidy.
I used old cardboard boxes for this (luckily it had been Emmy’s birthday so I saved the delivery boxes ready).
Cut the cardboard down to side so that a piece fits snuggly into the bottom, then cut 4 pieces to perfectly fit inside.  Once done trim a little off each side as these will be wrapped in wrapping paper to cover the card.
Choose your paper and wrap the 4 side pieces of card in the paper (don’t worry about the bottom one as it won’t be seen).
I then covered the wrapped card in sticky back plastic to help weather it – the crates will be in constant use and I didn’t want the paper to keep ripping every week or so.  Place the card into place and you are finished.
Repeat with all crates.
Whenever you feel like a change just unwrap the wrapping from the cardboard and rewrap with different wrapping paper!
Trash 2 Treasure

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6 thoughts on “How to upcycle a wooden crate

  1. Such a lovely idea and such a practical space you have created. We have shoe boxes rather like this but they never made it beyong the plain crate stage. These are so much prettier and I love the idea of the changeable liners. Magnolia is a great base colour for walls and shelves and these creates provide the perfect splash of colour. Thank you for sharing how to make them on #Trash2Treasure

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