diy antique crate

DIY Antique Crates

Create DIY antique crates to add a rustic element to your home without having to spend a fortune on something brand new from the store.

Do you feel the nip of autumn in the air? I don’t know about you, but cooling temps bring on thoughts of pumpkins, harvest time, and cozy fires. With that I also get the urge to create some new fall décor. I’m all about skipping the box store and creating my own home story. To inspire you today, I’m here to share my DIY “antique” crate. It’s perfect for this and any season. Let’s get started!

Step 1:

Because I am a DIY decorator, it means if I can make it or build it, then that's how I roll. Yes, I realize not all folks feel handy, but anyone can learn. I read books and magazines, watched videos, but most importantly...I've tried. Most of my projects are ideas that I want to have a try at, I don’t always know how. Are you willing to try?

In addition to enjoying creating my own decor, I'm also about not breaking the bank and work on a budget. Likewise, there is absolutely no need to have a huge budget for decorating. If you have your #trashure goggles on, you'll see things in a whole new light. Take this tractor trailer full of pallets...what do you see? I spy POTENTIAL.

pallet wood

Step 2:

We all know pallets come aplenty and you can find them for free. What better way to learn than with free wood, right? You can do it! If you'd like to create this DIY antique crate for your very own (or add it to your "please-help-me-create-this" list), let's get started. Here's what you'll need:

Tools & Materials:

  • Raw pallet wood
  • Saw - hand saw, jig saw, circular saw, miter saw (your choice)
  • Wood glue
  • Tape measure
  • Nailer (optional)
  • Masonry nails or black drywall screws (I used 1 ¼" length)
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Quick Finish Paint Sprayer
  • Stain (or paint) or choice - I used Weathered Wood Accelerator
  • Stencil or DIY design (you can do it!)
  • Acrylic paints & artists brushes (optional)

First, you want to decide the dimensions of your finished crate. For me, I wanted to mimic the crates I have in my home that I've brought home over the years. The rough dimensions are 14 ½" W x 18" L x 12" H. Also, a typical pallet piece is 48" L x 3 ½" W. With that in mind, I cut:

  • 6 - 18" pieces
  • 6 - 13" pieces
  • 4 - 12" corner pieces

pallet pieces

These are the pieces for the sides only. Eventually, we will cut and add the bottom pieces once we have the crate assembled. In addition, you'll see I have 12” long triangular pieces for the corners. This was scrap we happened to have on hand from the reclaimed elm we are using to build faux beams in our living room remodel. You can use any wood that is roughly 1" x 1". Likewise, I love that pallet wood is shaggy. It adds to the rustic charm we're after.

Step 3:

In this next step, we use a piece of the crate to trace onto three 18" long pieces on both ends. This will help us align and attach our corner pieces.

tracing pallet design

Step 4:

Then, add a bit of wood glue to the corner pieces, line up the edge, and attach it to the three 18" pieces. I used my nailer to attach, but you could just let the wood glue cure before continuing on.

nailing crate support

Step 5:

Here are the two long sides assembled. From here, you follow the same steps to attach the shorter sides. Then, when you have it square, use the drill and drill bit to pre-drill from the outside of the crate into those corner pieces. Then, drill in the drywall screws to anchor it all together. You can also use masonry nails that have been rusted. There is no doubt using screws are easier, but this is fun. Just so you know, masonry nails don't come rusty, but in one day you can have them looking like this if you use my recipe in this post HERE.

bottomless crate

Step 6:

Before we call our DIY antique crate complete, we need to add the bottom. If your build is square and as it should be, you can just measure and cut. For mine, the bottom is made of 18" pallet wood lengths, the same as the sides. How many lengths you need depends on your build.

crate bottom

Step 7:

At long last we are ready for the best part of creating...the final part! haha. It's at this point you can choose how you want to finish your crate. Whether you choose to keep it natural, paint, or stain, be sure to use the HomeRight Quick Finish Sprayer. No joke, when they say quick, they mean it! I just pour in my stain and have at it. You can see it in live action in my video demo HERE.. The weathered wood stain I chose is also the one I demonstrated in my video. If you haven't tried it yet, I can't say enough good about it - easy, affordable, and fun!

spraying with quick finish

Step 8:

Do note, this stain just goes on and you let it set for 30 minute to an hour. For my project, I wanted this to be as rustic and weathered as possible, so I let it sit for over an hour. It's so fun to see it age right before your eyes!

spraying with quick finish

Step 9:

When you are done, just use the Quick Release feature to pop off the canister and the nozzle for easy clean-up.

quick finish sprayer

Step 10:

Last, before we call our “antique” crate done, we want to add a bit of whimsy. You can use a bit of thinned black paint to go over the screw (or nail) heads in a horizontal pattern to make it look like they are weather-worn.

adding design to crate

Step 11:

Then, if you like, add typography or a stencil or some artwork...whatever your heart desires. I wanted to stick with the antique crate vibe, so I paint on a few words. You can use my simple transfer tutorial too, if you are so inclined.

finished farmhouse crate

Step 12:

Isn't it so fun! I have it staged for my autumn decor, but it is suited for any time of year. Use it inside or out, just have fun with it. I invite you to come see my other DIY projects from furniture, to remodeling, sewing, crafting and even my online shop at Prodigal Pieces. Until next time!

diy antique crate

This sponsored post was created by Prodigal Pieces.

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