before & after: jenn’s pottery barn crate artwork

d*s reader jenn krampe was inspired after seeing a piece of wooden, multi-leveled art in a pottery barn catalog. on the way home from work jenn found an old crate (left by a local business) and convinced a co-worker to help her get the crate home. overwhelmed with the possibilities that the crate held, jenn settled on cutting up the crate to create a layered piece of wall art like the one from the pottery barn catalog.

here’s the breakdown: jenn’s wooden crate was free (score!), the wood glue was $3, the back board for the artwork was $8, and the hanging rig & saw were pieces jenn already owned. so the total cost after cutting, gluing and attaching to the board: $11! and the best part of the story? months later one of jenn’s friend sent her a link to a similar piece of art selling at pottery barn for $400. talk about a budget-friendly (and still beautiful) version- great work, jenn!

[have a before & after you’d like to share on d*s? just shoot me an email right here with your pictures!]


  1. Kristen says:

    That is beautiful, and I imagine took HOURS AND HOURS to fit all those pieces together!!

  2. DC Sarah says:

    I absolutely love this, and it looks especially fantastic against that fabulous orange wall! well done.

  3. dee says:

    Some people are just too clever.

  4. Well done! That crate has never looked so beautiful.

  5. Bethany says:

    Way cooler than that PB one!

  6. Maria says:

    Nice! and SO MUCH better than the pottery barn version!

  7. This is awesome. Great job!

    As a matter of fact, it was the Pottery Barn “artwork” section that inspired me to start my Etsy shop.

    Again, great work!

  8. Fabulous! What a great way to reuse & create something to be proud of. Much more rewarding than saying I bought it at PB!!

  9. Teri says:

    LOVE IT! And more unique that PB. If I had picked up that crate to bring it home my husband would have looked at me like I had really lost it… till he saw the outcome! Sundance Catalog always has rustic (overpriced) artwork like this too.

  10. SusanO says:

    Brill! I love the gentle summery/autumnal colour washes you used.

    May I ask what colour paint you used on the wall, and is that a slight gloss on it? It’s perfect.

  11. Sarah says:

    This is so beautiful – I love when old materials are re purposed into something fabulous.

  12. cheryl says:

    This is inspiring. I may just have to steal this one! I mean try it. :)

  13. Joy says:

    You go girl! That is awesome, I love it! And glad to have a pick-up when needed!

  14. nynke says:

    i love it too much. i wanne have it too

  15. shannon says:

    i’m going to pick up the next crate i see and make one! i love the depth and texture!!! FANTASTIC! oh and my neighbour just broght me a bag of homemade cookies…. what a day!!!

  16. Martina says:

    Wow, that’s amazing! Great job!

  17. robin says:

    i would be really proud of that if i made it!

  18. Wendy says:

    What a gem! I want to make one.

  19. Jenn says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone!! :) It was a lot of fun to make & turned out better than I thought it could have. Isn’t it great when a plan actually works? :) Also, the orange paint on my walls is from Home Depot-Behr brand & it’s called New Brick. The finish is satin-shiner than I thought it would be but I really don’t mind it now. Thanks again!!

  20. brigid says:

    this is very much inspired by australian female artist Rosalie Gascoigne. her work is amazing!

  21. Jan says:

    Beautiful! Reminds me a lot of the work of a famous local Canberran artist Rosalie Gascoigne – and she’s hung in the NY Met! :-)

  22. mosey says:

    wow! this is fantastic!

  23. Shelley says:

    I love the way this looks & at $11, what could be better?

  24. marybinary says:

    I was wondering what you used to cut the crate up. Just a mitre saw or something more heavy duty?

  25. Llindee says:

    So much better than the original!

  26. Now why didn’t I think of that? :)

  27. Valerie says:

    It’s not my style, but a very clever idea and it looks really neat.

  28. Jenn says:

    I used a mitre saw for all the wood blocks, & a circular saw to cut the wood off the metal corners of the crate. I couldn’t get some of the screws loose b/c of all the rust so I had a take a more drastic route. :)

  29. Valerie says:

    I love this. I have very little for the walls of my new home. This is such a creative and fun idea. Thanks!

  30. Victoria says:

    This is ridiculously creative!! I love it so much! I had to share this on my blog here:


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