amy merrickDIYdiy projectsmade with love

made with love: vintage crate shelves

by amym

crate shelves
today i’m finishing up the final sequencing for all 400+ pages of the design*sponge book so tomorrow i’m going to be taking a very, very needed day off. so today i’ll be posting diy projects that would normally go up tomorrow. up first- a great upcycling project from amy merrick. amy turned her collection of vintage crates into beautiful rustic shelves just waiting to become cubby holes for special objects. can’t find vintage crates? try asking your local wine shop if they have any leftover crates from new shipments- you can always distress your crates or paint them to suit your personal style.

CLICK HERE for the project instructions post after the jump!

Cost: $10 for the hardware (Amy had the crates already)

Time required: 45 min


-Collection of old wooden crates in various sizes

-measuring tape


-power drill

-1/4” drill bit

-1 1/4” screws and wall anchors

– picture hangers with hook (for upright crates)


1. drill holes in each corner of the crate
2. hold up crates to decide on placement
3. mark holes with pencil on wall
4. Drill 1 1/4” into wall at all 4 marks and insert wall anchors
5. Holding up crate, screw to wall, making sure to line up all holes as you go
6. For small upright crates, use a sturdy picture hanger with hook to attach to the wall

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  • My parents have an old crumbling summer kitchen full of these back home… I think I may need to make a pilgrimage back there soon and bring some with me when I return.
    Love this.

  • My 4 month old has wine crates up on his wall as shelves for toys and books. I love the burned in marques of the chateaux. We pick up wine crates whenever we buy wine – usually we make a donation to charity for them – and use them for picnic hampers, shelves, presents, doll houses, toy kitchens, … no end of uses.

  • 3L olive oil cans are good – lovely pictures on them. Use a tin opener to take the top off and plant them up with herbs. Olive oil is cheaper in larger quantities – is how I justify the splurge!

    Also just want to say how much I love Design*Sponge and best of luck with the book.

  • I have seen old crates made into standing shelves but hanging them on the wall seems the perfect use for them. That way you can clearly see the labels, which is the best part! Love the use of the old coffee tin too!

  • I have 2 vintage Pepsi crates that I have been thinking about turning into spice racks for the kitchen. I definitely wouldn’t want to drill *into* them, though, just in case I wanted to use them for something else someday.

  • This is a really great idea! I found a ton of wine crates at our local wine store and turned them into bookshelves that cover our entire living room. My husband liked it so much, he sent me back the next day to pick up another carload! Most wine stores will either give them to you for free or sell them at a cost of $1 per crate.

  • I love this idea! I have old crates, cabbage slicers, etc. in my Etsy shop that can all be used as shelves. So cool : )

  • Ooh, I love this idea for the kitchen. We put up some wine & whiskey crates in our son’s room. I want to do the same in the kitchen now that the baby is getting into all of the cabinets and drawers! Yay, ANOTHER great idea from Design*Sponge… y’all are the BEST!

  • Love these, but oh how i have fruitlessly searched for used wine crates. The wine stores that I’ve visited say that they keep their crates always for display purposes, since they are so rarely used to ship wine anymore. Does anyone have a suggestion as to where to find these in Chicago? Please help!

  • The antique fruit crates that my mother gave me are among some of my favorite possessions!

  • Vintage crates are very hard to find as I know from when I wanted some last year for my stall at a craft fair. I got some wine boxes eventually but they are not as nice as the crates.
    Thanks for sharing the lovely picture of an alternative use.

  • Nicole a couple of drill holes won’t change the look or use of your crates that are currently not being used. Use them for a spice rack now and well if you want to one day switch them up then do, but since you don’t know for what now – go for it! Too many times in life we save or put away until we might do something with something we love to look at – life is too short not to enjoy those little pleasures in life – have you not been inspired enough by those that do?!

  • This is wonderful. I’ve been struggling with trying to hang my collection of vintage crates but hadn’t considered drilling holes in them (I’m not super handy)! I’m hanging them as instructed this afternoon and may add some samples of pretty pretty wallpaper on the interior to cover the screws and add some color! Great tips! Thank you so much!

  • Chinese food stores frequently have nice crates… you may find them at Chinese restaurants too.

  • I love every single thing about this photo – and I just happened to buy two nice old crates recently without any specific plans for them, just couldn’t resist their functional beauty. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration!