The little crates that could

stained crate shelves from chapter37

This is the very first project I did for this house. Before a single bit of paint was on the walls, when red carpet was still a horrifying reality, when the musty stench of dust and rot hung in the air and clung to your clothes. While plumbers, electricians, AC guys, and various other pickup truck owning individuals were crawling all over the house running wire, installing things, and shouting good natured insults at one another, the little girls and I sat safely out of way in the sunshine, staining crates.

DIY crate shelves chapter37

While boots pounded up and down the stairs, and the grind of saws and drills shrieked through the air, I was having a fine time splashing stain on my jeans, and day dreaming about white walls, painted brick, pretty counter tops, and a work room full of delightful things with a pretty spot to sit, read and plan. I hung my little shelves, the very first cheerful looking thing in the entire house. They seemed to wink at me and smile…

how to make crate shelves chapter37

…and every time I’d trudge past with yet another mop bucket full of black, dirty water, or an arm load of rubbish to haul to the dump…I’d smile back at them.

crate shelves by

Things are much nicer looking around here these days, but these crates are still my secret favorite. They remind me if I use what I have, and do what I can, than the result will always be beautiful. Some would have said it was foolishness to be wasting time on a shelves when there was piles of work to be done before anything could really look better. I don’t see it that way, if one small wall can be done, than the next one can also be done, and then another after that, but you have to start somewhere…a small improvement can sometimes be more meaningful that a large one!

wood crate shelves by chapter37

I found these crates at Home Depot, but I haven’t seen them there since. I wish I would have bought the whole pallet of them! I stained them, screwed brackets on them, and hung them. Easy as easy can be. They are providing “cabinet” storage in my guest bathroom over the commode.  A humble job, a humble beginning, and weirdly, my little source of encouragement…you just never know what you are going to get out of a DIY project do you?!

Zechariah 4:10   For who hath despised the day of small things?

P.S. These crate shelves first appeared on January 13,2013, in a post from my old blog. They are still topping the charts for views!

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About Abby

I'm a mom and blogger. I love all things creative! Follow along at
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15 Responses to The little crates that could

  1. I really do love these! I’ve even pinned them. It’s nice that they hold such a sweet memory for you. Funny how certain things in our lives can trigger certain memories. :)

  2. Gracie says:

    These are beautiful!! I may use the idea for my new studio space :) I would love it if you would come share this at my weekly link party,

  3. Hi

    I was drawn to this post as I am trying to work out how to display my origami at craft fairs and am currently thinking or crates with hooks screwed in to the tops. As a creative person please let me know if you can think of any ideas!


    • Abby says:

      I have a friend who uses peg board to display her stuff. She attached squares of it to wood and connected two squares together with hinges for easy transportation. I think crates with hooks would be super cute too! Good luck!

  4. Love them, very crafty! These would make some great shelves for storage in my craft room. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Mammanene says:

    I love your crates! I’ve found three me too and I’m planning to sand and paint them, to be used on my Low Budget Sewing Room… I’ve found your philosophy really interesting: I often wait to have time to do big projects, while I should start with the little ones and go on, one little step by step… Thanks for giving me this thinking <3
    MammaNene @

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  8. ashley says:

    Hello. Great idea. Where did u get the cute metal brackets to hokd the shelves?

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  11. Pingback: Amazing Wood Crate Projects That Range from Decor to Storage and More!

  12. Susan Barcus says:

    Did you sand the crates before staining?

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