Upcycle Wood Crates Into a Rustic Bookshelf

This easy-to-build storage unit is a great way to give new life to old crates to create a functional, one-of-a-kind piece for your home. 

Wooden Crate Storage Shelf

Wooden Crate Storage Shelf

This easy-to-build storage unit is a great way to upcycle old crates while creating a functional, one-of-a-kind piece for your home.

Photo by: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Materials Needed

6-8 wooden crates of similar size
measuring tape
pencil
2) 1 x 3” pine boards
2) 1 x 2” pine boards
1) 1 x 4" pine board
pocket-hole jig and drill bit
pocket-hole screws and matching drill bit
drill
1-1/4” self-boring wood screws and matching drill bit

Measure Crates and Make Frame

Arrange crates in desired configuration. Measure total length and height of crates' back sides. Cut two 1x2 boards to length, minus 6” for width of 1x3 boards and 2”, so the boards aren’t flush with the edge of the crates. (Example: If the total length of crates is 50”, cut 1x2 boards to 42”.) Cut one 1x4 board to same measurement as 1x2 boards. Cut two 1x3 boards to total height of crates, minus 2”. Drill pocket holes on the both ends of the 1x2 boards and the 1x4 board. Arrange boards for frame on work surface with pocket holes facing up, as in the picture. Tip: These boards can be cut to size at a hardware store. If cutting at home, be sure to wear ear and eye protection.

Wooden Crate Storage Shelf : Step 1: Measure Crates & Make Frame

Wooden Crate Storage Shelf : Step 1: Measure Crates & Make Frame

Arrange wooden crates in desired configuration. Measure total length and height of back side of crates. Cut two 1 x 2” boards to length, minus 6” for width of 1” x 3” boards and 2”, so the boards aren’t flush with the edge of the crates. (Example: If the total length of the crates was 50”, cut 1 x 2” boards to 42”.) Cut one 1” x 4” board to same measurement as 1” x 2” boards. Cut two 1 x 3” boards to total height of crates, minus 2”. Drill pocket holes on the both ends of the 1 x 2” boards and the 1 x 4” board. Arrange boards for frame on work surface with pocket holes facing up, as in the picture. Tip: These boards can be cut to size at a hardware store. If cutting at home, be sure to wear ear and eye protection.

Photo by: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Assemble Frame

Insert pocket-hole screws into predrilled pocket holes to construct frame.

Wooden Crate Storage Shelf : Step 2: Assemble Frame

Wooden Crate Storage Shelf : Step 2: Assemble Frame

Insert pocket hole screws into predrilled pocket holes to construct frame.

Photo by: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Install Frame

Position frame on backside of arranged crates. Insert 1-1/4” wood screws through frame into crates strategically to secure each crate (Image 1). Continue this process until all crates are secured and unit is sturdy, then place in its permanent position and fill the shelves with your favorite collectibles (Images 2 and 3). Tip: If installing the unit vertically, securing it to the wall would be recommended in order to prevent tipping.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Construct a Rustic Trunk-Style Coffee Table

Trunk-style coffee tables are not only stylish, they also provide practical storage for toys, extra throws and pillows, a movie collection and anything that needs to be stored for a busy family. This rustic trunk-style coffee table is an easy build, but the result will have your friends thinking you're a pro woodworker.

Add Pizzazz to Plain Hardwood Floors With Paint

Personalize basic hardwood floors with pattern, using proper preparation and simple painting steps.

Add Casters to an Antique Trunk for a Mobile Coffee Table

Old wooden trunks are stowed away in many attics and often end up in yard sales or thrift stores at a great price. Give one an easy update by simply adding furniture casters to make it a charming (and mobile) storage piece for your living room.

How to Make an Upcycled Coffee Table

Salvaged wood and architectural remnants are prime candidates to be repurposed as furniture. In the case of this table, pieces of an old rope bed and a beadboard door are upcycled into a functional and one-of-a-kind coffee table. 

Easily Give an Old Lampshade a Trendy New Look

Vintage drum-style lampshades can be found for a steal at estate and garage sales but they typically show some signs of their age. In less than 30 minutes, give this old shade a trendy new lease on life with just a bit of upholstery trim and glue. 

Turn an Old Coffee Table Into an Upholstered Storage Ottoman

This stylish storage ottoman makes a great coffee table, provides extra seating and is a cushy place to prop up your feet at the end of the day. The handy lid lifts to reveal plenty of storage for throws, kids' toys or board games.

Pet Projects: Make a DIY Dog Bed

Make a removable, washable cover for your furbaby’s bed that's oozing with charming, farmhouse style. This simple sewing project will transform a bed your pet loves into one you love as well.

Create a Template to Make Hanging Curtains a Breeze

Hanging curtain rods can be a pain! You can spend lots of time measuring and marking the brackets’ placement, yet the end result might still be off. It’s especially challenging if you’re hanging several rods in one room. This easy, DIY template makes hanging drapery hardware straightforward and stress free. 

How to Install Timeless Rail-and-Stile Wainscoting

Wainscoting wall treatments are a classic way to add architectural interest to any room. Consisting of horizontal rails and vertical stiles, this relatively easy woodworking project is based on a design found in historic homes, and is sure to lend old-home charm to builder-basic new spaces. 

Build Custom End Tables

Create deep, wall-mounted end tables by cutting a vintage bench in half. The tables take up less floor space and provide ample surface space.

On TV

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.