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.

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