How to Build a Simple Antique Wood Crate for Under $10

Hello!  It is Mindi from MyLove2Create, and I am happy to be back!  A few months ago I shared my reclaimed wood stool and antique cutting boards, today I am sharing a super easy build.   It is cute, useful, and just brings a smile to my face, meet my Antique Wood Crate!
DIY Antique Crate, MyLove2Create

See, soooo fun!!

How to Build an Antique Wood Crate

Click here to see the building plan at Mylove2create

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  • 1- 5/8” x 5 1/2” x 6′ cedar fence picket
  • 1- 5/8″ x 3 1/2” x 6′ cedar fence picket
  • 1- 1” round wood dowel
  • 1 1/2” finish nails
  • Nail gun
  • jigsaw
  • miter saw or circular saw
  • wood glue
  • stain/paint for desired finish

Note: The two fence pickets and one 48″ dowel will build one crate with a lot leftover, so if you pick up a second 5 1/2″ cedar fence picket, you can build two of these wood crates for around $12 (with some scrap leftover) depending on lumber prices in your area. One to keep, one to give away! 

Cut List:

  • 2- 5/8” x 5 1/2” x 13” Tall Sides (see below for jigsaw cuts)
  • 1- 5/8” x 5 1/2” x 15” Bottom
  • 2- 5/8” x 3 1/2” x 16” Long Sides
  • 1- 1” dowel cut to 15” Handle

Step 1: Gather and cut wood

Wood Before To Make Antique Crate, MyLove2Create

Here are my boards, ready for cutting, I used this old curtain rod I had gotten somewhere for free for the handle.  I love to repurpose!  You could used old fence boards too instead of buying them new.

Cutting Bottom And Handle, MyLove2Create

When you cut your bottom piece use it as a guide of how long to cut the handle or dowel.  They need to be the same length.

Pieces Cut And Dry Fitting, MyLove2Create

Once all your boards are cut you are ready to give this crate it’s unique look, by using a jigsaw to cut the tall side shape.

Step 2:  Mark your tall side pieces for cutting.

Measuring For Antique Handle, MyLove2Create

Use one of the 3 1/2” wide long side boards to mark the bottom part of a tall side piece (top left) which makes the mark at 3 1/2” up from the bottom.  Then mark center on the top of your board and draw the shape of your dowel (top right), draw 2 straight lines down from the dowel marks to your first line.  This should be 1” wide or the width or your dowel.  Using a plate or bowl as a guide, trace a semi circle from the bottom line to connect to the straight lines you drew (bottom photos).  You only need to draw this pattern onto one of the tall side boards.

Step 3:  Cut tall sides with a jigsaw.

Cutting Out Side Of Antique Crate, MyLove2Create

Using a jigsaw cut out the tall side board you marked.  Once it is cut trace it’s shape onto your other tall side board, then cut it out with your jigsaw.

Step 4: Sand your pieces.

Ready To Build, MyLove2Create

After getting all the pieces cut sand them smooth and remove any sharp edges.

Step 5:  Attach tall sides to bottom piece and add handle.

Adding Crate Sides And Handle, MyLove2Create

Using wood glue and 1 1/2” finish nails attach the two tall sides to the bottom piece with your nail gun.  Then nail the handle in place at the top of your sides.

Step 6: Add long sides.

Adding Sides To Antique Crate, MyLove2Create
Finish off your build by adding the long sides of the crate with wood glue and 1 1/2” finish nails.  Be sure to nail through the long sides into the bottom and tall sides of the crate.

Step 7: Finish as desired.

Stain And Dry Brush, MyLove2Create
I decided to stain my antique crate with Minwax special walnut stain.  I did use a Minwax pre-wood conditioner before staining.  To give it a little more antique look, added some white paint by dry brushing it on.  I show how I do the dry brush technique on my Decorative Triangle Tray.  I love it because it is easy to do plus it adds age to the wood and some texture. 🙂
Tall Side Shot, MyLove2Create
Isn’t it so pretty!?
Antique Crate With Flowers Horizontal, MyLove2Create
I have an obsession with crates, I don’t think I can ever build enough!!  They are so fun because you can make so many different kinds, plus use them for so many different things, like fresh flowers!
Flower Antique Crate Vertical, MyLove2Create
Crates and flowers are always a classic combo.
Full Side View Antique Crate, MyLove2Create
They also are fun to add into your decor, I love how it looks in front of my Restoration Hardware inspired Rivet Chalkboard!  (And do you spy those antique cutting boards, too?)
Front View Antique Crate, MyLove2Create
This antique wood crate would make a perfect gift for a friend or loved one filled with goodies or flowers…
Full Top View Antique Crate, MyLove2Create
Or add some mason jars and use it to hold your silverware and napkins for your next party!
Top View Antique Crate, MyLove2Create
The possibilities are endless!  I think it would be adorable in a kids room painted a bright fun color and filled with books or small toys, or even craft supplies!  For now, it is sitting pretty on my Modern Rustic Buffet and I am loving having it!  
Featured Image, Antique Crate, MyLove2Create
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I would love for you to visit me at my blog for more great DIY project tutorials and building plans!
Build an easy antique wood crate for about $6! Fill it with decor or fill it with treats for an easy gift. Perfect for Mother's Day, birthdays, Christmas, teacher gifts, or any holiday just because.


More easy builds for home decor and gifts: 

all-occasion divided caddy

build a simple wooden caddy for drinks flowers or gifts tutorial

decorative window frame

Feat Rustic Window Frame By Sawdust2Stitches For 5

easy storage crate with cutout handles

easy and inexpensive IKEA bucket caddy 

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I have a great love to DIY, repurpose, and create! I am constantly seeking to make things more useful, effective, and beautiful in my home one project at a time. My projects are done in tutorial form so I can inspire others to create too!
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