Years ago, at a drafty, bat-infested flea market in rural Alabama, I picked up two antique wooden soda crates for $5 each. One was solid Coca-Cola red, the other a dusky orange, brand unknown. And then they sat, warehoused in a succession of closets until I had occasion to use them.
In my most recent apartment, I wanted to organize the spices and get them out of the cabinets, where the lesser-used ones got lost somewhere in the back. I cut down the soda crates, reorganized the wood a bit, and re-packaged all the spices in some cheap glass canisters from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. A coat of water-base finish preserves the graphics on the wood and keep seals everything to food-safe condition. It adds a pop-art vintage charm to the kitchen. With each spice bottle costing $1, the whole project cost $35 bucks and a Saturday afternoon.
You will need these materials:
2 vintage soda crates
A couple scraps of 1/2" plywood
A handful of #6 by 1-1/4" wood screws
2 #8 x 2" drywall screws
2 #8 washers
You will need these tools:
Flat-head screwdriver or cat's paw
2 14" bar clamps
Step 1: Crate Breakin'
Carefully disassemble the crate with the hammer and pliers. These crates were put together with small nails and metal straps. Though the crates felt loose and weak, the straps and nails were pretty hard to get out cleanly. If necessary, use a small cat's paw or screwdriver to get under the straps and work the nails loose. Take care not to damage the wood.