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Study + Beer = No money left for furniture.

A lot of students drink beer and if you buy your beer in recyclable bottles you are likely to have a crate or more in your dorm. There are a lot of things you can make from these sturdy crates. Flip them on their side and you have a make shift chair! Do you drink a lot of beer? You can make a wall or even a crate bridge! Today we will keep it simple and make a multi-purpose beer crate storage night stand.

Step 1: Tools and Materials:

Depending on what you have laying around you could need different tools. I choose the easy and cheap (free) version and used tools and materials that everyone has laying around. You could easily improve the material list but since this is a dorm project we stick with the low budget materials.

Tools:

  • (Utility) knife

  • Duct tape
  • Triangular protractor

Materials:

  • Empty beer crate (2.40 euro as a deposit for the crate)
  • Cardboard

Optional:

  • power strip and zip ties

Step 2: The Crate

I am not sure if these crates are available in every country. I know that most European countries use this for bottled beers. I have never been to the USA but as far as I know most beers are sold in cans rather then glass bottles. (Please correct me if I'm wrong) I used to live in the Netherlands where the standard crate is 24x0.33l. Here in Austria the standard crates are 20x0.5l (more beer!) The length and width are the same but the Austrian crates are 5cm higher.

The size of the crate I used is 40*30*30 centimetre. (L*W*W)

When you get the crate form the supermarket you will have to drink all the beer first :) You can bring the bottles back without the crate. But remember, in order to bring the crate back there needs to be at least one empty bottle inside!

Tip: If you want the best result, don't get any crate but choose a nice/new looking one from the stack.

Step 3: Cutting the Lid

The lid is the only part of this project that needs construction and can be made in 5 minutes.

I started with placing the crate upside down on the cardboard. The side you will place up will be the side that shows when the lid is finished. Cut around the crate, but very important, do not cut all the way! I used 2 passes. One for the upper layer and one for the middle layer. This way the third layer will stay intact. I made an offset of 5 centimetres from the first cut and cutted the cardboard all the way. This is how I created the sides of the lid. In the pictures you can see a step by step how to cut the sides.

Now you can fold and form the sides of the lid.

Note: Al tough the other side has a nicer, gloss, finish I used the back side because I did not want it to look like a TV box. The other side would be nice if you would like a bit more protection against wet undersides of glasses but since I won't use it for this purpose I choose for the other side.

Step 4: Tape the Lid

To keep the lid together I choose tape. The tape is strong enough and will hold it together without any problem!

First I taped the top side of the lid. I bended the side against the crate and taped it in position. The ends of the tape I cut in half. This way it is possible to secure the bended cardboard in position.

To finish it I taped the corners for both strength and aesthetics.

Step 5: Add Strength / Stability

If the cardboard is no strong enough, or you just want to make sure it will hold, you can easily add some extra strength to it by adding strips to the bottom. I was really surprised how much flex was prevented by adding the strips to the bottom. Use the lengths direction of the cardboard ''grain'' instead of broad wise.

Step 6: Extras!

You can store multiple things in the crate.

I placed an extra peace of MDF in the crate that I had laying around but this could also be cardboard of course. This way you have an extra place to store books, or in my case, store some of the electrical equipment for my alarm, light and a charger. It is easy accessible via the holes in the crate without lifting up the lid. To prevent the power strip from moving around I used 2 zip ties to keep it in its place.

Another option is to use the crate for storing some of the bigger cables like HDMI, network cables and so on. You could also remove the inside structure of the crate and use space inside but this will make it impossible to return the crate.

Step 7: Enjoy!

And drink responsibly ;)

About This Instructable

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Bio: Dutch guy who likes to DIY and, off course, bicycles!
More by The Dutch cyclist:Storage Night Stand From A Beer Crate!  Zip Tie Starlight  Bicycle Picnic Box 
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