Modular Milk Crate Couch




Introduction: Modular Milk Crate Couch

About: I'm a systems engineer who lives and works in Pasadena, CA. My work for JPL is now in space riding with astronauts (and measuring the constituent particles in astronaut's air) on the ISS! I am a 2018 graduate …

Effective makers utilize combinations of simple materials in new ways to create something unique and perhaps revolutionary.

As a new member of West Dorm at Harvey Mudd College, I have been in the unique situation this year of having absolute freedom in changing and improving the environment around myself. To best fit their needs, others in my dorm have experimented greatly with bed height/lofting, speaker systems, monitor and Super Smash Bros setups, couches and even skateboard parking.

After living in my dorm for a few weeks it became clear that what was missing in our room was seating for the many guests that would come to our room on a fairly regular basis. We had two chairs to start, got two more from some girls who didn't want theirs, but still yearned for more.

Having worked with food service for several summers, I have been well versed in the many amazing uses of *#@ milkcrates *#$, and I knew I could use them to solve my problem. I know it may seem easy to doubt the strength of the milk crate, but I've seen a 400 pound chef sit on a double stack of milk crates and cause nothing more than a little bending.


  • 2 (or more. more is better) Milk Crates: These are easily found, but check that all crates used are equal size.
  • Padding: I used towels, but you can use any cloth. Clothing, bedding, pillows and blankets all work fine.
  • Blanket: Get a really nice fuzzy/soft blanket that you will want to sit on, as this is your 'apolstery'.

Step 1: Position Your Milk Crates

Orient them to make a couch/chair that best fits your needs.

To make a couch/bench like I did:

Place your milk crates together end to end. If you have more milk crates you can add them in any way you wish, and all configurations are great.

Step 2: Add Padding

In adding padding to your milk crate couch your aim is to make the cushioning even, giving a nice layer of cushioning.

To do this, fold your fabric and place it so that it covers the entire top of your milk crates without going over the edge significantl.

Step 3: Neatly Layer on Your Blanket

The blanket is your final covering and cushioning for your milk crate couch. Once you have it neatly positioned, you're DONE.

Additionally, in placing your milk crate couch: consider what you want it's function to be. To get back support for your couch, place it against a wall so that you can lean on the wall and can tuck in the extra fabric neatly.

Be careful with your folding and get your blanket as wide and long as you think would look best. I choose to let the blanket hang over the ends adding a cool covering to the sides, while avoiding adding that blanket as padding somewhere. You can make it cover the entire milk crate with neat blanket folding, or you can have it cover just the top of the milk crate.

That's it! If you think this project is cool dorm room addition vote for it in the University Dorm contest ending soon.

You can change this into many other things: this is profiled on the next slide.

Step 4: Other Configurations: Pillows and Stools

Say you have extra pillows:

You can use these too as a part of your couch. Be sure to try to get them to cover the milk crates as neatly as possible.

Say you want a nice stool:

Stack two on top of each other, layer on padding as before, and cover it with a blanket in the optimal orientation.ST

DIY University Contest

Participated in the
DIY University Contest

Formlabs Contest

Participated in the
Formlabs Contest

Be the First to Share


    • CNC and 3D Printing Contest

      CNC and 3D Printing Contest
    • Puzzles Challenge

      Puzzles Challenge
    • Rice & Grains Challenge

      Rice & Grains Challenge



    8 years ago on Introduction

    Cool, I like building a tall tower out of milk crates and then climbing it!