Introduction: Pallet Crates & Inkjet Image Transfer to Wood

About: Instructables got me started on an incredible DIY journey, which turned into a blog, which replaced my day job in 2 years. Anything is possible here at Instructables.

I can never pass by an antique wooden crate without stopping. Crates are so useful, they make instant storage that is also stylish!

These crates are inspired by the character of pallet wood, farm and orchard crates, old stamps, and weathered typography. They are made from discarded pallets, and personalized with a easy image transfer method using only wax paper and inkjet printer.

At the end you will also see some fabulous diy failures so you can get a more consistent result with this technique.

I also have a detailed step by step plus video tutorial and all the stamps and images I used on these crates as a free download here -download the decorative elements for these vintage inspire crates.

Step 1: Make Crates

Now we can size and cut the pieces – see diagram above. Depending on the size of the crate you want, you will need 2 or 3 boards for the bottom(orange). Mark them to the length you want, and also mark 2 side pieces(yellow) at the same length. Finally, use these pieces to determine the end pieces(blue). Sand each piece with either a sanding pad, or a electric sander. We also used a Multitool to trim and sand smaller irregular edges.

After all the pieces are cut and sanded, nail or glue the 4 side together first, then nail or glue the bottom to the sides. You can also use pocket hole screws to attach the pieces. We chose nails because of the rustic look we want. If you do use nails, a little pre-drilling helps to prevent cracks. Now we are ready to add our personal designs to the crates with image transfer!

Step 2: Finishing Wax

After the image transfer dries for a couple of hours, the final step is to protect our crates with a nice furniture wax. After some geeky research I used the recipe from Amber Dusick. She makes this luscious wax for her wooden toys. It’s 1 part bees wax, 4 parts jojoba or olive oil (I used olive oil). Place the shaved bees wax and olive oil in a bowl, and slowly heat over a double boiler till the wax is melted. Stir and transfer into a jar.

This wax is non toxic, and so nice to work with. It’s actually a great hand lotion - so no gloves here!

You can see from the photos that the color of the wood and images become richer and deeper once you apply the wax. Let sit for 24 hours, and you are ready to use them or give them as gifts!

Crafting 101

Third Prize in the
Crafting 101

Bedroom Contest

Runner Up in the
Bedroom Contest

Reuse Contest

Participated in the
Reuse Contest