Introduction: Practically Free Modular Shelving Unit

About: I graduated from Cardonald College with an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design in 1999. He has worked as a Tattoo Artist, Community Artist, and Freelance Artist ever since. I like making instructables that ev…


Its been a while But I'm back with another Instructable

In this Instructable i am going to show you how to make a plastic veg crate modular shelving unit from practically free and due to the modular nature of the shelving unit it can be custom arranged to be completely functional for what you wish to store/display or be really fun and different.

Lets begin.

Step 1: What You Will Need


Plastic veg crates. These can be found in various depths and styles and if you keep an eye out you can find them being thrown out outside of cafes and shops. NOTE: If you're not absolutely sure they are being thrown out dont take them without asking the local shop.

Cable ties. This was the only thing i bought for this instructable and they cost me £1 for a pack.



Optional extras


Step 2: Clean Them Up

Quite simple, if your crates have been left outside to the elements you will probably want to give them a clean

Step 3: Plan Out Your Assembly

As they are all of a similar size (but not depth) you can have a lot of fun planning out how you want to assemble them but it is worth noting that if working with boxes of various depths you may want to make sure the lowest ones are of the deepest depth to give your unit more stability especially if its going to be free standing

Other than that i just made sure that the bases of the boxes where flush with each other

Step 4: Cable Tie It Together

For ease you may want to disassemble your box arrangement before you start this step.

As there are various styles of veg box how you cable tie them will vary and i have uploaded a few different example of ways this can be done.

I just cable tied the boxes where ever they came into contact with another box or around where four boxes met, front and back.

If a singular cable tie isnt long enough just attach another to it to give it extra length.

Main thing to keep in mind is that the cable ties dont interfere with what ever you are going to store/display on your shelves

Once you have cable tied them together trim off any excess from the cable ties to keep it nice and neat

Step 5: Finished!

And you are done!

Additionally if you want you can give your shelves a coat of spray paint to brighten them up. you can do this at the end in one single colour or before you start and make each box a separate colour to really brighten them up.

I'm happy to be back and I hope you enjoyed this instructable and as always please feel free to leave a comment with any thoughts, criticisms or photos of your own shelving units in the comments section.


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Participated in the
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Box Contest 2017

Participated in the
Box Contest 2017