Introduction: Wooden Crate (/box)

About: Maker & Mother. Author of the book 'Hey Teacher, Find Your Inner Designer', director of a fab lab in Rotterdam & teacher and researcher mainly concentrated in Maker Education.

I created multiple boxes for my IKEA Billy bookcase. A lot of standard boxes dit not fit my design and purpose, so I designed one myself. I created this box by using

I also designed a variation on this box for hanging folders. (for A4 papers and folders)

There will fit two boxes per shelf in a Billy Bookcase.

This is really an easy crate to make! (And feel free to adapt and redesign!)


  • Lasercutter (I used one in the fab lab of Rotterdam (Stadslab Rotterdam)
  • Wood (I used Triplex 6mm. Depending on the size of the laser you will need 4x 300x600mm or 2x 400x700mm and 1 300x600mm plate. You can be more precise in the use of the wood, but these are standard sizes of wood in Rotterdam.)
  • Sanding paper (not too heavy)
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps and/or tape

Step 1: Lasercutting

I used the Rayjet Lasercutter from Trotec in Stadslab Rotterdam. I also shared the settings that I used, but I recommend you to check and try out the settings yourself. Each laser will need other settings. Once you find out the right settings you can cut all the plates. If you have any questions regarding the file, let me know!

Step 2: Sanding the Plates

Lightly sand all the plates of the box. This will help get rid of the burned smell (of wood) and will erase all the dark spots on the crate. Do not use a heavy sanding paper, for this will scratch the plate. After sanding clean all the plates with water.

Step 3: Gluing the Plates

Glue the plates together. I used a simple technique to get the glue on. Just assemble the crate on the table and put on all the glue. Then 'fold' the plates and set them in place. Make sure you have the plates on the right spot. You can choose to switch sides if you like so.

Step 4: Tighten the Plates

Tighten the plates by using (painting) tape. Make sure you strap the tape with some force. There will be glue coming out of the corners. Clean them with some wet cloth. Don't wait too long with cleaning the glue. You can also use clamps on the corners, but I preffered the tape for it will tighten the plates nicely. Also clean the inside of the box when all sides are taped!

Step 5: Remove the Tape and Place the Boxes

Remove the tape. I waited 4 - 8 hours before removing the tape. The timing depends on the speed of the glue that you used. Don't wait much longer for the tape will leave traces on the crate if you keep them on it for too long. There will fit two boxes in one shelf of the Billy bookcase. But of course feel free to use if different!