DIY Vintage Crates




About: I'm a DIYer and creator likes to build, capture, and share my creations. Thanks for watching! Zach from Workshop Edits

Full Video of the build is below which can be found on my Youtube Channel, followed by full steps and materials list / tools list that you'll want to have to complete.

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Step 1: Gather Materials and Get Psyched!

As stated in the video - the awesome thing about this project is how easy it is to make a few of these crates from just one sheet of plywood (pictured in the photo below). I purchased a single $40 piece and was able to build three large ones specific to the free space I have.




      Step 2: Rip It Up

      I started out by using my newly purchased Kreg Rip Cut and Ryobi Circular Saw to make large rips of my plywood - the Rip Cut is a great substitute tool for those who don't have a table saw or do not have someone to help assist you in feeding/ripping large pieces of wood. The outline in the first photo shows all of my cuts, with the red highlights being scrap left over pieces that you can repurpose for another project or add to your crates in some way.

      Step 3: Smaller Rips

      Once I had my larger strips ripped, I took to my Miter Saw to cut the pieces into their final size. In the pictures above, I'm ripping my Front/Back pieces as well as my Side pieces. For the side pieces, since they were 21" long (much longer than any Miter Saw can cut), I cut one side of the piece, then flipped it over and lined it back up with my blade to finish the cuts.

      Using the Miter Saw was much more efficient for the smaller cuts as the Rip Cut, although awesome, gets tricky when trying to make smaller cuts (the large straight ruler is not adjustable in length, so if you try to clamp small pieces of wood down, etc., the track will run into your clamps and you won't be able to make cuts without adjusting them). Hard to explain - but just trust me on this one. My measurements can be seen above as well - again - I cut them this way to fit my specific space.

      Step 4: Ink Those Logos!

      Next, I took to creating my logos. Now, I don't have a laser cutter or a CNC machine and I wasn't looking to purchase any stencils, etc., so I researched and found a DIY method that is awesome and can be easily replicated by anyone with a printer.

      I chose Coca Cola and Anhueser Busch as my two "classic logos" and then created my own Cutting Bored logo w/location and dates using my own brand guidelines. Again - choose any logos you want for your projects!

      This was an interesting process to go through as I had never done it before. The way you do it is to design your logos and then print them out at whatever size you want as a mirrored image onto wax paper. Wax paper is thin and tricky and can easily get bunched up in your printer feed, so I recommend taping it down to another sheet of regular printer paper so it feeds through easier. Also, feel free to print out very large logos on separate pieces of paper and then combine to form larger ones incase you think a standard 8.5 x 11" piece of paper will be too small - I did this with 2/3 of my boxes.

      Once your logo prints, press it against the wood you want to to apply it to (be accurate and meticulous about this as the ink immediately begins to bleed over) and use any credit card type object to flatten and push the ink onto the wood fully. NOTE - only inkjet printers will work for this method as the ink will be wet and won't stick well to the wax paper. If done correctly, the ink will bleed nicely into the wood permanently. If you want to go a different route, you can absolutely purchase stencils and spray paint and apply accordingly.

      I also recommend using thicker logos for the ink method specifically - as you can see - the Cutting Bored and Coca Cola logos are much more legible than the Anhueser Busch logo. Still look great though!

      Step 5: Assembly!

      I then drilled and assembled using my pocket hole jig and pocket hole screws - this is always my go to method for assembling projects that will have hidden joints. If you don't have a pocket hole jig, you can use wood screws, nails, or other types of joinery to piece together.

      Note - I waited to assembly things before doing the ink technique as I didn't want to redo things if I messed up my experiment!

      Step 6: Admire Your Work

      All assembled! Take a moment to admire your DIY creations.

      Step 7: Make Them Vintage!

      Sanded down using 60 grit sand paper to round all the edges and wear them down - your goal is to make them look old!

      Step 8: Cut Your Handles

      Decided to cut our holes for handles on the boxes. You can get super precise with this if you choose, but I mostly freehanded things using a hole saw and my jig saw - they work well for the theme of old/vintage for this project.

      Step 9: Slats

      I added a few slats to the Coca Cola box using glue and finish nails, then cut off the excess pieces using my jig saw. They help give a bit of different character to the box.

      Step 10: Stain and Seal!

      Lastly, I applied a single coat of Minwax's Colonial Maple stain - after looking at all of Minwax's collection, Colonial Maple tended to have the closest resemblance to what old crates look like. I also added in a bit of American Walnut to darken it. I think they came out great. If I could go back, I think it might be fun to stain them all slightly different as to give them variety, but to each their own! I also applied a single coat of Minwax's Wipe On Satin Polyeurethane finish to give them protection and a bit of sheen.

      Step 11: Admire the Work!

      All finished and in their new home! These are fantastic for extra storage (I will use them to store smaller tools, film production equipment, and other electrical and building related equipment I own. I'd do about 14 things different next time (sizing, stains, mix it all up on the look and potentially add more materials), but I'm happy with them for now!

      Now get out there and make something unique of your own!

      TOOLS (again!)

      EDIT EQUIPMENT (again!)

      As always, thank you for reading! I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects. I try to put out content every few weeks.

      Cheers! Zach



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        16 Discussions


        2 years ago

        I've been trying a similar process with getting print onto timber. I've been printintg onto plastic document folders (like manilla folders, but plastic) You can cut them in half along the spine to get two out of each folder and you can wipe them clean and reuse them. They go through the printer a lot easier than wax paper, and they come in clear so you can see through to where you want to place the image. Might be worth a try if you are doing this again.


        2 years ago

        I got a Kreg Rip-cut shortly after they became available and used it for a while. They work well for ripping, but it is ONLY good for rip cuts. The sled must be removed for anything else, which makes it a pain unless you have more than one saw.

        Then I found that a home-made circular saw guide (also know as a "door board" and several other names) works better and is much more versatile. And cheaper. Look up circular saw guides on Instructables for several versions.


        2 years ago

        3/4" seems like overkill, plus they must weigh a ton!
        I suspect 1/2" would have been fine for most uses, and if you instead built a frame and then added plywood siding, even 1/4".
        Also, another construction technique often employees was to use wooden slats instead of plywood. Just glue 3 or 4 1x4s together per side.

        1 reply

        Reply 2 years ago

        your call. build them however you like. 3/4" with my techniques worked for me


        Reply 2 years ago

        They've been way more useful than I ever anticipated - definitely add handles!

        David R

        2 years ago

        Great idea, neat execution. For the finish, try experimenting with some of the " rapid aging" techniques,like putting a bit of steel wool in water, then spraying the liquid on the wood and leave it for a day. On plywood,it looks " real" and its a nice grey. Watch the board ends,it turns them darker than the face of the boards.

        1 reply
        TheCuttingBoredDavid R

        Reply 2 years ago

        It's funny you say that - I've done the oxidizing technique w/steel wool in vinegar a few times - once on a coffee table I built (literally my first project) and then on some shapes I made for my gallery wall - it is really cool how it turns out and I'm not honestly sure why I didn't think to do it for this build!


        2 years ago

        Love these! Great job and thanks so much for sharing!!!

        1 reply

        Reply 2 years ago

        of course and thank you! hope you are inspired to build your own!


        Reply 2 years ago

        Thanks! I guess I should be more stoked on them but I know where I fell short so I see that rather than my nice final result! Cheers