Simple Wooden Crate

Introduction: Simple Wooden Crate

This is a very easy tutorial for an inexpensive wooden crate. It makes for a great gift or light weight stackable storage!

By inexpensive I mean R150 in South Africa. That’s about $15 in the US. Granted I have no idea what wood costs in other countries!

Here we go, please enjoy!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: What You Need:

+ 9 meters of 4.5 cm x 0.7 cm pine wood planks (sold in lengths of 3 meters)

+ A 3 meter 2 cm x 2 cm pine wood plank

+ Some nautical rope (about 1.2 cm thick)

+ Lots of 2.5 cm nails

+ Standard tools for a woodworking project (including a hammer, drill, jigsaw, clamp etc.)

Step 2: Sawing the Wood

Saw the 4.5 cm x 0.7 cm pine planks into smaller planks using a jigsaw. You'll need the following lengths:

+ 40 cm x 8

+ 41.4 cm x 5

+ 27.9 cm x 8

Saw the 2 cm x 2 cm pine planks into the following lengths:

+ 21 cm x 4

+ 37.4 cm x 2

+ 22.5 cm x 2

Any excess wood after sawing the planks can be used for another project!

Step 3: Making the Side Panels

The first step is to make the side panels of the crate. This is the easiest place to start and it will provide a stable foundation for the rest of the crate.

Arrange four of the 40 cm (4.5 cm x 0.7 cm) planks on one of the 21 cm (2 cm x 2 cm) planks leaving 1 cm between each plank as shown above.

Nail each 40 cm plank to the 21 cm planks by using two nails on each side of every 40 cm plank. Make very sure that the planks are kept straight while hammering! First use one nail on each side and hammer in all the left hand (or right hand) side nails first.

NOTE: Some planks may split a little in the hammering process. This can easily be covered up with wood filler or left as is - the idea is to make it look home-made!

Slide one of the 37.4 cm (2 cm x 2 cm) planks in at the bottom between the two 21 cm planks. If it does not slide in perfectly, sand off one end a little to make it fit. Turn the side panel around and nail the 34.7 cm plank to the side panel by using five nails as shown above.

One side panel is now complete. Simply repeat this step to create the other side panel.

Step 4: Making the End Panels

Arrange the side panels to stand upright. Place the 22.5 cm (2 cm x 2 cm) planks between the two side panels to ensure that the side panels are perfectly aligned as shown above.

Arrange two of the 27.9 cm planks on top of the side panels. Make sure the edges align with the edges of the side panels. It isn't a huge problem if your measuring or sawing was slightly off and they do not align perfectly. Again, the idea is to make it look home-made!

Nail each of the 27.9 cm planks to the side panels using one nail on each side. Again, make sure the side panels are kept straight while hammering to prevent the crate from ending up askew.

Slide one of the 22.5 cm planks in between the side panels on the same side as the 37.4 cm (2 cm x 2 cm) plank on the side panels. If it does not slide in perfectly, sand off one end a little to make it fit.

Use a clamp (this is the only one I had with me!) to hold the 22.5 cm (2 cm x 2 cm) plank to the 27.9 cm (4.5 cm x 0.7 cm) plank. This will hold the planks together so you can nail in 3 nails (as shown above).

NOTE: the nails probably won't go in all the way when you are hammering mid-air. Turn the crate over so the nails are facing the floor and hammer from the other side to ensure that they go in all the way.

Turn the whole crate over and repeat this step so far (as shown above).

The crate is now stable enough to handle freely. Arrange two 27.9 cm planks on both end panels and hammer them in using two nails on each side of the planks again leaving about 1 cm open between the planks.

The end panels are now complete!

Step 5: Making the Bottom Panel

This is a very simple step!

Simply arrange two 41.4 cm (4.5 cm x 0.7 cm) plank on both ends of the bottom of the crate and nail them to the 22.5 cm (2 cm x 2 cm) planks using two nails.

Arrange the other three 41.4 cm planks about 1 cm apart and nail them to the 22.5 cm planks.

The bottom panel is now complete!

Step 6: Adding the Handles

Find the middle of the top plank on one side panel. Measure out about 5 cm to each side and drill holes as thick as your nautical rope (mine was about 1.2 cm).

Put the nautical rope through one hole from the outside of the crate. Tie the end that is inside the crate into a knot. Pull the knot tight against the side panel and cut off any excess rope behind the knot. Put the other end of the rope through the other hole from the outside of the crate and adjust the length of the handle to your liking. Tie the other end into a knot inside the crate and cut off any excess rope behind the knot.

Repeat this step on the other side panel to create the other handle!

NOTE: This is not the only way to create handles for the crate. The nautical rope adds a nice rough look but you can use your imagination for this step!

Step 7: Finishing Touches

This step is not mandatory! Some people might prefer the rough look of the unstained pine.

Apply wood filler to any cracks and uneven ends on the crate. Sand off the entire crate with a medium to fine grit sandpaper and stain the crate with the wood stain of your liking. You can even apply wood wax for a glowing finish.

The crate is now complete!

Thank you very much for reading! I hope you enjoyed this instructable!

Wood Contest

Participated in the
Wood Contest

Homemade Gifts Contest

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Trash to Treasure Contest

      Trash to Treasure Contest
    • Rope & String Speed Challenge

      Rope & String Speed Challenge
    • Wearables Contest

      Wearables Contest



    3 years ago

    Your way of building a crate is the easiest I've seen. This is the plan I'll be using for mine. Thank you!