Friday, June 1, 2012

DIY vintage crate storage

Hey hey! I’ve got a very, simple, quick project to share today – one I’m pretty smitten with. It has all of my loves –  it was inexpensive, easy and cauuute!

And it’s a knock-off of sorts, so that’s an extra bonus. :)

A few weeks ago I saw these cute crates in the Serena & Lily catalog and knew I could DIY them:


serena and lily rolling crate

I wanted to make some myself because, well, these are CRAZY expensive. This (small) size is $88 plus shipping. YOWZA. My plan was to make them from scratch with wood and stencils. I wanted to have a few in the basement for storage.

Well I was at one of my VERY favorite antique spots today, Midland Arts and Antiques (you can see more about this wondrous place here and here) and found the perfect vintage crate:

vintage crate

And I immediately knew what I was going to do with it.

I loved that the crate was solid, clean, and had some really cool details:

vintage oleo margarine crate

It is so old and worn the wood is super soft – no rough spots or splinters (which I watch out for when the Bub will be using something).

Don’t you love the old Good Housekeeping logo? How cool is that?

This little transformation took about 20 minutes – I had some small castors that I never used for another project, so I screwed those on and then put a quick coat of poly on the whole thing, inside and out:

satin polyurethane

I used a satin so it’s not shiny, but it brought out the tones in the wood. I poly’d it because you never know what’s been in an old crate, and this both protects the wood and helps to protect us from anything that has been inside of it. :)

(I also wiped the whole thing down with cleaning wipes before I started.)

It was SO simple, and I just absolutely love it!:vintage rolling crate

I wanted to use one of the rolling crates for all of the gaming stuff, and this is perfect!:

video game storage

There’s plenty of room left for more. Like we need more. Gah.

The awesome part is my version is bigger than the Serena and Lily crate (mine is 22” by 12” by 10” tall) and was only $20. (For the crate – I had everything else. Those little wheels are about a buck each at the hardware store.) That’s a savings of $70, and mine is BIGGER. And BETTER.

OK, that’s subjective, but whatever.

My favorite part? The good luck logo on the side:

Considering it holds the game stuff, I thought that was pretty cute. :)

I love when a project comes together so easily and better than the inspiration! SO FUN.

Have you DIY’d a good knock-off lately? Feel free to share a link in the comments!

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!


  1. I like yours so much better than the "real" one! The real one looks a little like a "fake vintage" but yours looks like "real" vintage and has much more charm. :) Nice job!!

  2. Looks great I just one at an estate sell sale its over 30 yrs old and doesn't look as vintage as yours good job!

  3. I've been on the lookout for a crate to do something similar to ever since I was pregnant and got the Serena and Lily catalog! One day (probably right about when my baby goes off to college) I will find the one! Looks awesome and certainly serves its purpose!

  4. At the turn of the century women would cover wooden boxes with wallpaper and use them as travel trunks. I have the one my grandma (b. 1889) took to college. I'm not sure if I want to take off all the old wallpaper or not. But maybe there's some intriguing advertising underneath!

  5. Absolutely fantastic! What a great find, and I love the added touch of those fabulous wheels.

  6. I agree with the first commenter.. your looks so much more authentic compared to the store bought! Love it!

  7. That looks awesome, and I love the "Good Luck" for the game stuff! Super creative, as always. :)

  8. Looks like the DIY Gods were smiling down on you with this one! How lucky are you to have found just what you were looking for complete with it's own stencil! It's adorable! Oh, and can you hook me up with your hardware store?! If you're gettin' wheels for about a buck each,
    I'm there!

  9. Someday I'm going to Midland! I'm not that far away - Dayton, OH. Love the box and it's perfect for storing anything! Great job!

  10. this. is. adorable. And sooo easy peasy too! Love that you found the perfect crate to use... what luck!!

  11. I love this crate! What a great use - and the wheels make it easy to move around. It was the "Good Luck" on the side that I liked the best though! Fun!

  12. Great idea and very cute! You inspired me to go hit the community garage sale today (even tho it's raining), to see what I can find!

  13. Wow, what a great find! I would like yours better even if it wasn't cheaper. But cheaper is better. And wheels make things seem so fun for some reason. Makes me want to go ride a tricycle. Maybe I need some caffeine this morning....

  14. Love this crate! I've been wanting one like this too! Just need to find the perfect one! :) Smiles, Holly

  15. Your blog is soooo beautiful, I like it! :)


  16. Love those neat old "stamped" details! A very nice knock-off...and I like yours better. ;)

  17. I guess it looks authentic because it is! Very cool and gave me an idea. I think I'll use an old crate I have downstairs, paint it and put it on the deck for our pool toys. Thx!!

  18. Super cute! I have been wanting to make one of these since seeing a cute one on Pinterest. Yours turned out so great!


  19. Wow! I love this!..and your blog! :)

  20. I love this. So the polyurethane seals the wood?

  21. Love your version even more - especially the Good Luck text (smile).


  22. I love the look of Serna and Lily but is always so expensive! Thank goodness for your resourcefulness, I love the gaming things hidden away!


  23. Love it! It did turn out better than the more expensive inspiration. I'll add a cool, old crate to my to-look-out-for items. Thanks for sharing!

  24. I love this idea! I'm working on a nursery design right now and this is perfect for toy storage!

  25. My daughter and grandson just moved back home with us for a while and my house just shrunk to about half it's size. But, I'm not complaining, I glad we are able to help, and having Booger, the Boy, around is an absolute joy for his Pop-Pop and I. This would be perfect for his toys that currently live on every available surface in my living room (when they aren't scattered about on the floor, that is)!

  26. No doubt that yours is better than the original!! This is such a great project and now I'm going to add "wooden crate" to my list of things I'll be keeping my eye out for. Well done! :-)

  27. So cute! I've been looking for creative storage solutions and I love this :)

  28. Great idea! Something like this would work great for my kids' Wii games and gaming items.

  29. Very cute! I have two old crates, maybe I should add wheels. I'm always on the lookout for these crates when I go yardsaling. There's lots of really old junk near where I live, so they are cheap too. Always a bonus. :-)

  30. Love your crate!! I knocked off Serena & Lily too:

    One of my crates is an old dynamite crate. It's pretty awesome:)!

  31. Wheel Alignment EquipmentJune 8, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    Really a great idea to put wheels on it. It will help you to find transferring it to other place easy.

  32. I just scored a rolling crate at a garage sale for 7.00 ! Now I can't decide if I want to stain it or paint it ! Help

  33. I've totally been wanting to do this! You found the perfect crate- I'm still on the hunt:)

  34. I used to live in Indy, and I LOVED to shop there. I'm so glad you know about it. Now I can just come to your blog and shop through you!
    Thanks for sharing this fun project. I love how it turned out.

  35. Love how your crate turned out! I loved how the crate was already antiqued! I just decided to make one as well based on the Serena & Lily crate:



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