Tag Archive | Crate

DIY Décor: How to Customize a Wooden Storage Crate


Finished DIY wooden storage crate with pillows and blankets inside

On the Home Depot website (and in some stores), you can find unfinished wooden storage crates that are often handy for out-of-sight storage, like in a garage. But their unstained finish may not make them a great storage option for your living room. With a bit of stain and some cabinet pulls, however, you are able to customize a DIY wooden storage crate to give it a more finished look.

Supplies needed to build a DIY Wooden Storage Crate

For this project, you’ll need the following supplies:


Image of sticker residue left on wood

Start by removing the sticker residue from the wood using a residue cleaner, and then sand the area thoroughly.

Hammer being used to tack scrap wood to the inside of a wooden crate

Next, use a couple of small shims or scrap wood (I used cut pieces of paint stirrers) and gently tack them to the inside of the crate. Because you’ll be filling the hand hole with wood filler, you’ll want a flat, even surface on the inside of the hole to fill.

Image of wood filler layered over hand holes in wooden crate

Next, fill the hole with wood filler. I wasn’t careful on this side about getting the filler onto the surrounding wood, and unfortunately this can leave you with unevenness when you start staining later. If you want, be a bit tidier with the wood filler!

Sanding wood filler with a sanding block

Let the wood filler harden overnight, then begin sanding the side of the crate. I prefer to use a sanding block rather than a piece of sandpaper because of its hard, flat surface. The block ensures the flat crate front will be smooth. Go “through the grain,” starting with a low-grit sanding block and slowly moving up to a high-grit (fine) sanding block.

Smooth-looking area on wooden crate where wood filler was sanded

The side of your crate should look like this — smooth, with no bumps or unevenness.

Brown stain being applied to wooden crate with a staining pad

Next, begin staining! I used Minwax Jacobean stain and applied it with a staining pad.

Clean staining pad being used to wipe away excess stain

Wipe the stain onto the wood, then use a clean staining pad to wipe away any excess.

Because I was filling my crate with pillows and throw blankets, I did not stain the inside of the crate. If I had stained the inside and any stain residue remained, it would have ruined my pillows and blankets.

Pencil being used to mark where cabinet pull screws will go

Once your stain is fully dry (I suggest waiting at least a full day), mark where you’ll need to screw in your cabinet pulls.

Electric drill being used on outside of wooden crate to drill holes for the cabinet pull screws

Drill holes where you’ve marked, being sure to drill all the way through the wood filler.

Electric drill being used on inside of wooden crate to drill holes for the cabinet pull screws

You may need to drill from both sides.

Screws being inserted into holes for cabinet pulls

Next, begin screwing in the screws for the cabinet pulls with a screwdriver.

Cabinet pulls being attached to wooden crate

Finish screwing in the pulls, and you’re done!

Finished DIY wooden storage crate with pillows and blankets inside