We've used all sorts of crates over the years: vintage, plastic, metal, wood, homemade, hand-me-down... They're the perfect item to DIY with and you can make everything from furniture to storage. Here are 10 ways to dig them out of your garage and put them to use in other places throughout your home.
1. Night Stands: Having a nightstand can be as simple as a crate turned on its side. Keep your books and reading materials below and place a lamp on top. You could even use a small clip-on lamp or articulated arm style that clamps on (like it would to an artist's desk).
2. Bookshelves: For the last several years our crates have held our cookbooks in the kitchen. They act as support for the items they're holding (so when you pull out one book they don't all fall) and keep those books safe from other going-ons in the kitchen.
3. Record Storage: This is probably one of the first ideas that pop into people's heads. It's not a new one by any stretch; just ensure that your crate is square and there isn't too much pressure on the back record to avoid warping.
4. Toy Box: For kids and dogs alike, a crate is a great way to let the dust and dirt fall out of toys and keep the toys contained. When cleaning you can pick it up and sweep, mop and vacuum under it.
5. Cabinets: Mount them to the wall and you have an instant cabinet. We do suggest testing the strength of the boards and nails that will be on the bottom since they'll support the full weight of whatever you place inside of them.
7. Shoe Storage: In our closet over the last few years, we've kept a continual stack of crates in the back of our closet. They make an amazing shoe storage system without any DIY. Just stack and place the shoes right in.
8. Light Fixtures: Even if this one isn't high on your list, it still looks really neat in a big open space. Just check out this previous post on just such a design!
9. Impromptu Table Legs: Although they probably shouldn't be used for extra rowdy things, 6 milk crates on each side will support a sheet of plywood nicely. It might make a quick buffet table or crafting space when extra room is needed.
10. Closet: Stack 4 crates high in two places (like towers). Next, rest a bar through the handles on two crates, creating a hanging bar for clothes. You now have a perfect spot for hanging clothes and storing folded items like t-shirts socks.
Related: Building With Milk Crates!