Life Storage Blog

How to Build a DIY Wooden Crate for Extra Storage at Home

It’s not often that you can claim to make something out of nothing, but this DIY wooden crate is just that. Today you are going to learn how you can take a free pallet destined for the landfill and turned it into this rustic pallet crate!

This little wooden crate can be used in just about any spot in your home for many different purposes–from home décor to organization to storage. The sky is the limit! You are sure to find the perfect spot for this farmhouse crate in your humble abode.

DIY Wooden Crate Tutorial

You will need:

  • (1) Pallet
  • (2) 8-foot 1×2 boards
  • Wood glue
  • Nail gun
  • 1-inch brad nails
  • 2-inch brad nails
  • Wood stain
  • White paint
  • Hand sander*
  • Sandpaper
  • Rope
  • (4) Caster swivel wheels
  • Wood screws
  • Drill
  • Miter saw*
  • Table saw*
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer

***Use extreme caution and common sense when using power tools. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions, wear safety gear and build at your own risk.***

Step 1: Prepare your pallet.

First, you will disassemble the wood pallet. Note: Two pallets are shown above, but you will only need one for this project.

Taking apart a pallet can be a workout. It will take a little bit of elbow grease, but you can do it!

Once you have all the boards loose, use a hammer to remove any remaining nails.

Step 2: Cut your pallet wood to size.

For this project, you will need eight 30-inch long pieces of pallet wood and eight 15-inch shorter pieces of pallet wood. The longer pieces will be the sides of your crate and the shorter boards will be the ends.

Step 3: Make your crate base.

To make the base, you will need to use 1×2 boards. For the bottom of your crate, you will need two 29-inch pieces and two 12⅛-inch pieces to make a rectangle. Secure these together with a nail gun and 2-inch brad nails.

Next, you will need four 15¼-inch pieces. Again, secure these with your nail gun and the 2-inch brad nails.

Flip the frame on its side and then attach two 13¼-inch boards onto each end with the nail gun.

Step 4: Attach the pallet boards to the sides of your crate.

Leave the crate frame lying on its side. Run a line of wood glue along the bottom and sides of the crate frame.

Then you will start attaching the long pallet boards to the side of your crate frame. This time you will use 1-inch brad nails and your nail gun to attach the boards.

Flip the entire thing over and repeat with the longer boards on the opposite side of the crate.

Tip: Use one of the shorter pieces to keep your boards straight and spaced evenly along your frame. Just move it along as you attach the longer boards with the nail gun.

Now it’s time to attach the shorter boards on the ends of your crate the same way you did the longer boards.

For the bottom floor of the crate, we cut boards to fit inside. Notice how we had to notch the corner piece. Then you will nail the boards into place with the nail gun and 1-inch brad nails.

To finish building your crate, you will need to nail two 26-inch long 1×2 board along either side of your crate.

Step 5: Sand your pallet crate.

How rustic you want your crate to look will help determine how much sanding you want to do. I sanded mine quite a bit. Be prepared to go through quite a bit of sandpaper though. Pallet wood is rough!

Step 6: Drill your holes for the rope handle.

Next, you’ll need to drill your holes for the rope handle. I chose to do mine three inches from the side. You can customize the placement however you’d like.

Step 7: Paint or stain your crate. (optional)

Just for the record, pallet wood does not stain well at all. You won’t be able to get a pretty finish like my DIY console table. I chose to apply a layer of dark walnut stain. It was very blotchy! Then I let it dry. Then I went back over it with white spray paint. After that coat completely dried, I sanded down the crate. This gave it a nice worn barn wood look.

Step 8: Attach your rope handles.

I used this ⅜- inch thick outdoor rope for my handles. You will cut two 16-inch pieces. I tied the ends of the rope and then fused them with a flame to prevent fraying.

Step 9: Attach your caster swivel wheels to your crate.

Simply screw a caster onto each corner of your crate!

The only thing left to do is to find the perfect spot for your rustic DIY pallet crate in your home. Use it to store extra pillows and blankets, toys, firewood on your patio or to organize your pantry. You are sure to find the perfect spot!

Have you ever tackled a pallet project before? Do you have any tips or tricks? If you attempt this project, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear how it goes! If you have any questions, drop those in the comments as well.

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