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DIY Home Decor Storage and Organizing Ways With Wood

Make a Wood Storage Crate

Make a Wood Storage Crate

by Carolyn Hasenfratz Winkelmann

Wood crate decorated with stencil designs

This project was inspired by a card box my husband Tom and I made for our nautical-themed wedding reception last summer. I made a lot of stuff for the wedding and I was literally working until the last minute at the church figuring out how to attach my homemade veil to my head! I finished my jewelry the day before! Two or three nights before the wedding I had set aside time to assemble this card box. I had already cut the pieces out but needed to nail it together and decorate it. I came down with what I thought was a terrible cold and I asked Tom to assemble the box for me. He came through and did a great job! I recovered quickly from whatever I had (if I actually really had anything other than stress) and was feeling fine the next day so I did the decoration in a hurry.

Card box we made for our wedding last summer with decoupage decoration

I painted the above crate-style card box with a wash of brown paint to “antique” after applying decoupage decoration. For the following storage crate project I’m going to experiment with applying a light colored paint wash on unsanded wood to be sanded, assembled and then decorated with stencils.

Materials
*Six pieces of lath wood (1 1/2″) cut to 12″ long
*Two pieces of 1/2″ thick wood cut to 4 1/4″ x 3 1/2″
*Tiny nails
*Paint rags
*Wood glue
*Acrylic paint
*Painters tape or masking tape

Tools
*Pencil
*Ruler
*Saw
*Paintbrush
*Paint water container and small paint mixing container
*Drill
*Tiny drill bit
*Hammer
Small sponges (or *large sponges cut up)
*Assorted stencils (available at Schnarr’s Webster)

*indicates items available at Schnarr’s

If you want a more refined look you can substitute lattice strips for lath wood, they are similar in size and thickness with a smoother surface and fewer irregularities.

Cut pieces of wood ready to paint, sand and assemble

Instructions

1. Paint your wood pieces with a wash of white acrylic paint. A wash is paint with water added to thin it out and make it semi-translucent.

2. After paint is dry, sand the rough spots with all-purpose sandpaper and sand the edges to bring out a little more of the natural wood color. The effect of sanding the edges is subtle but adds a lot of visual interest.

Wood slats taped down to work surface

3. Take three of the 12″ slats at a time and tape them down onto your work surface. Normally for stenciling projects I use painters tape or masking tape, but I was out of both so in the pictures you will see me using duct tape and drafting tape as substitutes.

4. Tape stencils in place on your work surface over the wood. Choose a light to medium color of paint and dab the paint through the stencil openings with a sponge.

5. Lift the stencils and let the paint dry. I rearranged my wood pieces on the work surface to see what they would look like if I turned every other piece around 180 degrees so that the stencil designs would be scrambled. I liked the effect!

6. Set the two end blocks on your work surface and position two side slats across them. Add a dab of wood glue at each point where the wood will connect for extra strength.

7. Drill two pilot holes at the end of each wood strip with the tiny drill bit. Hammer in nails and repeat until both wood strips are nailed securely to the end blocks. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for the other side, then for the bottom.

I only stenciled one side of these wood strips, so for the bottom of the crate I ended up turning them over so you could see the design if you looked down into the box. You could stencil both sides or have the design facing down while the box is in use if you prefer.

8. Next I stenciled onto each end of the crate. I set the crate on end on a chair to bring it to a more convenient work height. Tape the stencil down and if necessary, mask out the parts of the template you don’t want to use with tape. It’s easy to accidentally sponge into areas you didn’t intend.

Here is what one of the ends looks like after the final stencil. You can really change the look of the crate depending on what stencils and colors you choose to use. You can also make crates in different sizes to fit different needs. They make great baskets for gift giving too. Have fun!

 

Additional Resources

If you want some more home decor inspiration here are some additional resources:

Spring 2019 Mood Board – yes spring 2019 is done by now but a lot of these looks have been around for several years and should be good for inspiration for awhile yet. There is a lot of raw wood, tin, burlap and looks that you could easily recreate with hardware store items.

Summer 2019 Mood Board – wood, tin, twine, rope, seaglass, oh yeah!

By Carolyn Hasenfratz Winkelmann

Carolyn was raised in a DIY household. From an early age she was encouraged to try everything from baking to soldering. These days she enjoys paper crafts, mixed media crafts, sewing, ceramics, mosaics, gardening, making things out of wood, home decor projects and upcycling found items into useable and decorative objects.

In the past Carolyn has worked in the retail, web design, and marketing fields. She now works part time at Schnarr's as a cashier, helps with the store's marketing efforts, writes her own blog and craft tutorials, and teaches craft classes. Carolyn’s father introduced her to hardware stores, his tools, and the “stuff stash” that every DIYer collects. It’s no surprise that time spent at Schnarr’s makes her giddy in the presence of things you can use to create! She still loves working on projects with her Dad and it's a treat to make a joint trip to the hardware store!

Carolyn is excited for the opportunity to help Schnarr's customers enrich their lives with creative and fun projects. She wants as many people as possible to experience the joy that DIY projects have brought to her life.

Other places to share Carolyn’s passion for creating:

Carolyn Hasenfratz Design Blog - http://www.chasenfratz.com/wp/

Carolyn's Stamp Store - http://www.carolynsstampstore.com/catalog/index.php

Carolyn's Pinterest Boards - https://www.pinterest.com/chasenfratz/

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