DIY: Milk Crate Bench Seat with Storage
The DIY gods were looking out for me today as I attempted this milk crate bench seat construction. After ‘finding’ some milk crates I was pleasantly surprised that the rest of the goodies required for the job were in my garage and already cut to size. HOW OFTEN DOES THAT HAPPEN!
For this project you will need two milk crates, a plank of board (anything that you can find that you want to recycle, or pick up at new bit at the hardware store and get them to cut it to size), six cable ties, foam to fit the top of your board, fabric of your choosing, and a staple gun. Getting the ingredients together will take far longer than the actual construction. In fact its such an easy project that you can probably finish it in the time it takes to boil the kettle.
Laying the crates side by side use your cable ties to fasten them together. I found that six were enough to make my two crates sturdy and stuck together. Cut the excess bits of cables ties off with some scissors.
Place your foam, then your board down on top of your fabric. I have chosen hessian but as I am planning to use my bench seat on the front porch I am putting a waterproof layer underneath the hessian. The waterproofer is a scuffed and damaged bit of plastic table cloth. Rather than see it go to waste I have placed the print on the inside so only the white will be visible through the hessian and now it gets a second least at life. Cut your fabric to allow for around a 15 cm overhang so you can fold your fabric over the edge for stapling, and fold the raw edge on the inside (like a hem) and staple it down creating a neat finish (see below). If you leave the raw edges out the hessian will fray.
Now you have a neatly stapled bench seat top with foamy goodness for your bottom the only thing left to do is set it up and decorate it. YAY! Thats the fun bit.
Reflecting on your awesomeness on top of your finished product is an optional extra but highly recommended. The photography of the reflection on top of your project may be unnecessary.
Seriously though, after the goofing around my crates were put to use for their intended purpose, boot storage. Not quite as pretty as the indoor decorating variety but it creates a practical entry for our house and a way to keep dirty work boots (mine and his) looking tidy. This bench seat could be used pretty much anywhere. It would make great budget friendly seating for a party or wedding and it would take very little time to knock it together.
Easy Crate Bench on Wheels
You have probably noticed by now how much I love working with wooden crates. It's amazing how much you can actually do with them. This time, I decided to create a bench on wheels. This has to be one of my favorite crate projects for home decor. It's fully functional and I use it for storage, seating and sometimes I roll it out to use as a coffee table. Stain it, paint it or keep it 'au natural'.
*Project Inspired by Stacy Davis.
Be sure to check out some other awesome DIY furniture makeover project ideas!
- Stair Treads x 2
- Wood Crates x 2
- Caster Wheels (with brakes) x 4
- Wood Glue
- Stain or Paint (optional)
Step 1: Attach four caster wheels to the bottom side of your stair tread. One per corner. I used wheels with brakes to ensure I had the option to lock it into place when being used.
Flip your stair tread over (wheel-side down). This is the base of your bench.
Step 2: Apply wood glue to the bottom side of each of your crates. Ensure it is the long side and to put glue on each slat.
Step 3: Place your first crate glue side down onto the stair tread.
Step 4: Place your first crate glue side down onto the stair tread.
Step 5: Apply wood glue to the top side of each crate. Ensure to put it along all of the slats.
Step 6: Place the second stair tread on top of the crates. This will be the top of your bench.
Step 7: Insert screws into all four corners of the top of the bench. This will provide more stability. Be sure to sand down your bench after all of the steps have been completed.
Stain, paint or leave your bench au-natural! I decided to stain my bench with charcoal stain and rough it up a bit for a more rustic look. I love the way it turned out!
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Howdy, Folks! I love blogging. I have to say. It’s fun, rewarding, therapeutic and a great way to meet some awesome people whom I would have never met otherwise. A while back I agreed to team up with some amazing bloggers for a project challenge. Basically, we all had to go buy crates from Michael’s and do something with them. Thus, The Great Crate Challenge was born….
I thought about it for a while, and after some deliberation, decided to take my crates and make a bench for either our foyer or much-neglected front porch.
Before I began, I developed a highly technical plan…
Then, I purchased my materials…
– 3 crates from Michael’s
– 1″ x 12″ x 12′ whitewood board (cut down to (2) 1″ x 10 1/4″ x 55″)
– Bolts, nuts, and washers to bolt the crates together
Other materials, which I already had…
– Wood screws
– Wood legs (which I found at Goodwill for practically pennies)…
I was cracking up as I left Goodwill that day because the cashier made such a stink that I’d found the legs before her. Heehee! Sorry, lady. Finders keepers. Anyhoo, I’d done some research prior to making my plan, and found that 17-18″ is a good height for a bench, thus these legs were too long. So, Joey cut them down with the miter saw to 4 inch lengths.
Once I had all of my materials together, I did a dry run in the foyer so that I could figure out how I wanted to paint/stain the bench (Lucas helped).
We placed various stained items nearby and tried to visualize which finish would look best. Lucas was no help in deciding. He liked everything. But somehow, I managed to convince my lovely cousin, Kristyn, to babysit AND brainstorm with me all in one day. It was super helpful to bounce ideas off her and I came out deciding to stain the top, bottom and legs and red-wash the crates to give the bench kind of an industrial-old-schoolhouse feel.
I sanded all of my pieces to take off any splinters or harsh edges. Then, I used Varathane’s Early American stain, applying 2 coats with dry time between to my whitewood pieces and legs. Once the stain had dried, I treated the stained elements with several coats of Formby’s Tung Oil as discussed in this post.
For the crates, I decided to use a red-wash technique so that the woodgrain would still show through. I poured some of this paint…
…into a cup and diluted it with equal parts water. I simply painted it on and let it dry. I experimented with wiping off the excess, but that caused the crates to take on a pinkish hue. Not good. Plus, the wood was so absorbent that simply painting it on didn’t leave drips anyways, so I just applied the paint and called it a day.
Once the components had dried, it was assembly time. Joey did most of it with some direction from me per my plan. We started by attaching the legs to the bottom. This was a bit of a different process for us because of the random Goodwill legs I’d found. The screws on top were much too long for the standard brackets sold at home improvement stores. Luckily, Joey figured out that the metal threading that held the feet in place on the bottoms of the legs (the part that he’d cut off) fit the screws perfectly. So, he removed them…
He drilled holes in the bottom board where the legs would go and played around with the components to determine the most secure way to attach them. Ultimately, he found that inserting the metal screw-catch thing (technical term) to the opposite side of the board allowed the legs to be attached more securely. (Note: If you simply purchase legs from Lowe’s or Home Depot or whatever, you can purchase metal brackets right along with them to secure the legs, easy-peasy.)
You can see here how the metal threads are on the top side. The screw catches the thread from the opposite direction holding the legs snugly to the board…
Next, he bolted the crates together using a clamp to keep everything flush and lined up…
Once the crates were bolted together, he screwed the crates to the bottom using wood screws….
…and repeated the process with the top…
Once we’d completed our new bench, I tried it in the foyer and then on the porch. And the porch won out. Big time. (HEADLINE: Porch Engages in Victory Dance While Foyer Weeps Rocking In Fetal Position)…
I absolutely love it! It turned out better than I imagined. I feel like the industrial schoolhouse vibe was totally achieved and it adds a nice punch of color to our porch. Plus, crates + bricks are sexy. Forhousestuff. Just sayin’. I still need to treat the bench with something more inclement-weather friendly now that it’s final placement is determined. Honestly, I really thought this guy’d end up in the foyer so I wasn’t too worried about that in the painting/treating stages. I’ll get that done soon to keep him looking healthy. In the meantime, I will spend my free time sitting and staring at him with a goofy smile on my face. Crate. Mission. Accomplished.
Update: It’s been approximately 9 months since we built this bench and I’m happy to report that it’s still going strong. It has remained in only outdoor covered areas (first our front porch, and now our covered back patio) and it has suffered no damage or weakening whatsoever and remains sturdy as can be. I can’t speak for how it would fare if left in exposed outdoor areas, but it seems to be perfectly fine if sheltered from the sun and rain. We still couldn’t be happier with this project. 🙂
So, that’s my contribution to The Great Crate Challenge! Now, check out the other awesome projects created by my fabulous bloggy friends….
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Seat crate bench
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