Monday, June 11, 2012

Old Crate Planter Boxes- Tutorial!

As Promised... Here's the tutorial on how I built the Old Crates. 

These crates really weren't too bad to build, they just take some forward thinking at some points.

Here's the Materials:

3-4 cedar fence boards.  I bought the pre-stained cedar boards at Lowe's.
2 -  1x3's   used for cross boards
1 board for the bottom.  (I used scrap board that I had leftover from other projects)
1 box of handles for the sides
1 box of 1 1/8" screws for securing cross bars 
1 tube of liquid nails or some type of glue adhesive used for wood working

Nail gun and 2" long nails to secure sides and bottom
  (I think long grabber screws could work instead of a nail gun, they will just show from the outside of the box.)

Here is some pictures of the boards needed and cuts to be made:

Now you need to build your sides of the box and the ends of the box. You will take 2 of the cedar boards cut to 18.5 inches and lay them side by side.  They will need cross bars to fasten them together.  So now you will need to take and lay them out, make sure your cross bars come in from the edge on the sides and the up from the bottom, because your end boards will have cross bars too that will need to have a snug fit on the sides and will also need to allow room for the bottom board to fit.  Here's some examples...

Board Placement:

before you fasten, this is where you need to do some forward thinking:  I will put on a couple more pictures to demonstrate why...

Once you have your cross bar placement figured out for your sides,  use some adhesive on the cross bars,

 lay them back down and use some screws to secure them.  I used 1 1/8" screws so they would not break through to the outside of the boxes.  

Now build your other side the same way.

Once your sides are built, then lay out your end boards with the cross bars that are cut smaller width.  Figure out your placement.  Look at the figures above and below to see about cross bar placement.  Remember they need to come in enough from the edge, not in so far that you don't have room to put anchor screws for your side handles, and up enough for the bottom board to fit.

 Once you have your placement, use your adhesive and screws to fasten your cross bars on the ends.  

Now you need to cut your bottom board.  I ripped mine on the table saw and then used my miter saw to cut the length.  Whatever saw works best for the type of board you have for the bottom board. 
Once you have your bottom board cut, place your side boards and end boards up around your bottom board to make sure your placement is correct and your have a snug fit.  Hopefully your cross bars are raised up enough to allow for your bottom board to fit in there.

Once you have all of this secured, clamp and nail your bottom board to your side boards and end boards all along the sides and bottom edges.  

Once your box is built.  You will want to put your handles on. 
 This is where you need to have the room allowed on the inside for your anchor screws to fit to hold your handles. 

Place your handles on and your box is built!

Now this is how I finished my boxes and where I did my stencils.  I wanted them to look like I found them and they were used for a company at some time.  So I took my kids' middle names and numbers that correspond to their birthday, age, etc.  and scrambled them up so they would have hidden meaning to us.  I did this for each of my boxes and for all of my kids.  Created this on my Silhouette studio software, printed it out on contact paper, peeled off the paper, laid it out where I wanted it on the box, and painted away!

Take off paper to reveal...
I next drilled a couple holes in the bottom for drainage...

lined the boxes with plastic....

added some gravel to help with drainage...

Filled them with soil.  Found some fun flowers at the nursery, figured out my placement of how I wanted the flowers and planted!  Done!  I have been so thrilled with the way they turned out!  

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you make some boxes, I hope you enjoy them too!  I am thinking that once the summer is over, I will use these crates for other things too for decor!  Yippie!

With much Love & Gratitude,


  1. Michelle I love your post!!! you do such a great job. Keep it up girl.

    Thanks again Peggy

  2. I’m definitely going to look into it. Thank you!

  3. I finally found great post here. Thank you!

  4. our article has answered the question I was wondering about!

  5. Youre so right. Im there with you. Thank you.

  6. Hi, all is going well here and of course every one is sharing facts, that's really fine, keep up writing

  7. I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it.

  8. This article was written by a real thinking writer without a doubt.


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