Wednesday, February 12, 2014

DIY: Wood and Screen Wire Crate


This is the sweetest little crate.  It’s made a bit differently than the basic all wood crate because we have inserted screenwire on the side panels.  At the bottom of this tutorial I have included links to get some of the supplies needed for this project if you need some things you don't have.

You will need:
36--- 12” paint sticks

Hand saw to cut the lengths of the paint sticks (a mitre box will help with the 45 degree angle we will be cutting)

screen wire---- 4 panels 11 1/2”x 5 1/2”



wood burning tool with a sharp point attachment (to burn the holes in the side panels for lacing the corners)

acrylic paint and 1” brush

stencil of your choice (I used a lacey paper doily)

small wire nails--- 1/2 x 19 and hammer

Upholstery needle (or a needle with a large enough hole to thread the hemp through)

Let’s build a crate:
Hand saw all the paint sticks to size. Once you have cut all the pieces you will end up with……………..

8……6” pieces (saw 4 in half, these are the ends of the side panels)

8……3 3/4” pieces (these pieces fit on the end pieces of the side panels to enable the screenwire to lay flat)

4……4” pieces with a 45 degree angle on both ends  (these are braces for the bottom of your crate)

2……12” pieces with a 45 degree angle on both ends (these are additional braces for the bottom of your crate)

Lay out and begin building:
1.  Build the side panels of your crate.

swirecrate3 (640x346)

Using the eight 6” sticks lay them out flat, put a dot of glue on one side at the top and bottom of the sticks.  Carefully lay a 12” stick across the top of two of the sticks and across the bottom of the same two sticks, building a 12” x 6” frame for the side panels.  Build 4 of these panels.

swirecrate4 (640x354)

Glue two of the 3 3/4 “ sticks we cut and place them on top of the two 6” pieces of the side panels between the top and bottom 12” sections.  See below…………..

swirecrate7 (640x497)                              swirecrate8 (640x634)

swirecrate9 (551x640)

Cut 4 screen wire panels 11 1/2” wide x 5 1/2” long.
Run a line of glue all the way around the side panel frame we just built.
Lay the screen wire panel over the top of the glue.

swirecrate6 (640x373)

Using two more 12” sticks, lay one over the top of the screen wire panel and one over the bottom, keeping all edges flush.

Once the glue has dried, nail the four corners on both sides.  When one side is nailed, turn the panel over and nail the other side, keeping the nails as close together as you can.  If there are any sharp tips of the nails protruding, clip them off with a wire cutter or beat them down with your hammer.

swirecrate12 (640x478)

You have built all four side panels of your crate. Yay!

With the wood burning tool, burn three holes  in the sides of each panel through the 6” pieces and 3 3/4” pieces.  Making sure the holes go completely through and centering them underneath the top 12” piece of the panel and just above the bottom 12” piece of the panel.  We will be lacing them together after we build the crate.

swirecrate22 (478x640)

Optional step:  At this point if you’d like to paint a design on your screen wire this is the time.  I used paper doilies as a stencil and just kind of blotted around, but you can get as detailed as you like with this step.

Let’s put the four panels together.
Put glue on the very side edge at the top and the bottom of one panel.  Attach another panel and tape the edges on the outside of the panel together.  Go ahead and join the other two panels to these two the same way.  Make sure that which ever panel is on the outside, the panel directly opposite to it is also on the the outside or this will throw your measurements off for the bottom of the crate.

swirecrate15 (640x377)

Once all four sides are joined, check to make sure the bottom, top and sides are as flush with each other as you can get them.  Put more tape on as you adjust to keep them in place.

Before it dries we will put the bottom in to help it squared up.

Using the four pieces that we cut 4” long and then put a 45 degree angle at each end, glue the edge of the bottom side of these pieces and set on the paint stick at the bottom of each panel on the inside of your crate.  Don’t push it up against the screen wire or it will push the wire and stretch it, which is unsightly.

swirecrate18 (640x478)

We also cut 45 degree angles in two 12” paint sticks, glue and place them in the same way.  We are creating a brace for our bottom.

swirecrate19 (640x478)

Once this is accomplished run a line of glue over the top of each of the pieces with the angles we just attached.

swirecrate21 (640x522)

Now lay the bottom of the crate placing one 12” stick at a time on top of these braces, beginning at the corners and pushing them snuggly into the corners.  You will use ten, 12” sticks for the bottom.  Careful not to poke the screen wire, these sticks will fit one way and not the other.  This is why we had to make the brace first, to give the paint sticks something to lay on.

Once dry, you are ready  to lace the sides together.  Thread the one  end of the hemp through the needle.  Looking at the crate upside down, go in from one of the openings at the bottom, pull the thread up and into the first hole, (leaving enough thread to tie a knot with) then through the next hole up on the opposite side, then through the top hole an the opposite side.  Turn and start sewing downward making X’s.  Bring the needle back down through the same hole at the bottom of the crate where we first began, tie a knot with both strings and glue.  Do all four corners.

DSCF1753 (478x640)                                  swirecrate23 (478x640)

All that’s left to do is paint your crate.  I use white and just washed with a very watered down mixture.  If it’s too light you can always go back and add another light coat till you get the coverage you desire.

Get your supplies here:

Screen Wire
New York Wire 33105 Fiberglass Screening, 36-Inch by 84-Inch, Charcoal

Acrylic Craft Paint
Plaid PROMOABI Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint, 2-Ounce, Best Selling Colors I

One Package of 400 feet 100% Natural Hemp Cord #20

Wood Burning Tool
Stanley 20-600 Clamping Mitre Box with Saw

Wood Burning Kit
Walnut Hollow Creative Woodburner Value Pen

Paint Sticks
Paint Sticks - (Wooden Stirring Paddles), These are the Best Hardwood Paint Stirrers for Mixing, Garden Markers, Crafts, Hand Fans; Same Professional Grade Stick Henry was using in the 1930s, Expertly Made in the State of Maine

ALEENES 15599 All Purpose Glue, 8-Ounce

Wire Nails
National Hardware V7710 1/2" x 19 Ga. Wire Nails in Galvanized  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

DIY Easy and Inexpensive Crate

DSCF1721 (640x454)

This little crate will hold quite a few light weight items.  You can fill them and stack them, you can hang them on the wall and use as shelves and you can even use them in place of those expensive baskets to sit on shelves for organization.  I’m itching to decorate them, but I was anxious to see what everybody thought of them first.  I’ll decorate one later.

You will be surprised that all you need for this crafty crate is paint sticks and hemp.  The time it takes for the glue to dry is the longest process of all.  But necessary.

Supplies needed:
35--- 12” paint sticks  (get your paint sticks here)  
4--- 96” long strands of hemp (384”)
hand saw
masking tape

Painting your crate is optional, but if you do, I used acrylic craft paint.
This will take some time between each step to let the glue dry, but it is still very easy to make.

Let’s get started:

1.  Mark one paint stick at 6”.  Stack 4 sticks together with the marked one on top and saw into.  You will end up with eight 6” sticks to build the corners and sides of the crate.

Mark and saw…………
pscrate1 (640x152)                                 pscrate2 (640x410)

2.  Lay out the 6” corner pieces by two’s, 12” apart from each outside edge.

pscrate3 (640x370)

3.  Position one 12” stick at the top of the two 6” corner pieces making sure the top and side edges are flush, glue in place.  Position another 12” stick at the bottom of the 6” corner pieces also making sure the bottom edges and side edges are flush, then glue in place.  In the picture below the first one is done demonstrating this step.  Lay out the remaining 6” pieces, to build the rest of them at the same time.  This is also helpful when you begin step #4.

pscrate4 (478x640)

4.  When the glue from step #3 is dry you will be able to move the frames a bit to get them all lined up evenly.  Once you have that accomplished, position two more 12” sticks onto each section.  Since you have them all lined up together, you will be able to make sure that all your tiers will match when we put these pieces together. Build four total.

pscrate5 (478x640)

It is very important that you let this glue dry completely because we will be picking them up and putting them together next, so we need them to remain in tact.

5.  Once the glue has completely dried from step #4, pick up two of the sides.  Run a line of glue along the very side edge of one of the sides you built.  Then attach it to the very inside edge of the next side panel.

pscrate6 (640x478)                     pscrate7 (594x640)

Using masking tape, tape each stick to the other at the outside corners to keep them tight while the glue dries.

Go ahead and put all four sides together and tape tightly.  Remember, the side panel that is on the outside of the adjoining panel,  should be on the outside of the next panel you join it to.

Retighten and adjust any seams after all four panels are together.

pscrate8 (640x478)

6.  Look down into the four sides and eye it to make sure it looks square.  If not adjust.  Then lay three 12” paint sticks on top of the bottom tier of two of the side panels.  They will lay just on top of two of the bottom tiers.  One way they will be too short and the other way they will fit.  Lay two of them as close to the corner as you can get and lay the third one in the middle.  Put a line of glue on the bottom at each edge and glue in place.

pscrate12 (640x91)                     pscrate13 (640x478)

(No need to wait on this glue to dry before continuing on to step #7)

7.  Next put a dot of glue on each of the three 12” pieces you just glued on and place another 12” piece on top of these fitting it snug into the corners  We are making the bottom of the crate.  Do this on the other side too, being sure to fit the piece snug into the corner.

pscrate14 (478x640)                              pscrate17 (640x473)

Once you have the two corner pieces in place continue on building the bottom.  Draw a line of glue all the way across the three pieces that are resting on the bottom tier of your side panel and lay the 12” sticks beside each other until you have the bottom complete.  It won’t be solid, you will use 10 pieces to complete the bottom from corner to corner.  Lay something flat and heavy inside the crate and wait for the glue to dry completely before continuing on to step #8.

8.  Once the glue is dry, you will be able to pick up the crate to see how sturdy it is.  But to add to the stability we are going to wrap the corners with hemp before we paint it.  Cut four strands of hemp 96” long.  You will use one strand per corner.  Start by looking down into the inside of the crate and threading the strand through the opening between the corner piece and the inside bottom of the crate.  Pull the strand through, turn the crate upside down, tape the strand of hemp to the stick that we begin building the bottom of the crate with. (Remember there were three that sat just on the edge of the bottom tier of the side panel.)

pscrate19 (640x478)          pscrate19a (640x478)

Begin wrapping each corner between the sticks that make up the sides, when you have one section wrapped,  angle the strand upward inside the crate and wrap the next spot and continue on like this until the top corner spot is wrapped.  Then angle down crisscrossing inside the crate til you get back to the bottom.

pscrate20 (640x478)          pscrate21 (640x478)

  Slip the strand through the same hole where we started, holding it tightly. Turn the crate upside down again, pull up the tape underneath the crate, dab glue and tape both strands down tightly.

pscrate22 (640x478)

Continue on to wrap all four corners this way.

9.  Once all four corners are wrapped, snip the excess hemp just past the taped edge.  Dot glue on the top of the tape and hemp, lay one 12” paint stick across the strands, this should also glue the strands at the opposite corner.

pscrate23 (640x478)           pscrate24 (640x478)
                                                    pscrate25 (640x478)

Lay the flat heavy object you used earlier on top of these two sticks until the glue is dry.  Once the glue is dry your crate is complete.  Painting is optional of course, but if you do choose to paint it, I used a watered down acrylic paint.  It takes a while to paint it, there are a lot of little nooks and crannies to get to.  But I really liked mine painted.

I used black with a little pale green here and there on one and turquoise on the other.  I hope you enjoyed making this crate.  If the instructions are confusing to you, you are welcome to email me or go to my facebook page and holler at me.  I would be glad to help in any way I can.

Hang them on the wall or stack them on top of each other, there are lots of useful things you can do with these crates.  They are great for organizing things and getting some clutter up off the tables and out of the corners.  Well, I'm sure you know what I mean.

DSCF1724 (492x640)          DSCF1722 (640x596)

Happy crafting!

Monday, February 3, 2014

DIY Kitchen Wall Organizer


This DIY craft is so economical and pretty too!  It’s so easy to make, you’ll want to make some for your friends to give as gifts.  One of the best things about this craft is, you can make it for any room you desire, even the closet.  You can hang, jewelry, belts, scarfs, kitchen utensils or any other light weight items you have you need to organize.

You will need:
13 paint sticks 12” long
small hooks
decorative items to embellish your organizer (I used wood buttons)

Lets make it…………………..
1.  Arrange 4 paint sticks into a square, apply glue at points where the sticks touch each other.  Lay two down and then two on top like in the picture below.


2.  Lay 4 more paint sticks evenly over the top of the two paint sticks that make up the bottom layer.  Like this…….. then glue in place.


3.  Lay 3 paint sticks across the front horizontally, letting your middle stick be centered and then the top and bottom sticks placed evenly above and below the center stick, like this………………then glue in place.


4.  When the glue dries, lay two sticks behind your entire piece and center them between the three sticks that are the very front of your organizer……………. like this, then glue in place.


5.  Turn the whole piece over, back side showing and apply the type of hanger you like to hang it by.  I use wire for everything.

6.  Use whatever colors of paint you desire to match the room where you are going to use the organizer.  I use acrylic paint and water it down so much that sometimes it looks like I’m just putting water on and build my colors til I get the tints and depth I like.  This piece is washed with orange and blue.

7.  Use small hooks and place them around on your organizer where there will be space between the hooks to give your items room to hang properly.  Place the hooks in areas where you will be going through at least two paint sticks.  Be careful doing this, if you try to get the hooks to tight, you could bust the paint sticks.

8.  Embellish your organizer with whatever fun and happy tidbits you can find.  I use wood buttons in flower shapes.

Remember this is to hang light weight items only.


I hope you try this.  If you do I’d love to see what you come up with and what you decided to hang on it.

If you need some paint sticks, you can get them here.
  Perfect Stix PAINT12 Birchwood Paint Paddle Stick, 12" Length (Pack of 100)

You might need some paint too.
  Plaid PROMOABI Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint, 2-Ounce, Best Selling Colors I

Here's the glue I used.
  ALEENES 15599 All Purpose Glue, 8-Ounce

Happy Crafting!