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.

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Happy crafting!