Remember this crate I bought 50,000 years ago? OK, it was really only 2.5 years ago. But that seems long enough to finish a project, amiright?
I knew I wanted to do something awesome with this crate I found at a flea market in upstate New York, so I bought some hairpin legs and got to work. But my project stalled for, well, 2.5 years — I couldn’t figure out a top for the darn thing! I thought of glass. I tried a cabinet door and a tray. Nothing seemed right.
We were using the crate table as an end table for a while with the cabinet door sitting on top when my sister moved and offered us her end table. Hers was finished, mine was not. It was a no brainer. So I moved my crate table, cabinet door and all, into our basement bathroom. It had an awkward space that needed something, and I was hoping this could be it.
I really liked the way it looked, minus the door, so when we started getting snowed in last weekend and an idea popped into my head I jumped on it.
Here was the plan: I would create brackets within the crate and set a table top inside of it! Brilliant!
So, I screwed cabinet shelf spacers/brackets into the crate so I could slip a table top inside.
They aren’t really supposed to go that way — you are supposed to drill holes into the cabinets then screw the brackets into each shelf — but it worked for this project so who cares!
Next up, I took scrap wood and started crafting the table top.
Before, I was hellbent on having a top that extended over the edges. As an end table, it made a lot of sense. I need a place for coasters and cups, remotes, phones, books — really any crap I need to set on the table while we watch TV and live in our faily room. But in the bathroom, I just needed something pretty with a little storage.
So I started to make a top that would rest inside the crate on the brackets. I measured three pieces of scrap wood, then trimmed them down to fit inside the crate. Once I got everything squared up, I used a nail gun the nail each board onto a board underneath.
Here’s the top:
And the support underneath:
The crate is old. Old old old. So I wanted to ding up the top a bit to match. Then, I aded droplets of black stain, and even drew black blotches with my calligraphy pen to date the top a bit more.
Then, I stained the top using a mixture of ebony and walnut Minwax stain. I have no idea what type of wood this is since I purchased it so long ago, but dang — that grain is prettyyyyy!
Once the top was dry, I dropped it in to see how it looked.
… and it looks great! The crate is super cool and it looks awesome in my bathroom.
The top easily lifts off by sticking your hands through the handles of the crate, so it is the perfect little storage piece.
Also, can we talk about the hairpin legs? I started this project so long ago I can’t find the pictures of the installation, but it was very easy. Simply screw it into the base of the crate, and voila! I didn’t seal them either, so they look worn, just like the metal on the crate.
On the whole, I love this project. It might have taken me wayyyy too long to finish it, but I am mighty happy with how it turned out.
If you find an old crate — or heck, even a new crate from Michaels — this is a great way to make a storage piece for your home.