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Monday, May 13, 2013

How to Build an Old Crate Bookshelf


Arts, crafts and hobbies can be a wonderful addition to any person’s life. They provide an outlet for creative juices, allow for personal expression, enhance skills and give one a sense of accomplishment. With all such creative endeavors it is a process of learning. Things rarely turn out perfect but do provide some insight into how to make the next one better or allow for the transference of skills to other areas. This post is about how to build a bookshelf from two crates and a few pieces of wood. 

The process is relatively simple and can be done in any small space. With a garage and proper equipment it is possible to do much more in terms of creative and more professional works. However, with just about any size space you can put together something simple like this bookshelf with whatever color or design you prefer. 

The bookshelf is very steady and I was actually able to lift it full of books without any problems with the joints, bindings, or any other type of loosening. This strength is a benefit because it is possible to put heavier stuff on the shelves without worrying about potential damage. You should have no problem with heavy books. 

Step 1: Find and paint (or sand and stain) two crates. You may find these for free or purchase them. 

Step 2: Cut four 1”X 2” boards (2 on either side) to the length of the two crates, a center shelf area, and 4” for the legs.

Step 3: Paint the rest of the shelf. I found it easier to have all the parts painted before adding them. You may paint or place designs on the side to make it more decorative. 

Step 4: If you haven't done so assemble your boards to the two crates. You should use a proper screw to create appropriate strength. Nails are likely to pull out.

Step 5: Add cut potato bag or other cloth to the sides. It isn’t a necessary step but you might want to complete it to create a more decorative look. 

Step 6: Place a felt shoe, wheels, or wrapping on the bottom of the legs to avoid scratching the floor or other surfaces. 

You are done!

The total cost is approximately $47 assuming you bought all of the items. If you found your own crates it would tally out to under $25.

$12X2 Crates
$5 for two boards cut into four pieces.
$5 paint
$5 sprays to make it shinny (not necessary if you want an antique look).
$3 shoe or felt bottom
$5 potato bag

Cost Comparison: Browsing the Internet you can find a number of similar examples but nothing I found was exactly the same. Such products run for $120 to $250 depending on the size and quality of the crates. I have seen some large and well done one's for $800. In many cases these crates have been refurbished to create a rustic look. You will have to include shipping as well. If you can get away with this simple design for $25 you have done well (just find your crates).

I'm thinking of selling this one so send me an email with an offer if you are are interested. I would like to work on something else. muradabel@gmail.com

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