Tuesday, March 1, 2011

DIY Vintage Crate Shelving Unit and "C2T39"

About a month ago, I wrote a post about our Vintage Styled Storage Solution for my Closet Room.  Again, here are a couple of my favorite images for the look I was going for...
 And I love the wheels on this little guy...
Since I finally finished the 5 remaining DIY Vintage Crates it was time to make a shelving unit out of all 6 crates! 

First, lets take a look at what we are going to make first.  This is what the base for the shelving unit will look like (after cutting).  We used left over wood that was in our basement from other projects and I picked up 4 wheel casters from Home Depot for about $5 each.
So to back up, Alex measured the length of the crates and did measurements on where to cut the wood.
Then used his saw to cut each piece.
Here is what the cut pieces of wood looked like when he lined them up as the base for the unit.
He used screws in each corner for a stronger hold.
Then hammered finishing nails into the mid sections where the crates sat next to each other.
Action shot: securing those smaller wood pieces that will act as the base for the caster wheels.
To attach the casters, Alex used liquid nails since we couldn't find any screws that would work with the casters (all of our spare screws were way too long or had tiny heads).
Then he stuck those suckers on!
Once dry, you flip it over, add crates to the top and this is what you end up with!  I plan to stain the rest of the base that we attached so it will look more uniform (just got to eager to see how it looked!).
Here's another look.  I did them lengthwise to increase the storage room. 
And here's a closer look at the 2nd DIY Vintage Inspired Crate (the top one) that I painted letters and numbers on. (click here to see the DIY steps to make your own!).

In case you are curious about this letter/ number combination and its sentimental meaning here is a crazy story about "C2T39". 
Back in 2005 I met Alex one day at work, 5 days later I found out he had gotten in a serious accident on his dirt bike. He had broken his neck, back, shoulder, shoulder blade, collarbone, sternum, a bunch of ribs, an elbow, and really, almost lost his life. He was out jumping sand dunes at Lake Michigan and hit a truck head on. C2, T3, T9 are the vertibrae that he broke. After he laid in a hospital bed for about 2 months, the next time I saw him he was in a halo brace and working on recovering from all the pain his body went through. He also had a brand new perspective on life. I spent a lot of time after that listening to his stories of what the whole experience was like, and overall we grew a lot closer. Hope you liked that crazy story!  Alex really is amazing!

Awkward segway back to the project...

I hope to get the rest of my Closet Room decorated this weekend, then I hope I can finally share afters! What do you think of the shelving unit?

*** We just linked up to the Lettered Cottage's How To's Day Linky Party!***

The Lettered Cottage


  1. I think the shelving unit is absolutely awesome! Really. I love these, You did great my friend! You and hubby.

  2. Love that you added the sentimental to the crates. They turned out great and I bet you will love the storage.

  3. i LOVE this!!!! OMG!! what a great project!!! I also love the sentimental touch you put on them (i'm all about adding something personal to my projects!!)

    I have always wanted to name my future daughter Sadie- Ordy says it's a dog's name... you have further confirmed it! On to the name book! haha

  4. Looks great!! That's super cool that all the letters and numbers mean something to you. I don't mean to suggest more work for ya, but have you thought about staining the new wood to match the crates?

  5. Mike & Katrina- yes! I plan to stain the new wood, I knew someone would catch that! I was very eager to get it set up in the room and see how everything looked. But once we get more of the decor in there I will finish staining. Totally sick of working on this room :)

  6. Love them! They look great! Can't wait to see the closet reveal!

  7. looks great!! i love hearing the stories behind the stenciling!

    and i'm sooo impressed with how the two of you can take an image you see and recreate it for yourselves!! if you ever find a way to bottle that up... do send me some, ok?? :)

  8. There is a versatile blog award for you on my blog if you're interested!


  9. New to your blog, was looking for "vintage inspired caster wheels" and voila! your amazing DIY came up!! Love the project and hoping to build a coffee table with caster wheels for our Living room!

    Thanks for your ideas :)
    Follow me at http://sassafrassandsouthernness.blogspot.com/

  10. Oh my...this looks outstanding...love this style!!! Hop over and show it off at my party...hope to see ya there:)


  11. Love the shelves!! So many ways to use them. They turned out beautiful!

  12. love these!! wish I had some crates :)

  13. This is so cool!! I thinl this would look great in my sons room. I'll have to see if grandpa is up for a woodworking project. :)

  14. I LOVE it! I have some amazing old crates that I've collected over the years. I have some hanging on the walls as shelving but have some many left over that I have NO idea what to do with. You have TOTALLY inspired me to do something creative the remaining ones. I'm thinking rolling bench (one is HUGE and has a lid!)...

  15. Hi Carla and Alex
    Im lilly in France.I love your blog, its one of the first that caught my attention when I started seaching how to redo furniture and its a classic, impressive.This crate model was what really did it for me.Youve inspired me to start my own blog and ill be following yours, thnx a lot.
    have a great day

  16. Where do you find crates like that? I would love to make a shelving unit for my new apartment. When searching, your blog caught my attention. It inspired me to think outside of the box, so to speak.

    1. I got the crates at JoAnne's Craft & Fabric store. You can find them at Michaels too, and online at both :) click the link at the beginning of the post and it shows how I made the crates & all the info!

  17. Putting shelves on casters and wheels is so smart!


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