Give Your Decor a Rustic Touch with Upcycled Crates

If you’re looking to add a touch of rustic charm to your decor, look no further than upcycled crates. These versatile and budget-friendly pieces can be transformed into unique and stylish accents for any room in your home. Whether you’re aiming for a farmhouse-inspired kitchen or a cozy living room, upcycled crates offer endless possibilities. From shelving units to coffee tables, their weathered wood and vintage appeal will bring warmth and character to your space. So, why spend a fortune on brand new furniture when you can give new life to old crates and create a one-of-a-kind look that’s both eco-friendly and stylish? Get ready to unleash your creativity and elevate your decor with the rustic touch of upcycled crates.

Give Your Decor a Rustic Touch with Upcycled Crates

This image is property of

check out our product reviews

Give Your Decor a Rustic Touch with Upcycled Crates

Crates are a versatile and affordable option for adding a rustic touch to your home decor. Whether you prefer the warmth of wooden crates, the industrial feel of metal crates, or the durability of plastic crates, there are plenty of options to choose from. In this article, we will explore the different types of crates available, where to find them for upcycling, how to prepare them for use, creative upcycling ideas for crates, rustic finishes you can apply, ways to incorporate crates in different rooms, how to mix and match them with other decor elements, DIY projects you can make using upcycled crates, repurposing ideas for outdoor decor, and tips for maintaining your upcycled crate decor.

1. Types of crates to choose from

Wooden crates

Wooden crates are a popular choice for upcycling due to their natural and timeless appeal. They have a warm and rustic charm that adds character to any space. You can find wooden crates in various sizes and designs, from simple and minimalist to intricately detailed. Some popular types of wooden crates include fruit crates, wine crates, and vintage milk crates.

Metal crates

If you’re looking for a more industrial and edgy feel, metal crates can be a great option. They offer a sleek and modern look that works well in contemporary and urban-inspired spaces. Metal crates are often sturdier and more durable than wooden ones, making them ideal for heavier items or outdoor use. They come in different finishes, such as galvanized steel or painted metal, allowing you to customize the look to fit your decor.

Plastic crates

For those who prioritize practicality and durability, plastic crates are an excellent choice. They are lightweight, easy to clean, and resistant to moisture and pests, making them perfect for storage in damp areas like basements or garages. Plastic crates are available in various colors and designs, allowing you to match them with your existing decor or create a vibrant and playful look.

check out our product reviews

2. Where to find crates for upcycling

Flea markets and antique stores

Flea markets and antique stores are treasure troves for finding unique and vintage crates. You can often find one-of-a-kind pieces with interesting history and character. These places are ideal for those who enjoy the thrill of the hunt and love the stories behind their home decor.

See also  Unique Ways to Upcycle Vintage Crates

Online marketplaces

In the digital age, online marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, and Facebook Marketplace have become go-to sources for finding crates for upcycling. These platforms allow you to search for specific types of crates, compare prices, and read reviews from other buyers. You can often find a wide variety of options, including new and used crates, delivered right to your doorstep.

Local businesses and warehouses

Many local businesses and warehouses use crates for storage and transportation. These places might be willing to sell or even give away their used crates. Visit your nearby stores, restaurants, or shipping companies, and inquire if they have any crates they no longer need. It’s a win-win situation – you get crates for upcycling, and they get rid of unused items.

DIY: Building your own crates

If you have some woodworking skills and tools, building your own crates can be a rewarding and cost-effective option. You can customize the design, size, and finish to perfectly match your decor. There are plenty of online tutorials and plans available that can guide you through the process, making it accessible even for beginners.

3. Preparing the crates for upcycling

Cleaning the crates

Before starting any upcycling project, it’s important to clean the crates properly. Remove any dirt, dust, or debris using a brush or vacuum cleaner. For wooden crates, wipe them down with a damp cloth or use a mild detergent if necessary. Plastic crates can be washed with soap and water, while metal crates may require a gentle scrub to remove any rust or stains.

Sanding and repairing any damages

Inspect the crates for any damages, such as broken slats or splintered edges. Use sandpaper to smooth out rough surfaces and repair any minor imperfections. For more significant damages, you may need to replace broken parts or reinforce weak areas with additional screws or nails. A little bit of love and care can bring new life to old and worn-out crates.

Applying a primer coat

If you plan to paint or stain your crates, applying a primer coat is essential for achieving a professional and long-lasting finish. Primer helps the paint or stain adhere better to the surface, prevents discoloration, and can even seal in any odors. Choose a primer that is suitable for the material of your crates, whether it’s wood, metal, or plastic, and apply it evenly using a brush or roller.

Give Your Decor a Rustic Touch with Upcycled Crates

This image is property of

4. Upcycling ideas for crates

Wall shelves

Turn your crates into unique wall shelves by mounting them horizontally or vertically. You can create a minimalist display by leaving the crates as they are or add additional shelves inside for extra storage. Arrange them in different configurations to showcase your favorite decor items, books, or plants.

Side tables

Stack a few crates and secure them together to create a rustic side table. You can use one crate as a tabletop or add a piece of wood or glass on top for a more polished look. The open spaces within the stacked crates can serve as storage for magazines, blankets, or other small items.


Group several crates together to build a charming bookcase. Arrange them vertically or horizontally, and secure them using screws or brackets. The varying sizes and heights of the crates will create visual interest and provide ample storage space for your beloved book collection.

Storage solutions

Crates are excellent for organizing and storing various items around your home. Attach wheels to the bottom of a crate to create a rolling storage cart for toys, crafts, or linens. Use smaller crates as drawer organizers in your closet or dresser. You can also stack crates underneath a console table for additional storage space.


Transform crates into beautiful planters to bring a touch of nature into your home. Line the bottom with plastic or landscape fabric to prevent soil leakage, then fill the crates with your favorite plants or herbs. Place them on the floor, hang them on the wall, or display them on a windowsill for a fresh and vibrant decor element.

5. Rustic finishes for upcycled crates

Distressing the wood

If you want to achieve a more weathered and aged look, distressing the wood of your crates is a great technique. Use sandpaper, a hammer, or even a chain to create dents, scratches, and uneven textures. You can also lightly apply a stain or paint and then sand it off in certain areas to mimic the natural wearing of the wood over time.

See also  Understanding the Importance of Preserving Historical Crate Details

Staining the wood

Staining the wood of your crates is an effective way to enhance their natural beauty and give them a richer color. Choose a stain that complements your decor style and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Apply multiple coats if desired and seal the stain with a clear protective finish to ensure longevity.

Painting techniques

Painting your crates can add a pop of color or bring a cohesive look to your space. You can use a paintbrush for a traditional finish or experiment with different painting techniques like sponge painting, stenciling, or even creating a distressed or ombre effect. Choose colors that match your existing decor or experiment with bold and vibrant hues for a statement piece.

Adding decorative hardware

To further personalize your upcycled crates, consider adding decorative hardware such as handles, knobs, or label holders. Vintage-inspired hardware can enhance the rustic charm of wooden crates, while sleek and modern options can complement the industrial feel of metal crates. These small details can give your crate projects a polished and finished look.

Give Your Decor a Rustic Touch with Upcycled Crates

This image is property of

6. Incorporating crates in different rooms

Living room

In the living room, crates can be used as unique coffee tables, TV stands, or storage units for blankets and throws. You can stack them vertically to create a rustic room divider or mount them on the wall as floating shelves for displaying your favorite decor items. Get creative and use crates as side or console tables to add extra surface space.


In the kitchen, crates can serve as open shelving for storing dishes, cookbooks, or glassware. Hang them on the wall to showcase your collection of mugs or use them as storage for fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also stack them horizontally to create a rustic kitchen island or build a makeshift pantry by arranging them in a row.


Crates can bring both practicality and style to your bedroom. Use them as nightstands to hold your bedside essentials or stack them vertically for a unique storage solution. Add casters to the bottom of the crates for a mobile storage option that can be easily moved around. You can even transform crates into a headboard by arranging them in a row behind your bed.


In the bathroom, crates can be repurposed as towel racks, shelving units, or even as a vanity. Mount them on the wall to keep towels neatly organized or stack them vertically for storing toiletries and extra supplies. Crates with open slats are great for holding rolled-up towels, while solid crates can hide away less aesthetically pleasing items.

Home office

Crates can add character to your home office while keeping your workspace organized. Use them as file organizers, magazine holders, or book storage. Stack them horizontally or vertically to create a custom desk or use them as under-desk storage. The versatility of crates allows you to adapt them to your specific needs and create a functional and stylish workspace.

7. Mixing and matching with other decor elements

Using crates with vintage furniture

Crates blend seamlessly with vintage furniture pieces, creating a cohesive and nostalgic ambiance. Pair wooden crates with antique chairs or a distressed dresser for a charming farmhouse look. Metal crates can complement mid-century modern furniture, while plastic crates can provide a pop of color when combined with retro-inspired pieces.

Combining crates with industrial accents

Embrace the industrial trend by incorporating crates with other industrial accents. Pair metal crates with exposed brick walls, concrete floors, or metal shelving units for an urban loft vibe. Add Edison bulb pendant lights or metal wire baskets to complete the industrial look. The combination of rough textures and utilitarian elements will give your space a rugged yet stylish feel.

Pairing crates with farmhouse-style decor

Farmhouse-style decor is all about simple and rustic charm, making crates an ideal companion. Combine wooden crates with neutral-colored furniture, distressed finishes, and vintage-inspired accessories. Add cozy textiles like buffalo check pillows or burlap table runners to create a cozy and inviting farmhouse atmosphere. Crates can serve as the perfect finishing touch for your farmhouse-style paradise.

See also  Transforming Vintage Crates: A Guide to Refinishing

8. DIY projects using upcycled crates

Coffee table

Create a unique coffee table by attaching four crates together, either with screws or strong adhesive. Leave the crates open to use the inner storage space, or add a piece of wood on top for a solid tabletop. You can also add caster wheels to make the coffee table easily movable.

Wine rack

Turn a wooden crate on its side and attach it securely to the wall to create a rustic wine rack. The slats of the crate will hold the wine bottles in place, while the inner space can be used to store wine glasses or other bar accessories. Paint or stain the crate to match your decor or leave it as is for a raw and authentic look.

Kitchen island

Combine multiple crates to build a DIY kitchen island with added storage. Stack them horizontally and secure them together using screws or brackets. You can customize the size and configuration based on your kitchen layout and needs. Finish the top with a durable material like marble or butcher block for a functional and stylish workspace.

Toy storage

Kids’ toys can quickly take over any room, but with upcycled crates, you can create an organized and visually appealing toy storage solution. Stack multiple crates vertically and attach them to the wall, creating compartments for different types of toys. Label each crate so that kids can easily find and put away their toys, fostering independence and responsibility.

Pet bed

Give your furry friend a cozy and stylish place to relax by repurposing a crate into a pet bed. Remove one side of a wooden crate and add a soft cushion or pet bed insert. Paint or stain the crate to match your decor and place it in a corner or by a window where your pet likes to unwind. It’s a simple DIY project that will make your pet feel right at home.

9. Repurposing crates for outdoor decor

Garden planters

Add a rustic touch to your garden or patio by using crates as planters. Line the bottom with plastic to prevent soil drainage, fill them with your favorite flowers or herbs, and place them in sunny spots. You can stack crates of different sizes for a tiered planter look or hang them on the wall for vertical gardening.

Patio storage

Outdoor seating areas often lack storage space, but with upcycled crates, you can solve this problem stylishly. Place crates underneath benches or outdoor sofas to keep cushions, throws, or gardening tools. You can even create a storage coffee table by repurposing a crate and adding a tabletop made of rugged materials like stone or weather-resistant wood.

Outdoor seating

Use large wooden crates as additional seating options in your outdoor space. Simply place cushions or weather-resistant pillows on top, and you have instant seating for guests. Arrange the crates in different configurations to create versatile seating arrangements, such as an L-shape or a circle around a fire pit.

Tool shed organization

Keep your tools and gardening supplies neatly organized in your shed with the help of crates. Use small crates to store hand tools and larger crates for bigger items like watering cans or pots. Attach them to the walls or stack them on shelves to maximize vertical space in your shed. With the added organization, your gardening tasks will become more efficient and enjoyable.

10. Tips for maintaining upcycled crate decor

Regular cleaning and dusting

To keep your upcycled crate decor looking its best, make sure to regularly clean and dust them. Use a soft cloth or duster to remove dust and debris, paying attention to any intricate details or hard-to-reach areas. For wooden crates, you can use a wood cleaner or polish occasionally to prevent drying out or warping.

Avoiding direct sunlight exposure

Sunlight can fade and damage the color and finish of your upcycled crates over time. If your crates are placed near windows or in outdoor spaces, consider applying a clear protective coat with UV resistance. This will help to preserve the integrity of the wood or prevent discoloration of painted surfaces.

Repairing any damages promptly

Accidents happen, and your upcycled crates may sometimes get damaged or experience wear and tear. It’s essential to address any damages promptly to prevent them from worsening. Repair broken slats, tighten loose screws or nails, and touch up scratches or chips with matching paint or stain. Regular maintenance will ensure that your upcycled crate decor lasts for many years to come.

By exploring the various types of crates, finding unique sources to upcycle them, preparing them for use, discovering creative upcycling ideas, applying rustic finishes, incorporating them into different rooms, mixing and matching them with other decor elements, embarking on DIY projects, repurposing them for outdoor use, and maintaining them properly, you can successfully give your decor a rustic touch with upcycled crates. Whether you choose to go for the warmth of wooden crates, the industrial feel of metal crates, or the practicality of plastic crates, let your creativity soar, and enjoy the process of transforming humble crates into stunning pieces of functional and sustainable decor.

check out our product reviews

Hi, I'm, the author behind this amazing website! At, I aim to bring you the best selection of crates for all your needs. Whether you're in search of plastic, dog, wooden, or vintage crates, you'll find them all here. With a strong focus on DIY, storage, and decor, I provide you with creative crate ideas through my helpful blogs. Need some guidance? No worries! You'll also find articles, guides, and product reviews to assist you in finding the perfect crate. Discover the wonders of crates at and shop with ease for all your crate needs!

Back to top