Friday, April 29, 2016

DIY Simple Chalkboard Crate

Lately, I have been trying to change out some of my storage containers in my house. I thought about purchasing a few wood crates, but after looking at them I knew I could build a better crate at a cheaper price. If you are looking for a simple storage solution, this may be the perfect project for you!

I had started designing one on my own, but then I noticed that Ana White had a few plans on her site. I decided to base it on her Chalkboard Produce Crate. I was able to make mine out of scrap wood that I already had, so it was free for me. If you had to buy all the wood, you could still build it for under $5 and this crate is pretty big.

I did not follow the plan exactly, but it is based on that plan. Here are the steps that I took to make mine. 

Needed materials:
1 - 1" x 2" x 8'

2 - 1" x 3" x 8'
1/4" plywood - if you don't have scraps you could get away with buying a 2' x 2' piece.

1" spade drill bit
Jig Saw
Kreg Jig 
1 1/4" pocket hole screws

Wood glue
3/4" finishing nails 
Wood filler
Sander or sandpaper
Chalkboard paint
Paint or stain of your choice

Step 1: Cut your boards.

Needed Cuts:
2 - 1" x 3" at 13" (chalkboard side tops)
4 - 1" x 2" at 5" (chalkboard side sides)
2 - 1" x 2" at 13" (chalkboard side bottoms)
6 - 1" x 3" at 15 3/4" (slat sides)
1 - 1/4" plywood at 17 1/4" x 13" (crate bottom)
2 - 1/4" plywood at 7 1/4" x 11 1/2" (chalkboards) 

*Note: If you bought a 2' x 2' piece of plywood, cut the bottom piece first. Then cut the 2 smaller pieces. The opening for the chalkboard will be 10" x 5", so just make sure it is larger than the opening. 

Step 2: Drill two 1" holes in the chalkboard side tops. Drill the holes about 5" in from the ends and centered between the top and bottom.

Step 3: Use your jig saw to cut from one hole to the other to form the handles. I am not great with the jig saw. Hopefully, you are better at it than I am!

Step 4: Using a Kreg jig set at the 3/4" setting, drill pocket holes in each end of the chalkboard side sides.

Step 5: Using the pocket hole screws and glue, attach the side pieces to the handle piece - one on each end. 

Step 6: Using the pocket hole screws and glue, attach the side pieces to the chalkboard side bottom pieces - one on each end. 

Step 7: Using a Kreg jig set at the 3/4" setting, drill pocket holes in each end of the slats.

Step 8: Using the pocket hole screws and glue, attach the slats to the chalkboard sides. I did not leave a gap between the slats. but you may choose to do that.

Step 9: Using finishing nails and glue, attach the bottom.

Step 10: Fill any holes with wood filler.

Step 11: Sand all surfaces.

Step 12: Paint your chalkboards. Paint one side of each board with the chalkboard paint and paint or stain the other side to match whatever the rest of your crate is going to be painted.

Step 13: Paint or stain the crate.

Step 14: Once everything is dry, use glue to attach the two chalkboards.

Step 12: Find the perfect place for your new crate!

This is really easy to make and they can be used for so many different things! I like this crate so much that I am actually planning on making a bunch of these of different sizes for different purposes.

Here are just a few ideas for these crates, but the possibilities are endless!

Welcome your out of town guests with a crate full of supplies that they may need while visiting.

Use a crate to corral the kid's or dog's toys. You could even attach some casters to make it easy for the kids to roll around.

Store extra blankets in a crate in the guest bedroom. 

This crate is quite large. If you need a different size, just increase or decrease the length of the boards or change the size of the boards to meet your specific needs.

If you decide to make one of your own, I would love to see it! Have fun building!