Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tuscan Crate

This has to be one of my top favorite projects to date!

Custom Planter Crate

It all started when…..

During my trip to NY, my MIL gave me a plant she had setting on her porch after I mentioned  that I liked it.  Funny thing is that she received it as a gift when she mentioned to her friend that she liked it!  Whoever said New Yorkers aren’t nice?!?!

Sago Palm

Here is my new plant, a Sago Palm.

Tuscan Style Magazine

Last Friday, the Hubs and I had a date night and one of the things that we both love to do is visit the book store.  We’re not nerds, we just like to kill time at the book store between eating dinner and waiting for the movie to start.  Well, I just had to have this magazine even if it was over-priced!  As you can see from my stickies, I am getting a lot of ideas and inspiration…. like this project! 

I saw not one but three plants potted in the most gorgeous crates.

Crate pieces

Low and behold, my father had this pile sitting on one of his work benches the very same weekend.  What luck!!!  He had ordered a new piece of equipment and it was shipped in a crate!  Yes, this project was meant to be!  Wouldn’t you agree?

Okay- so my father opens crates like a two year old opening their presents on Christmas!  But that’s okay because I wanted to customize it and make it the perfect size for my new plant.

DIY Crate

I started by cutting all the sides and 4 small pieces that will be used to anchor the corners.  Check to make sure everything lines up.

adding handles to DIY Crate

I wanted to cut out handles on the sides.  With a pencil, I outlined where the handles will be, drilled a hole big enough so that I could get the zig-saw blade in, and cut out the handles.

Building a Wooden Crate Box

Next, I routered over the edges of the handle (to take off the hard edge) and sand to a smooth finish.

DIY Wooden Crate Box

Glue and nail all the sides together and then lightly sand all over with a fine sand paper.  I used a light touch, trying to leave the rough wood on the crate face.

Staining Crate

Applied a light golden color stain all over the crate.

Stenciling a Wooden Crate

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to stencil on the front but I did know that I wanted it to mean something and not just random words that I didn’t know.  I found a site that would translate English words in to Italian and I was able to come up with this design.   It spells out our last name, our city, and  our state in Italian.  With the three kids and their friends, sometimes I do feel like I’m running a hotel or B&B.

Using my Cricut machine to cut the design out on vinyl, I stuck the vinyl down on the crate and used it as a stencil.  The vinyl didn’t stick very well to the rough wood but using a very dry stencil brush it turned out great.  Actually better than what I expected.  I also applied the dark color over the corners, along the edges, and then lightly sanded over the stencil to age the finish.

Wooden Crate Box

The crate was made a tad bigger than the potted plant to give it room to grow.  Wouldn’t small cube like crates, filled with herbs, be fantastic?!?!

Stenciled DIY Crate

Have a great holiday weekend!

Linking up to these fun parties – go and check out all the projects!



  1. OMG... this is just too cute. I know how much time you put into this one. Hasn't this party of Deb's been too much fun. I stayed up many a late nights this week, just dreaming of how it was all going to come together. New follower here forsure. Off to see what else I've missed.

  2. Nice Carrie, very NICE!~ That magazine looks wonderful. Hey and who says New yorkers are not nice LOL?!!~I am happy you joined the challenge. I will do this again for sure.

  3. It was meant to be & you did a fantastic job on it...I love it!

    See, New Yorkers can be nice! LOL (I couldn't resist.)

  4. Seriously Carrie you come up with the coolest ideas and you are SO CREATIVE! I ♥ it and think it looks GREAT!

  5. Amazing makover Carrie, amazing!

    Happy weekend:)

  6. This is adorable and you did a fabulous job...

  7. This is great Carrie. I wish I was handy at building things. I love that crate.

  8. Beautiful job! Your crate really looks like a vintage one - you nailed the look!(har har, pun intended) Seriously, it looks amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Wow! what a great idea. I love how it turned out.

  10. Carrie, I love that magazine too and I love your crate!! I'm at the party too, hope you'll stop by and see what I did! Love following you on FB!

  11. Hi Carrie,
    I love this project you did such a great job on it. I also love that you used your own name and town in the label. Your style and your pictures are very much like mine on my site.
    Nice Job!

  12. I love this crate and how you personalized it. The stain gives it an older look. ~Michelle

  13. Gosh Carrie, you could sell those and make a bundle of cash,love that!

  14. You ARE my new favorite blogger. It seems I love everything you do. Thanks.

  15. caRRRIE !! This is awesome !! You're genious, pure genious !! And, see ... there's that extra wood laying around again that you turn into something amazing. Love it. xo

  16. There's this one book store in my city that boyfriend and I love to hang out at. I always wish that there was a bookstore/coffee shop/library where you come in, drink coffee and read the books in the store. It would be a great hang out for singles (couples too!) The crates look great too!

  17. Love your crate! And yes, New Yorkers are nice. ;) Coming over from Debbiedoos and your newest follower!


  18. Carrie,
    What a fabulous project! And I am even more impressed that you cut out the handles and cut the boards yourself. Amazing!

  19. wow. You are something else with the tool box - I'm totally impressed. And it looks beautiful too :)

  20. This is such a cool project. :D I am visiting from Debbiedoos.

  21. I love this! My husband and I like to fill in date night in bookstores too!

  22. It looks great, you found a wonderful stencil, too. We have sabel palms sprouting in unwanted places in our yard, I hope you enjoy yours :).

  23. Great job! It's really nice and I like the stencil in Italian.

  24. You amaze me. It looks wonderful and I love the aging!


  25. You are a goddess! I love this!

  26. That is impressive! I love it. I cannot believe that you built it.....
    I love going to the bookstore! To me there is nothing like taking a stack of books into the coffee shop and just reading and looking through them.

  27. Wow! Love this. Awesome idea on how you personalized it too!

  28. Great Tuscan box you created & I like the way you named it!

  29. Carrie, WOW!!! I love this project and it turned out AWESOME!! I wish I could be as crafty as you are, you come up with some AMAZING projects! Thanks for sharing! XOXO ~Liz

  30. This is such a great idea! I use antique crates all over my house for storage but they've gotten really expensive and I have places where I could use more. It would be fun to use your method to make my own.

  31. Oh my goodness, this is gorgeous! Looks amazing, love the stencilling job,perfect!

  32. That's really nice of her to give you the plant.



Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed your visit. If you did, please leave a comment!!!
Thanks ~Carrie

*and remember what mom always said~ "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say NOTHING at all".

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