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DIY Wooden Crate with Market Square Sign

how to build a wooden crate with 1 x 4 pine material

It's been a rough start of the year for me.

On the second day of Jan., I couldn't get off my bed. And no, I didn't attend any new year's parties. :/

My head kept spinning, full of pain... Agggh I got a bug, well, the terrible flu.

I don't often get sick, but when I get sick it's hard. I'm still battling this virus and the cold weather hasn't been of any help.

I've been so unproductive! I hate feeling like this, not being able to concentrate or do something.

Actually, what I managed to complete was getting rid of all the Christmas decor around the house and organizing a bunch of pictures on my pc, which brought me to this project I'm sharing with you today.

Grey kitchen island with wooden crate.

This was one of the projects done for the mini kitchen makeover.  I wanted a place to store the fruits and vegetables that I used to put in a bowl on the counter or on top of the island. So, the idea of a crate on that little shelf appeared.

I went to many stores trying to find a crate to fit in this space, but to no avail. The ones that were the right length came out too wide for that narrow space. So, I went ahead and built it.

Building a crate like this is very easy. However, I found that it is more cost-efficient to buy it, especially if you don't have the necessary tools.

Now, if you're a pesky peep that wants your little crate to fit perfectly and you have the tools and even some pieces of wood in your scrap pile to complete it. Well, let me show you the simple steps I took. Even though it looks like it's a lot, it's not. Promise.

*This post contains affiliate links.

how to build a wooden crate with 1 x 4 pine material
The materials:
21' 1 x 4 pine material
1 ¼" plywood 20" x 10"
Wood glue
1¼" brad nails
1¼" wood screws

The Tools:
(This is a project you can accomplish with a hand saw, hammer, and screwdriver.
But by using power tools you're going to make the process easier.

Miter saw
Jig Saw

using power tools to create a wooden crate.
Ryobi 10 in. Sliding Miter Saw with Laser
Cut your material and sand it very well.

You'll need:
6 - 1 x 4 x 10½"  Short sides of the crate.
6 - 1 x 4 x 20"     Front and back sides of the crate.
5 - 1 x 4 x 12"     Bottom side of crate.
4 - 2 x 2 x 10½"  Corner supports.

cut and sanded pine material for wooden crate.

1. Build your crate's shorter sides.
wood glue and brad nails for installing planks of crate with Ryobi brad nailer

I didn't want screws showing on the outside of the crate, that's why nails and wood glue were used to secure the 1 x 4 boards to the 2 x 2 supports.

Start by building the narrow sides of the crate. Use a piece of ¼" material as a spacer in between all the boards.

It's also a good idea to create a jig or guide to keep those pieces in place and square while securing them.

2. Create a handle.
how to draw the handle design and cut it out.
Jig Saw 
This step is optional. However, if you're building a crate for a tight space light mine, this is necessary.

Draw a rectangle on the center of the top board. The dimensions for my rectangle were 4" x 1¾".
You can leave it square or rounded like I did.

Drill some holes close to the inside cutting line of the handle. Now, you can follow the cutting line with a jig saw.
how to build a wooden crate.
Dremel Rotary Tool
Plain sandpaper can be used to smooth out that area, but I was glad to speed up the job using the Dremel. ;)

Once you have one side complete, you can copy the drawing of the handle cut onto the other board.

4. Install the front and back sides.

Once again, you need wood glue and nails to attach the three long boards for the front and back of your crate onto the already built sides.

Once finished with this step, this is what you'll end up with... a bottomless crate.  :D

5. Attach the bottom slats.
Ryobi Drill
It's better to use wood screws to secure the bottom slats, after all, they're the ones that support the weight of what you're going to store inside the crate.

Pieces of felt material were attached with spray adhesive to prevent damage to the cabinet/island.

6. Add a bottom liner.

Again, this is an optional step if you don't mind the gaps in between the boards. You can also create this liner out of cardboard. I used ¼" plywood material notching out the corners with a jigsaw.

7. Paint or Stain.
Thompson's Traditional Brown Spray Wood Stain
Two coats of wood stain were given to the crate. I love how easy is to stain with this Thompson spray stain.

8. Add a sign. -optional-
how to add a sign to a wooden crate.

Adding a sign was perhaps, the thing I spent the most time with. I created the graphic with my Cameo and everything worked great. However, the painting of the design was nothing but trouble.

I used homemade chalk paint and using a brush I applied like four coats. I don't know why, but when I removed the vinyl, big chunks of paint came off with it. 😠

The paint came off so easily that I went ahead and removed what was left without much effort. You can see the shadow of the first try in the picture above.

Yep, that picture is my second try.

how to paint signs without much seepage.
Rust-Oleum High Heat Spray Paint   
Before doing it again, I decided to experiment with what I had in my stash. Those two cans were the only black paint I had... Regular black spray paint AND high heat spray paint. I was surprised to see how nice the high-heat paint performed. Zero seeping problems!

So, that's what I used. ;)

Ahhh, perfect! :) Once dry, two coats of clear poly were applied.

how to build a wooden crate.
Market Square Sign
grey kitchen island with market square wooden crate, vintage scale and white dishes.

And there you have it, hiding all the stuff I don't like on the counters! :D

As mentioned before, the trickiest part for me was the painting of the sign. Any tips or types of paint you recommend would be greatly appreciated. ;)


For more DIY Home ideas check these out:

Free Coffee designs on kitchen stools

how to create a wall piece of art for Valentines

how to build a side table using a wine crate and metal slats

*Ryobi Tools were given to me to try out, 
I love them so much they are the tools I use for my everyday projects. 
All stated opinions are my own.*
Affiliate links were added for your convenience.

Enjoy what you read today?



  1. That turned out great, Cristina...A GREAT CRATE! Little Monday morning rhyme there. Sorry you got the flu- I hate not feeling well either and have been fighting some issues myself. UGH.
    Hope you have a wonderful, blessed week. xo Diana

  2. So cute! And while I don't have the need (at present) for customized sized crates, the other information I will definitely be putting to use. I truly wouldn't have thought of high heat spray ... but then I usually am farming out my craft projects to my craft-inclined kids. ;-)

  3. I absolutely love this. The handle is perfectly executed. I hope you start to feel better soon. The flu is terrible here.

  4. I love this! I can think of a few places to use this crate! So sorry you've been down with the flu :(

  5. Cute, cute crate idea. Sorry you have the flu. Never a good thing. I hope you get feeling better.

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