D.I.Y. Crate Shelves

I love a project where PERFECTION is IMPERFECTION! I seem to be able to attack these with a hiss, roar and a bang and they seem to just work!


So we all have some of these laying around somewhere in the shed right?

TIP: Drink contents first! And of course, go for the best, as the above suggests!


If you’re like me, storage is always short, in this case, I wanted some shelving for some towels, and what better way to achieve this? UPCYCLE YOUR JUNK!


So my first task was to attach four EMPTY crates together, simple attaching them together with a screw or four works well, and is simple enough! If you’re planning on placing smaller items on the shelves, you may need to destroy one or two extra crates and use the boards to close the gaps in the shelving so your items remain on the shelves and not falling right through!


Once together, I wanted a way to make these a little more uniform looking and a little more presentable. I love the rustic look, and because I’m cheap, I wanted to achieve this in the most cost effective way!


This is what I call the “Nicky Staining Process” which in effect is constructive pyromania! Nothing like lighting a fire and watching things burn right?


Thanks to a previous job that involved heat shrinking in the middle of nowhere, I “acquired” this cool tool:



In essence, it’s just a fun flame torch attached to a gas bottle…. Pretty simple really, but it sure produces some pretty great flames! Muahahahahaha!


For this part, I suggest you take a few added safety precautions, a bucket of water on hand, a fire extinguisher etc and be aware of your surrounding environment …. remember these crates are OLD and the timber is DRY!


And the process is simply……



Take care when flaming your shelves, the idea is to char them, not cook until well done! Obviously, the more heat, the more burn, and the darker the finish becomes. I wanted mine to appear fairly dark, but still show through the grains and knots in the timber. Take care not to hold the flame in one spot for too long, you could end up on fire!




Whoops, a little too well done! Just as well I had that bucket of water!


A little over-burn can actually be quite cool, and add to the character of the shelves. Remember, you started with junk!


Once all “cooked” you’ll end up with something like this



Pretty funky, pretty rustic, and a lot better looking than the original, however, a bit more “sooty” and not really ideal for putting clean towels on, unless you want them turning black!


Time for a quick wipe down with a damp rag, just to clean off the excess soot.


To finish, you really want to seal this thing! I had a few unfinished spray cans of clear gloss spray-paint laying around, you can often pick these up on special at places like Super Cheap Auto etc. And as luck would have it, at the time of this project, they were 3 cans for $12! (Normally $7.29 each). And I did need more, I wanted this thing sealed! I sprayed four cans on this baby! The bonus with clear coating this, as it darkens up the not so burnt bits of wood too, adding a bit of colour and depth to the timber. Don’t be too cautious about spraying this thing, just go for it! A few runs add to the character!


Wait for the clear to dry, and that’s it! A shelving unit made from junk!



Roll on next crate day!