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Crate tables are near and dear to my heart.

Pretty standard sentiment, right? I think most people would say the same. 

(Jk, don’t judge me.) 

Actually, crate tables mean a lot to me because my weathered gray costal crate table was my first DIY project. It was the first project I created as a direct result of seeing something in a store and realizing, “Hold up – I could make this myself.”

Plus, it’s a pretty sweet table. (I still have my original!) 

My husband, (boyfriend at the time), and I were wandering around Michael’s Craft store when I was inspired for this project. I had never been in a Michael’s store before. If you’ve never been, let me tell you – Michael’s is better than Disneyland.

Better.

Than. 

Dis. 

Ney. 

Land. 

(Jk Disneyland, I love you please forgive me.) 

Why do I love Michael’s so much? Because it embodies two other things very near and dear to my heart.

Giant stores full of stuff I want to buy, and cheap prices.

(Woot.)

We happened to walk past an aisle with various wood-working projects when we saw an endcap containing wood crates, wood stain, sealing wax and paint brushes. The picture next to the display showed a beautiful espresso-colored crate table storing blankets and magazines in the sides with perfect lattes in designer mugs on top.

I knew I couldn’t make the perfect latte, (still working on that, by the way), but I figured I could make the table, especially since basically all the materials were right there in front of me.

(Kuddos, Michael’s Marketing Team. You won.)

So, I bought the materials, left the instructions – (I’ve never been one for instructions, however this was actually an oversight rather than a statement of confidence) – and proceeded… to leave them all untouched in my garage.

Okay, my parent’s garage.

I forgot about them.

(The materials, not my parents.)

BUT THEN, after about… a few months? I remembered the materials and FINALLY took a weekend to make this table. 

But, enough with this hilarious backstory! (Sorry friends – sometimes I get in a goofy mood when I blog too late at night while drinking one of my bad lattes.) 

Without further ado, here are…

Three Creative Uses for Your Crate Table (besides the obvious!): 

Accent Piece

Right after we had our baby girl, we realized we needed more space in our living room for tummy time, a crawling area, and barfing opportunities. Since we were living in a one bedroom apartment, the coffee table needed to make way for a giant rug that our girl could use. 

But, I didn’t want to just get rid of my crate table!

So instead, we removed the legs, turned it on it’s side, pushed it up against a wall and used it as a practical and unique accent piece. 

Though the bottom compartment could no longer be used as shelf storage, the sides and top were still functional and actually hid many of our card games while we displayed our favorite home décor items on top.  

NOTE: for this use to be effective, your crate table needs to match the theme of your overall living space. If you’re going for a modern, minimalistic theme and your crate table clearly looks like a rustic farmhouse accent piece, you might not be able to pull this off. 

Vine Garden

If you love the look of growing vines, crate tables are a GREAT place for your vines to explode in growth and beautify your living space. The natural slats all over the crate table make a fantastic “jungle gym” for your house vines to grow around!

Now, please know that I’m NOT a plant expert and wouldn’t suggest doing this with complex vines that need to be planted deeply in the ground. But, for simple, easy-to-grow vines such as Heartleaf Philodendron, this project is a home run! (Especially because you can grow this vine indoors.) 

This use works if you lay the crate table flat OR on it’s side – you get to pick! It just depends on where/how you want to store the pot the vine originates from. 

NOTE: If you want your vines to grow outdoors, I do suggest coating your crate table in a waterproof stain that will seal the wood to protect it from mold when you water your plant. 

Storage for Vinyl Records

This is one of my favorite uses, not ONLY because vinyl’s are awesome and any project involving them is therefore automatically awesome, but because you can sort your vinyl records in an easy-access, completely unique and protective way!

For this use, I spray chalkboard spray-paint on the top of the crate table so I can easily label each slat. (Hands-down I like labeling by genre, but you can label however you like!) Also, I get my chalkboard spray paint from Walmart – in my experience, it’s the best price for a product that’s completely comparable to counterparts sold by Home Depot and others!

This use is best for vinyl record enthusiasts who don’t have a ton of records. (So maybe we’re light vinyl enthusiasts. Or broke vinyl enthusiasts. Either way.) My table holds between 24 – 36 records, (2 – 3 records per slot, depending on the record casing), without jamming your records into tight spaces.

You can always use it as a regular create table and store your records in the sides if you have more than I do! 

NOTE: Be sure you add a layer at the bottom of the crate table to ensure your records don’t fall through the slats. For me, the “legs” of my table were miniature crates that crossed (and therefore covered) the bottom slats. Nothing was able to fall through! 

Before you head out… 

If you’ve never made a crate table and are in need of some DIY instructions, I’ve got you covered! I have a FREE Create the Crate Worksheet with supply lists and easy-to-follow instructions so you can make your own TODAY! Just subscribe to our newsletter to download your printable PDF: 

Have a great week, everyone, and as always… 

Stay restless, Creatives!

~ Christine