How to: Make Wood Crates by Repurposing Pallets

To organize my pantry I decided I wanted to create some custom storage solutions, Rustic Crate made from Palletswithin three criteria of it being cost effective, sturdy, and that it looked the way I wanted it to. This is my solution to what I needed to get the organization project completed… to make rustic repurposed wood crates from pallets.


NOTE: I did not complete this task in a day, or even two. I had to fit this into my schedule and it took me a few weeks from start to finish to complete.


Materials I used:

  • pallets
  • reciprocating saw (with a metal/wood blade)
  • prybar
  • hammer
  • circular saw
  • stain
  • foam brush
  • wood wax
  • sandpaper
  • Nails/ Screws (in the length appropriate for your wood)
  • Material for the bottom (optional).


The process:

This is the process I used to make the wood crates, you may not need to follow this exactly, but it will give you a good guideline for how I got the look I wanted.

  1. I broke down the pallets into individual pieces using the pry bar and reciprocating saw. I then sorted them into like sizes (length and width).
  2. After I knew what materials I had to work with, and measuring the space of my pantry, I make a little sketch with the dimensions of the crate for reference. Then cut all the pieces required using a circular saw.
    • Note: Drawing the sketch helped me figure out exactly how many pieces I would need of each length of wood.
  3. Next I sanded the wood to get any sharp pieces smooth, and get rid of any potential splinters.
  4. I used a foam brush and Minwax stain. I let it soak into the wood for about a minute and then I wiped off any excess stain, and let this set over night to dry.
  5. I wanted to have some protection for the wood, so I decided on using Minwax clear wax. I used a rag to apply the wax, and then let it sit overnight.
  6. Lastly, I assembled the finished pieces of wood to make a crate!Rustic-Crate-After

I really wanted to have the look of the nail heads on each of the sides, so I picked out my nails according the the length and the size of the nail head. Each piece of wood took the stain quite differently, and would pull a more brown or red tone depending on the wood. The cost of the wood crates I've made totals around $5-$6 per crate. Not to shabby... if I do say so myself!

Here's to the finished wood crates! I absolutely love the way they turned out and several friends have asked if I am going to sell them… I'm undecided about it.