Camping Crate

My kids have a Halloween Carnival each October at their elementary school.  Each class makes a themed gift basket to donate in a raffle, and this year I wanted to help by making the basket, or in my case a crate or box made out of wood.  I have four kids at the school but with all we have going on I only volunteered to do two of them.  Today I want to share the camping crate I made.  You can see the golf box here.

I have been smitten with crates lately and have been needing an excuse to make one....

I Love it! (and that is just my camping stuff I threw in for the pictures, just for fun)

At this point I was a little sad to give it up....but I could make another one....minus the handles those were a great find.  I got them at the Restore for $2.  I know...a steal right?  They are the real reason I had a hard time letting go, I love them!

Not only is this cute little crate useful for carrying your camping gear....
It can also make a great little seat for when you are out in the wild!

So here is how I made it.
It got all my wood from the Home Depot cull bin....grand total....$4.  Yeah, I love cheap!  Well, actually the four smallest boards I just pulled from my stash.  Then I figured on a size and cut the boards and sanded them.  Here they are ready for a steel wool/vinegar treatment, or "natural stain".
I had just enough left over from some of the gift crates I made. (I believe I treated the gift crate in the second picture of that post, I didn't treat all of them)  To make this all you need is one thing of 0000 steel wool, rip it into pieces and put it in a jar, then pour vinegar in the jar until it covers the steel wool, put the lid on and let it sit for 24 hours.  Done!
I just brushed it on.  See how the wood changes instantly...
Look how dark it is now.
Here is a picture from the other side.  You can see the progression as I stared with the wider boards in the back and ended with the ones in the front.  They were all pine boards so they ended up the same color.  What I love is that different types of wood with end up in different shades.
Now to build!  I started with gluing and nailing the two side pieces just like the one above.
Then I propped up the short sides and started gluing and nailing the long sides on.  Most boards in the cull bin are not very good.  I lucked out with most of the ones I picked out, but a few were still warped a little.  It adds character right?
Then I flipped it over to do the other side.
All sides are done!  It is nice and sturdy!  If you look to the right you will see a nail sticking out.  I had a few that struck other nails and came out the side.  I had to clip those off and use some wood filler.
Because I was just winging it on this crate, I had a gap a little to big at the bottom.  I grabbed this middle piece to fill the gap.  I treated it after I nailed it on.  It really gives the crate some character, and I love that the wood ended up darker than the rest.
I also ended up adding screws to the bottom...just to make sure that it could hold lots of heavy stuff!  This is a picture of when I had just drilled the holes.
My husband convinced me it was a worthy cause and that I should part with the perfect handles.....I eventually gave in....they were, after all perfect for the crate....(sigh!)
Because the theme was camping I wanted to add I did the ink transfer method and added this cute label I designed.  You can find a tutorial on how to do this quick easy transfer method Here.
I wiped it down really well, and sprayed some sealer on it, and it was done!
I hope who ever won it loves it as much as I do!


I will be linking to these parties.



  1. such a fun idea! I love the idea of having something packed already to go to make camping easier!

  2. Love this idea!
    Would make a great gift for my OUTDOORS-MAN son in law.
    Pinning it to my homemade Christmas board!

    ...via MRL party, Patricia

  3. Mindi--LOVE the camping cull bin would never have these pine boards because they are sold by the foot. lucky you!



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