Reusing Old Crates for Primitive Crafts

If you’re like me, you buy a bunch of stuff at garage sales, barn sales, thrift stores, etc. with some “project” in mind…and then it sits in your basement for two years and collects dust. I have a habit of hoarding anything remotely primitive, especially crates and wood items. I pick them up where ever I can, in whatever condition I find them, even ones that are pretty much falling apart. After a massive cleaning of the craft area last summer, I decided to break down some of these old apple crates and use the weathered wood as a base for some craft projects.

DSC_0268

This one had no bottom and was pretty much useless, and was a perfect candidate to be recycled. One crate yields up to 16 strips of wood (or more, with a bottom) that would work for a variety of primitive/country themed projects! I used a screw driver and just worked it under the wood joints to east them apart. Some pieces broke but most came off without a problem. Obviously, the older and more dilapidated the crate, the easier they come apart!

DSC_0269

These pieces have been sitting in a pile in the basement until this past week, when I finally found some motivation! I decided to make the first batch into country signs. I cut off the broken ends with a table saw, resulting in many different lengths. If you have complete pieces, you could leave them as is and go with larger words or sayings! I practiced my lettering on scrap pieces (I kept those scrap ends for just this reason) and pretty much just winged it.

DSC_0420

I free-handed these words using regular craft paints. When I was mixing colors, I used a heavy acrylic white to thicken up the paint a bit. You could also use a stencil or letter stamps if you’re not comfortable free-handing.

DSC_0419

I then used the pre-made holes (already there from where the nails held the crate together) and drilled a small hole in the other corner. Then using black wire, I made little hangers and tied on some fabric & twine accents.

DSC_0433

They are heading to my co-op this week priced at $5 each. Here are some close-ups. For “welcome” and “wine,” I used a paint pen to accent the letters.

DSC_0432

DSC_0431

DSC_0430

DSC_0429

I messed up the accents on this Beach sign and ended coloring in the letters with a blue paint pen. I’m not crazy about the BRIGHT blue, but maybe it will be a nice pop of color for someone’s beach or cottage decor.

DSC_0428

The next project was making a hanger for my collection of enamel dippers. I simply hammered in a few small nails, spaced out evenly down a full-sized piece of the crate wood.

DSC_0522

I used sawtooth hangers on the back.

DSC_0524

Done! That was easy. Then to hang it up I use my trusty toothpaste method that I just have to share. It’s a genius Pinterest life hack that everyone should be aware of! Just dab a small bit of toothpaste on the middle of the hangers…

DSC_0422

Then position it on the wall where you plan to hang it, and press it against the wall. You will then have two small toothpaste dots on your wall indicating exactly where to place your nails. See them there, those little green dots just below the top cabinets?

DSC_0423

Woohoo! I love it! Literally 2 minutes of effort for this project; it doesn’t get any better than that! It fills that blank wall space perfectly and looks pretty cool displaying my dippers! πŸ™‚

DSC_0435

DSC_0434

And lastly, I wanted to make a “shutter” style wall hanging. I laid them out and then cut down the two horizontal pieces to get rid of the overhang. I scuffed up and sanded the sawed off edges to minimize the “freshly cut” look.

DSC_0519

Then I tried nailing them in place but my nails were either too long or not long enough (pieces are fairly thin) so I used a crap load of wood glue along the horizontal pieces. It seems to be pretty solid now that it has dried.

DSC_0521

I haven’t figured out what to do with it just yet. I was thinking of getting something to hold a mason jar on the front to use as a flower holder. Also contemplating a pip berry wreath in the middle, or putting one more horizontal piece laid flat along the bottom as a small shelf. Hmmm…decisions, decisions. I shall post the finished product when I decide what to do with it. πŸ™‚

DSC_0436

Have a great day and please feel free to send me any of YOUR up-cycled crate crafts to list here! Hope everyone is staying warm….thinking SPRING! πŸ™‚

Super Easy Primitive Key Hanger

I still haven’t unpacked my craft stuff yet, so I had to improvise for this Pinterest-inspired key hanger I wanted to make. I started out with this shallow crate / shelf thingy that I already had. Any shallow wood crate or tray would work!

DSC_1430

I bought these little screw in hooks at Wally world…4 for $.97!

DSC_1433

Making sure they won’t be too long…these are perfect! If they are too long, you could file down the excess, or put some felt dots / tape over the little protruding screws. These are a great small size and will probably work fineΒ  for most crates / trays out there.

DSC_1434

Just screw them in by hand. No tools necessary.

DSC_1435

There she is, one hook short (oops). I figure I can get more hooks the next time I go, or just set a small figurine or decoration in that space.

DSC_1437

This is where the improvising came in. Since all my hardware is packed, including all my hangers and wall hooks, I used two pop tabs nailed on either end. They are surprisingly strong. I simply nailed them down, nailing right through the small, flat metal part of the tab. Another Pinterest idea to the test, and it works great!

DSC_1439

I love it!!!

DSC_1444

Not only did I work on my first craft project in a while, but I also hit up my first great barn sale of the season. I got a super deal on some primitives that have already made their way to my booth at The Carriage Place. I got these two 10 foot antique shutters for….wait for it….$3!!! That means $1.50 each. Probably the best deal EVER, in the history of the world!

DSC_1314

I also got this old ladder back chair and big blue swirly enamel tub. I thought they’d both make great garden pieces.

DSC_1315

Two small unfinished shutters and an old tool carrier, both which I plan to eventually paint & distress.

DSC_1321

And lastly, I got this old wooden army trunk from the 40’s. Great army green color and original hardware. Trunks always seem to sell well in my co-op.

DSC_1320

Along with all my thrift store / garage sale “smalls”, I like to sprinkle in some really nice antiques and quality pieces here and there. This improves the overall quality of my my booth and shows dealers that come through, as well as customers, that I am “legit”. LOL. I got this beautiful antique cabinet on Craigslist. My personal rule is: only buy a piece if I know I can double my money. I know I’ll have no problem selling this beautiful cabinet for more than twice what I paid.

DSC_1448

The same goes for this other Craigslist find; an antique oak ice box. These go for BIG money around here, so when you see one at a decent price, you gotta get it! It’s in excellent condition and was a real steal!

DSC_1447

I am headed to the co-op for a massive over-haul on Wednesday night, so I will get some updated pics and share them with you soon. If you try out the key hanger, or any variation of it, I’d love to see a pic! Hope everyone has a super-duper week, and Happy Crafting! πŸ™‚