Crates Shelving Unit

Crates Shelving Unit

Crafting Time:
Over 5 Hours
Skill Level:
Experience Necessary
Project Courtesy of: Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores

Additional Information



  • 5 unfinished wood crates
  • Ceramcoat® acrylic paint:
    2 bottles of Burnt Umber Brown 8oz
    4 bottles of Folk Art Aqua 2oz
  • 28 Wood Beads
  • Craft plywood:
    Three: 1/8"x6"x12" for horizontal shelves
    One: 3"x36" for front spacer cover (cut to size)
    Two: 1/4"x12"x12" for vertical shelf spacers
  • Circular saw
  • Glue
  • Large flat brush
  • Cloth Rag
  • Hammer & finishing nails
  • Protected work surface
  • Ruler


1. Base paint all 5 crates with brown paint, allow to dry.
2. Using a cloth rag apply the Aqua paint to the crates creating a distressed finish. Use a brush to get into the corners and along the slatted sides.
3. Lay two crates horizontally to act as the base of the bookshelf. Add 3 crates vertically on top of the 2 base crates.
4. There will be a space between the two bottom crates when the edges of the bottom crates and top crates are flush along the outside edge. Measure the height of the space between the bottom crates. Cut the 3"x36" piece of plywood to fit the space using a circular saw. Save the scrap length for step 7.
5. Measure the depth of the bottom crates and cut down the two 12"x12" vertical spacers to fit.
6. Paint the pieces cut in steps 4 & 5 as well as the 3 horizontal plywood shelf pieces to match the crates following steps 1 & 2.
7. Attach the crates together by nailing down through the top crates into the bottom crates with finishing nails. Cover the space between the two bottom crates by nailing in the front spacer piece cut down in step 4. Along the back of the 3 top crates attach the scrap piece from step 4. This will brace the three top crates together.
8. Measure the desired placement for the 3 horizontal top shelves. To secure shelves in place, glue a wooden bead where each of the four corners of the shelf meets the crate. These will act as brackets for the shelf (4 beads per shelf).
9. Measure the desired placement for the 2 vertical bottom shelf spacers. To secure shelf spacers in place, glue a wooden bead on each side of the spacer at the top and bottom on the front and back of the spacer (8 beads per spacer).
10. Paint the beads aqua to match the shelving.