DIY Cute Crate & Tray


Now that all celebrations are over, I can share a gift that hubs & I made for his mom.  When I called to ask her what she wanted for Christmas, she gave me several ideas.  Then she casually mentioned that she had asked one of her daughters for a “cute crate to tote food to and from church in”.  She was VERY clear that it was to be a CRATE, not a basket or hamper, and it MUST be cute.  I came across a wooden crate & texted my sister-in-law immediately to ask if I could swap gifts with her.  She was quite happy to do so & I am SO glad!

Because the MIL needed her crate to fit at least 2 pies at a time, and that wasn’t happening with the crate in it’s current state, I asked hubs to make a tray to sit midway in the crate.  He took one look at it, went to Lowe’s, and whipped up the perfect tray!  Yep, he’s a keeper!  I think he said he used Acacia wood – kind of like balsa wood.  It’s very lightweight, but sturdy.  I’m so sorry I didn’t measure it, but it’s pretty straightforward.  Just make sure you cut your pieces short enough to fit inside the crate.  Hubs cut two small strips of wood & positioned them just under the handles to hold the tray up from the bottom of the crate.  Now, she can carry 2 pies, casseroles, whatever at once!  AND she can use either item alone since both have carrying handles.  🙂


Now, I must warn you that painting these things was the devil.  It sucked up spray paint like nobody’s business & when I brush painted it had runs EVERY.WHERE.  Maybe I’m just challenged in the crate painting department.  Make sure you SAND and prime the crate & tray before actually painting them.  We had to sand multiple times, especially between the slats.  It seemed to keep fuzzing up & I wanted it to be smooth.  I would highly recommend building your own crate, so you can paint the wood prior to even cutting it.  Wish we had done that!

My MIL likes bright blue & white, so we went with a creamy white base & I painted the accents with a metallic blue craft paint.  The polka dots were done by dipping the eraser end of a pencil in the paint & “pouncing” it on the wood.  It does not take much paint to make a dot & too much could end up bubbling or running, so take it easy.   Some of  you may be gifted enough to free hand the words, but I am not.  So, I just opened MS Word & typed in what I wanted to put on the crate.  Once I found the right font, placement & size, I printed it.


It makes life easier if you cut the paper into strips according to what will be on each slat.  Slip a piece of carbon transfer paper between the printed paper & your crate & GENTLY just use a pencil and trace over the words.  When you are done, you may have to wipe some carbon off the crate.  Then just paint over the words you traced onto the wood.  Easy peasy!

fayes crate

Here is a pic my SIL took of the finished product.  We considered painting a large monogram on the tray slats, but ran out of time.  Overall I think it turned out okay & she seems to be pleased with it.

I had a super hard time finding cute crates on Pinterest & Google for some reason.  Everything seemed to be a solid color with no writing or stencils.  If you have done any crate crafting, I’d love to see it!


About doandredo

Hi! I'm Karen & this is my space to relate our remodel adventures. I'm the wife of a (very) patient man, mom to three beautiful teens and one spoiled pooch. My hubby has said (more than once) that even if we bought a brand new home, I'd be repainting it as soon as we moved in. He's right! So come on in & enjoy the fun!

One response »

  1. That tray is very impressive to be made by your husband. It’s too bad the painting was such a problem, but the final product looks great.

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