I hate to burst your bubble, but the “pretty” part of A Pretty Happy Home always has room for improvement. Scandalous, I know!
Case in point. Please get your Pinterest pinning fingers ready. This oh so lovely baby wipes box has been doing a stand-up job of corralling my paper plates and plastic serving ware (doesn’t that make my sporks sound so sophisticated?) since 2010. It replaced a box I’d been using for this purpose since 2007. Classy, I know. Go ahead, I’ll wait while you finish pinning. 😉
So when I spied two milk crates left in our garage when we moved in, I knew they could serve a useful function. Unfortunately for me, their first useful function was as a stepping stool to get into the trampoline. Now that my children have abandoned that expensive apparatus in lieu of other forms of entertainment, like whining about how there is nothing to do, I decided to reclaim those crates for my own use. My offspring will just have to work a little harder to get into that trampoline they never use now.
Since my 4-year-old was bored, I put him on the task of hosing these crates down. They were gross. Then I started on the long journey of spray painting all of those nooks and crannies. It took a lot longer than I thought it was going to take. Granted, I do have the patience of a gnat.
In case you are wondering, Krylon doesn’t know me, but I really wish we could become BFFs.
Next was the part where I explained to my husband that I wanted to build a crate for my crate. It involved a lot of hand gestures (it helps me explain things), a hand-drawn image on the back of an envelope (it helps him interpret my gestures) and some eye-rolling (it helps him prepare himself to do my evil bidding). 🙂
We used all of those leftover 1 inch x 1 inch x random lengths of wood to create the wood crate for my milk crate. I thought it was going to be a complicated process, but after my husband simply started stacking the wood pieces like they were Lincoln Logs and affixing them with wood glue (we like this one), I decided I could handle the rest of the process. This turned out to be a no-nail project. Score! I was pleasantly surprised with how strong they turned out to be, but you could always up the strength factor with some tiny finish nails.
I did get the opportunity to get out my handsaw and hack off those long pieces you see below! Who says I’m not self-sufficient? A little sanding was needed to smooth out the rough spots.
This was the finished product. One is stained, one is not. I didn’t want them to be too tall because the milk crates do have hand holds. Plus, these are mainly for looks. 🙂
In case you are wondering, yes, it took awhile to stain those suckers.
So that this project didn’t stall out before it finished, I marched off to Home Depot to find some wheels. My 4-year-old thought we should get the monster truck-sized wheels and while I briefly considered his input, he was vetoed. I ended up finding 2-inch wheels/castors that would swivel in every direction, but I thought they were a little expensive at almost $3 each. That’s $12 per crate. I realize this still makes it a really inexpensive project since I was using throwaway scrap wood and free milk crates, but still. I found a set of four swivel castors on Amazon for $7.33 if you want to give them a spin.
I originally thought we’d need to put a solid base on these crates in order to have a place to add castors. The hubby had a different idea…of course. I neglected to take an action shot of how the hubby helped me (i.e. did it all himself) attach the wheels to the crate. However, if you look at the wheel in this picture below, you can see an added 1 in x 1 in scrap of wood that was added the entire length of the crate. It gave us enough width to screw the wheels directly into the frame. The combo of the extra piece of wood, plus the screws from the castors also had an added benefit of giving the frame extra strength. You know, in case your 4-year-old tries to climb inside…yep, that really happened.
It’s possible that I am the only one who is smitten with these cute little crates. That’s okay! These cuties are giving me a perma-grin! See how much nicer my plastic plates, cups and spoons look now?
My pantry is very unglamorous, but here’s a shot showing them in their actual home. They roll under that last shelf perfectly.
As a side note, on the shelf above them, I group all of my baking goods in big metal baskets. When I need to make my Dave’s Killer Bread Knock-Off recipe, I can just grab all of the ingredients at once and carry them over to the counter. It’s the little things!
I got to thinking though, if I ever want to switch things up, these crates could also hold other things. How about my most often used piano books? BAM! Here it is.
Or how about a place to corral all of those kid toys that can’t seem to make it upstairs to the kids’ bedrooms? BAM! Here you go!
I should probably point out that at this point, my husband was rolling his eyes again. I was just having too much fun with the possibilities to pay him much mind though!
I have one more. How about a place to corral books or magazines? Bam-ity-bam-bam-bam!
I’ll stop now.
My little crate in a crate project has my happy-meter going into the red zone! I love pretty little projects like these that utilize something I already had to make a boring storage issue a little happier. Now, I wonder what I should do with that wipes box…