You guys already know I’m a reclaimed wood fanatic.
Add a few rustic crates to the mix, and you have me lock, stock and barrel.
For the most part, I generally have plenty of great old junk on hand to create with.
However I also recognize not everyone comes across reclaimed wood planks that have been dumped on your driveway, or antique crates found for a song. In fact, they can be downright pricey. I’ve found thrift store shopping isn’t so thrifty any longer where older relics are concerned.
So during my last shopping trip to Ikea, when I came across these amazing little crates for under $10, I was smitten!
I already knew I would stencil garden-themed Ikea crates as one of my first spring projects.
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Fusion’s Stain and Finishing Oil in various tones, details below.
The Ikea unassembled crates were a super nice quality, and as always, super easy to put together with predrilled holes and all the screws required.
Picking up a few, I visioned seeing a few stamped with Herbs, Flowers, and other such related sayings. So I took a chance and brought them home.
Then I got designing. Pulling up some older stencil designs I made in the past, (not everything I design gets launched, sometimes designs brew for awhile) I revamped them, created a set of 4 new stencil designs similar in look (so they could be mixed & matched), then BOOM!
These cute little crates were about to get a whole lot prettier!
Stencil garden-themed Ikea crates
Staining the crates:
1. Un-package crates and remove all dust.
2. Before assembling the crates, brush on stain, allow to sit a few minutes, then wipe off with a cloth.
3. Leave overnight to dry.
4. The next day, lightly sand each piece with 300 grit sandpaper to create a butter-smooth finish.
A video at the end of this post shares how I stained the crates.
First up, each crate was stained before assembling.
For staining, I used Fusion Mineral Paint’s Stain and Finishing Oil once again.
However instead of my original go-to custom mix of Golden Pine with a shot of Cappuccino, I used 2 other tones on their own this round. I figured this was a wonderful opportunity to get a side-by-side comparison of the tones on a quality wood piece!
And I was right. It proved to be a great move. Each tone gave the crates a different ‘personality’ making it easy to choose which design went on which!
Here’s what I did:
Stenciling the crates:
Locally Grown Herbs stencil / stained with Fusion’s Golden Pine mixed with a little Cappuccino / stenciled in Fusion’s Coal Black.
First up, Locally Grown herbs was stenciled onto my #1 standby, Golden Pine mixed with a little Cappuccino.
Scrumptious! As always.
I love the look of crate stampings and this combo never fails.
Because the entire stencil didn’t fit on the crates, I separated the graphics to add subtext to the crate ends. They turned out very cute!
Oh Driftwood, you may be my newest fav!
This tone has a weathered beachy-barnwood feel to it. I found it a little more transparent than the other combo, so I ended up added a 2nd coat on most outer pieces.
Adored the outcome so much! And looks decadent with the black text.
And finally White!
This tone really toned down the orange-yellow wood tones while still leaving the woodgrain intact. It’s a pretty, fresh white that at first looked transparent but it fools you! When I compared the stained against the unstained, huge difference!
The flowers and leaves graphics and 25 cents were stenciled on each crate end.
Assembling the crates:
Once stained and stenciled, the crates assembled in seconds with the help of a cordless drill!
As with every Ikea kit, the crates came with predrilled holes and all the screws needed.
4 screws held the 4 sides together.
Then the bottom was attached last with 4 remaining screws in each corner. So fast and simple!
The crates themselves are such a nice quality! They are well finished, and adding such a nice stain (with built-in top coat) just polished them right off.
Aren’t they just the cutest?!
The above showcase a few faux plants.
But you know me, yes? This was a great start. Let’s add a few more accessories to really bring these little crates to life!
On Locally Grown Herbs, I added some tiny castors I had in my junk stash.
Some corner brackets added some extra bling as did a couple of door pulls for each side. So. Stinkin’. Cute!
And then I played with real flowers.
Which then gave me the idea of outfitting this crate with just the right sized clay pots to house office supplies. I’m totally doing that… so count on seeing these guys sneak in other photo shoots down the road.
The white Fresh Cut Flowers crate was loaded with fresh cut flowers of course!
A few antique aqua mason jars filled with water proved to be the perfect vases. It’s the perfect little fresh flower vignette for anywhere you wish.
The ends of the crate got wrapped with some white twine and the front has two tiny white brackets attached for a little extra hardware detail.
And my fav Wild Flower Seeds in the driftwood stain! I love how the clay pots pop against the greyed wood.
The extra bling on this one was adding a flourish to one end of the crate…
… and the 10 LB. crate marking on the other end. Everything just fit so perfectly!
And isn’t that driftwood tone something? Yup. You’ll be seeing this stain again.
Click above to watch a short video of the staining process not shown in this post.
Well that was fun! And now these little crates are all decked out for the spring and summer months of decorating to come!
So if you’re in the market for a fun spring / summer project for yourself or as a workshop idea, I’m certainly a fan of these little garden crates!
Which one is your favorite? How would you use them?
More garden-themed projects: