Landing a rustic armoire made out of crates

Landing a rustic armoire made out of crates! Check out this amazingly rustic furniture piece with vintage crate markings!

Landing a rustic armoire made out of crates

About 10 minutes before we head out to the airport for our trip to NYC, a neighbour knocked on the front door.

“I have a rustic cupboard that may interest you. We’re getting rid of it, but felt this may be your thing…”

Goodness… do you have any idea how hard it was to delay even peeking at it? But at the time, we were literally loading the truck before heading to the airport, so there was no choice.

So just today, I finally made it over there to decide if it was going to come home with me…

Landing a rustic armoire made out of crates /

Coming home with me


I guess you have your answer. ๐Ÿ™‚

It was brought it home, as I shook my head the entire way.

“I have NO idea where this is going…”, I muttered to myself.

Landing a rustic armoire made out of crates /

The tall, (very tall!) skinny cupboard, or armoire is super rustic. As in, pretty much a done deal. 

But what is it about these rejects that pulls me in so? 

Landing a rustic armoire made out of crates! Check out this amazingly rustic furniture piece with vintage crate markings!

Sure is a nice build, just the materials are… well, maybe it was fabulous when new?

Landing a rustic armoire made out of crates! Check out this amazingly rustic furniture piece with vintage crate markings!

The inside


It appears to be made out of chunks of thin crates. I don’t even get it. Do crates come that large?

Landing a rustic armoire made out of crates! Check out this amazingly rustic furniture piece with vintage crate markings!

But sheesh… it’s still really cool! And super light weight.

I’d like to beef up those shelves inside for sure.

The thing is, it’s pretty smelly inside, so I don’t think it’ll rank coming indoors, or at the very least, not for any fabric type of storage. Maybe office storage upstairs? Hmmm….

Landing a rustic armoire made out of crates! Check out this amazingly rustic furniture piece with vintage crate markings!

The crate graphics


Deeeeelisious markings though!

Landing a rustic armoire made out of crates! Check out this amazingly rustic furniture piece with vintage crate markings!
Landing a rustic armoire made out of crates! Check out this amazingly rustic furniture piece with vintage crate markings!

Even the back is rather cool. It’s rippled, but the crate markings are just the neatest. Too bad those panels weren’t turned around. I’d probably shred the thing if I tried.

NO idea what I’ll do with it this wonderful armoire made out of crates just yet, but I’m sure something will eventually come to mind.

I mean, I couldn’t just leave it there…


Don’t answer that…

What would you use it for?

Other related projects you may enjoy:

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Check out many projects with crate stamp stencils HERE

Visit other rustic furniture revamps HERE

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Categories: DIY, Junk Drawer
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68 thoughts on “Landing a rustic armoire made out of crates

  1. I understand. Don’t you feel as if you are rescuing friends? I do, but I’ve run out of room. Still, I keep looking. Thanks for the post.

  2. That is so cool. I would put it on my covered porch and load it up with plants in recycled containers. Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  3. Wow… it looks like you made it yourself with those crate stencils on it. I love it… Maybe you could Fusion Mineral Paint around the stencils… that will brighten it up and maybe seal in some of the smell…. ??? Anyway I would have taken it too… Garage/workshop storage?

  4. Oh my goodness Donna! I am so excited for you with the possibilities with the armoire! Some how or another could you build something new with the crate parts that have the signs on them? You’re good at building and enforcing items to hold weight and having a vision. Or could you take it apart and arrange the parts with the signs together and maybe make a divider of some sort or a headboard? Like hang it up in your garage or work area for inspiration or use the pieces apart? Oh! I am eager to know if you eventually come up with something. If you’re like me it will take some time. I usually look and look upon something and ponder and ponder. Just yesterday I took apart an old piece of furniture and made the top into a long stenciled piece and hung it up. If I knew how to take pictures and send them I would have. That’s on my bucket list of things to learn. Have a wonderful day and hope your son is doing well and happy!

  5. Love it! I have a similar old thing, all painted rusty and chipped and cracked. It’s in the garage holding my small gardening things and ancient clay pots. It makes me smile to see it every time.

  6. it’s awesome…especially the back…I’d be tempted to take those panels off ๐Ÿ™‚ Possible storage for all your paint & supplies

  7. Score! Since it is a bit smelly. Would it work out on your covered patio area with your pallet furniture? Up against an exterior wall to air out? Then maybe an outside office storage for when you work on your porch? Or on your porch to hold pretty potted things with door open?

    • Hmmm… I had never thought for the front porch for a display, but you have me thinking now! Maybe potted plants inside cascading down? That would be cool! Thanks for the fresh perspective!

  8. What a treasure, love that it was make from recycled wood. I’d probably use it for workshop storage or it would look really neat in a bathroom for towels and such. Look forward to seeing what you do.

  9. NEVER leave something this wonderful!!!! It’s amazing….not sure what I would do with it, but you can bet it would stay with me!!!! A good cleaning and maybe some wax and it would be awesome in the kitchen or bath!!!! At least, in my house it would. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for sharing such an awesome find.

  10. Love it….I would work on the smell, paint it and use in my craft room…paint should cover smell, I’d air it out for a while, look on pinrest how to get smell out…lucky you..

  11. Those stencils are wonderful. Maybe if you could seal the wood so there isn’t any smell anymore, maybe use it for some type of room divider. That way the back stencils wouldn’t be up against a wall and not be seen. I think the cabinet is divine!

  12. Hi Donna
    That’s awesome!
    As the logos (apart from the paper one) are to do with fabrics, I think it is destined for the laundry room if you have one. I would either try and take the back apart so the logos show, or copy them to make a stencil of your own to reproduce the design on a visible piece.
    The smell will soon go. A solution of very mild bleach to clean, and when that’s dried out in the sunshine, another going over with some bicarb powder (either dry and left in for a while then brushed out) or make that into a solution too. Some nice wood wax (honey or lavender) will finally feed the wood and give it a good smell rather than an unpleasant one. I have rubbed wood with scented candles as well which works well on old, dry hungry wood.
    Can’t wait to see what you do with it!
    Nessie x

  13. Wow. So cool. Wouldn’t it be great in your “shop”for supplies and tools and all those little pieces of rustic goodness that you use?
    Or on the deck to store plant pots and bits’n Bob’s?
    Or in the yard for yard tools and lawn fertilizer?
    Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  14. Pantry!If you want to send it to Ontario….or bring it by (I make a mean margarita)….I’m open to that ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Donna, This is just too wonderful. And, yes, I would have to rescue it, too. I wish I could remember what I used to use to get those old musty
    odors out of the wood. Sometimes putting them into direct sun on hot days helped, pans of baking soda on different shelves also helped. But there was something that was even more effective and it escapes me what it was.
    Also, for the wood itself, a person who finished antiques showed me was to use just plain mineral oil (from the grocery store or drug store) really enhanced the wood.
    I have used it on shelves, bookcases, old boxes, etc. Just apply with a rag or brush, let it soak in. Apply more and/or wipe off the excess. Easy and inexpensive. At first I wasn’t open to it because of being taught to use tung oil, etc. on finer quality pieces, but when I saw the results my friends had on a Jenny Lind bed I jumped in and began using the mineral oil, too.

    Your new piece is just too beautiful to paint!

    • I tend to agree with you Joan, I’m too much of a crate-aholic to paint. Those markings! I’d love to enhance the wood in some way. I do have some wood oils but never thought of mineral! Will do a test with it! Thanks for your ideas!

  16. Hi Donna! Wow!I have been following you for about a year or so and love all you do, but have never replied before. This is such a great find. Think I would clean up the inside, de-molding and getting rid of the smell, then dress up the inside with paint, more stenciling or fabric. It looks like it would be a good fit in your workshop for storage or possibly in your entryway. Just a few thoughts. What an awesome gift! Thanks so much.

    • I love your suggestions Cathey! I’m going to try and clean it up, air it out and see what becomes of it. I’d LOVE to have it indoors, it’s just such a neat old relic! And those doors can hide a multitude of (hoarding) sins… haha Thanks for your ideas!

  17. OH MY STARS.. I love it.. You are so lucky. How gorgeous, even old and needing work.. Have a blast. Hope you do it soon. I feel the same. I have no room for anymore goodies. My porch is no longer a porch. Some you cant say NO to though.

  18. OH, how beautiful! Cleaned up, beefed up shelves, leave out in the sunshine for awhile after you power wash it.
    Maybe it would work in your studio for supplies, or office. Great staging piece for photos. You will find some where to use it…it is too good to pass up. What great neighbors to think of you.

  19. Hi Donna. How lucky can you get ? I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder but if i was holding, I’d be just as lucky as you ! I adore things like this, smelly or not. There is always a spot somewhere that could use storage so i think since it’s smelly, i would either use it for canned goods in the pantry or in the basement with paints in it. I can’t wait to see what you do to it, darn, to bad you can’t switch out the front doors for the back and make the back the new front doors, haha ! But i think you’re right that they probably wouldn’t survive the “transition ” ! Good luck ( :
    p.s. might be worth a try to stick it out side with some bowls of charcoal in it ! ( heard somewhere that it helps with smelly drawers or old trunks so it might help here.

  20. Loving This Crate cupboard!! Could you paint it with an exterior paint and use it outside to hold/store gas tanks, lawn seed, etc., Just a thought as it would look amazing near your outdoor shed!!

  21. Very nice! I think what you ultimately put inside it will be what it was meant for. We can suggest, but only YOU know what you need to store.

    FYI, my mother had a refrigerator shipped from California to Arizona. Little did she know there was a wrapped package of shrimp inside it. It took a week for the frig. to arrive. When Mom opened it, well you can imagine! She tried baking soda and other cleansers to remove the smell and nothing worked until she wiped it with vinegar. You might try wiping the inside of it gently using a wrung-out cloth dipped in vinegar and then leave the doors open for awhile. I’m sure others out there will have more ideas to remove the smell.

    I rescue items too that nobody wants such as broken birdbaths, old decrepit houses (really), dogs about to be euthanized, plants on the reject 75%-off table at Lowe’s & rarely people. Why? Because I feel a need to take something no one values and transform it with love into an item everyone now wants and thinks is cool. Sometimes I’m successful and sometimes not.

    My broken shovel hanging on the fence is stenciled with “All of us are broken.” I think it looks so cool.

  22. I guess you got your answer(s)…. everyone thinks this crate cabinet was made to come live at your house. I liked the idea of it ending up in your studio to hold supplies – after fumigating and cleaning up…. With all your talents in restoring, reusing, upcycling it’s bound to become a great piece!!! Love it!

  23. Absolutely would have snatched this up! Love love love it! MMS hemp oil would not only clean but really make the wood so gorgeous! Definitely a room divider type piece so those fabulous stencils are visible. So jealous.

  24. I would clean everything up really well, maybe put some charcoal inside to get rid of the smell. I really like it the way it is, but a mat poly or varnish might seal it up well. Then you can use it for anything.

  25. Cool! Nice of your neighbors to think of you. Can you tell me how you would go about cleaning that beautiful hunk of oldness? I have a similar “gift” and I’m not sure how to clean it up!

  26. We once used the side of a crate for a outside deck. It was huge. I would put that in my living room and put my dishes in it. It is beautiful!

  27. Try an air sponge to get rid of the musty smell…It would be beautiful if stained and painted on the outside…or make it into two smaller tables…the possibilities are endless..Have fun!

  28. Place a bin of fresh cat litter in it for awhile to absorb the odors. We’ve placed old musty books in a bin of litter with very good results!! I would have brought it home too!!! Love salvage!!

  29. storage, storage and more storage. ๐Ÿ™‚ Depends what room it lands in. linens in bed or bathroom, pantry in kitchen or just outside of kitchen, paint supplies in garage, etc. etc. Yep- you’ll think of something ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Well if you could some how get the smell out (maybe by adding a coat of paint or kiltz) it would be a beautiful linen closet.

  31. You could use it for garden tools if you put it under cover from the weather, if you paint the inside maybe the smell will go away and you could put it inside, leave doors open and display things like pretty candles and some of your signs ect. ? Sandy

  32. Hemp oil would work beautifully….. completely natural and easy to apply.
    A gem of a cabinet. I wouldn’t change anything about those panels either.


  33. Hi Donna,
    I’d contemplate using it as a room divider… if you have need of one! You said it is tall and skinny but the beauty of a room divider is you could play up the back panels. Just a thought… happy pondering! ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. To get the smell out try baking soda and news papers. I had an old smelly dresser and put containers of baking soda and put crumpled up news papers in the drawers and closed for a few days then take it all out throw all away and repeat. I did this took me about a month but I forgot to remove sometimes after a few days. But the smell is gone and it is my favorite piece of furniture.. I store my seasonal clothes in it and they don’t smell in fact I put a dryer sheet in and at season change they smell lovely I just switch and ware I don’t have to wash first like I did when I stored them in totes…

  35. First let me say how fortunate you are to have such wonderful neighbors.
    The first thing I would do is clean it up real good then I would put charcoal on each shelf, they say the charcoal absorbs the odor especially musty odors, some people even put them in their bathroom to absorb odor. I know the charcoal works, but this next one I’m not to sure about some people have said coffee grounds will do the same thing. It is worth a try if you think you might want to use that marvelous piece in your house.

  36. I would take it – I am looking for a narrow piece for my kitchen for small appliance and misc overflow. Plus I think it’s charming. I have old things like really old bushel baskets from my grandmother and old old coolers – can’t toss them!

  37. Call me Donna if you really don’t want it, I’m 3 hours away and will gladly pick it up! Here’s hoping! I would white wash it with a milk paint and let it air dry for a long while to help it dry out. Baking soda placed inside with doors closed may help clear the air. I’m waiting!

  38. It’s so cool – and a great, sort of blank pallet that you could do so many cool things with (though of course, like you, I just kinda wish it could be turned inside out cause those graphics are great!)

  39. Score! I love this. I have a couple pieces of Newfoundland furniture which are made from old crates. They are very light weight. I think it’s amazing that someone turned something disposable into something useful…the original recyclers. You got a treasure there.

  40. After you scrub it with soap and water, let it dry. Then spray it with Ozium. The odor should go away. Gosh it’d be great in the laundry room, mudroom, any room that needs more storage.

  41. If you have a porch area, or a backyard area (or inside the house) that needs a little division of space and some storage, you can make it a divider piece so you can access the shelving but still see the back. I love the textile logos on the back. Great piece!

  42. If it where mine and I had the room, it would go in my laundry room to store my laundry detergent, rolls of paper towels, toilet paper, light bulbs, cleaning supplies, etc., etc., etc.

  43. I don’t know what I would use the armoire for either, but it sure is cool!

    I read your e-mails consistently and am anxiously awaiting to read the steps you took to refinish the wood or what steps you took along the way to where you like to go.

    I just finished an indoor bookshelf with first-time use of chalk paint.


  44. Hello Donna,
    What a great gift! Give your new cupboard a thorough vacuuming, a gentle cleaning and airing out in the sunshine. The sun is a great deodorizer and sanitizer. To use in the office, a clear sealant would be great so as to not hide the terrific advertisements and further block any remaining odor. If it could serve as divider with those showing, it would be productive and so unique! Otherwise, get the Fusion paint ready and be expectant. Second thoughtโ€ฆphoto the ad and replicate it for application after the paint has dried. Have fun in the process and I look forward to the outcome! There is always a corner to fill somewhere with a great find.

  45. OH yes, I would of brought that home too. Maybe it needs a revolving base so you can flip it around like a lazy susan and show off the back?

  46. There’s about a thousand things you could do with a useful size cupboard like this – the first thing I did was Google The Dominion Textile Company. It’s quite a historic piece – here’s (some!) of what I found:
    The roots of Dominion Textile reach back to 1890 with the formation of the Dominion Cotton Mills Company. Eight small, struggling textile firms had banded together to pool their resources; each had suffered from the high costs and inefficiencies associated with producing a small number of many items. Dominion, like many other Canadian textile firms, grew to depend on the profitable trade to the Far East, which had become possible with the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. However, the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900 disrupted trade to that lucrative market. In 1905, in a further effort to stave off financial ruin, a handful of companies again banded together. They were the Dominion Cotton Mills, Ltd. (which by that time had plants in Halifax and Windsor, Nova Scotia; Moncton, New Brunswick; Montreal, Magog, and Caoticook, Quebec; and Kingston and Branford, Ontario), the Montmorency Cotton Mills Company, the Montreal-based Merchants Cotton Company, and the Colonial Bleaching and Printing Company, also of Montreal, for a total of eleven plants. The new entity was called the Dominion Textile Company Limited.As with many other industries, the onset of World War II put a spur to textile production, which had suffered during the Depression. A plant that had lain dormant from 1934 was reactivated in 1940, and Dominion made a range of products for military purposes, from camouflage nets to bootlaces.” So, check those cobwebs, the may be camouflage nets…. The company changed it’s name in 1922, so your cabinet is probably over eighty years old! Best of luck with the refurb!

  47. i think you could pop the trim boards off the back and carefully pry the panels at each nail little by little alternating at each nail. then simply turn them around and re-attach them in place using the same trim boards. display the cabinet on your porch with the pots and plants inside means the doors will be wide open and you’ll be able to see the sign textile images behind your displayed items. i really like it as well but when u mentioned the stench i knew exactly what you meant yuck. so yea opened and outside best idea ever. btw i just now found you and i love everything so far.

  48. What a find! Can you find a way to make a stencil of the of the markings in the back? As for smell; a good cleaning plus time in the sun and some flat shellac should take care of the stank. Please share when you’re done transforming this armoire.

    • Hi Kim! Love your idea of a new vintage inspired stencil design! I’ll give that some thought!

      I no longer have the piece as I sadly didn’t have room for it. But it was fun to have while it lasted! haha

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