Easy to build DIY craft storage trolley for stencils

Old crate stencil storage trolley or clothes hanger for a laundry room. Displaying Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils | funkyjunkinteriors.net

This easy DIY craft storage trolley is designed to store and organized stencils with craft supplies, while saving space! Other craft storage ideas included!

This past weekend, my photo studio hit an all time mess.

Very typical by the way. After one photo shoot… it can quickly look like…

messy photo studio before

The before

… this. 

Because this is a photo studio, any one of those walls in the room can become a photography backdrop. So it’s very common to need to move everything in the room off to one side in order to capture the project.

There’s actually plenty of craft storage containers in nearby areas such as my paint studio HERE, and rusty junk collection shelves HERE, however this particular room is the only space I have to store stencils.

And in case you’re curious, the photo is not messed up. That stencil ladder storage rack totally warped on me!

DIY ladder for stencil storage, showcasing Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils | funkyjunkinteriors.net

Previous stencil storage idea


This is how this DIY hanging stencil storage rack looked like in better days. It did work fabulous!

Thing is, whenever I needed the stencils out of the way for photo shoots, the stencil storage stand was always in the way, and difficult to move.

So, during the cleanup, I just couldn’t put that warped stencil storage ladder back. I wanted to try something new. Something with wheels perhaps… self standing, so I could wheel it right out of that corner.

But I wasn’t sure how to build one yet…until my eyes landed on the crate sitting on the floor beneath this stand. Of course…

Which ended up becoming the ultimate storage cart for stencils! Who knew?

So a rustic and compact craft storage trolley for stencils turned out to be the perfect place to hang up my stencils, that is a breeze to move easily as well!

And with the perfect addition of crate storage box, it’s part crafting cart too!

So if you have a few (hundred) stencils to store, and are tight on space, perhaps this tall and compact craft storage storage trolley for stencils will provide the perfect stencil storage solution for you too!

Here’s how I made it!

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DIY craft storage trolley for stencils


Supplies you’ll need:


2 2x4s
wider planks
old crate
4 full swivel casters
closet dowel rod
cordless drill and screws
miter saw
palm sander

How to build the base for an old crate stencil storage trolley | funkyjunkinteriors.net
How to build the base for an old crate stencil storage trolley | funkyjunkinteriors.net

Designing the craft storage trolley


1. Working with a crate size, 2 chunks of 2x4s and 2 fence planks were cut, then screwed together as shown.

2. Flipping the base upside down, casters were screwed onto the underside of the base.

I stole the casters from this trunk ottoman. Always repurposing a repurpose here…

3. Flipping the base right side up, the crate was attached to the top of the base, using screws from inside the crate.

How to build the sides for an old crate stencil storage trolley or portable mini closet | funkyjunkinteriors.net

Assembling the 2x4s to the crate


3. Two 2x4s were cut to the desired length, then attached to the inside of the crate, as shown.

How to build the base for an old crate stencil storage trolley or portable mini closet | funkyjunkinteriors.net
A level was held against the boards, while screwing the 2x4s into place, to ensure they were straight.

P.S. I had to redo this part twice. The boards were slightly warped which did not help… note the tiny bracket crammed in the crate? It’s helping hold the boards straighter. 🙂

P.S.S. Collect kiln dried wood if you can. It does not warp like outside stored wood does.

Attaching closet dowels to 2x4s using a square, for an old crate stencil storage trolley or portable mini closet | funkyjunkinteriors.net

Attaching the DIY ladder rungs


4. Two wooden closet dowels were cut to desired size, then painted black.

5. Using a carpenter’s square for placement guidance, the dowels were screwed into place from the outside of the 2x4s.

Old crate stencil storage trolley idea. Or use it for a portable closet in a laundry room. funkyjunkinteriors.net

The finished storage trolley


Well, would you just LOOK at that. It’s a mini closet for stencils on wheels! 

Wouldn’t this also be cool to hang clothes in a laundry room? Yikes… I may have to make another.

Old crate stencil storage trolley or clothes hanger for a laundry room. Displaying Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils | funkyjunkinteriors.net
But what a perfect fit to hang up two layers of stencils!

But let’s fix that crack in the crate…

Make this old crate stencil storage trolley idea, displaying Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils. Crate stores your paint gear. | funkyjunkinteriors.net

A little chunk of wood already signed up from THIS junk bulletin board project, was screwed into place. Perfect fit!

You can find the MARKET stencil under Farmers’ Market HERE.

And, to take advantage of the crate base, it’s now used as a mini shelf to store small items such as stencil brushes inside mason jars. 

The vintage crate itself became the perfect craft storage basket for additional art supplies, rags and paint.

Some crafters store craft supplies in those amazing dreambox organizers. However if all you have craft storage space for just a crate, this may be all you need too!

Can’t beat hanging apparatus with built in storage bins.

Old crate stencil storage trolley or clothes hanger for a laundry room. Displaying Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils | funkyjunkinteriors.net

The perfect compact craft storage


Then I cleaned up the tool cabinet cart, sorted the screws by size (again), and ended up with a pretty tidy little stencil storage work corner!

The little wall shelf acts as a pegboard to hang things, store pencils, pens, markers and has plenty of cubbies (cream pitchers) for storing screws. With added hooks for scissors, rulers, and even a basket caddy to hold buttons, hardware, and other things to create with. It’s a very handy little work space that is also on wheels!

This is pretty much the storage trolley’s permanent place, however it’s so easy to move thanks to those full swivel casters!

Now to finish filling the craft storage trolley. Guess I’d better start collecting more antique wooden hangers…

But the good news is, with more added stencils, it’s still standing as stable as ever! And it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a crate with stencil accessories nearby either…

Some may like store their stencils in drawers, however I really prefer to hang and organize stencils for storage, so they are easy to spot and grab as desired.

This is a very fun project, that truly added so much craft room storage while saving space!  

How would you use this craft storage trolley for crafters?

Funky Junk Interiors Old Sign Stencils Store
Find Old Sign Stencils HERE

Other craft storage projects to make:


2x4 wood stencil craft storage

Build this much larger stencil storage rack

pipe and wood stencil hanging hooks for craft storage

Hang stencils with wood and pipe hooks

adjustable wood paint shelves

Create paint and craft storage with adjustable shelves

Antiques paint cart trolley

Build a paint cart from an old cupboard

Find other ways I love to ORGANIZE WITH JUNK HERE

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Categories: All Cool Projects, DIY, Junk Drawer, Old Sign Stencils, Organizing, Reclaimed wood projects
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13 thoughts on “Easy to build DIY craft storage trolley for stencils

  1. Great to have wheels on your stencil holder. To move it with ease while you work is really good. I read where you screwed the dowels in from the outside and I don’t know why I never realized one could do that. Your little helpful tidbit will help me to do a lot. And I’ll do it with my new drill my husband bought for me at Christmas. On Christmas morning while opening presents, one of my sons made the remark that ‘Mom is more manly than we are. You’re making us look bad!’ I also got an orbital sander. Used it the other day and it didn’t hurt my arms. It was spectacular!

    • You are rockin’ your new tools, Joanne!

      And I’m glad you mentioned the tip that helped you. Sometimes I forget the finest details. Glad you caught the one that counted for you!

      I now officially challenge you to build something… 🙂

  2. Creative,indeed ! You’re using it for stencils but we’re building one to house PJs, stray clothes, hats, scarves in a bedroom that has no closet ! What a useful invention – can also be used in a tiny laundry room. If the bedroom is in the 1st floor, can just wheel it across the hall. Hubby is making a dolly for our move. So after we move into this house, it will be converted into a rolling clothes rack. Woohoo ! Bright ideas can be so brilliant and you always come up with something oh-so-cool ! I miss it when you don’t pose new projects! …. So thank you for this one !

  3. Donna THAT is SO cool!
    I have an old soda crate project that never sold for me and I’ve been mulling over varying ideas to alter it. And then I saw YOUR project~simple and aMAZing!
    You’ve given me a whole other direction to take it–omgosh, THANK YOU! I bet it sells quickly now~

  4. So cute & functionable. Love it. After moving I have found about a dozen of the old metal milk crates that I might try to adapt to this (after getting rid of rust LOL).

    Idea: To increase your hanger use till you can find more – maybe hang some of the clothespins (little bigger but shorter) that have hole in one thumb pinch area for a shower hook I hope they never stop making the metal wire hooks, I use them for everything) & hang on the hanger bar. But as I am typing this if were me would just screw some small cup hooks to bottom of hanger bar & you could maybe get 3 hooks(without crowding stencils) per hanger, Just a thought! Happy junking!

  5. HI Donna,

    Always love your unique and clever ideas. When you hang your stencils do you put a hole in the stencil corner and slip on hanger? Do you put reinforcement around the hole? I want to make this to display my stencils for clients so need to make sure they can’t be pulled or ripped off hanger. Thanks

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