DIY wood fruit crate for fall decorating
You already know I love collecting and and making old crates right?
I love using crates for anything! Of all kinds. Whether it’s a crate with decadent antique graphics or just a plan ‘ol beat up wood box.
If the crate has no markings and it isn’t a prized antique, I don’t hesitate to modify it any way desired!
However, you can’t always land the crate of your dreams. So in this case, I like to make my own… out of scrap wood. For free!
This fall, instead of using a typical fruit bowl for all this decadent fall produce that’s around, I decided to come up with a way for a crate to hold my beloved fresh fruit, as well as some fall foliage picked from the great outdoors. So basically put, one productive fall vignette.
So the first step was to create a fruit crate stencil design or two to do the task right…
View You Pick Orchard stencil HERE
View Fall Produce Graphics stencil HERE
About the stencils
You Pick Orchard and Fall Produce Graphics were created to mix & match so they could work together, creating any type of orchard theme desired, including a pair of pears, cherries, pumpkin and apple.
So let’s walk through how I created this DIY wood fruit crate for fall decorating from scratch, then I’ll share some pretty finishing shots that may have you really believing this little crate is the real olde deal…
This post contains some affiliate links in which I earn a small percentage if you purchase anything through these links, at no extra cost to you. Thank-you for helping to support my blog!
DIY wood fruit crate for fall decorating
Supplies I used:
Stencils are from Funky Junk’s Old Sign Stencils:
- You Pick Orchard
- Fall Produce Graphics
- and some pieces others listed with applicable pictures
Reclaimed cedar fence planks – mine measured 5.25″ x standard length.
Black paint – I used Fusion Mineral Paint’s Coal Black
(purchase from a local Fusion retailer HERE)
1.25″ galvanized nails with heads
Use ready-made crates or toolboxes
This tutorial will guide you on building your own crate from scrap wood.
However, there are plenty of ready-made crates and toolboxes and totes on the market so you don’t have to make one at all!
View some small rustic crates HERE
Visit some rustic totes HERE
Learn how to make a branch handled toolbox HERE
See how I made the above garden crates HERE with IKEA crates HERE
Determining a crate size
So let’s build a crate from scratch!
Being that I wanted my crate to hold a fruit bowl and vase of sorts, I used a bowel and a jar as a rough guide for how large to make the crate.
Two standard fence planks wide appeared to be the perfect size! So I built everything else to suit.
Each reclaimed wood plank was prepped by pressure washing, then lightly sanded once dry.
- After determining the overall size of the crate, the following planks were cut to suit.
After cutting, it’s a good idea to dry-fit all the pieces together to ensure they fit.
My crate ended up measuring:
- 21.25″ wide (left to right)
- 5.25″ high
- 21.25″ deep (front to back)
Bottom / Front / Back
- 4 planks – 5.25″ x 19.75″
- 2 planks – 5.25″ x 12″
- 4 1×2 corner supports – 4.25″ long
Two boards under crate
- 2 1×2 planks – 12″ long
Assembling the crate
2. Join the 4 sides to create a ‘box’ first.
I personally used nails to assemble the crate for an added dash of ‘old authenticity’, however you could also use screws or an air nailer.
Suggestion: pre-drill hole / tap in nails for easy installation.
3. Add two additional smaller board ‘feet’ across the bottom of the crate. (pictured above)
.4. Place planks inside crate to create the bottom.
Since they fit so well, mine are sitting loose, however you could permanently attach them to the leg supports if desired.
5. Install side supports in all four corners inside of the crate.
These 4 supports weren’t required for durability, so they could be considered optional.
I used wood clamps to hold the supports in each corner, pre-drilled holes, then pounded the nails in.
You may also prefer to attach them to the front and back boards before assembling the crate.
To make the nails look a little more authentically old, each nail was gently aged by dabbing on watered down black paint around each nail head. It ended up looking very subtle and quite believable!
How to stencil
9. Stencil the images.
I used Fusion Mineral Paint’s Coal Black for all the stenciling.
- Load stencil brush with paint and off-load most paint onto a rag to create a dry-to-the-touch stencil brush.
- Position stencil, attach with masking tape to secure, and tap or swirl paint through the stencil for the desired effect.
- Lift stencil once complete.
Learn more about how to stencil in THIS POST
View from plenty of how-to videos HERE
The finished crate!
And the end result is a rustic DIY wood fruit crate for fall decorating that looks pretty close to the real deal!
It’s super handy to store my freshly picked fruit as well as has space to add some fall foliage picked from outside as well!
Find some faux fall foliage HERE so it lasts even longer!
What I love about this team of stencils is the fact that all the words and graphics are small enough to be separated to fit anywhere desired!
Here’s a few crate design ideas…
Find stencil: You Pick Orchard
No pear on front
On this side of the crate, I removed the pear from the front and placed it to one side of the crate instead.
This keeps the theme wide open to suit anything.
Pick Daily and lines – from Locally Grown Herbs
The pear – from You Pick Orchard or Fall Produce Graphics
Find stencil: You Pick Orchard
With pear on front
On the other side of the crate, the pear was positioned on the left side of You Pick Orchard.
This is cute too, and moreso themes the crate.
Apple – from Fall Produce Graphics
Open 10-4 – from Bakery
Crate end details
And of course, you can also switch out the pear for this apple or other produce choices from Fall Produce Graphics!
Crate in an orchard
Right after that photo shoot, I landed some free pears from a generous neighbour, which were, I mean, come ON…. all too perfect for this next round of photos!
Pretty authentic looking, huh?
Equally cute with a few hydrangea cuttings just placed in the crate too!
Tip: Once hydrangea blooms get slightly crispy to the touch, they will dry perfectly.
Learn how I dry hydrangeas HERE
And equally cute with just pears!
Yes please, to placing this cute DIY wood fruit crate for fall right smack dab in the middle of my kitchen island just like this…
… with plenty of room to continue to add other real fruit of choice!
Now that’s one yummy fall vignette…
Are you busy gathering up your own fruit these days? What do you store yours in? Think you’ll dream up a fruit crate of your own?
See how this crate flipped into a charming window box planter for fall HERE
Find stencils here: You Find Orchard / Fall Produce Graphics
View the entire fall stencil collection HERE
Other DIY crate projects you may enjoy:
Ikea coffee station crate hack
Reversible DIY Crate with Apple Farm / Flower Farm
DIY mini crate from pallet wood and cedar strips
Visit many other CRATE PROJECTS HERE
Visit many other rustic Fall projects HERE
2 thoughts on “DIY wood fruit crate for fall decorating”
I’ve been wanting a wood crate for both our tabletop trees and our large Christmas tree. Thanks to this awesome tutorial, now I know how to build them!
Your fall stencil collection is wonderful. Crates are a favorite of mine. I did pin the crate with pears and from another post pinned the barn door on the shed. I get great inspiration and joy from your designs!