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Make a custom modular bookshelf from crates
As my kids get bigger, I realized we needed a solution that could accommodate their growing book collection. These shelves are great because you can find unfinished wooden crates anywhere, and just add a crate when you need more space.

I don't have photos of the process, but it's pretty simple.

Posted by christinabw from Salt Lake City, Utah, United States • Published See christinabw's 7 projects »
  • Step 1

    Sand them down. Ugh. Sanding's the worst part, right? My crates were pretty rough when I got them, so started with 80 grit, then 100, then 150. They're not exactly silky smooth; my main goal was to smooth them up enough so the kids wouldn't get splinters on their new bookcase.

  • How to make a bookcase / cubby. Diy Crate Bookshelf - Step 2
    Step 2

    Beat 'em up. My kids LOVED this part (maybe a little too much). Get creative here...use nails, hammers, chisel, chains, anything to make scratches and dents. If your scrapes leave any rough edges, you may want to sand them down a bit.

  • Step 3

    Stain. Make sure your crate is clean and free of dust, then stain it your desired color. I used my favorite stain (Rust-oleum Dark Walnut). They've got these nifty half pint cans that are perfect for a small project like this.

  • Step 4

    Seal. Finish with a coat of polyurethane. I used Satin finish, because I didn't want too much shine.

  • How to make a bookcase / cubby. Diy Crate Bookshelf - Step 5
    Step 5

    Finishing touch. Screw on some corner brackets. (optional) They're technically called "angles" and you can find them in the roofing section.

  • How to make a bookcase / cubby. Diy Crate Bookshelf - Step 6
    Step 6

    Configure & attach. I attached the two horizontal crates to one another with wood glue and some screws underneath. The vertical crate I left unattached so it can also double as a handy carrying crate/nightstand if needs be.

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