When to Give a Vintage Crate an Upgrade

Hi everyone! Hope you had a great weekend. We had a very informative and enjoyable trip down to NYC, visiting colleges with my sweet daughter. We managed to squeeze in some pure fun, too: The Museum of Modern Art, Ellen’s Stardust Diner (singing waiters), and an off-broadway show, Puffs (about Harry Potter).

Good bonding time and enjoyable. Fortunately, I planned ahead and worked on a project last week that I photographed and prepared for today, involving a stenciled vintage crate.

vintage flower crateI know you’ve seen old crates of all sizes out there in the wild–at garage sales and flea markets, maybe on the side of the road. If you’ve struggled with ideas about how to turn one into something you’d be proud to show off in your home (or garden), then I think today’s post might give you an idea or two.

vintage cratesI had these two stashed out in the garage. A friend gave me the black one on the bottom (makeover coming up soon), and I bought the greasy one on top for a dollar at a garage sale last fall. They are not that hard to find, once you start looking for them.

Flower stencil on vintage boxParticularly because of the staining on it, I decided the crate on top needed a bit of a makeover. I chose to use a brand new (to me) stencil Fresh Flowers 50ยข/Bunch that I bought from Angie at Knick of Time.

Vintage Flower crateEven though I picked the less greasy side, I was not happy with that distracting stain.

vintage crate with flower stencilSo back to my work room it went, where I applied a coat of Howard’s Feed-N-Wax to the entire surface, and it worked! Every thing blended together uniformly. (I waxed the sides and back, too, eventually.)

The flowers came from Trader Joe’s–two bunches for $5.99 each. The daisies, pink roses, and hydrangea compliment each other so well. But my old crate was not quite finished, yet.

vintage flower crate with leather strapI used the remainder of an old leather belt to create a handle for it. Last week I posted about some belt bracelets I made, and my “strap” is leftover from that process.

vintage crate with flower stencil and leather strapI’m pretty pleased with its rustic-y, functional nature.

I secured it to the crate with four small nails on each side.

Vintage Flower Crate with leather hanging strapThe strap makes it possible to carry the box around, say while cutting from the garden, or to hang it on a wall as home decor.

vintage flower crateOr simply tuck it inside and use it as a springtime centerpiece, as I did above, or out on the deck, as I have here. I hope this helps envision a positive future for any old, cruddy crates you might have on hand or that you come across while out “shopping” garage sales and the like.

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I’d love it if you’d pin me! When to give a vintage crate an upgrade


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  1. Needen me some Howards magic! Son in law loves old crates,we just worked on one for his birthday. I’m sure there will be more comming! Beautiful job!

  2. I can’t get over how gorgeous that crate looks now – especially filled with all those beautiful flowers! So glad you found such a beautiful way to use the Fresh Flowers stencil Diana! – Pinning!

  3. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your lovely crate at the Snickerdoodle Create~Bake~Make link party!

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