free pantry upgrade

Bwahahaha, I can’t even say that with a straight face.  🙂

See, here in blogland the ‘pantry reveal’ has been the recent IT thing.  There are matching containers, fancy labels and stenciled shelving.  Oh my!  (I couldn’t resist.)

But, this is more of a pallet-turned-box type of thing.  Well, it IS a pallet turned box.  Or, let’s say crate … that’s a much more appealing term don’t you think.  So … sorry for the false advertising.  I don’t have a pantry … but we all need a place for our canned goods, right?!

And, since it’s been established that we live in a breadbox, I need to be creative.

I’ve had our pantry type items in the hutch since we moved here.  But once the hutch became the tv stand, that’s been kind of weird.

I know, I know … storage is storage, but still weird all the same.

So, I decided to make a box crate out of a pallet. And it didn’t cost me a penny.  Not many things make me smile more than the word FREE.  🙂

Well, dragon berry mojitos make me smile pretty big…but that’s not really relevant here now is it.

So, I didn’t actually take a before picture … but … it was a pallet. 😉  Similar to this one. And I used the same technique to remove the slats, a hammer and pry bar along with some cursing and a blister on my forefinger.

Those last two are totally optional.  🙂

I knew where I wanted my crate to go in my kitchen, so I measured my space and cut my slats to size (14 inches long).  Based on the height I wanted, I needed 3 slats per side (one wide one and two narrow ones), so I cut 12 pieces the same length.

I took a little piece of scrap wood (maybe a  1 x 1) I had and cut it so I could use it as the brace to attach each of the sides of my crate together.  The height was measuring about 12 inches so I cut my little brackets, if you will, about 10 inches long.  Just long enough so I could get one screw into each of the three pallet slats on each side of the soon-to-be-crate.

Are you following along with all of the numbers Carol?  😉
Ok, here’s the thought process … I wanted the front to be only a view of the slats, meaning the front and back slats would overlap the slats on the sides.  So, in the picture above, you see how I lined my brackets up flush with the edge of the slats for the sides of the crate.  I attached the 4 brackets to both ends of the slats for both of the sides.  Then, by lining up the slats for the front (and then back) of the crate, I was able to attach the brackets to the slats creating a bottomless and topless box.  Confused yet?

This pic is of the 2 sides with the brackets attached … ready to be attached to the front and the back sides of the crate.

Why yes, I do work construction on the coffee table.  🙂

Which makes now seem like a good time for a few tips:
1.  Don’t do construction on the coffee table unless you’re ok with a sawdusty mess.  🙂
2. Drilling pilot holes for your screws (like I did here) is always a time saver … for those interested in saving time and sanity and maybe a little bit of finger flesh.
3.  One might want to wash their pallet with some sort of disinfectant cleaner.
4.  Sanding the slats before working with them, or wearing gloves while handling the slats would probably be a good idea.

But, I’m not one to judge so if you happen to forego any of these tips your crate is still cool with me.  🙂

Ok, where were we … once I had all of the sides connected, I added a bottom.  This is probably backwards carpentry, but that’s how I roll.

AND, so I didn’t have to rip down the width of any of the pallet slats, I spaced them so they aren’t wide enough apart for any canned goods to fall through, but not exactly a solid wood bottom.  Like so.

Then I drilled holes on either side of my crate to run some rope through for handles.

And because I didn’t want people peaking at my canned goods (that’s what she said), I added a top by just cutting more pallet slats the length I needed and adding a few pallet slats to the underside to attach them all together.  Like so.

And because I love me some driftwood, I just screwed on a piece that I thought would work as a handle.

After I admired her for a few hours I decided to add some random stenciling.  My new favorite hobby.  🙂

I picked a not so random number and then stenciled the word CURACAO along the front. Kind of like it’s a crate of canned goods on its way to Curacao.  Appropriate I’d say.

Thank goodness, because we all know who doesn’t like random stenciling around here.  😉

I finished her off by hand sanding the whole crate to distress the stenciling and smooth out the finish a bit.  Oh, and just to clarify, all of the nail holes you see on the outside of the crate of from it’s previous life as a pallet.  Building the crate with the brackets on the inside eliminates any new visual nail or screws.  And I really like the rustic look of the open holes from it’s life as a pallet.  Score!

While I was at it, I was inspired to add another driftwood shelf below our jute wrapped rusty pipe pot rack.

I think she makes a good pair with the other driftwood shelf action we have going on in our little kitchen.  Which … I think looks nice and dandy below the other pallet project I’ve done in this space.

And, because this has turned into a mini kitchen tour … here’s my attempt at storing some of our less ugly kitchen things in plain sight.

Seriously, if you want to make your very own pallet crate, it really is easy, feel free to email me for more detail.  I know you can do it … and who doesn’t love FREE, stylish storage?

And another little side note, the only electric tool I used is my drill/screwdriver … no fancy equipment required.  Bonus!

What about you, have you made anything out of a pallet?  Do you store your canned goods in a crate?  Did you spend time with family over the holiday weekend or tear something apart to re-purpose it?  I guess you can figure out what I did.  🙂

AND … because I confessed my newest life blog goal here, and clearly I’m a bit delusional, I’m going to be linking up here in addition to here and at:  BNOTP, Home Stories A to Z, Savvy Southern Style, Remodelaholic, Today’s Creative and Addicted 2 Decorating.

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  1. Great idea! I am also very fond of the word, FREE! I have seen so many things made out of pallets on Pinterest and have yet to make anything. I may have to go scouring for some to use for storage. Oh, BTW, I also LOVE your driftwood shelves! You should link up to my It’s a Piece O’ Cake Linky Party {}. It’s open until tomorrow and Thursday will be the next one. Thanks for sharing!

  2. How creative! Very nice! Looks great! It is amazing what a person can come up with if they have a little imagination a few supplies, and some time. Reminds me of what my 22 year old Marine son that recently came home for a visit. He said “I think poor kids have more fun when they are little”! I thought that was so funny because my kids always felt deprived while they were growing up because I would not buy then all then latest gadgets as they came out.

  3. Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D

     /  April 10, 2012

    First, I love free, too!
    Second, dragon berry mojitos sound like fun!

    Third, you can see my very inexpensive – get much needed – pantry upgrade below.
    (The pantry shelves had been falling down since 1959 when the place was built – not that I was around back then to see it!)

    I really like your new pantry.
    And, that driftwood shelf is *swoon* worthy.
    ~ Sana

  4. What a great pallet box you have made! It’s awesome and looks great in your space.

  5. I am so lovin that, and your shelf. Where did you get the driftwood? Beach?

  6. super cute! and i was thinking maybe you couldn’t keep a straight face because if you take the r out you have panty… but that would be just silly. but panty reveal would be a funny post title!

  7. Great idea! I have two pallets sitting in my garage. I may have to give this a shot!

  8. Looks mavvvelous my dear. I did a pantry re-do, but no one will ever see it because it went from terribly unorganized and messy to a bit less unorganized and messy.


  9. Karah,

    I love this and I am totally pinning it! What a great idea! I love the handle too! You always come up with the best ideas. It must be all of that Caribbean sun!


  10. I think I say the same thing every time I comment, which is :You are SO creative! And this is no different. Just love it!

  11. Love it! You have super cute stuff in your kitchen! We recently did this pallet to crate thing and made shoe storage out of them for our mudroom:

    You’re right – nothing beats free! 🙂

  12. The crate box was an inspired idea and free just makes it better. Looks great.

  13. Karah,

    What a fun project! Free is fantastic, and I LOVE how this came out! It looks amazing with your driftwood and other wood projects in your kitchen!
    So cool! It’s pinworthy for sure!!!
    Have a great week!

  14. Yay you! So creative!!! 🙂

  15. Cute and functional… Win, win! Oh, wait… and FREE. Triple win!

  16. That looks awesome! You always come up with the most creative ideas! 🙂

  17. It looks amazing, like something you’d pay $300 for from a very trendy catalogue. A cool catalogue:) I also do some work on our coffee table, I even have a picture of a circular saw, jigsaw and power driver on it!


  18. kellyatvatw

     /  April 10, 2012

    LOVE. Love love. It’s actually refreshing compared to all those pantry upgrades with matching labeled jars, IMO. 🙂 And it looks expensive!

  19. shirley@housepitalitydesigns

     /  April 10, 2012

    Where do you come up with these ideas?…I love it…Now, if I made it…it would take me 5 minutes to know that I need a couple of band-aids and then one of your dragon berry mojitos to get me the rest of the way…Great project….you are too over the top creative!

  20. Nice addition to the kitchen! And I also smile about dragon berry mojitos. 🙂

  21. tkwblog

     /  April 11, 2012

    I’m thinking the Pallet up cycle is the IT thing also! Super idea! I keep thinking of all the uses I would have for some pallet boxes, err I mean crates. Pinning this now!

  22. Your new box is gorgeous! And I love the shelves and treasure on them. Your kitchen is looking wonderful!
    Hugs, Cindy

  23. Loving this! There are so many great ideas and D.I.Y. projects for pallets! I want to do one!

  24. debbiewestbrooks

     /  April 11, 2012

    It looks great! I want a pallet 🙂

  25. LOVE THIS 🙂


  26. Hi! Just wanted to let you know I featured your projects as part of my Linky Party today!

  27. That crate is so cute!! I can’t believe you made that from a pallet! Good job!
    I currently have a link party going and would love for you to share this and anything else you would like!

  28. This is so great. I love pallets! I’m pinning it and I’m a new follower! 🙂

  29. Pallet love lives on! I would love if you stopped by my Creative Inspirations party to link up – I would love to have you there!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  30. Love your pallet crate! Cute, practicle and free makes for the perfect project 🙂

  31. Love it!! I want one for MY house!! Do you ship?? 😉

  32. I love your crate! I have a couple of pallets in the garage and I want to try this!

    You are one of the Fabulous Five on Laughter and Grace this week!!

  33. so amazing! i would LOVE for you to link this post or any other posts you want to my weekend link party it opens at midnight tonight, hope to see you there!
    {love} lauryn @

  34. I love this idea. It’s gorgeous. I love free, too.

  35. Amy

     /  April 14, 2012

    You did a great job on your box..I mean crate. I love it with the stenciling and the little driftwood handle is just the right extra touch.

  36. Just perfect! I Love this, and it is such a simple idea! Thank you So much for sharing and for the inspiration!

  37. First of all…I love you:) You SOOOO made me smile and laugh out loud over my coffee this morning! Seriously LOVING this project and I am totally stealing all our stealth tactics in building it! Pinning and sharing on my FB page:)

  1. $2 time saver « the space between
  2. Fabulous Five | Laughter and Grace

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