This DIY wood crate bookshelf is a terrific and inexpensive way to add some extra storage to any space. I recently created this vibrant wood crate bookshelf for my daughters’ shared room, and it is the perfect place for them to store favorite books, knickknacks, dolls, stuffed animals and more. I absolutely adore the bright, whimsical colors of the piece, and it was so incredibly easy to put together! Read on for all of the details for how to create a DIY wood crate bookshelf of your own, which is not only perfect for kids’ rooms, but also in college dorms, craft rooms and so much more.
This fun DIY idea is brought to you by Plaid in conjunction with the Plaid Creators team. All opinions of these terrific products are entirely my own. This post contains affiliate links.
To make a DIY Wood Crate Bookshelf, you will need…
- 3 unfinished wood crates (I purchased mine on sale for $9 apiece at Michaels)
- Sanding tool
- Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint (Colors used here: Rhubard, Ivory and Pumpkin)
- Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint Brush
- Waverly Inspirations Clear Wax
- Waverly Inspirations Wax Brush
- 3/8″ flat head wood screws
- 3 small wood oval cutouts
- Waverly Inspirations Super Premium Paint (Color used here: Peacock)
- Waverly Inspirations Alpha Serif Laser Stencils
- Waverly Inspirations Stencil Brush
- Gems, metal studs, or other embellishments (optional)
- Heavy duty adhesive (I prefer E6000)
Gather all of your supplies and cover your work surface with some freezer paper (affiliate link) or a drop cloth.
The new Waverly Inspirations line, available exclusively at Walmart and Walmart.com, is absolutely perfect for using in home decor projects like this one. The clear bottle with wide-mouth opening allows each paint color to show and allows you to dip your brush right in the jar. So handy!
What I love most of all about the Waverly Inspirations products is that all of the beautiful array of paint colors in the line coordinate perfectly with the beautiful Waverly home decor fabrics, which means putting together an entirely new look is as easy as can be!
Before painting, ensure all of the surfaces of the crate are nice and smooth by giving everything a good sanding and then wiping clean with a lint-free cloth.
Apply 2-3 coats of the Ivory paint on the outer surfaces of the crates using the chalk brush, allowing the paint to dry 30 minutes between coats. (This brush is a dream to use, as it holds just the right amount of the chalk paint without dripping, and it applies the paint evenly and easily.)
Helpful tip: when painting the outer surfaces of the crates, only paint the sides that will be visible when the shelf is assembled. I painted the top and sides of the top crate, but I only painted the sides of the bottom two crates. This makes your paint go much further and allowed me to complete this entire project with just one bottle of each color of paint.
Allow the paint to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
When the paint on the outside of the crate is completely dry, apply the Rhubarb and Pumpkin paint to the inside of the crates. (I opted to paint the top and bottom crates with the Rhubarb and the center with the Pumpkin, but the choice is completely up to your personal preference.) Make sure when painting that you get into all of the nooks and crannies on the bottom and side slats of the crate. Apply 2 coats for even coverage, and then set the crates aside to dry completely.
If you want to add extra durability to your project, once the paint is completely dry (preferably overnight), apply the wax using the wax brush to all painted surfaces of the crates, wiping away any excess with a lint-free cloth. Allow the wax to dry 24 hours before buffing with a lint-free cloth to the desired sheen.
When the wax has been buffed, stack the crates in your desired configuration. Use a drill to connect the top, middle and bottom shelves using the screws. It is highly recommended at this point that if your shelf will be in a space with children, that it be anchored to the wall with screws, as well.
With the shelf assembled, apply 1-2 coats of the Ivory Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint to the wood oval cutouts, and allow the paint to dry completely. Using the stencils and stencil brush and the Peacock Waverly Inspirations Super Premium Paint, stencil A, B, and C (or the letters of your choice) onto each of the cutouts. Set the ovals aside to dry.
Once dry, affix the oval lettered plaques to the front of the top, middle and bottom sections of the shelf using the heavy-duty adhesive. If desired, embellish the plaques further with metal studs or other embellishments for added interest.
Your DIY wood crate bookshelf is complete!
Now, all that’s left is to fill your new shelf with items you love!
I absolutely love how the bright paint colors pop against the white on the outside of the shelves. It really is such a wonderful way to add a pop of color to a space while adding some useful organization, too!
Another fun option for the plaque labels would be to use them to designate the contents of each particular shelf: books, dolls, stuffed animals, etc.
Overall, I am so delighted with this fun new nook in my girls’ room, and I know they are, too!
Be sure to stop back in tomorrow when I’ll share how to make this pretty DIY fabric-covered cork memo board, which I made using beautiful coordinating fabric from the Waverly Inspirations line…
…and then again on Thursday when I fill you in on the details for how my 9-year-old daughter and I made these darling DIY push pins for the memo board using Mod Melts!
And be sure to visit my fellow Plaid Creators to see all of their gorgeous Waverly Inspirations creations!
Having grown up in a home brimming with sewing notions and paintbrushes, Amy has a deep love for all things creative. On any given day, you’ll find her knee-deep in her latest creative endeavor, with projects ranging from sewing and crafts to home decor and kid-friendly ideas. Amy believes that everyone, regardless of skill level or experience, possesses the ability to create something beautiful, and Positively Splendid was born of her passion for helping others harness their innate creative potential.